The morning started just like any other ordinary work day morning, the sun was shining on New York City and the traffic was bustling just like usual. Having already been up for two hours and having spent over an hour of that choosing what to wear that day, Andrea made her way up the steps of the subway and towards the Starbucks branch closest to the Elias Clarke building.
Once she had got a drink for herself and one for Emily as well as having pre-ordered Miranda's for the day, she made her way over to the office block. She had arranged with the manager there that she would pre-order the coffees for set times and an employee would bring the coffee over to the lobby of the building where she would then collect it from them before rushing it to Miranda. It gave her an advantage and meant that the coffee would be much quicker.
She had already decided what she would get the almost-impossible woman for her birthday in a couple of months time. A coffee pod machine with Starbucks coffee pods to go with it and a reusable coffee tumbler to go with it. She had already purchased the white and green basic Starbucks tumbler a few days ago. Andrea had gotten a selection of markers specifically so that they wouldn't wash off when the tumbler was cleaned and she had re-designed the mug to be themed around fashion. There were shoes, shirts, dresses, and most importantly, in a very neat calligraphy font was Miranda's name. Andrea was quite happy with the tumbler, it was a one of a kind and she just hoped that Miranda would like it. Admittedly, she was a little nervous in case Miranda hated it. It was, after all, not made by a famous designer but she hoped that wouldn't matter.
Andrea got into the lobby with her bag over her shoulder and the tray of coffee in one hand along with a brown paper bag in the other one. "Good Morning, Allen!" The dark-haired assistant called out on her way towards the entrance as she passed by the security desk.
"Morning, Andy!" the slightly over-weight and balding man behind the desk greeted her with a huge smile, he was much more fond of her than that other assistant that came through from Runway.
"Good Morning Jasper," She greeted another man with a smile as she stepped up to the turnstiles that would allow her entrance to the main part of the building.
Jasper, a tall man with dark hair and wearing the same uniform as Allen had been wearing, smiled happily, "Good Morning, Andy, and how are you today?"
"I'm good, how about you? How are the kids doing?" She asked him cheerfully.
"I'm doing great, and the kids? They're fine, growing like weeds they are!" Jasper answered as he opened up the gate next to the turnstiles for her, "Here... have a great day."
"You too, Andy, you too."
She went straight to the elevators and jumped into the one that was already on the ground floor.
"Morning Andy," a brown-haired woman with round glasses and a rounding figure said to her as she hit another elevator level button.
"Good Morning Ellie," Andrea said with a smile, "And thanks for hitting the button for me."
"No problem, I'm not sure how you would manage it with your hands so full." Ellie commented as she looked at the woman's full hands.
Andrea chuckled and nodded, "You learn to manage." She commented with a slight shrug.
"I'm sure, well this is my floor, have a good day," Ellie said as the doors opened and she stepped off, "Maybe I'll see you in the lunch hall later if you manage to get away for long enough?"
"Sure, that sounds good, if not we can try for tomorrow." Andrea agreed with a smile.
When the elevator reached the level for Runway, Andrea stepped off and glanced around to see who was there, "Good Morning, Serena," she greeted with a smile when she saw the other woman come out of the second elevator, unfortunately for the other woman there had been a lot more people in that one than there had been in the one andrea had managed to catch.
"Morning, Carino." the Brazilian Runway employee greeted with an enthusiastic smile.
"So, is today the day?" Andy asked her with a slight smirk as she walked with her towards the main offices of Runway.
Serena looked over at her and raised an eyebrow, "I have no idea what you are talking about."
Andrea rolled her eyes, "Don't give me that again, come on Rena... When are you going to tell Em?"
"I... do not know if I will." Serena replied before biting her lip slightly.
Andrea rolled her eyes, again, "Come on, Rena, you really should tell her how you feel," she urged the other woman, "Trust me, you won't regret it, she really does feel the same."
Serena bit her lip a little more and sighed, "How can you be so sure, Carino?"
"We are both in that office so much that I'm pretty sure I live with her at this point, trust me... I know." Andrea answered with a smile as they approached the glass doors to the main office.
When they entered the main office, both women greeted Emily 'good morning'. The highly strung English woman was already typing away at her desk and had been for however many hours.
"Here is your coffee," Andy said with a smile as she placed the coffee cup on the desk for her, "and one for you Rena."
"Muchas gracias Carino," Serena replied as she took the coffee cup from the other woman and instantly took a sip of it before moaning slightly, "Delicious."
She didn't notice the way that Emily licked her lips at the sound or how she had blushed a little.
Andrea found herself rolling her eyes, yet again, because how did Serena not notice such a thing?
"Oh, and our breakfast because I know that neither of your would have had the sense to stop for some this morning," the second-assistant commented as she pulled the breakfast muffins out of the bag and handed them out. She left one in the bag and went towards Miranda's office.
"You're not seriously going to put one in there are you?" Emily questioned.
"Oh, she is." Rena stated with a slight smirk.
"She's going to kill her." Emily mumbled.
"No, she will not... unless of course it is a la petite mort of course." Serena replied with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.
Emily looked up suddenly, "What?"
Serena chuckled, "It is what the French call the feeling after an orgasm where you briefly lose consciousness."
Emily's jaw simply dropped.
Meanwhile, Andrea had hidden the breakfast muffin, which was still in the bag, in the top drawer of Miranda's desk before setting up the woman's desk. She then went back into the outer office to eat her muffin, drink her coffee, and most importantly gossip with her two friends.
Once the coffee and muffins were gone, Serena made her way to her actual desk rather than where she had been sat on Emily's (not that the woman had any objections to the woman's ass being planted on her desk of course) and the two assistants got back to work.
"Shouldn't you have gone for Miranda's coffee already? She'll be here soon." Emily commented after a while.
Andrea smiled, "I will do in a minute." She said after checking the time.
Emily rolled her eyes thinking that the coffee would be late.
When Andrea finished typing the email that she was working on, she casually got up and went towards the elevator but instead opted to go down the flights of stairs instead.
"Great. Miranda will be here with no coffee." Emily commented to an empty room with a roll of her eyes and a heavy sigh.
The text came through to say that Miranda had arrived. Emily glanced over to the stairs and elevator, still no sign of Andrea.
Again, she rolled her eyes at that fact.
She saw Andrea come out of the door that led to the stairs and instead of coming in to the office, she simply stood there by the elevator.
Emily started to wonder if it was possible to roll her eyes right out of her head. If she did it would be all Andrea's fault of course.
The sound of the elevator arriving dinged and soon Miranda was stepping out of it onto the floor of Runway.
"Good Morning, Miranda," Andrea greeted her with a smile, "Here's your coffee."
"Good Morning, Andrea, and thank you," Miranda said very quietly, she didn't exactly want the entire office to know that she had softened to the young assistant. Back in her usual tone of voice, she started to give out the normal list of commands that she had prepared in her mind on the way in and she watched out of the corner of her eye as her assistant jotted it all down in her notebook. It was a cerulean blue notebook with a glittering cover which Miranda had conveniently left on Andrea's desk approximately a week previously.
Miranda continued to give her orders until she reached the outer office where she threw her bag onto Emily's desk before throwing her coat there too.
Emily got up straight away to put away the items and grabbed the book from where Miranda had put it on the desk, and rushed off with it to take it back to the art department.
Andrea returned to her desk and got started on dividing the list, she wrote out her own and marked them off of the main list before putting the main list on Emily's desk.
When Emily returned, Andrea left to run around the city doing the jobs on the list.
Hours later, Miranda stepped out of her office, "Where is, Andrea?" She questioned after seeing the empty desk.
"She hasn't returned yet." Emily answered.
"What do you mean? She left hours ago, she was supposed to be back here half an hour ago with my lunch." Miranda replied.
"She left to do the jobs on the list and she... she hasn't come back yet," Emily explained, "I keep trying to call her but she isn't answering and the last time she answered her messages was two hours ago."
"And you didn't think to tell me this two hours ago?" Miranda questioned with raised eyebrows, she was annoyed and it was obvious.
Emily looked terrified, "I... I didn't think it was important.... I just thought she was busy or forgot to charge her phone when she went out."
"Try calling her again," Miranda replied, "Now!"
Emily did as she was told and started to call her but this time she put the phone on loudspeaker so that Miranda could hear the reply.
It went straight to answer phone.
"Again." Miranda demanded.
Emily repeated the command straight away, dialling the same number and getting the exact same result.
"Call her other cell phone." Miranda demanded.
"I don't have that number." Emily revealed, "I only have her work number."
Miranda turned the phone around and dialled the number from memory without a pause, surprising Emily.
The phone rang again.
Again, it went straight to answer phone.
Miranda reached up and pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration as she felt a headache coming on, "Emily, call the police and inform them that Andrea is missing, ensure that they have their best teams looking for her with immediate effect." She insisted with no room for debate on the matter.
Emily nodded, "Yes, Miranda." The woman replied instantly, not questioning the command. She picked up her phone straight away from it's cradle on the desk and dialled 911.
"Police department, please?" She spoke politely to the dispatcher at the other end.
Emily was highly aware of the fact that Miranda was stood next to her desk listening attentively to every single word that she said to the dispatcher unit, "I need to report a missing person."
"She is 28-years-old." Emily stated, answering the questions that the woman was asking her.
"Her name is Andrea Anne Sachs." Emily answered before highlighting.
"She has been missing since this morning." The British woman stated.
Suddenly, her jaw dropped and she looked furious, "What?! What do you mean it's too early to report!?"
"You don't understand, Andrea is Miranda Priestly's assistant." Emily pointed out with an annoyed tone of voice, "I am calling on behalf of Miranda Priestly who, as a matter of fact, is stood in front of me at this very moment."
"I understand that, I believe that it is you that does not understand the situation."
Before Emily had a chance to respond to what the woman was saying to her next, the phone was being taken from her hand by her boss. Emily froze as the phone was taken from her hand by Miranda and the woman began to almost hiss down the phone at the dispatcher.
"My assistant is Andrea Anne Sachs, she is 28 and has been missing for nearly five hours." Miranda stated, "She would not simply leave. She went to run errands and has not been back, she is not the type of person to be late and she is definitely not the type of person to have her phones switched off."
"Then I demand to speak to your superior." Miranda hissed down the phone at her, "How dare you suggest that my Andrea has left willingly, how dare you!"
"No, you will investigate this matter immediately or I will be going to the Chief of Police about the matter." Miranda angrily replied to the woman.
Miranda sighed with frustration before she slammed the phone down on the desk, almost throwing it off of the desk as it skidded across the wood only to be stopped by Emily's hand as she caught it at the very last minute before it went over the edge.
"How dare they suggest such a ridiculous concept!" Miranda ranted, "They had the audacity to try and tell me that she is not missing person until she has been missing for at least 24 hours otherwise they assume she has just gone off wandering somewhere. As if my Andrea would simply leave part way through a work day."
"What... what should we do, Miranda?" Emily bravely asked, although clearly rather nervous about asking the woman anything.
"Inform everyone in the building that Andrea is missing, tell security to search the whole building - both inside and outside," Miranda demanded, "Send Nigel and Serena to search those clubs and restaurants and things that you all go to." "Then send Jocelyn and Annabelle to search the Highline, send the rest of the art department to search Central Park, and send the rest to search the surrounding roads around Elias Clarke." Miranda continued, "Ensure that you assign certain roads to each of the staff members and keep track of where they are searching, I expect you to print off a map of Manhattan and to keep track of the areas that have been searched and by whom."
Emily was scribbling away like a mad woman as she wrote down everything that Miranda dictated to her.
"That way when the police finally start doing their jobs then they will have some information to go on. I expect anyone that isn't searching to be on the phone making calls to any designers in the area that she may have gone to and calling up every single person that she has in her address book. I believe that her phone is linked up to her computer so her contacts should be available on there. Both of her phones are linked so she has all of her contacts on both of them as a back up."
Emily of course did not question why the woman knew this information about the second assistant and instead opted to remain quiet whilst continuing to scribe what she was told.
"Meanwhile, I will go with Roy and I will search all of the places of which appear on her list of tasks for this morning," the Editor-in-Chief stated before adding, "I will need you to make sure that Roy is down stairs the moment that I get down there so that I do not have to wait around for him, time is precious even more so now than ever before. I will also need your copy of the list as Andrea took her copy with her."
Emily nodded, "Of course." She stated as she handed over the hand written notes that Andrea had taken that morning and then sent a text to Roy straight away. "I have text him and he said that he will be downstairs in five minutes."
Miranda nodded, "Thank you." She whispered without even realising it as she was so focused on the note in her hand and the hand writing on it that she did not fully take in her surroundings.
"Keep trying with the police as well." The woman demanded as she left the room, still focusing on the note in her hand rather than anything in her surroundings. She had left her bag behind but taken her phone with her as that was already on her. She was far too distracted to bother trying to get her coat or bag from the closet at the side of the office.
When Miranda left the room and got into the elevator, Nigel walked in with a look of confusion on his face, "Hey, Em? What's wrong with Miranda?" He asked with confusion etched on his face, "I don't think that I have ever seen her so distracted... she didn't even notice that I had the new Dior spread in my hands and I held it up to her too!"
Emily was pale and she looked as if she might pass out at any moment.
"Oh, not you too." Nigel commented, "Where's Six? Maybe I can get some sense out of her?"
