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Secret Service Redux: The Mornings Are the Hardest

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Part 2

Rain hits the windowpanes, waking Miranda's restless sleep. Another night without Andrea by her side. Sighing, Miranda rolls over to stare at the Parisian weather balefully. Andrea has ruined her. For two months they have lived together, and Miranda has found herself unable to concentrate on her work during this week's separation. She huffs in exasperation. What a waste of time. All week she has attended countless shows, luncheons, and soirées. And for the first time since she began working in fashion, she does not want to be here. She misses Andrea. It is unbearable.

The first Paris Fashion Week after Andrea left her employ, Miranda worked hard not to think about the year before. She strictly kept her mind focused on why she was there. And as the years passed, the ache dulled. However, now that she has Andrea in her life, in her heart, now that she is living with the woman and discovering more reasons to love her every day, Miranda feels bereft not falling asleep or waking up next to the younger woman. Each day away makes Miranda feel more restless, and she is about ready to climb out of her skin. She wants Andrea next to her today, now, and every day thereafter.

Noticing the time, Miranda groans, placing the back of her hand over her eyes like some damsel in distress. Inhaling deeply, she sits up with a sigh. Two more days. Two more days of being the Queen of Fashion before she can return to New York and hold Andrea in her arms. And never again will she allow them to remain apart for so long. She just needs to get through today and tomorrow.

Hearing a knock, Miranda rises, wrapping her robe around her tightly and tamping down her hair and sour mood before opening the door. Nigel stands there, several papers in his hand. He smiles as Miranda opens the door wide enough for him to enter.

"Good morning, darling," he says in much too good a mood as he brushes past her. He walks straight to the telephone, picks it up, and orders room service for two.

"Did we schedule a breakfast meeting that I am unaware of?" Miranda asks sardonically.

"No. But we are both in desperate need of caffeine, and we both know that if we don't eat now, we won't eat all day."

"Hmmm," Miranda agrees wearily as she sinks into a high-back, winged chair. Crossing her legs, she takes the proffered documents and dons her glasses to review them. They begin comparing notes from the day before, and Miranda becomes more short-tempered with each moment that passes.

She loves her work. Truly she does. But she loves Andrea more. And that realization scares her immensely. Does she even miss me?

"All right, Miranda. I didn't want to have to do this, but clearly, I have no choice," Nigel says grimly.

"Whatever are you going on about?" Miranda says as she pins him with her glare, aggravated by the tone of his voice and the determination in his eyes. She does not have time for such nonsense.

"You are going home. Today."

"Don't be absurd! We have two more days of shows, parties, meetings. I cannot possibly leave early," Miranda says dismissively.

"No, no!" Nigel says, waving his finger in front of her face. "We can have you on a plane by six tonight. You'll only miss the last two shows today and tomorrow's shows, and I will stand in for you." He gazes at her pensively. "You really miss her, don't you?"

Miranda opens her mouth to refute his statement, but she cannot bring herself to lie. She does miss Andrea. Desperately. She can feel herself flushing as she nods slightly, more of a tilt of the head than anything else. She can feel emotions building behind her eyes, and the gut-wrenching feeling of discontent gnaws at her incessantly. She blinks several times as she looks away from Nigel's knowing look, needing a moment to control her chaotic emotions. She wants to go home. Of course she does. But she has a job to do, too. Can she justify leaving early? Will anyone care? Will it make Andrea happy?

A knock at the door signals their food has arrived. They eat in companionable silence, Miranda wondering whether Andrea has been taking care of herself while they have been apart. She does love watching Andrea eat. Her lover has such a healthy appetite.

Taking out her cell phone, Miranda quickly types, Thinking of you, darling. I can't wait to hold you in my arms again. M xoxo

"Tell her I said hello," Nigel says cheekily.

And Nigel sends his hellos, Miranda finishes before sending the text. "Arrange for me to fly out after the Valentino show," Miranda says softly before taking one more sip of her coffee and rising. "I am going to get ready." She stops at her bedroom door and turns to Nigel once more. "And Nigel," she says, capturing his eyes and smiling slightly. "Thank you."

Feeling her phone vibrate as she closes the bedroom door, Miranda feels her spirits rise as she reads Andrea's response.

I miss you so much. You'd better rest up, lady. I intend to make up for lost time once you come home. Love you. A

This is the right decision. She is ready to leave the City of Love for the person who holds her heart.

