Other than a cursory glance at her resume, Miranda hadn't bothered checking the details it contained. If she had, she may have questioned it, then again, perhaps not. Instead, she'd dismissed Andy without thought.
The fact was, having been a child prodigy, Andy had been homeschooled until her parents had believed she was ready to head to college at the age of thirteen. She completed an undergraduate degree in English and psychology within two years before moving on to her Joint Juris Doctor and PhD in Modern Thought and Literature, with the expectation she would eventually work with her dad at his law firm.
In all honesty, she found becoming a lawyer held no appeal for her, so after passing the notoriously difficult California bar exam and then the less difficult Ohio State bar, both of which could have seen her becoming one of the youngest practising lawyers ever, she'd turned her focus on other areas of interest.
Granted a full scholarship, she'd started on the Northwestern University journalism program, which was one of the best Journalism Schools in the US, and within four years, rather than the usual five, she had earned both her undergraduate journalism degree and a graduate journalism degree at Medill through their Accelerated Master's program.
And now, well, she was thrown out of her comfort zone daily as the second assistant to reigning Queen of Fashion, Miranda Priestly.
She'd only taken the job to get her parents off her case after travelling across Europe then moving to New York with her boyfriend and friends, and because she was fresh out of college which meant, despite her varied education, she needed the experience to be able to apply for a more serious journalistic role.
The fact was, Runway was only ever meant to be a temporary stop-gap to pay the bills and truthfully, working for Runway long-term wasn't something she wanted since it wasn't something she was passionate about. She'd had zero interest in fashion when she started the job and yet, it had snagged her attention, mainly because of the way her boss wore the beautiful clothing.
Despite her limitations, including her innate lack of fashion sense, Andy had one saving grace, and it was the one thing that had stopped her from being fired. It was also something very few people knew about.
"— and find me that piece of paper I had in my hand yesterday morning," Miranda stated, finishing her instructions with the random, and somewhat absurd request.
Andy's pen flowed over the page of her notebook, pretending to take down the instructions, but it instead, sketching a small portrait of Miranda, tossing the sheath of papers in her hand into her waste paper bin. Her mind quickly worked through the significance and she smiled happily. "Yes, Miranda."
"That's all," Miranda waved a hand dismissively. She swung her chair towards the window but before Andy had even taken two steps, she heard it spin back so she could grab her coffee.
Andy felt Miranda's eyes boring into her back as she almost skipped out of the inner office and settling at her desk, she placed her notebook down and tapped her pen against the glass five times before opening the drawer and taking out the folded paper believed Miranda was seeking. It was the twins birthday list and she had recognised the childish handwriting immediately. She had decided to rescue it, so it wouldn't be lost entirely after the cleaners swept through the office the night before. Opening it, she scanned the list and closing her eyes, committed it to memory.
Standing up, she moved back into Miranda's office quickly and set the piece of paper down on the edge of her desk. She met her bosses startled gaze and smiled. "Is there anything else I can do?" She asked softly.
She shook her head. "Nu-uh," Miranda murmured.
"Okey-dokey then," Andy's grin widened as she left Miranda's office for the second time, sat at her desk and tapped her pen against the glass another five times.
"I wish you wouldn't do that." Emily hissed. "It's so annoying."
"Do what?" Andy asked in confusion.
Emily rolled her eyes. "Whatever, An-dréy-uh, just quit it."
"Emily, coffee," Miranda called out softly.
Miranda was curious about her second assistant. She had somehow become scarily proficient at reading her like no other that had come before her.
She often marvelled over Andréa's uncanny ability to meet her exacting demands, which included her knowing which showroom she had spotted that vase she'd seen in passing while they navigated New York side by side in the town car.
The only time Andréa seemed to struggle was when she issued the demand for something she'd noticed when the brunette was not with her, and yet she still, by some magic, found what she was seeking from her vague instructions, like the one from the morning before. "Get me that little table I liked, from that store on Maddison." Andréa had arrived back at Runway within two hours advising the table would be delivered that afternoon.
How she achieved the impossible, almost daily, was something that intrigued her greatly.