'I don't know where she is." Emily replied before pointing out, "That's why Miranda is distracted... she's gone to look for her, she hasn't been heard from in hours and..."
Nigel's eyes went wide, "Okay, take a deep breath and tell me... what has Miranda told you to do?"
Emily seemed to be in shock still and simply offered up her notebook.
Nigel looked at the book, scanning the items quickly, "Okay, then we have a plan! Let's find our Six!"
Miranda got to the town car and Roy was waiting for her whilst holding the door open for her. "There has been a change in my schedule, I will need to go to these locations," Miranda stated as she thrust the list into his hand.
The man looked at the list with a bit of confusion.
"Andrea has gone missing and as the police seem to be unwilling to do anything at all," The Editor-in-Chief stated, "So, it appears that it is now our responsibility to find her."
Roy nodded, "Of course, we'll find her."
Once Miranda was in the car, Roy rushed around to the other side and jumped into the driver's seat in order to make his way to the first destination.
"Roy, you're in contact with a lot of drivers aren't you?" Miranda questioned.
The driver nodded, "Yes, Miranda."
"Please can you send her image every person possible and tell them to keep an eye out for her?" Miranda requested before adding, "I will of course send the photo now to you."
Roy nodded, "Of course, Miranda."
Miranda pulled her phone out and sent the photo to Roy. The photo was taken in the park a week previously when they had taken Patricia for a walk with Cassidy and Caroline.
She found herself thinking of her girls and how they would react to finding out that 'their Andy' was missing, so she pulled up Cara's contact details to call her, "Cara, I need you to collect the girls from school early and take them back to the townhouse immediately."
"No, they are not unwell." Miranda replied to her, "Andrea has gone missing and I would rather they were not at school when they found out."
"I will need you to call the driver service for a secondary car as I am out with Roy at the moment looking for Andrea." Miranda added.
When Miranda put the phone down, Roy spoke up, "I'm in a group for ex-armed forces, do you want me to share her photo with them? Get them out there searching too?"
"Yes, Roy." Miranda answered, "Share her photo in as many places as you can, the more people searching for her the better, and give them the office number so that they can call it in if they see her or find out any information about my Andrea."
Roy nodded, "Of course, Miranda." He said softly as he turned down the street, "We will find her, Miranda, we'll bring your girl home safely."
Miranda simply nodded in response with the words 'my girl' floating through her mind as she looked out of the window. She did not stay in her day dream for long, however, as she was soon messaging Emily with further instructions. She told her that she was to get someone in the art department to make posters so that the others could print them and put them up when they went out searching for her. She also told her to try the police again and if they didn't help then to go higher then continue working her way up the hierarchy until someone paid attention.
Meanwhile, back at the Runway offices of the Elias Clarke building. There was a hectic atmosphere throughout the hallways. It had soon spread around the office that Andrea was missing and that Miranda had gone out herself to go and search for the woman.
Nigel was in the midst of it all, directing people where to go. He had assigned two of the editors to the role of calling everyone in Andrea's contact list, the art department had already printed up a poster before Miranda had even suggested it to them and they had started to print it using every single printer in the offices. Teams had gone out in the exact way that Miranda had directed them to be so there was no street nearby that would not be searched by Runway employees.
It didn't take long, however, for the whole building to be aware of the fact that Andrea had gone missing which meant that it was no longer just the Runway employees that were out in Manhattan looking for the young woman.
There were people sending emails to every contact in existence from news outlets and news anchors to politicians and celebrities.
There were people on the phone, calling every contact in the company's contact list.
The board were having an emergency meeting, after all, it doesn't look good to have one of their employees go missing and for one of their senior staff to be out searching.
Everyone else that wasn't on the phone or creating posters or doing something in the office to assist the search was out on the streets with armed with posters searching for her.
Then there was Jocelyn, who was on the phone to a friend of hers who worked at the police station.
And Serena who was attempting to inform the woman's family but failing, they continuously put the phone down on her.
Emily sighed heavily, "I just... I cannot believe that she has actually gone missing. It's like something that usually only happens in the movies."
"What I can not believe, Carino is that Andy's family is refusing to take my call... the moment I say her name they put the phone down on me. It is unbelievable."
"Didn't she say that she wasn't talking to them?" Jocelyn questioned as she moved over to where they were sat.
"Yes, but surely they would take notice if someone is calling to say that she is missing?" Serena replied.
Jocelyn shrugged, "I think they stopped caring as soon as they realised that their daughter wasn't as straight as they had initially assumed."
"It's crazy." Emily commented, "Even my parents love Andy and they only met her the once when they were over last time."
"I just don't think it's worth wasting time on," Jocelyn pointed out, "You've tried to contact them and there is a trace that you tried so now we just have to concentrate on finding her."
The two other women nodded.
"Hey! Don't sit around, I have tasks... lots of tasks for you." Nigel called out from Miranda's office. He grabbed a couple of photo frames from Miranda's desk and frowned, wondering how he had not seen these before. Then again he was not usually in the habit of sitting behind her desk. "Send these photos out to all of the news outlets and gossip rags possible." He said as he placed the frames down on Emily's desk.
"Are... are you sure?" Emily questioned with widened eyes and heightened eyebrows.
"Yes, every single one possible and make sure that they know it needs to be published immediately not later, not tomorrow, not next week... it has to be online now." Nigel insisted.
Emily nodded and all three of them started to take the photos out of the frames before they started to scan them into the computer.
The first photo was of Miranda, Andrea, and the girls on the beach in the Hamptons together.
The second photo was of Andrea and the girls using a snapchat filter whilst in the park together.
And the third? The third photo was Andrea, Donatella, and Miranda at a charity benefit where Miranda had tugged the other woman into the shot and held her there for the photo. It had amused Donatella at the time. It was an action that she had never done with any other assistant.
Miranda was annoyed with herself that she hadn't found her second assistant straight away, she was angry at herself for not realising that the woman was missing sooner, and she was upset with the idea that she might not find her in the state that she last saw her in. Her Andrea. Gone. That concept was simply not acceptable and she prayed to whatever deity would listen that her Andrea would be returned to her safely and quickly. She made a promise to herself, to the universe, and to her Andrea that if Andrea was returned to her safely then she would force herself to have the courage to tell the woman how she truly felt and she would also never take that woman for granted ever again. She just needed her home. She needed her back with her. She needed to be able to wrap her arms around the woman and hold her close. She needed her. She needed her Andrea and she needed her now!
She was finding the search to be highly unacceptable and she wasn't just annoyed at herself but also the police force for not taking it seriously enough for her liking. Why were they not searching for her? Why did they not have helicopters in the air and troops on the ground? The idea was ridiculous that they weren't doing anything for her Andrea. Did they not realise how important she is?
The first place on the list of tasks was the Hermes store. As Roy pulled up outside of the Hermes store, Miranda wished that she hadn't allowed Andrea to leave the office that day and she wished that she hadn't set tasks outside of the office.
As Miranda stepped out of the town car, she silently decided that in the future she would be setting all of Andrea's tasks inside the office and keeping her close to her.
Roy didn't have the chance to open the car door for the woman as he usually did because the moment that he pulled up at the curbside, Miranda had already started to get out of the car. He hadn't even come to a full stop when her heel hit the pavement.
The staff in the store were shocked to see Miranda Priestly herself walking into their store, she never came to the store herself as she always sent an assistant in her place to collect the items. The workers in the store had never met her before but they knew exactly who she was as Miranda was their biggest client in the city so it was very important that each and every staff member know who she is and know who her assistants were too. The latter of course was a little harder because the assistants were continuously changing so it was sometimes hard to keep up with who it was.
"Good Afternoon, Miranda. My name is Faridah , how may we help you?" a young dark-haired woman said politely with a soft smile, despite clearly being rather afraid.
"I believe my second assistant was here earlier." Miranda replied in her usual quiet tone.
The woman nodded, "Yes, Andy came here this morning and picked up your new batch of scarves." Suddenly Faridah froze, "Was there something wrong with the scarves we sent for you?"
Miranda shook her head, "I wouldn't know," she admitted and took a deep breath before continuing, "Andrea has gone missing."
Faridah's eyes went wide, "Andy is missing?!"
The Editor-in-Chief nodded, "Yes, that is what I said."
The woman put her hand to her head, adjusting her headscarf a little before speaking again, "She came here and collected the scarves but then she left a couple of minutes later, she didn't stay for long but she never does as she has so much more to do."
Miranda nodded, listening to the woman.
Faridah turned to her colleagues and informed then of the missing status of the young woman who they had served that morning. Their faces were shocked and one of the young women stepped forward before speaking, "Have you checked the CCTV yet?"
"Ah, yes, that is a great idea." Faridah replied as she moved towards the back of the store where the office was. "Please, follow me, Miranda."
Miranda followed her into the office and watched as the young woman pressed buttons on the computer system and adjusted a few things before the image came into focus of her Andrea.
She watched the grainy image as her Andrea approached the store in a rush.
Miranda's face crumpled a little and her eyes watered a bit as she wondered if these were the last images that she would see of the woman she was so deeply in love with.
Continuing to watch she saw on the next camera as she entered the store.
Then the other cameras showed her images of Andrea at various angles as she walked into the Hermes store and collected the bag of scarves from the store assistant which was one of the women she recognised from the shop floor.
"Would you like me to put copies of the CCTV footage onto a USB stick for you, Miranda?" Fairdah asked her, not knowing the rule about questions but she did know how to address the woman correctly.
Miranda nodded, "Please." She replied simply as she continued to watch the screens in front of them.
Faridah smiled briefly and turned back to the computer system in front of her in order to transfer the video clips over to a USB that she had in the drawer of the desk. It didn't take her long to transfer all of the files to the external drive.
Once it was complete, Faridah turned back around in the chair and offered the USB to the white-haired woman, "I will get copies of the CCTV clips for any of the stores next to us that show Andrea entering or exiting the store or walking along the street," she said softly, "I'll send them to the email that we have for Runway so that you can take a look at them as soon as I have them."
Miranda nodded, "Thank you." She said softly, it wasn't often that she thanked someone but usually they were doing something that was part of their jobs. This, however, was definitely not part of the woman's job at all.
Faridah nodded, "If there is anything that we can do to help then please let us know."
"If you would like to help then please feel free to contact my assistant," Miranda replied, "She is overseeing the search at the moment and they are distributing her photograph."
When Miranda returns to the safety of the town car, she leans her head back against the black leather seating and sighs deeply, "Andrea." She sighs to herself before she looks out of the window.
Roy had the list with him so he knew exactly where he had to go next.
As they drove along the busy streets of New York City, pausing only when they reached traffic lights or got held up by traffic.
Miranda found herself watching out of the window with much more attention than she ever did when driving through the city as she scanned each and every face for her Andrea. She peered into shop windows and glanced up at apartment building windows whilst trying to look at every single person in the crowds that filled the pavements.
With each face that she looked at that wasn't her Andrea, she felt a little bit more disappointment and a little more worry.
She took a deep and stabilising breath as the car pulled up outside of Donatella Versace's studio. As the car pulled up at the curb, Miranda opened the door straight away and stepped out of the car. Again, not waiting for Roy to come to a complete stop or to come around to the side of the car to open her door.
Miranda walked across the pavement to the front of the building and on her way she found herself, yet again, checking the faces of people she passed. She even paused when she saw a woman with long dark hair. Just for a moment she thought it was her. And then she turned around. Making Miranda's heart drop. It wasn't her.
She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose before she made her way into the building and pressed the entrance buzzer before she was let up to the penthouse apartment that Donatella used in the city as a studio.
The floor of the studio was white whilst the walls were decorated with Versace wallpaper on one wall whilst the other walls matched the floor. It was a huge, open-plan penthouse apartment with huge windows that surrounded them on every wall. Outside of the huge windows was a balcony which wrapped around the entire building. It had been an addition that Donatella had insisted upon when she purchased the apartment. The roof had also been altered to add in multiple skylights so that the room was even more open.
Donatella had seen who it was on the video camera that was fitted to the buzzer and Miranda had been there before so she knew which one was the private elevator that would take her straight up to the penthouse.
The Italian woman was, however, a little confused as to why Miranda had come to her studio unannounced when her assistant had been there that morning to collect the sketches that were going to be featuring in a special women's day edition of the magazine.
"Buonjourno!" Donatella greeted the woman enthusiastically before kissing each of Miranda's cheeks but then she realised that something was not quite right with her friend, "What is wrong?"
"Andrea..." Miranda began but paused, "...she... she's gone missing."
"No! That can not be." Donatella replied with shock in her voice and painted on her face, "I only saw her this morning."
"I'm currently tracing her movements, the police aren't being exactly helpful," Miranda explained, "I have the whole of Runway looking for her and I've left Emily in charge with a hundred tasks for the search."
"She was here this morning but not for that long," she said softly, "She told me that she had just been to Hermes and she had a list in her hand of different tasks that she had to do. I did convince her to stay for longer though and she sat and had a coffee with me."
Miranda nodded as she listened to her friend.
"We sat out on the balcony in the sunshine and we each had a coffee with those beans that I bought with me from home." The blonde woman added, "Oh and she took some beans with her so that she could give them to you for your coffee machine at home. She was here for about half an hour whilst we were talking and when she left she was in an awful rush, she was very worried that she would be late for your lunch and she took the sketches with her."