The return flight provides Miranda with an opportunity to rest. She does not want to be too tired when she arrives home since she has every intention of reacquainting herself with every inch of Andrea's beautiful body. She indulges in thoughts of how she will touch her lover, how she will evoke those breathless moans and pleading mewls. God, she has missed her.

Feeling the week's whirlwind schedule catching up with her, Miranda calls over a flight attendant and directs her to awaken her an hour before they land. After being reassured that it will be done, Miranda allows herself to close her eyes. Her last thoughts are of Andrea's wide smile and beaming chocolate eyes. Soon she will see them in person.

As soon as Miranda walks through her front door, she feels the stress of their separation ease. No lights are on downstairs, but she is sure Andrea is home. She waves toward the corner, and Roy deposits her luggage in the front parlor before leaving. She removes her coat quickly and climbs the stairs to their bedroom, eager to see Andrea.

Halfway to her destination, she pauses. She could swear she hears Andrea moaning her name. Reaching the open bedroom door, Miranda covers her mouth with her hand as she watches Andrea trying desperately to reach completion by her own hand. The tableau is so erotic she feels her body heat up immediately and her nipples harden. Miranda hurriedly removes her clothes, her eyes fastened on Andrea's body as she struggles to find relief. Miranda's body clenches as she hears her name shouted, and the proof of Miranda's arousal from watching Andrea coats her inner thighs.

Not able to stay away any longer, Miranda crosses the room swiftly and captures parted lips as her fingers seek out Andrea's swollen clit. She doesn't allow Andrea to remove the two fingers she has buried inside herself. Instead, she cups the hand as they kiss and kiss and kiss.

It is divine.

Ravenously, Miranda sucks on a forceful tongue, tasting desperation and relief and desire. Finally releasing now-swollen lips, Miranda takes Andrea's breast in her mouth as she sets up a rhythm by pressing against Andrea's hand and rocking against her.

She whispers how much she has missed Andrea, how wonderful she is, how she had to return home early to be with her. The fantasies she indulged in late at night over the past week are pale comparisons to the reality of this luscious body undulating under her. She feels so hungry, and only loving Andrea can slake her relentless yearning. As she shimmies down to lick the sensitive nerve center currently standing at attention, Miranda grins savagely. Andrea is hers. She was fantasizing about Miranda as she sought release just moments ago. Knowing that Andrea is true to her even within the privacy of her salacious urges rockets Miranda's confidence into the stratosphere. It reassures her in a profound way that Andrea loves her unconditionally, absolutely, unequivocally.

Andrea's body speeds up as Miranda pours out her heart, her fantasies, her need to be with Andrea through a steady stream of words, suddenly finding it easy to express herself.  Miranda pushes her finger in between the two sliding in and out of Andrea's slick passage, wanting to feel Andrea's inner walls pulsating, wanting to be closer.

When Andrea climaxes, her body freezing in the air as ecstasy overtakes her, Miranda stares greedily. She can never get enough of this. It is her sustenance. Miranda's body reacts forcefully, and she rides out her resulting orgasm blissfully. God, I needed that! she thinks in a daze as her body slows down. Andrea has passed out. Of course. She usually does for a few minutes after she reaches completion.

Smiling tenderly, Miranda removes their hands from their snug haven and moves up to embrace Andrea. She runs her fingers through sweaty locks rhythmically, so damn glad she is home. She cannot imagine not having Andrea in her life. Not now. Not her. Their lives have become so intertwined, and she knows Andrea will not leave her again. She wants to show everyone this amazing woman, wants everyone to see how happy this woman makes her feel. It's time they make a statement to the world, to each other; it's time to claim Andrea publicly. And in return she will allow herself to be claimed.

As Andrea wakes, her eyes glowing with affection, Miranda interlaces their fingers and lifts their hands to her lips to kiss. She can tell Andrea is bursting with questions, but she is obviously exhausted. She has not taken care of herself during Miranda's absence. So, sleep is more essential than important questions.

Tomorrow they can talk. Tomorrow Miranda will make another grand gesture. Tomorrow they will enter the next phase in their lives. It will be glorious. And lovely. And perfect. Miranda is certain. And regardless of what the future brings, Miranda is convinced that they will face it together, and their commitment to one another will only deepen. Her earlier fear that Andrea might not have missed her was obviously unfounded. No words need to be professed when all she needs to know shines through luminescent eyes. Miranda settles down next to her love, holding her closely as Andrea falls into an exhausted sleep. And she smiles.

They have each other. And they shall walk hand in hand.