She often found herself curious over the almost compulsive tapping of her pen or fingers against her desk or the notebook she carried everywhere. Exactly five taps, perfectly timed but had not questioned it. She also wondered what the brunette wrote in her notebooks as she fired off instructions. Did she get her instructions down on paper word for word or did she write in some form of shorthand?
She could easily admit, albeit to herself, that she found the sound of the scratch of the pen on paper soothing, especially when it meant her day would run far more smoothly than she was used to.
She knew, unable to stop from overhearing conversations between her assistants and Nigel, that Andréa was facing a general lack of support in her personal life. She felt a twinge of understanding. Andréa only needed one year to earn the opportunity to fulfil her ambitions. She couldn't quite understand why it was so hard for her companion and friends to support her through this time. The last she had heard was that the chef had left shortly before Paris and her friends had cut off contact due to him leaving. It was clear that she wasn't the only one to have experienced an irretrievable breakdown in her relationship due to work.
Upon much reflection, she'd decided she was not looking forward to the moment Andréa's year was up, yet it was hurtling towards them quickly and she knew she would have to find the time to discuss the future with the brunette and offer her assistance.
Andréa had blossomed into a rather beautiful young woman right before her eyes over the past year, not just due to her makeover, but also from losing the very large chip on her shoulder and settling down into the role she was hired for. Her beauty often had her yearning to run her fingers over the soft skin of her cheeks or to brush them through her thick, luscious hair but she understood such thoughts were ridiculous. If she somehow gathered the courage to show Andréa just how captivating she found her, she'd no doubt face the beautiful woman's derision. So she kept quiet despite the fact her unrequited longing often kept her from sleep or unable to concentrate on her work.
Glancing at her watch, she realised she had been contemplating her second assistant for far too long once again, and it was time for the runthrough. Standing, she marched to the door of her office and glared out. "Why is no one ready?" Miranda demanded with a drawl.
"Uh—I'll just—" Andréa picked up the handset of the desk phone as people started to trudge into the outer office, cringing when she scowled at them.
"Well, move at a glacial pace. you know how it thrills me." Miranda sighed in frustration and she used two fingers to flick her forelock out of her eyes. "Andréa, you'll take notes."
"Yes, Miranda," Andréa dropped the handset and jumped to her feet before grabbing her pen and trusty notebook and moving past her into her office. She watched as the woman pulled the chair that sat in front of her desk against the far wall, sat down, and tapped her pen five times against the front of the notebook before opening it and resting it on her lap.
Miranda glanced once at the outfit Jocelyn had put together and rolled her eyes. "No!" Her tone was scathing. "I've seen all this before." She pursed her lips. "Where are all the other dresses? Where are all the items from the advertisers?"
"We have some right here from Banana Republic, and we think—" Jocelyn tried, rummaging through items on a rack.
"No," Miranda stated, interrupting her.
Andy only just stopped herself from groaning. The runthrough had been going on for forty-five minutes already, with Miranda shooting down every single idea. She bent her head to her notepad, her pen running over the page.
"It's baffling to me why is it so impossible to put together a decent runthrough. You people have had hours and hours to prepare." Miranda sighed wearily. "It's just so confusing to me." Her voice held her disappointment.
Andy found herself partly tuning out, knowing if push came to shove she could pull the details from memory. She concentrated on the movement of her pen, as it scratched over the paper quietly.
So involved had she become in her sketching, she missed the fact Miranda had dismissed her team. The first she knew of it was when her notebook was pulled from her hands. She looked up in surprise to see Miranda flicking through the pages that were filled with random doodles and sketches of her likeness. "Uh-I can explain."
Miranda tossed the notebook at her and she only just caught it before it slapped her in the face. "Coat, bag. You will bring the book tonight."
Andy stood, holding her notebook to her chest, her cheeks flaming red from her embarrassment. "Yes, Miranda," she agreed. Staggering from the office she threw the items in her hand on top of her desk and grabbed Miranda's coat and purse from the small closet next to it. She looked up to see Miranda striding towards the elevator, a folder tucked snugly under her arm.