"Do you still have the CCTV downstairs?" Miranda asked her.
Donatella nodded in confirmation, "Si," she said softly, "I have CCTV in the lobby, at the front of the building, in the elevator, in the studio directed at the elevator, and I also have a couple of cameras that are pointed at the street outside. Unfortunately, nothing in the studio though, as I do not want cameras in here."
"I would like copies of all footage that features Andrea," Miranda demanded, although her demand was a little softer with Donatella than it would have been with just anyone.
"Of course," Donatella agreed straight away, "I will get Allegra to send them to the Runway email address as I am not entirely sure how to work the CCTV system."
"Is Allegra here?" Miranda asked her.
Donatella shook her head, "No, she is out at the moment, I believe she went to get Starbucks and to go for a walk but she will be back shortly and I will get her to send those videos to you."
Miranda smiled softly, "Thank you."
"I do have some photos of Andrea that you could have, if you would like them?" Donatella suggested, "I took them today for my social media feed."
Donatella showed the photos to Miranda of Andrea posing with the designs that were hidden in a black folder and in a couple of them you could just see the backs of the sketches in the way that the woman was holding them. She had also taken a few photos with Andrea and the designs (again, none of the designs were actually showing properly in the photos because they were to be exclusives for Runway). She then showed Miranda her instagram feed where she had posted a select few photos with the caption 'Sending the latest of my designs with Miranda Priestly's fabulous assistant; Andrea! Keep your eye out for the exclusives in the upcoming edition of Runway!"
Miranda found herself smiling at the sight of her assistant on the screen.
"I will send them to you now and I will also send them to the email address for Runway," Donatella stated as she started to forward the images, "Would you like me to send you all of the photos I have with her in them?"
Miranda nodded, "Please." She was saying yes but she wasn't sure whether it was because it was her Andrea or whether it was because more images out there would help the search for the young woman. She wondered if she would need to put the woman's face in Runway to help the search but she hoped not because the latest edition of Runway still had almost two weeks before it went to press.
Miranda sighed heavily as she again leaned back in the town car and watched everyone she passed by as they drove through Manhattan to the next stop on Andrea's list.
Every face was studied with hope.
Every shop window was peered into with desperation.
Each time it wasn't her gave another squeeze of disappointment to her heart.
As Roy pulled up at the curb of the next stop, Miranda hastily brushed a tear from her cheek.
There was yet to be any positive update from Runway and there still wasn't any answer from Andrea's cell phones.
She was distracted enough by thoughts of Andrea that Roy had the time to come around to her side of the car and open her door for her this time.
Miranda nodded in acknowledgement as she stepped out of the car and made her way across the pavement to the entrance of a small design studio. The designer had produced the costumes for the girls' dance recital that they would be performing in that weekend.
"Miranda!" the woman greeted her with a cheerful smile, "How can I help you?" She tried to hide her shock and surprise at the fact that Miranda Priestly herself was stood in front of her in her tiny little studio and store.
"Antoinette." Miranda greeted in return very briefly, "My assistant has gone missing and I am looking for her."
"Andy?" Antoinette questioned, "What happened?" she added with shock in her thick Brooklyn Italian accent.
Miranda nodded, "Yes, unfortunately Andrea... she never returned and so I am retracing her steps."
Antoinette shook her head, "I can't believe it." She commented before adding, "She came here this morning, she came to collect the costumes for the girls for their dance recitals. She even agreed to take a photo for my new social media pages with the costumes and she said that she would ask you if I could put photos of the girls' rectial on my social media to display the dresses."
"Do you have CCTV here?" Miranda asked her, glancing around to try and see any cameras that might be visible.
Antoinette shook her head, "My budget is very small, I have a camera at the back door which only covers the door and delivery area, then I have one at the front of the store but both are dummy cameras until I can get the real ones installed"
The Editor-in-Chief sighed and nodded, "Do you have the photos that you took of Andrea?"
Again, the Italian woman nodded, "Yes, I can show you them and I can send them to the Runway email address that I've been communicating with for the costumes?"
Miranda soon found herself looking down at the woman's iphone at Andrea's photo.
Andrea was standing in the store with a costume in each hand, both of them on hangers and in the colours that the girls chose themselves. The hangers matched the dresses and had their names on them in calligraphy writing along with gems that made them sparkle a little in the light of the store.
"I'm not planning on putting the photos up until after the recital as I know the girls want to surprise everyone with their costumes." Antoinette highlighted with a smile.
Miranda nodded as she continued to look at the photo of Andrea, the woman had a huge smile on her face as she looked towards the camera.
"You can send the photo to your phone if you'd like to?" Antoinette offered, having quickly realised that this woman wasn't just an 'assistant'.
Miranda nodded and did exactly what the woman had suggested, "Thank you." She said softly.
Antoinette smiled at that, she knew that it meant a lot for the woman.
It wasn't just the woman's reaction that had tipped her off but also how Andrea had acted in the store and spoke about the girls, "She's very excited, you know?" Antoinette highlighted before adding, "To see the girls' recital, she said she's really looking forward to seeing the girls' performance and the girls seemed excited to have her there when they came by for their fitting a few weeks ago too."
Miranda listened to what she was saying as she passed the woman's phone back to her.
"I'll send you the photos that were taken that day too, I promise you that I haven't published them and would never publish them without your permission before hand." Antoinette pointed out with a smile.
"I will let you publish them after the recital on one condition." Miranda stated with confidence, observing the woman briefly as she spoke.
"Which is?" the woman questioned.
Miranda took a breath before speaking, "On the night of the recital you can publish the photos of the girls having their fittings, the photos of the dresses, and the photos that you will be able to take when you attend the recital as my guest," she said, pausing before continuing, "On the condition that you post Andrea's photo today with the information to contact the Runway offices if they see her or know of her whereabouts."
"Like an online missing poster?" Antoinette asked her to clarify that was what she wanted.
Miranda nodded in confirmation.
"Okay, I'll do that now for you." The Designer confirmed.
It wasn't long before the woman had a post ready for her social media platforms with a recent photo of Andrea along with the information of the Runway offices and instructions to call the office if they knew anything about the whereabouts of Andrea Sachs. It even had the title 'Missing' in capital red letters printed across the top of her photograph. She tuned her phone to Miranda, "Is this okay?" Antoinette asked her patiently.
Miranda nodded, "Yes." Came the simple reply.
When she left the store, she didn't feel much closer to finding her Andrea, although she now knew that she had made it this far on the list of things to do and that she had left Antoinette's studio safely.
Once she was back in the town car, with Roy driving her through the city of New York, Miranda picked up her phone and called Emily to find out the updates of what was going on at Runway.
"Emily. Is there any news?" Miranda questioned as soon as someone picked up the phone.
"Hello, Miranda. This is Serena. Emily is busy on the other line at the moment, Miranda as she is on the phone to a press contact to get Andrea's photo out to the public as quickly as possible." Serena explained, "We have people contacting the press, we have already had someone create a poster and a press briefing. The majority of employees are out on the streets putting up posters and handing out flyers. We have tried to contact her family in Ohio but they don't seem to be very interested. They just put the phones down on us every time."
"Any news on my girls? Has Cara collected them?" Miranda asked her.
Serena nodded, despite not being able to be seen down the phone, "Yes, she is collecting them from the school now and she will take them to pick up something for lunch before taking them to the townhouse. I thought they might be hungry at this stage of the day."
"Acceptable." Miranda replied.
"Do... do you have any news?" Serena asked her, hesitating to answer her boss anything.
"I have just left Antoinette's studio where Andrea collected the girls' costumes for the recitals, she should be sending some photos to the Runway email but she left here safely, I'm going to be going to her next stop now." Miranda answered before adding, "Allegra will also be sending some CCTV footage from the Versace studios as Donatella doesn't know how to do that so those should be coming through soon."
"Yes, we got a message from Allegra only a moment ago with all of the footage that she had that involved Andrea but there wasn't anything of interest on there. We did put it on a USB though so that when the police start to take notice we can hand the USB to them with all of the photos and footage that we have on there for them. We also got the email from Antoinette with all of the photos on there, there were a lot of the costume fitting from a few weeks ago with Andrea and the girls, the email said that you had requested that they be sent to us as well."
"Yes, I did. I am currently accepting any and all photos and footage involving my Andrea. I believe that the more we put her face out there, the more chance we have of finding her." Miranda explained, uncharacteristically.
Serena nodded, "Oh, I agree. I also saw Antoinette's social media post on Instagram. We've started using her hashtag FindAndrea on the Runway social media too and we have created a post for all of our social media as well."
"Acceptable." She stated, she usually didn't have a lot to do with the social media pages as they were usually simply sections taken from the latest edition of Runway and were links to the Runway website articles.
"Nigel has spoken to the head of the board of Elias Clarke and he has put forward a million dollars to help with the search for Andrea to be used for any costs associated with the search, I thought it might be good to use for a private investigator."
"Acceptable." Miranda confirmed.
"I spoke to a friend in the police force and they have agreed to meet you at the town house in two hours time with a team that will help you search for Andrea." Serena added.
Miranda smiled softly, they were finally taking notice of her Andrea.
Miranda had already memorized the list of locations that her Andrea would have had to go to whilst she was out that morning so she knew that the next stop would be the groomers where Andrea would have had to collect Patricia.
As Roy drove them through the streets of the city, Miranda continued her study of the people of Manhattan. Searching for her Andrea on each of the streets that she passed.
Meanwhile, back at Runway, there was a mass of activity with a range of employees that were all working away at their computers and phones to try and use the contacts that they knew in order to get Andrea's face out there as well as to try and pull in as many resources as possible. The majority of the rest of the Elias Clarke employees were out on the streets looking for the woman, even those who didn't know her were out searching. Work had come to a stand still. Interviews were postponded, meetings were moved, and all online updates for social media were now missing posters for Andrea Sachs.
Serena had explained what Miranda had said when Emily was available, although skipped over the part where Miranda had said 'My' when referring to Andrea. She decided that at least for now, Emily (or anyone else) didn't need to know that. All anyone needed to know was that the woman was important and that Runway were looking for her.
As they were approaching the groomers building, Miranda searched the surrounding area for the woman, hoping that she would be able to spot her and that for some unknown reason Andrea had just been held up or delayed by something. It would mean that Andrea was safe. Although she knew that the chance of Andrea being there was very slim, especially considering the fact that the woman's phones were still turned off. That alone was something to worry about because her phones were never off and they were always charged because Andrea even kept multiple portable chargers in her bag so she could prevent that exact problem. She always answered her phone to Miranda and she had never heard Andrea's voice mail message until now. It did not matter whether she was calling at 9am or 9pm, Andrea always picked up the phone. Even if it was in the middle of the night or the woman was busy with something else. No matter what, Andrea always picked up her phone.
When the car stopped, Miranda was ready this time and opened the door straight away. The Editor-in-Chief stepped out onto the city sidewalk and almost slammed the door closed behind her before she made her way into the groomers store.
The two women that were working in there looked up at her in surprise when she entered the store and the bell chimed above her head to signal that the front door had been opened.
"Erm... Miranda... we." The young woman stumbled over her words, "We... weren't expecting you."
"What she means is, can we help you with anything?" The older of the two women stated with a little more confidence, "Your assistant has already collected Patricia and taken her back to your town house, I believe. Is there anything wrong?"
Miranda nodded, "My assistant has gone missing."
"Missing?" Both women questioned with a gasp.
A little more patiently than usual, Miranda nodded, "Yes, I will be needing any CCTV that you have that involves Andrea and it will need to be sent directly to the email that you usually send your invoices to at Runway."
"Of course, we have the office back here, would you like to watch the CCTV footage before I sent it over to your email address?" The more composed woman asked her.
Miranda nodded in confirmation, "That would be appreciated Louisa."
"Stay out front and continue grooming Betsy, I will show Miranda the CCTV footage and send it over to Runway." Louisa stated, directing her shop assistant.
Miranda was led to the back room office which was actually rather small, "I apologise about how cramped it is in here, usually it's just me in here." Louisa apologised politely.
The Editor-in-Chief wasn't bothered by it, however, as she was much more focused on the fact that her Andrea was missing.
It did not take long for the woman to get the imagery up onto the screens in front of them. The first clip that she showed the woman was Andrea approaching the store. Then the next showed her entering the store. Louisa then changed cameras to show her entrance from a different angle and the sound of Patricia barking could be heard.
"She always gets really excited when she sees Andy come into the store." Louisa revealed.
Miranda simply nodded but did not comment on it as she already knew that her dog was rather fond of the brunette, but who wasn't? Even she herself was.
The next video that was shown on the screen was a clip of Andrea moving forward to where Patricia was and opening the door up to her pen. Patricia greeted her with excitement and many slobbering kisses. Andrea was down on her knees being kissed by the dog and she seemed to be laughing and smiling at the reaction that she had gotten from her boss' dog.
"She picked up some more of the cleaning products whilst she was here too and she also purchased some treats along with a few new toys." Louisa explained whilst the footage continued to play.
It wasn't long before Louisa was showing her the clips of Andrea leaving with Patricia and making their way down the street.
She sighed to herself, wishing that she had allowed her to use Roy to go around the city for the tasks but she had made him remain on standby for her because of a meeting and also because there had been issues with the press using a drone at the girls' school. There had been a meeting scheduled for an hour after Andrea had left to take care of the tasks that she had been given, however, the meeting had been cancelled at the last minute but there was also the possibility of other meetings at the last minute happening. Not that they did that day. It annoyed her because if she had known that the meetings wouldn't have gone ahead then she would have insisted that Andrea used Roy to get around the city. Although, assistants often ran around the city and used the subway to complete their tasks, some thought it was quicker than the car. Miranda wasn't sure, especially considering the current situation that they found themselves in.
Miranda got back in the car and Roy closed the door behind her before getting into the driver's seat, she leaned back against the seat and sighed heavily.
"We've been to all of the places on her list, she would have taken Patricia straight home, would you like to go to the townhouse next?" Roy offered.
The Editor-in-Chief nodded, "Please. The police will be meeting me there soon and the girls are being brought home early."
Roy nodded and started to drive again through the streets of New York City, making sure that he drove alongside Central Park as he knew that Andrea liked to take Patricia through there.
Again, Miranda found herself watching out for signs of her second assistant in the mess of people wandering around the city. Every person with long dark hair was examined closely despite the fact that they weren't wearing what Andrea had been wearing. She knew that it was pointless but she held on to the hope that the woman she loved was okay. She just had to.
It did not take them long to get to the house from the groomers and Miranda did not even wait for Roy to come to a full stop outside of the town house before she was opening her door and stepping out on to the pavement.
Roy shook his head, "I wish she'd stop doing that." He mumbled to himself in the empty car, he was worried that Miranda would get hurt getting out of the car when it had not come to a full stop yet but on the other hand he also understood why she was doing that and why she was so eager to get into the townhouse. He had seen the changes in the woman over the time that Andrea had been working for her and he had seen how each of the women looked at each other when they thought that the other was not looking in their direction.
Not only that but he had seen how Andrea interacted with the girls and Patricia too. It seemed that she had managed to enchant each of the Priestlys in turn, and that idea had made him chuckle initially.
It did not take Miranda long to climb the steps to her front door and to unlock the front door. She entered the house and the first thing that she saw was Patricia. The dog was in the entrance hall and started to bark. Miranda frowned, the dog never barked when she came into the house. Another thing that was off was the fact that her lead was still on and she was caught on the door handle of the closet.
Miranda moved forward and undid her lead, unclipping it from her collar as well as taking it off of the door handle. She glanced around and noticed that the sketches were still in their folder next to the table that sat in the hall. The bag of scarves were also next to them.
"Andrea!" She called out, a little louder than she usually did.
She was met with the sound of Patricia continuing to bark.
Miranda called out again, as she made her way around the ground floor of the house.
Still the only sound was Patricia.
Miranda continued to call out as she checked each room in a hurry.
There was still no answer from her second assistant.
The Editor-in-Chief was surprisingly fast for a woman in high heels but she rushed to the next floor, skipping stairs as she went and continuing to call out to the woman.
Still there was nothing.
"Andrea!" Miranda continued to call out as she checked each of the rooms before going up to the second floor where the bedrooms were despite the fact that Andrea rarely ever went upstairs. The woman only went upstairs when she was with the girls or to see them which Miranda had given her permission to do a while ago.
She could hear the sounds of Patricia on the ground floor barking and whining, something that was extremely unusual and made her worry even more about where Andrea was.
She continued to call out the woman's name and froze when she got to the girls' bedroom.
The costumes were laid out on the bed neatly, presented for the girls to see when they got in from school. Even the accessories were there on the beds with the costumes. Then she noticed a good luck charm for each of the girls too and their new books were on their desks.
Miranda continued looking, even checking her own bedroom. She smiled when she saw a bag of her favourite candy on the bedside table. Andrea must have gotten them for her because nobody else ever thought of getting those for her. Not even her husband.
She continued looking, checking each of the rooms that were on each floor and calling out the woman's name as she went.
As she moved up the floors of the house, the sound of Patricia's barking and whining grew distant but she never stopped. Miranda had already come to terms with the fact that Patricia knew something was wrong.
Miranda even went as far as checking the roof garden and it was then that she paused. There was nowhere else in the house to look. She had checked all of the floors. The only floor left was the basement but that was a separate apartment now where Stephen lived so there was no reason to check there. He lived separately but entered through the house to keep up the premise with the press whilst she secretly divorced him. He didn't want the divorce to be public at the time because he was dealing with a huge client which he risked losing if the divorce was to become public. So she agreed to do it discreetly but she insisted that she wanted a divorce as quickly as possible. Her lawyers of course were in agreement and he would move out of the apartment once his business deal was through and the divorce was final.
She sighed heavily and looked over the skyline of New York City, she could see Central Park from where she was as well as a lot of the surrounding area in Manhattan.
"Where are you, Andrea?" She whispered to herself on the empty rooftop garden.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Roy was talking to Cara and explaining what had happened whilst the girls were busy calming Patricia. The sounds of her whining covered up the sound of the adults talking so they couldn't hear what was being said. They were both glad that they got out of their mock exam but they were quite concerned that they had been brought home early. All they had been told was that their mother would explain everything to them when they were home.
"What's wrong Mom?" Caroline asked quietly.
The two girls were sat on the sofa together with their mother opposite in an armchair.
Cassidy looked rather anxious as she watched her mother silently.
"I asked Cara to collect you early from school today because I didn't want you to find out from the press or from the internet before I had the chance to tell you." Miranda explained before taking a breath.
"What is it Mom?" Cassidy asked when their mother went quiet.
"Is it to do with the divorce?" Caroline added.
Miranda shook her head, "No, it has nothing to do with the divorce Bobsey."
"You're worrying us Mom." Cassidy admitted and it showed in her facial expressions.
"Oh, I am sorry Bobsey... it's just a bit hard to say." Miranda admitted before taking a breath and telling them, "Andrea has gone missing."
"Missing?" The two girls gasped with shock.
Miranda nodded, "She went out to do some tasks and she didn't come back. I have the whole of Elias Clarke searching for her and the police will be here soon," she explained calmly, "Emily and Serena will also be here too as they will be bringing all of the information that they have and will be moving the search base to the town house. I have also been out searching, I managed to go to each of the places that she was due to visit."
"Was there any sign of Andy there?" Cassidy asked her.
Sadly, Miranda shook her head, "Unfortunately not, Bobseys."
The girls started to cry, clearly worried and a little scared.
Miranda moved from the arm chair and sat in between her twin girls, wrapping her arms lovingly around the both of them and pulling them in close to her.
"What can we do to help find her?" Cassidy asked her mother as she looked up at her.
"I know, how about we use insta and snapchat and tiktok and that? We could share the videos and photos that we have of her with our followers then ask them to share them." Caroline suggested, "We could also send her photo to the groups we're in at school, we could get all of our friends to put Andy's photo in their windows too."
"That sounds like a good idea, Bobseys." Miranda agreed, knowing that it would put both of her girls at ease if they could focus on something, especially if they felt like they were helping in some way, "You could use the missing poster that Runway have created, that way if anyone has any information then they will know who to contact." She knew that it would make it easier to post too but also it would mean that if there was someone who knew something then they wouldn't contact her daughters with the information. She was, admittedly, a little worried as to what information might be given to the girls.
Both of them nodded, agreeing to use the poster.
"We could use some of the information on the poster too and post photos and videos of Andy." Caroline pointed out.
Cassidy nodded, "We could upload those TikTok dances that we did with Andy and put the information up with it, I bet that will get loads of views."
"And those photos that we took when we were doing the pretend fashion show last week with her, we could use those for insta and tag the designers too so that way they'll be more likely to share the images as well." Caroline suggested.
It didn't take long for the two girls to dash off to get their computers and tablets so that they could do just that. They knew that their mother wouldn't allow them to walk the streets looking for Andy but they could use their social media accounts to spread the word that Andy had gone missing. Of course, being under 13 it meant that their mother was mostly the one who watched over their accounts, although she had delegated that task to Andrea who, it seemed, understood the social media platforms a lot better than she did. Andrea managed to ensure that the accounts were private and they were only accessible. However, as their mother was distracted and not watching their accounts they opted to open them up to the public.
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" Cassidy asked with a bit of concern in her voice.
"How else will people see our posts about Andy?" Caroline asked her, rolling her eyes slightly, "I'm sure she won't mind us making our accounts public if it helps finding her Ahhhn-drayy-uhh."
"I was more worried about what Andy will say when she realises that we took the privacy locks off of our accounts and made them public." Cassidy commented.
"But she has to be here to get mad at us." Caroline highlighted before adding, "And if our accounts being public helps to find her then I don't mind getting in trouble for it."
Cassidy sighed and nodded, "Fine, you have a point... she can't get mad at us until she's home anyways."
It didn't take them long to make their accounts public and to put the poster up that their mother had sent through to their phones to use. They also posted a mix of videos and photos to all of their accounts with the information attached.
It didn't take them long and the majority of their school was sharing the information about the missing woman, despite the fact that they were in school.
The girls' class had come to a stop when the messages started to go through to the WhatsApp group that they were all on. The moment that the children started to discover what had happened and started to talk about it, the teacher found it difficult to teach them. Instead the only thing that she managed to get out of them was information about Andrea. After a while she gave up attempting to teach them their curriculum and moved the focus to the missing woman. She reassured her pupils that everything would be okay and encouraged them to talk about her as well as to share the information on whatever platforms that she knew they were already on. Andrea had been to the school a number of times before to attend various events and to volunteer as a chaperone for a number of different trips. She had also dropped the girls at their friends' parties and sleepovers as well as collected them at times which all meant that many of the children already knew the woman. Many thought that Andrea was secretly the girls' step-mother. The girls were rather fond of the idea so they often went along with it and even at times encouraged it.
Meanwhile, their mother was sat in her study on the ground floor with her phone in her hand as she watched some of the videos that her daughters were posting. She smiled softly as she watched the woman on screen. She was on Instagram and watching the story that the girls had put up. Andrea was dancing and singing in the kitchen as she cooked, it looked like the girls had been cooking with her and if she was correct then it was filmed when all three of them were making pizzas. She had come back from work to find the three of them at the table waiting for her.
She found herself wishing that she could go back to that moment and repeat it every night. She needed her Andrea back. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. Right this very instant. Miranda sighed heavily as a tear trickled down her right cheek, "I'll find you, my Andrea." She whispered softly, "And I'll bring you home... and I promise you that I will finally tell you the truth, I will tell you how much I love you. I promise."
Miranda scrolled through the other photos, remembering every detail about her.
"Miranda, the police are here." Emily said as she entered the study, she wanted to give her boss some warning before she allowed the law enforcement officers into the study.
"Well, it's about time." Miranda spat with annoyance as she brushed the tears from her cheek in an attempt to hide them.
Emily nodded in agreement, she noticed her boss' tears but chose not to comment on them, it was clear that the other woman did not want her to know or to acknowledge it, so she didn't. She pretended that she didn't see. She knew that her boss felt a great deal for their colleague, however, it wasn't until the woman had vanished that she realised that the depth of that emotion was far deeper than she had originally anticipated. "They want to take your statement." The red-headed English woman clarified, "Would you like one of us to go first instead?"
"No, let's get this over with." Miranda replied with a quick wave of her hand, "Let them in."
Emily nodded and left the study to go and tell the law enforcement officers that they could take Miranda's statement.
It wasn't long before the two law enforcement officers were entering Miranda's study. Both of them were female, one with long blonde hair and the other had shorter brown hair with a hint of blonde highlights in her hair.
"Good Afternoon, I'm sorry for the delay in getting here, my name is Olivia and this is Amanda." The slightly taller woman greeted, "We've been told that it's your assistant that has gone missing?"
Miranda nodded, "Yes, I was told that the police wouldn't be doing anything until she had been missing for 24 hours." She stated with a raised eyebrow, it was clear that the concept was something that infuriated her.
Olivia nodded, "Yes, that is, unfortunately, standard procedure as in many cases the person has taken some time to themselves or wandered off somewhere so they return on their own quite quickly."
"And what about for those that don't fit into that category?" She asked with her eyebrow still raised and a slight pursing of her lips.
"That is why we are here, from what I've been told, this isn't normal behaviour for her." Olivia replied calmly and patiently.
Miranda shook her head, "No, she would never just disappear like this."
Olivia and Amanda both nodded, "Which is why we need to take statements from everyone to get a clearer picture of the situation which will enable us to find her." The latter calmly responded.
"You're not going to look for her until I answer your questions, are you?" The Editor-in-Chief said as she pursed her lips a little more and her eyebrow was raised a fraction more than it had been before.
"We have put a BOLO out with Andrea's description and photograph which has gone out to all units in the New York tri-state area, she has also been registered with the missing persons database which means that the information is accessible online as well." Olivia explained patiently and professionally before adding, "We also have a team that is already working with us on the case."
"Please rest assured that whilst we are here interviewing everyone, there are people out there looking for Andrea." Amanda added.
Miranda nodded, "I know, I sent the majority of my employees out doing exactly that... hours ago and there is also a team working on spreading the word digitally. Even my own children are helping to find them on their social media pages. They were using insta, snapchat, and some clock thing."
"TikTok?" Amanda questioned.
"Yes, that's the one... they make these strange dance videos and apparently they have some that they did with Andrea so they are posting those on there with the information on how to contact my office with information." Miranda revealed.
"We'll make sure that a member of our team is sent to your office in case anyone calls with information." Olivia states
Miranda nods in agreement to that, "Feel free to send whoever, although you will need to notify Emily as she most likely has it forwarded to her cell phone if she hasn't allocated someone to man the phones already."
Olivia nodded and sent off a message to her team before continuing, "Would you like to get a drink or something or are you okay to start with the interview?"
"Just get it over with." Miranda replied.
Nodding, Olivia started, "When did you first notice that your assistant had gone missing?"
"She never brought my lunch in to me." Miranda answered, "Usually she goes down and collects it but she never did."
"When was the last time that you saw her?" Olivia questioned.
"This morning, I saw her before she went out to carry out the tasks that she had been given." Came the simple reply.
Amanda nodded before asking the next question, "Do you know where she went?"
"Yes, she went to Hermes first to collect the order of scarves then she went to Donatella Versace's studio to collect the sketches, then she collected the girls' costumes from Antoinette's Boutique," Miranda explained, listing each of the places that the woman had been to, "Then she went to the groomers to pick up Patricia before returning to the townhouse."
"We will be sending officers out to each of those locations to question them, we were told that you've already been to collect the CCTV?" Olivia asked her.
Miranda nodded, "Yes, you'll be able to collect that from either Emily or Serena. Each place that I went to, I was told that she had been there but that she had left. I was sent photos and videos from each of them."
Olivia nodded, although it wasn't routine for people to do that, she did not comment on it at all, "So you managed to trace her to the townhouse?"
Again, Miranda nodded, "Yes."
"What did you find when you entered the townhouse?" Amanda questioned.
"Patricia was already here, she was barking and whining, I think it was because she was trapped by her lead being caught on the door of the closet." Miranda revealed, taking a deep breath before she continued, "I also noticed that the sketches were here from the Versace studios, the bag of scarves was herre, and when I went upstairs the girls' costumes were there too."
"Was there anything out of place?" Amanda questioned, patiently.
"Other than the things that I've already listed, there were some new books for the girls and good luck charms for them in their rooms," Miranda revealed, "And there was a bag of candy in my room too."
"What I'm trying to get at is... was there any signs of a struggle in the house when you entered?" Amanda expanded her question in an attempt to clarify her question.
Miranda shook her head, "No." Came her simple response.
"Where was she due to go after leaving here?" Olivia questioned.
"Runway." Miranda replied.
"I'll get a forensic team over to examine the house more closely" Olivia stated, firing off another message to her team.
Miranda nodded, she knew that she needed to comply so that they could help to find her Andrea sooner, "Do whatever it takes." She states before adding, "Just find her." Her voice cracked with emotion and she forced herself not to cry again. "I need her." She whispered in a loss of control.
"She isn't just an assistant to you, is she?" Amanda questioned.
Miranda shook her head, "No, she isn't... she's everything to me."
Amanda nodded in response.
"I need you to bring her home, I need the chance to tell her..." Miranda replied softly.
"So, you're Miranda's assistant?" Olivia questioned after she had sat down at the kitchen table with her colleague.
Emily raised her chin slightly before replying, "First assistant."
Olivia nodded, noticing the emphasis on the word 'first' as that was clearly an important aspect to the redheaded British woman, "Of course." She commented briefly.
"When was the last time that you saw Andrea Sachs?" Amanda asked her calmly, observing her as they interviewed the woman.
"This morning before she went out to carry out her tasks." Emily answered straight away with confidence.
Amanda nodded, "And how was she?"
"What do you mean?" Emily queried with a slight tilt of her head and a slight slimming of her eyes.
"We would just like to know how she was behaving when you saw her last. Was she acting normally? Was anything 'off' about her this morning? Was she acting differently?" Olivia questioned, clarifying her colleague's question a little further than was probably necessary.
Emily shook her head, "She never acts 'normally'." She said as she put air quotes around the word before adding, "She's sickingly sweet to everyone and she does weird things like smiling at everyone and eating carbs. I mean... carbs for goodness sake!"
Olivia and Amanda both bit their lips in their attempts not to laugh at what the woman had said before Amanda asked, "So, nothing was different this morning?"
"No, it wasn't..." Emily replied with a slight shrug, "Everything was ordinary, there was nothing that was different to any other day."
Amanda nodded, "Can you tell us what happened this morning?"
"Just an ordinary work morning, she set up Miranda's desk whilst I double checked her time table then we were all just talking for a while before Miranda got in and then Andrea went to carry out her list of tasks around Manhattan." Emily answered.
"Is there anyone that you could think of that might want to harm Andrea? or that might want her out of the way?" Olivia asked her, cautiously.
"Her parents... she doesn't get on with them at all and they did threaten to drag her back to Ohio a few weeks ago when she came out." Emily revealed.
"Came out?" Amanda questioned for clarification purposes.
"She told them that she's bisexual and they didn't like that... according to them the only option is straight." Emily answered before adding, "They never liked her working here and they hated the fact that she would hang out with me, Serena, and Nigel... well they only had an issue with that after her father visited New York and discovered that Serena and I are together and that Nigel is gay."
"So, they're homophobic?" Amanda asked.
Emily nodded, "Very... they claim it's part of their religion but my grandmother is a religious Christian too but she supports me more than anyone and she was the one that encouraged me to be myself."
Olivia nodded, not commenting on that but she was in agreement with the woman because she hated when people hid their discriminatory thoughts behind their religions like it somehow excused their behaviour and words. She made a note on her notebook about the parents before they continued.
"Is there anyone else that may have something against Andrea?" Amanda asked her, patiently.
"I know that she had an argument with an uncle, I think it was her father's brother; Michael? I think his name was... they argued on the phone but that was nearly two months ago now and I'm not sure he would have travelled to New York City from Ohio." Emily revealed.
Once again, Olivia jotted it down on her notebook before asking, "Is there anyone else? Maybe someone more recent that she has fallen out with?"
"There was that writer... Christian Timpson? Thompson? I know he kept asking her out and he appeared at a lot of events that we've been at." Emily answered as she tried to think about the question carefully, "I thought it was a bit stalker-ish to be honest but Andy said it was nothing."
Olivia made some more notes and nodded.
"Oh... and Stephen." Emily said as she suddenly thought of it.
She had no idea that Miranda was stood outside of the room, listening to every single word that she was saying. The elder woman put her hand over her mouth and shook her head in disbelief.
"Miranda's husband?" Amanda questioned.
"Ex-husband." Emily emphasised the word 'ex'. "She is divorcing his arse as we speak."
Amanda nodded, "Of course." She replied calmly with a small smile.
"Why do you think it could have been him?" Olivia asked her patiently.
"He hates Andrea." Emily replied simply before expanding on her answer, "Ever since she interrupted his argument with Miranda by going upstairs with that blasted book he has hated her... then again it has more to do with the fact that she refused to sleep with him about a week after the book incident." Emily sighed, "Then there was an event that he attended with Miranda and he noticed that Andrea was watching his wife... he grabbed hold of her that night and accused her of sleeping with his wife and warned her off of him. Nigel had to physically pull the man off of her... he was as drunk as a skunk. Stephen that is not Nigel."
Both women nodded as they listened to what was being said and now and then, Olivia made a quick short hand note in her book for later.
"And was she?" Amanda questioned.
"Was she what?" Emily asked, thrown by the question.
Amanda took a breath, knowing that it had to be asked, "Was she sleeping with Miranda?"
Emily laughed, "Oh, she wishes... she has such a crush on her. Not like the idolizing type that the majority of us have but full-on, head over heels kind of crush. So, no she isn't sleeping with Miranda, I doubt the woman would be able to keep that a secret if it were to happen because the grin on her face would blind us all. I think he knew though... I think he knew that his wife wanted her assistant more than she had ever wanted him and that really hit his ego."
From where they were sat in the kitchen they could hear the front door open and then close before they heard heavy foot steps.
Then they could hear muffled voices that started to get louder and louder.
Olivia and Amanda both jumped up from their seats and made their way into the entrance hall.
There in the middle of the entrance hall was Stephen.
Again, as drunk as a skunk.
Arguing with Miranda.
Once they got Stephen separated from Miranda with Miranda safely in her office with Emily and a liaison officer whilst Stephen was 'sobering up' with coffee in the kitchen. They weren't sure whether they were protecting the Editor-in-Chief from the blundering drunken man or whether they were protecting the drunk man from the woman who looked like she wanted to kill him with her bare hands.
Meanwhile, Olivia and Amanda were in the dining room with Serena. The Elias-Clarke employed woman was sat opposite the two law enforcement personnel.
Amanda had the notebook in front of her and a pen in her hand ready to scribble down any notes that might be of importance to the case.
"Can we have your full name?" Olivia questioned.
"Serena Isabeli Oliveira Felicio." Serena stated confidently.
At the sound of the last name, the two women glanced at each other briefly before returning their attention back to Serena.
Serena rolled her eyes, "Yes, that Felicio."
Olivia briefly nodded before continuing, "What is your role at Runway?"
"I was recently promoted to the head of the Beauty Department." The Brazilian woman revealed.
"Do you have a lot of interaction with Andrea Sachs?" Olivia asked her next.
Serena nodded, "Everything that goes to Miranda goes through her assistants and in addition to that, we are friends of course so there is a lot of... as you say... interaction?"
Both of the woman nodded before Amanda opted to ask the next question, "And your last interaction with Andrea, when was that?"
"This morning." Came the simple response.
"What happened?" Amanda questioned.
"We were... gossiping just like we do every day and we were planning our next night out." Serena revealed.
Amanda nodded as she made some notes.
"Was there anything abnormal that happened this morning?" Olivia asked her before adding, "Anything out of character?"
Serena shook her head, "No."
"Do you know of anyone with a reason to harm Andrea?" Olivia questioned.
Serena answered the question, reeling off information that was very similar what had been given to them by Emily not long ago. However, she added, "I highly doubt you will have to look further than Miranda's kitchen for your suspect."
"What makes you say that?" Amanda questioned.
"He has evil in him." Serena answered.
"What do you mean?" Olivia asked her.
"In his eyes... evil is in them. Just look in his eyes and you'll see it. He has a way of looking at you and it's like looking at the devil." Serena replied before adding, "He does not like Andy... Miranda likes her too much and he knows it."
Olivia nodded, "Do you have any evidence as to your claims surrounding Stephen?" She questioned patiently and politely.
Serena nodded, "I have messages from Andy." She revealed before unlocking her phone, finding the message thread on WhatsApp and sliding her phone over.
Amanda scrolled down through the messages as they were reading.
It was a message thread sent to Serena from Andy, it had been screen captured from a conversation with Stephen.
He pestered her for information on his wife (or soon-to-be ex-wife).
He wanted to convince her into his bed. His marital bed.
Then it took a turn.
He accused her of having an affair with his wife.
He wanted her to quit.
He wanted her away from Miranda.
He wanted her gone.
"I would like a copy of these messages." Olivia highlighted with urgency.
"I can send them to you now if you let me know where to send them." Serena agreed straight away.
Olivia gave her the details and within seconds all of the messages had been sent to the account for law enforcement to examine and possibly use in the case.
"I also have a video of the incident at the gala..." Serena revealed.
"We would like to see that and again, send that and whatever else you think might be helpful in the case to us using the details that I just gave you." Olivia stated encouragingly.
Serena nodded and slid the phone forward again, "Just hit play when you are ready." The Brazilian woman stated.
Amanda hit the play button and as they watched, their eyebrows went up in surprise. They had heard of the event from both women and now they were seeing it with their own eyes.
As they wrapped up the interview, Serena was allowed to go into the room with Miranda and Emily whilst Olivia and Amanda went over their notes.
"Thoughts?" Olivia asked her, knowing something was on the other woman's mind.
"I think he did it." Amanda stated firmly, "Whatever happened to Andrea, I would bet Stephen had something to do with it."
Olivia nodded, "The basement apartment hasn't been searched yet, has it?"
Amanda shook her head, "No, officers were waiting for the go ahead as Stephen resides in there and it's locked from the main house so they weren't sure whether a warrant was needed if it was classed as a separate apartment or not."
Biting her own lip gently, she thought for a moment, "Miranda owns it and technically it is part of the main house so as long as we get Miranda's permission... which won't be hard to do then we won't need a warrant at all but to be on the safe side we could wait until we interview him. Whilst we interview him we can get the officers to arrange a canine search for the lower section of the house and the surrounding area as well as for his car. We will need a warrant for the latter though." Olivia stated.
Amanda nodded, "Right. What about the others, any thoughts on those?"
"Christian has motive as does Irv but I've already messaged the rest of the team to interview those and they both have solid allibis. Irv was at Elias Clarke the whole time and is on CCTV whilst Christian isn't in the State and hasn't been all week." Olivia revealed.
"What about it being an inside job?" Amanda suggested, bouncing ideas.
Olivia shook her head, "Not likely, they all seemed to love her. Especially Miranda. Emily seemed a little off but I doubt she would harm Andrea and Serena was quite passionate towards the end of that interview that we go and find the woman, so I doubt that she would do anything either."
"Even though she's related to the red..." Amanda commented before being cut off by her superior.
"Her relations in Brazil are extremely unlikely to have any link to events in New York and even if it was they have no motive whatsoever." Olivia highlighted.
Whilst Emily remained in the office with Miranda, helping go over the information that they already had with the hope to find Andrea. Miranda did not want to simply sit there and do nothing, that just was not her so she wanted to do something to help find the woman she was so deeply in love with.
Meanwhile, Serena was sitting with the twins whilst they were posting on social media. She opted to sit with them knowing that they did not particularly get on with Emily and Miranda was not in the right state of mind to be watching the children.
The girls had posted so many videos and photos of Andrea across every platform that they could and Serena helped them to reply to any information with the hotline number that they had formed.
Downstairs, however, the atmosphere was much different to that of the den where the girls were camping out with candy and fizzy drinks whilst they helped in the search.
It was silent.
Then there were footsteps.
Making their way into the kitchen from the dining room.
Stephen looked up from where he was sat at the breakfast bar, or more accurately slumped at the breakfast bar.
The officers that were with him remained in their assigned placements and one nodded in the direction of the two people that had entered the room.
Olivia and Amanda acknowledged them as they entered the room and it was the latter that spoke first, "Have you sobered up yet?"
"What's it to you?" Stephen questioned, still clearly under the influence of stupidity.
Amanda rolled her eyes and then Olivia asked the following question, "Where were you this morning?"
"What's it to you?" He repeated obnoxiously with a shrug.
"Was you near the Elias Clarke building this morning?" Amanda questioned.
"Why would I want to be near there?" He asked them, skipping their question in a way.
"Did you see Andrea Sachs this morning?" Olivia asked him, starting to lose her patience with the moronic ape of a 'man'.
"That stupid bitch." Stephen started to rant before he threw his coffee cup against the opposite wall, he wanted about how she was a homewrecker, a slut, a tart, a whore, every name possible was being thrown in her direction from the man. Not that any of what he said was remotely true of course.
It was clear to everyone in the room that he was not a fan of Andrea Sachs, unlike everyone else seemed to be, and he was openly blaming her for the break down of his relationship with Miranda.
Apparently, he was unaware or simply did not care about the fact that he was being filmed using the body cams of both of the officers in the room at the time.
Olivia put her hand out to indicate to the officer not to stop him when the man had stepped forward to stop Stephen's violent rant which meant smashing whatever he touched.
Each second was evidence.
The two senior law enforcement officers spoke calmly to him, telling him to stop and to calm down. Knowing of course, that he was simply burying a deeper hole for himself as he continued to rant about the missing woman.
"Where is Andrea?" Olivia asked him calmly.
Meanwhile, forensics had arrived at the town house and with Miranda's permission had started to fingerprint a number of surfaces around the home and bagged up a few items that they thought might help to enable the search for the woman, including some of the items that she had picked up on her way around the city and left at the town house.
They sprayed surfaces for blood.
They dusted for prints.
They photographed sections of the house and random items of interest.
The forensics team consisted of seven people and they started off in the entrance hall. Two were outside checking the railings and the pavement leading up to the house.
All they found outside was beer splatters from Stephen's return home.
Inside, in the marble floored entrance hall, more forensics examiners were searching for signs.
They started by dusting for prints on important surfaces such as handles and doors, taking those for further examination back at the lab. Then they started to spray a testing liquid throughout the hall, especially focusing on the floor. Then they shone a UV light throughout the hall whilst they turned out the main lights to make it dark in there and covered the windows that led to that room too.
All they found was that the floor had been cleaned with bleach.
Until they noticed two spots of blood highlighted beneath the table which held flowers, next to where the folder had been left of Versace sketches.
Two forensics examiners continued to search the downstairs, checking for fingerprints and signs of blood splatter or anything that could signal that something had happened that day in the town house whilst the others made their way upstairs onto the other floors.
"Hello girls, my name is Stefanie and I am a forensic examiner." The woman explained having taken off her mask to reveal her face to the young girls so that they would not be afraid of her.
"Like on the TV?" Caroline questioned, "In CSI?"
"Kind of." Stefanie said with a smile as she knelt down in the doorway, "My colleagues are examining each of the rooms at the moment and I've been tasked with this one." She knew that there was no evidence leading up the stairs and the whole level had already been searched visually so there wasn't much chance of anything being in that room.
"Do you need us to go out?" Cassidy questioned, getting ready to go.
"No, but if you cover up your snacks and drinks then you may be able to help me." Stefanie said with an encouraging smile.
She gave one of the girls the bottle of spray when they had covered up the drinks and candy before instructing them how to use it. Taking it in turns they sprayed random sections of the room.
"Now is time for the magic part." Stef said with a smile before handing Caroline the UV lamp, directing her how to use it.
Again, the girls took it in turns to use the item with the lights off. They found splatters on the carpet from where they had spilled a drink but nothing else.
Stefanie had already worked out that the room would be clear and if there was anything then the evidence had already been tainted by the girls anyway so it did not matter if she allowed the girls to test out the equipment as in her eyes it meant that the girls would be more comfortable with the examiners being in their home so it would benefit them in the long run if they were having to continue to examine various areas.
Meanwhile, downstairs, they made a discovery.
A single hair.
Dark brown. Not belonging to one of the girls or Miranda.
Long. Definitely not Stephen's.
Trapped in the door to apartment downstairs.
Stephen's apartment. Temporary apartment.
"Miranda, sorry to interrupt but we need your permission to enter the basement apartment and for the forensics team to examine it." Olivia said softly as she entered the room.
Miranda nodded, "There isn't anywhere in this building that you and your team do not have permission to examine."
"Thank you." Olivia replied with a small smile.
"Whatever it takes to find my Andrea." Came the simple response from Miranda.
Olivia nodded, "We will find her." The senior law enforcement officer said with determination in her voice. She turned and returned to the entrance hall where some of the forensics team were waiting for her, "We have permission." She declared knowing that if needed the camera on her was what would provide evidence that she had verbal consent to search any area of the house, including the basement apartment.
"Is there a spare key or do we have permission to break it?" Amanda questioned as she stepped into the room from the kitchen. Stephen was already in cuffs at the kitchen table as a precaution due to his volatile and rather violent behaviour. The two officers remained with him, ready to take him into custody as soon as they got the go ahead from the lead officer.
"Spare key is on top of the door." Stefanie revealed before adding, "It's taped on the left-hand corner. One of the girls told me."
"Are you going to find Andy?" Cassidy asked the forensic examiner.
"That's what we're hoping for." The woman answered diplomatically with a reassuring smile.
Caroline frowned slightly, "You think she was here before she went missing, don't you?" She asked with concern lacing her voice, clearly worried about the woman.
Stefanie nodded, "We know she was, she dropped off a number of items."
"Stephen took her, didn't he?" Cassidy questioned with tear-filled eyes.
"You need to search the basement." Caroline added.
Stefanie frowned slightly, she was a little unsure how to proceed because usually the places that she examined were already empty and she had very little interaction with minors both in her professional and personal life, "We aren't certain of that right now but we will be searching the basement apartment when we are permitted to and once it's unlocked I believe."
"The key to the basement is on top of the door, I can't reach it without standing on a stool." Caroline revealed before adding, "It's on the left beneath a bit of tape because I saw Mom tape it there."
Stefanie smiled softly, "Thank you, I will make sure to let my team know that and I'll let the boss lady know too because we need her permission to go ahead."
"Is that the blonde lady or the one with the shorter, darker hair?" Caroline asked with a slightly tilted head, she had seen the women come into the house earlier.
"The shorter woman with darker hair." Stefanie revealed, "Her name is Detective Olivia Cabot."
"She's pretty." Cassidy whispered softly.
Stefanie simply smiled and nodded at the very quiet comment that she heard from the teen.
Olivia nodded before reaching up and retrieving the key from the hiding place, the small golden key was exactly where the girl had told her it would be and after detaching the tape from the key, she slid it easily into the lock of the basement door.
Meanwhile, in the study where Miranda was, Patricia was trapped in the room as she continued to whine a little quieter. No longer barking but every now and then she huffed in annoyance and frustration.
"I know, I miss her too." Miranda said as she sat beside her on her dog bed.
Emily's eyes widened at the sight of her boss sitting on a fur-ridden dog bed on the floor in thousands of dollars worth of designer clothing. She never expected to see such a sight and that was clear from the look on her face.
Patricia barked and stood up.
"You can't go out there, you need to let the police do their jobs." Miranda explained as if she were talking to a child.
Again, Patricia barked.
Miranda tried to tug her back and hug her in an attempt to soothe the dog as well as herself. Her mind was a mess of feelings, she was caught up in the scramble of emotion as she wondered what had happened to her Andrea.
Patricia ignored her and broke free from Miranda's light grip, moving towards the door straight away.
"Maybe we should let her out." Emily suggested as she leaned back against the desk where she stood, almost perched on the edge of it.
"Because she's annoying you?" Miranda questioned with a raised eyebrow, daring the assistant to reply.
Emily stumbled on what she was wanting to say, "It's just... just that she clearly wants out and they use dogs to search for people right? So maybe if she's taken out she might find Andy?"
"You want to take my dog on a walk to find my Andrea?" Miranda queried with her eyebrow still raised in challenge.
"Well... erm not me." Emily stumbled over her words, "Maybe a couple of the officers could take her?" She hated taking Patricia for a walk and it seemed that Patricia was not a fan of the woman taking her either because she always tugged on her lead and ran off from the redheaded assistant which did not help at all when trying to navigate the busy Manhattan sidewalks and the vast size of Central Park.
Miranda smirked, remembering the last time that she had insisted Emily take Patricia instead of Andrea. The video clip that a teen had taken whilst in Central Park had gone pretty much viral, enough that she had been shown it by her girls when they saw it on TikTok (Or as Miranda called it, the clock one).
Downstairs, in the apartment, Olivia and Amanda were both overseeing the search of the basement area.
Forensic examiners were taking finger prints from a number of surfaces around the basement.
First they started off with the staircase descending down into the basement, then the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and then the bedroom.
They sprayed the chemical around the basement and then turned off the lights and shut the curtains before each of the team examined the area with hand held UV lights.
The bed had not been changed in a while it appeared.
They learned that the apartment had not been cleaned very well in a long time.
Only a small splatter of blood showed up in the shower and near the washing machine there was a smear of bleach.
The drainage from the shower lit up like a christmas tree when the light was shining on it.
There was no signs of Andrea anywhere.
The basement was empty.
Earlier on that day, "Do you think this will help?" Cassidy asked as she slumped onto the giant green bean bag in the den.
Caroline shrugged her shoulders as she sat with a little more grace in her purple bean bag which wasn't far from her sister's one, "Don't know." She replied simply before adding, "Maybe... but it can't hurt to get her face out there more and get more people to look for her, can it?"
"I suppose not." Cassidy answered as she opened up the laptop in front of her and her sister did the started to set up her ipad.
"I'm going to start uploading to TikTok." Caroline declared as she started to tap on her ipad to get the app up on it.
"Okay, I'll start with snapchat." Cassidy said softly.
"I just put the missing poster that I got off of Emily on our school group." Caroline told her after a moment.
"I thought you were doing TikTok." Cassidy pointed out.
"The video is uploading now... I chose that dance video that we did with her in the kitchen last week." Caroline answered as she turned her screen to show it to her sister.
"Oh wow... we're already getting loads of responses from everyone in class." Cassidy said as her phone started to alert her along with her sisters.
It kept vibrating and making sounds continuously.
"Albert says he's sending it to his parents." Cassidy revealed.
"Isn't his mother that actresss from that cop show Andy likes?" Caroline questioned.
"Yeah! I should tell him that... maybe then they'll be more likely to share the poster if they realise Andy is a fan?" The youngest twin suggested.
Caroline nodded, "Good idea." She commented.
"Ellie says that she's sharing it in all of the groups that she's in." Cassidy revealed.
"So has Leon, Tymor, Jasmine, Lana, and Tasha." Caroline said, "It's working, her face is going to be everywhere... well now pretty much the whole class is, hey aren't they supposed to be having a lesson right now?"
Cassidy shrugged, "Yeah but this is more important so..."
"True, I'm going to check." Caroline replied before starting to message her classmates.
It did not take long before there was a message response from her classmates telling her that their teacher was abandoning the lesson for today so that they could concentrate on helping to find the missing woman.
Later on that day, Caroline sighed and threw herself back against the beanbag that she was still sitting on, "Okay I have uploaded two videos to TikTok, 5 photos and 1 video to my insta and facebook stories, then I put the missing poster with 9 photos up on my insta which cross-posted to my facebook of course... oh and then I put the same post on Twitter too." She revealed before adding, "Oh and I put 3 videos on snapchat along with 5 photos too... then I sent it to the missing poster to everyone in my contacts list on WhatsApp."
"I know, you sent it to me too..." Cassidy said, slightly amused by that fact.
"Well, I did say everyone." Caroline replied with a shrug of her shoulders.
"Well I put five different videos on TikTok, I made sure not to put the same ones up that you were uploading though." Cassidy explained before adding, "I'm not sure how many photos and videos that I put on my insta and facebook stories but I made sure to put them on a highlight so that they don't vanish before we find her."
"Oh, I should do that too!" Caroline interrupted before grabbing her phone from the floor.
"Definitely." Cassidy commented before continuing to explain what she had uploaded, "I did a post too on my insta with ten photos, including the poster of course and mine is linked to facebook too so it's gone there too. Oh and I made sure to tag Andy in all of the posts too so that her contacts will see the posts as well. I made sure to use the hashtag #FindAndrea so that people can find the posts."
"I tagged her too, one of her friends commented on my post on facebook. Her name is Lily and she said she will put the poster up in her gallery straight away and put it on her gallery social media too." Caroline revealed.
"Isn't that the woman that she argued with a couple of weeks ago about that chef boy?" Cassidy questioned.
"Yeah but who cares if she's willing to help to find Andy?" Caroline commented with a roll of her eyes.
Cassidy shrugged, "I guess. Anyways, I put some photos on Twitter too and messaged some of the people on there asking them to share her poster too. I've put some on Snapchat too and I've had a few responses from people at school who are making more posters with the photos that we uploaded. I guess Andy is the class topic for today then?"
"That's really good, some of the parents at school are pretty high up in the media so they'll be able to help spread the message." Caroline highlighted.
"And Kiera's father is the mayor of New York so maybe he will be able to help?" Cassidy suggested.
With a nod, Caroline agreed with her sister, "Maybe you should message her?"
"I will do now..." Cassidy said as she started to tap away at her cell phone, "Oh and I put it on Tumblr too."
"Oh, I forgot Tumblr... I'll do that now." Caroline replied as she grabbed her ipad so that she could upload the poster to it and encourage her followers to share it with their followers.
"I've sent a message to Kiera, she says that she has already messaged her dad and her mom too." Cassidy revealed before adding, "Apparently, he is going to look into the case and see what he can do to help. Her step-sister is helping by printing a load of posters so that the class can put them up in their neighbourhoods on the way home."
Their phones and other devices that they had running in front of them were repeatedly going off.
They decided to check the hashtag for any updates.
"I miss Andy." Cassidy said softly as she looked at the posts on Twitter.
"Everyone is posting about her." Caroline commented as she scrolled through Instagram, "Check this out."
As she scrolled through the home page of the app, there were posts from many different people. Every designer from Armani to Versace had posts up about the missing woman then those behind the labels did too including; Allegra Versace, Donatella Versace, Antoinette, and Marc Jacobs. Other celebrities too; actresses, models, comedians... everyone seemed to be sharing her poster on their social media no matter who they were.
Tears were streaming down Cassidy's face when Serena entered the room, "Hey, we will find Andy." The Brazillian woman reassured her as she moved closer and did not hesitate to sit down and wrap her arms around the two girls. They did not usually have a lot of interaction with the Runway employee, however, they did not hesitate to lean into her embrace and hug the woman tightly.
"Finally!" Nigel said as he set his eyes on the police officers that stepped out of the elevator and onto the floor of Runway, "You took your time. We've been waiting for you."
One of the officers raised his eyebrow at that comment, "We were only just instructed to come here." He stated simply, "I am Officer Simon Daniels and my colleague here is Officer Lauren Marcel."
"We were informed that your colleague has been reported as missing and we have been sent to interview a number of Elias Clarke staff members." The redheaded woman who was standing beside him stated politely.
Nigel nodded, "Andrea." He replied, "Her name is Andrea Sachs."
"And what is your name, Sir?" Officer Daniels questioned.
"Nigel. Nigel Kipling." He responded instantly.
"What is your relationship with Andrea?" Simon asked him.
Nigel raised his eyebrow at that question, "Friend and colleague."
Both of the officers nodded whilst Lauren made the notes in her notebook before asking, "When was the last time that you saw Andrea?"
"Last night. We were supposed to meet up for lunch but she never arrived." Nigel revealed before adding, "I thought that she was busy with Miranda's demands."
Lauren nodded as she scribbled down the notes from what he had said, "How was she?"
"You mean other than drunk?" Nigel questioned with a slight chuckle.
"Yes," Simon stated although Lauren looked rather amused despite the fact that she was trying to hide it.
"She was fine, she was happy," Nigel answered with a shrug as he cleaned his glasses before putting them back on his face.
"Is there any chance that she could have left on her own?" Simon asked him.
Nigel looked at him with surprise on his face, "Andy? Leave Runway? Never! She wouldn't ever leave Miranda." He highlighted with a shake of his head.
"Why is that?" Simon questioned in return whilst hiss colleague made notes in her spiral-bound notebook.
"Do I have to spell everything out?" Nigel asked him before revealing, "She's in love with her. Our Six aka Andrea or Ahhhndraaayyyah as Miranda says is head over heels for our very own Devil in Prada."
"Are you aware of anyone who could have harmed Andrea or wanted her out of the way?" Lauren asked the balding man.
Nigel thought for a moment before answering, "Stephen, maybe? There was an altercation between him and Andy a while back at an event with Runway."
"Is there anyone else that you could think of?" She questioned him further.
"Irv? She seems to get on the wrong side of him as she is rather fierce when it comes to defending Miranda."
The second person for the two officers to interview was Jocelyn, however, she was a little busy with answering the phones at Runway. Some of the phone calls were still going through to Emily's cell phone, however, not all of them were being forwarded by the machine so she was picking up the extras.
"Good Afternoon, My name is Officer Lauren Marcel and this is my colleague Officer Simon Daniels." The woman greeted with a smile.
"I'm Jocelyn Mader and I'm busy." She replied as she picked up the phone that was ringing on her desk. Taking the call and ignoring them. "Good Afternoon, Runway Magazine, Jocelyn speaking, how may I help you?" She politely answered the call. "No, Miranda is currently out of the office until further notice, Nigel Kipling is currently in charge of Runway magazine." She said, taking a pause as she listened to the person on the other end of the phone call and nodding before she continued, "I will forward your call."
Once she had again put the phone down, Lauren took her chance to ask the woman a question, "When was the last time that you saw Andrea Sachs?"
"This morning." Jocelyn answered before picking up the ringing phone yet again, "Good Afternoon, Runway Magazine, Jocelyn speaking, how may I help you?" She again used the same greeting to answer the call professionally. "Yes, that is correct." She replied to the question that had been posed to her by the person on the other end of the line, pausing to listen to what the person said, "No comment."
Again, when she put the phone down, Lauren asked another question, "How was she when you saw her?"
"She was fine, she was busy but she was fine," Jocelyn replied calmly., glancing over at her computer where she had the main email account up on the screen.
Lauren nodded, "Do you know of anyone who might have wanted to harm Andrea or wanted her out of the way for one reason or another?"
Jocelyn nodded, "Stephen." Came the simple response.
"Why is that?" Officer Marcel questioned.
"He isn't exactly keen on the fact that his wife or ex-wife is in love with a woman so..." Ms Mader responded with a slight shrug with raised eyebrows before adding, "And he hates the fact that Miranda loves her back, especially considering how much she prefers her assistant over him."
Irv rolled his eyes, he was annoyed that they were ‘wasting his time’ as he was quite happy to tell them when they arrived at his office.
Officer Lauren Marcel pursed her lips in annoyance at the rather arrogant and rude ‘man’ that was sat in his desk in front of them, “We need to interview you concerning the disappearance of Andrea Sachs.” She stated firmly leaving no room for discussion.
“I don’t know anything so…” Irv said as he waved his hand in her generic direction, effectively dismissing her in a rather rude and abrupt manner.
“Well… you have two options right now.” Lauren highlighted, pausing before she continued, “Option one is for us to question you here and option two is that we question you down at the station.”
Irv rolled his eyes, “Fine.” He huffed in annoyance as he tossed his pen down on the wooden surface of his desk before throwing both of his arms up in the air, “Go ahead and ask me here then.”
“When was the last time that you saw Andrea Sachs?” Lauren asked him whilst her colleague took notes.
Irv shrugged carelessly, “No idea, next question.”
Lauren tried her best not to glare at the useless ape, “Try harder.” She insisted.
“Fine, it was a couple of days ago when I went to see Miranda about another of her ridiculous budgets,” Irv answered with a wave of his hand, dismissing the importance of the question.
“Tell us about your last interaction with her.” Came the next demand as Lauren struggled to remain professional rather than calling him out on being an ass.
“Didn’t really have one. Just went straight into Miranda’s office.” Irv explained with a shrug.
The following day, the law enforcement officers both returned to the townhouse. There had been no sightings of Andrea Sachs anywhere and they had run out of leads. Stephen was not being cooperative with the investigation but had been arrested on charges of assaulting an officer following the events that happened when they tried to take him down to the station for further questioning.
"Good Morning, we have some news concerning Andrea's disappearance." Olivia greeted her when Miranda opened the door, "May we come in?"
Miranda nodded and stepped back into the entrance hall as she opened the door a little wider to allow both of the women to enter her home, "Have you found her?" She asked them as soon as she closed the door behind them.
"Unfortunately, not yet." Amanda answered politely, "However, forensics have confirmed that many of the fingerprints that were lifted throughout the house belonged to Andrea although they did not find any of her fingerprints in the basement."
Patricia was whining as she lay in the entrance hall near the stairs.
"Is she okay?" Olivia questioned, indicating to the dog.
"She has been like this all day, she hasn't left that spot other than to go to the restroom, the girls even had to bring her dinner to her last night," Miranda revealed.
"We also had our tech support look into where Andrea's cell phone was last used," Olivia told her calmly, taking a breath before she continued, "The last place that the towers picked up her phone signal was in the area of the townhouse."
"So her last known location is still in this house?" Miranda questioned.
"I would like to bring in the canine team to search the house more thoroughly," Olivia stated.
Miranda nodded, it wasn't that far off of what Emily had suggested, "Okay."
"Why don't we just use Patricia?" Cassidy questioned from her position above them as she leaned over the balcony.
"What have I told you about eavesdropping?" Miranda asked her in return.
Cassidy rolled her eyes and effectively ignored her mother's question as she and her sister made their way down the stairs towards the three adults, "Caro, go and open all of the doors upstairs and I'll open them downstairs then we can see where she goes."
"And what if she opts to run straight out into the road and into the traffic?" Miranda queried.
"Well, we could put a lead on her first and then see where she drags us?" Cassidy suggested, "She's the one that has been barking and whining ever since Andy went missing and she was here when Andy was too... she might actually know something."
"Don't be silly, Bobbsey." The Editor-in-Chief commented, "She's just missing Andrea as we all are right now."
"I do not know," Serena commented with a shrug of her shoulder, "I think it could be a good idea." The woman had stayed in the guest room with Emily so that if there were any advances in the case during the night then both of them would be there ready to assist Miranda or just watch the girls so that the woman could go out.
"Me too." Emily agreed as she leaned on the doorway of the kitchen nearby where Serena was standing.
"Fine. Use Patricia and if that doesn't work then we will have to see what the canine team can determine."
Caroline ran from her spot on the stairs to open up every single door that she possibly could on the other floors whilst Cassidy walked over to Patricia, "I'm going to put your lead on you and then once all of the doors are open, you can show us where Andy is, okay?"
Patricia gave a singular bark as if she was understanding her owner and was saying 'yes'. She sat up and waited.
Once the lead was connected and the lead was hooked onto the door of the basement, Cassidy went around and opened up all of the doors that she could. She then returned and knelt down, stroking the dog and reassuring her that if she didn't find Andy then it would be okay because they would get the team of dogs in as well but that it would be really great if she could find her.
Andy was always rather fond of Patricia or as she called her 'Trishy', not that Miranda agreed with the use of the nickname though.
As Andrea entered the townhouse, Patricia bounded up to her and pushed into her legs straight away giving a quick bark.
"Hello, Trishy!" Andrea greeted her with excitement in a childish tone of voice as she knelt down on the marble flooring of the grand entrance hall, "What have you been up to today?" She asked as if expecting an answer from the canine.
Miranda was stood just behind the doorway to the entrance hall in the kitchen, listening to the interaction between her assistant and her dog. She could not help but roll her eyes at the antics of the younger woman but she did not interfere or interrupt. Instead, she just listened quietly, secretly enjoying the moment.
The two law enforcement officers watched on with curiosity but did not interfere with the children's plan.
As Caroline was coming down the last flight of stairs into the entrance hall, Cassidy was unlocking the basement door with the key that was now in the lock as it had been left in there following the investigation the previous day by the forensics team.
As soon as the door was open, Patricia was pulling uncharacteristically at her leash.
"Geeze Trishy!" Cassidy exclaimed, using the nickname that Andy used for her as the dog yanked rather hard on the leash in an attempt to go down into the basement.
"Here." Olivia said offering out her hand and reaching to take the lead from the young girl, "I'll take her and you can stay back up here with your mother for now, okay? Amanda and I will go down with Trishy." She purposely used the same name as the young girl to put her at ease.
Cassidy nodded and handed over the lead to the woman, trusting her with the dog.
Patricia was relieved to finally have full access to every aspect of the house, however, her mind wasn't on the idea of jumping onto Miranda's bed like she usually did when that bedroom door was left open. At first, Cassidy attempted to lead her upstairs to look for signs and if she could roll her eyes then she would have done.
“Go find Andy!” Cassidy encourages her with enthusiasm, unsure as to whether she expected the dog to pull the lead towards the door or towards the basement steps.
The dog pulls her towards the basement and finally, the humans start to listen but just as she thinks she’s made it and she can finally make her way down into the basement apartment, she’s stopped.
Patricia huffs with annoyance.
Her lead is handed over to one of the law enforcement employees and soon she’s allowed to go further into the basement.
“We have already searched the basement,” Amanda highlights.
“This is useless,” Miranda mutters quietly with a heavy sigh as she pinches the bridge of her nose. She just wanted her Andrea back with her.
Patricia eagerly tugs the Detective down the steps of the basement and the two women follow her, leaving the three Priestlys upstairs in the entrance hall.
“Do you really think this will work?” Amanda questioned with a raised eyebrow as she watched the canine sniffing around the basement in the search for the dark-haired woman.
Olivia shrugged, “No idea. I just thought that it might be a good idea to give the girls some hope, I’ve already messaged the canine team so they should be here within the next hour.”
Amanda nodded, “Theories so far?”
“My money is on Stephen,” Olivia stated before she knelt down and unclipped the leash for Patricia’s collar before giving her a quick stroke.
“She kinda makes me want to get one.” The blonde woman said, indicating to the dog.
Olivia raised her eyebrow at the other woman, “Really? In your apartment?”
Amanda sighed, “Well, that’s why I said ‘kinda’, she’s a bit too big for my apartment but if I was to get a townhouse somewhere then maybe I could?”
Patricia took no more notice of the human’s, although she did want more of the attention that the older woman was quite happy to lavish upon her. She made her way around the perimeter of the room, stopping for a moment every now and then.
Then came the change.
She picked up on a scent and started to bark in the bedroom.
Olivia and Amanda followed her lead into the room but looked rather confused.
The dog was barking at an empty room.
“What is it, girl?” Amanda asked her as she knelt down near the doorway, “Was she here?”
“I bet you never expected to interview a dog,” Olivia commented with slight amusement.
Amanda chuckled lightly at what her superior had said to her and moved a little more into the room.
Patricia barked again.
“What is it, girl?” The blonde law enforcement employee questioned as if she would get a coherent answer from the animal.
The large dog moved towards the side of the bedroom, the opposite side to where the window was and again, she barked rather loudly.
“There’s nothing there,” Amanda commented with a confused from on her face, “What could she possibly be barking at?”
Olivia shrugged, studying the area where the dog was with much more attention than she had been before.
Stephen was still at the station, completely and utterly unaware that they had re-entered the basement apartment.
Yet again, Patricia barked and then she sat down next to the wall.
“What are you trying to tell us?” Amanda contemplated out loud as she watched the dog with a slight tilt of her head.
Patricia suddenly stood up and turned on the spot, barking at the wall before starting to scratch the bottom of the white wall.
“Did anyone check the blueprints to the house?” Olivia questioned.
Amanda shook her head, “No, or at least, I don’t think so… I know I didn’t. I didn’t see any need to.”
Olivia nodded at that admission and moved closer to where the dog was scratching at the wall.
The wall was painted white and it was a panelling design that had a mirror hanging in the middle of the wall. It was a rather ornate mirror with a metal flower design around the border of it which made it clear that this apartment was never designed for the man that was currently living within its walls.
The bed was large and adorned with plain white bedding which had a gold pattern on it and the pillows that were strewn across the floor matched the gold in the embroidery which suggested that at some point they were supposed to be on the bed. There was also a covering that had been abandoned on the floor that matched the gold of the cushions and embroidery thread that would have looked rather nice on the bed at one point.
Clearly, the man had no pride in how he lived and so the room was quite a mess and had not been sufficiently cleaned in quite a while. That much was obvious from the layers of dust on many of the surfaces and the sticky substance that seemed to reside on the surface of the cooker in the mini kitchen of the apartment.
Olivia stepped even closer to Patricia who, by this point, was continuously scratching at the wall in what looked like an attempt to dig through it to the other side. The woman took a better look at the wall, she could not tell if there was a door or not because of the panelling having so many lines in it which would hide the seam of any door that may or may not be there.
She put both of her hands up against the wall and pushed.
She moved them slightly along the wall and tried again.
Amanda had realised what her boss was doing and moved over to the wall, pushing at a section, “I’ve text the team, they’re on their way with the tools to take down this wall if we need them.”
Olivia nodded but she did not have the chance to speak because just as she did, she felt a slight difference in the wall.
It did not take the team long to arrive and just as they descended the basement stairs they heard Olivia call out, “I got it!”
They saw that she had managed to grip the corner of one of the panels and pull at it.
It came away with the light force that she used to pull at the edge of the panelling.
The wooden panel fell away from where it had been secured within the wall and Olivia let it fall to the floor with a crash.
She stepped closer to the wall again but all she could see was darkness.
Patricia, who had moved away when the wall began to fell started to move closer again.
“Hold her back, Amanda,” Olivia suggested indicating towards the dog not wanting her to get hurt.
Amanda stepped forward to get hold of Patricia’s leash but the dog ducked and ran through the open gap in the wall.
It was then that they heard it.
The sound of a singular groan.
Olivia’s eyes widened, “Get this wall opened up!”
Within moments the officers that had joined them were at the wall and yanking away even more panels so that they could get into the cavity behind it. The panel that Olivia had removed was big enough to get into but they would definitely struggle if they needed to get a stretcher through the hole that they had created. One of them also lifted the mirror off of the wall and placed it on the bed carefully in case it got damaged in any way.
Olivia grabbed hold of a flashlight whilst they were dismantling more of the panelling style wall and she flicked it on, shining it into the dark hole beside her.
“Found her, call a bus!” She called out as she stepped over the thresh hold and into the darkness.
Amanda was on the phone straight away whilst the officers opened up the wall a little more to make it double the size that it had been originally.
Olivia moved further into the room that was hidden behind the panelling, the room was unfurnished and it was not decorated at all. The walls were bare concrete and the wooden structure of the flooring above them was visible when she shone the torch upwards to the ceiling. The floor was also concrete and it made her wonder if at some point the room was used for storage or something.
As she shone the torch around, she saw a shoe laying on the floor. The dark blue shoe seemed to have been splattered with something red. Most likely blood.
“Andrea” She called out softly into the darkness of the room, trying to see if she was responsive at all.
A groan came in response just as Olivia’s torchlight scanned over her again.
In the corner of the ‘room’ behind the wall was Andrea. The woman was lying on the floor wearing the exact outfit that she had been kidnapped in and wearing only one of her designer shoes.
As Olivia moved forward, getting closer to the injured woman, Patricia gave a bark. “Yeah, girl, you did it,” Olivia said to the dog as she knelt down beside the Runway assistant.
Olivia leaned over to double-check the woman’s pulse, “Stay still, we’ll have you out of here soon, I promise.”
“M… Mir… Mira,” Andrea mumbled out, struggling to speak but attempting to say Miranda’s name.
“Miranda is upstairs, she’s safe,” Olivia reassured her as she reached out and gently put her hand on the other woman’s arm in order to help to keep her calm.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Miranda was sitting on the staircase with her girls either side of her. A liaison officer was standing nearby in order to assist them in any way that she could whilst Serena and Emily were in the kitchen to the doorway.
“Have they found her?” Miranda questioned the officer as she was forced to sit back and observe the activity that was going on in her own home.
“I believe so,” The liaison officer admitted to her as she looked over to where a couple of officers were huddled at the top of the staircase and two EMTs entered the house.
Miranda stood up, pulling herself out of the grip of both of her daughters and stepped towards the basement, “Then I’m going to her.”
The liaison officer put her hand out, “I’m sorry, Miranda, but I really can’t allow that right now, I’m sure you’ll be able to see her as soon as they bring her up.”
Miranda glared at the younger woman with a ferocity that the liaison officer had not had to face before in her early career, “That was not a question, nor was it a request. I was simply informing you that I am going down those stairs and I am going to see my Andrea. ”
The young blonde woman gulped and nodded as she then stepped back, moving away from the fierce women in front of her. She had been told to keep the woman upstairs and out of the way, however, she had not been warned about what that would entail. She was not willing to stand between the Editor-in-Chief and the recovered woman downstairs.
Downstairs, the EMT’s were very cautiously transferring the dark-haired woman onto the stretcher whilst Olivia stood back to keep her eye on the victim. She took a mental note of the state of the woman, a job that was made much easier by the numerous flashlights that the officers were using to light up the small space.
Andrea’s dress was torn, her heel was broken, her hair was a little messy, and there were blood splatters that had dried up within her locks which added to the matted texture of it. In addition to that, there was a wound on her forehead that seemed to be a direct result of blunt force trauma but without further examination, with much better lighting it would be impossible to tell.
They had already managed to untie the ropes that held the young woman there. There had been a set that was tightened around her wrists and another set that had tied up her ankles. The ones around her wrists had been so tight that they had caused rope burns on her pale skin. It would have been impossible to lay her on the stretcher however without undoing the knots that were holding her arms behind her.
As soon as the stretcher came up the stairs from the basement with Andrea on it, Miranda was by her side, “Andrea,” she whispered softly in almost a gasp.
“Mi… Mira…” she attempted to say Miranda but her mouth was far too dry to be able to say it properly and she was utterly exhausted.
“I’m so sorry, my love,” Miranda whispered softly as she cupped the woman’s cheek softly.
Andrea smiled a little at what Miranda had said without realising it, “Not… your… fault.”
“We need to get her into the ambulance, ma’am,” a young paramedic stated as they tried to move her away from the door of the basement and out the front door.
Miranda nodded, not arguing with him, “I’m coming.”
“We want to come too,” Caroline declared as both of the girls moved forward.
“How about we take you to the hospital and we can meet your mother and Andy there?” Serena offered.
“Okay,” the girls both agreed and ran off to put their shoes on.
Once they had managed to get Andrea safely into the back of the ambulance, it took Miranda mere seconds to join her and sit down beside her head so that she could see her better, “My love,” she whispered.
Andrea looked up at her from her position on the ambulance stretcher and smiled softly whilst the paramedic hooked her up to the necessary equipment that would monitor her statistics.
The young paramedic that had been tasked with sitting in the back of the ambulance with them both soon had to start taking notes and asking Andrea questions. However, Andrea struggled to answer anything with her throat being so dry so Miranda took over from her with a quick glare to the paramedic. It meant that not all of the questions were answered but he wasn’t brave enough to ask all of them.
Meanwhile, at the townhouse, “Can we go now?” Caroline questioned as she stood at the door with her sister and Patricia.
Patricia was sat down in front of them with her leash attached to her again and Caroline holding onto her leash.
“Erm… you do realise that you’re going to have to leave Patricia here, right?” Emily questioned with a look of confusion on her face.
“Leave her behind?” Caroline asked her in return.
“Are you crazy?” Cassidy exclaimed with widened eyes.
Caroline rolled her eyes, “Trishy found Andy!”
“Yeah! She found her and she saved her so she has a right to come with us to the hospital to see our Andy!” Cassidy declared with confidence and determination.
“Fine, she can come but if the hospital do not let her in then Roy will have to bring her home and then she can see Andrea when we bring her home with us, okay?” Serena suggested a little more diplomatically. She did not want the girls to be upset that they could not take their dog with them, especially considering the fact that the dog was the one that was able to find the missing woman.
“But…” Emily started to say but was quickly silenced by one singular look from her girlfriend.
The girls could not resist giggling at the look that Serena had shot Emily and how effective it had been in silencing the woman. “Don’t argue with her or she’ll make you sleep on the sofa,” Caroline whispered to her mother’s redheaded assistant with a slight smirk on her face.
Emily rolled her eyes at the young girl, she was clearly a little annoyed by what the child had said but she opted to remain silent instead of commenting on it.
Serena made sure that the girls had everything that they needed for the trip to the hospital as she did not know how long they were going to be there for. She also grabbed an overnight bag for Miranda as she knew that there was not much of a chance that the Editor-in-Chief would want to be away from Andrea
Once they were in the town car on their way to the hospital where the ambulance had taken Andrea, Serena turned to take a better look at the girls, “Are you okay?”
The two girls nodded in response but stayed silent for a moment.
“Is she going to be okay?” Cassidy asked very quietly, clearly rather worried about the woman.
Serena nodded, “Yes, she will be.” She confirmed confidently with a reassuring smile to the young girl before she tugged her into her arms for a side-ways hug whilst they remained strapped into the seat belts and sitting properly in their seats.
“Did he hurt her?” Cassidy questioned as she looked up at the Brazilian woman.
“I think she got manhandled a little but I do not think he hurt her,” Serena answered, trying to answer in a way that would not be lying but at the same time in a way that would not cause the girls to worry more than what they already were. She knew that the woman had been injured a little but she did not think that her injuries were too serious. The ligature marks that she had seen on her wrist explained why Andrea had not been able to come out of the basement on her own or to escape the hidden room without assistance.
“Why did he do it?” The youngest of the two twins asked.
Serena paused for a moment as she considered her answer.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Caroline asked her sister in response and rolled her eyes at her at the same time, “He doesn’t like Andy because Mom loves her more than she ever did him.”
“Ohh… oh yeah,” Cassidy replied, “But that isn’t a reason to kidnap someone and hide them away. You like Mia but Mia is dating Matt but you don’t kidnap Matt and hide him away from her.”
“That’s because I’m sane and I have a brain,” Caroline answered with another roll of her eyes, the facial expression reminded the two women of the children’s mother, “Stephen isn’t sane. He’s a drunken idiot without a brain.”