She rushed after her and skidded to a stop as the elevator doors opened. When Miranda stepped inside, she turned and took the coat and purse from her as she gazed passively at her. Andy caught the older woman's eyes. "Please, Miranda, I can explain."
"Later." Miranda took a step back and the elevator doors closed, cutting her off from sight but not without her hearing the familiar dismissal. "That's all."
"Oh, shit." Andy couldn't believe it. She'd been so careful about not displaying her unusual gift.
The last time she'd told anyone about it, they'd looked at her like she had grown an extra head. It was the same when people accidentally learned how different she was. She was often treated harshly for it and people who'd known her, for her entire life, had turned on her.
She'd learned quickly to hide her gifts and the fact she could, if pushed, provide an entirely accurate first-hand account of an event that she'd witnessed, be asked about it and, remembering something that others didn't recollect in the same way, had people act as if she was lying. It was one of the challenges she'd faced in different ways over the years, sometimes with trivial after-effects and sometimes with her relationships ending tragically.
Despite understanding that people feared the unknown, it didn't make things any easier since she simply couldn't help but be good at certain things due to her ability to remember things in exact detail, as if she could still see them. However, the accusations it was done to make others look bad, hurt her.
Sighing, she pulled her cell out of her pocket and dialled the one person who had always offered her unconditional support. "Hey mom, is Grams around?"
Miranda paced her study, Andréa's resume and her portfolio held in her shaking hands. She wasn't sure why she'd pulled the information from her filing cabinet before leaving Runway, but she'd been compelled after what she had seen in Andréa's notepad. The varied images staring out from the pages had left her newly amazed by the young woman. Life, as Andréa saw it, and shown in the sketches and doodles, held a stark beauty that she had no words for.
From what she'd read, she understood Andréa was special. She was a genius of sorts, which showed in her educational accomplishments. She had been an academic star, graduating summa cum laude - with highest honours - twice. Miranda regarded the multiple undergraduate and masters degrees and found the sheer level of education Andréa possessed, was astounding, especially in comparison to her own. What she now wanted to know, more than anything, was what on Earth was she doing at Runway?
"You know, I didn't pick up a book or write a word for almost a year after graduating that second time." Andréa's voice broke her focus from her swirling thoughts.
She turned on her heel to look at the brunette in surprise. She'd missed the front door opening and hadn't heard the usual click of Andréa's heels moving across the hardwood floor covering her foyer.
"And when I moved to New York and finally began to search for a job in my chosen field, I quickly realised the multiple degrees with the summa cum laude notation didn't impress anyone as much as I assumed they would. I lacked the necessary experience, even after being editor-in-chief of the Daily Northwestern." Andréa's lips quirked slightly and she nodded at the documents in her hands. "My resume doesn't tell the full story, Miranda, just a very small part of it."
Miranda's curiosity rose. "Would you tell me?" She asked.
Nodding, Andréa moved further into the room and placed the book on the edge of her desk. "I suppose so." She took a deep breath and tapped her finger against it five times. "Have you ever met somebody that has a speciality in some useless skill, like 60's music or something trivial like that?"
Miranda nodded, even though the younger woman wasn't looking in her direction. "Yes," she added for good measure.
"Imagine them meeting someone with that same useless speciality, and finding out they are better." She turned and moved closer. "On the surface, you'd expect them to get along rather well since they're both into the same thing, but when one realises they're not that special anymore because the other person's hogging the spotlight, it causes animosity."
"I believe I understand." Miranda thought of her relationship with Anna Wintour and spotted similarities in the description Andréa was giving. They would never be friends, despite their shared adoration for fashion, simply because she was better at spotting a trend and visualising it in the most gorgeous of ways, which was seen by the American Runway remaining on top. Sitting down on the couch, she placed the folder she'd been holding onto the coffee table. Miranda glanced at the brunette, waiting for her to continue to speak.
Andréa licked her lips. "Apparently, I was the one hogging that limelight, even from my first days at Kindergarten, before my parents pulled me out of school, to finishing that first undergraduate degree at sixteen. In Kindergarten it was implied I was upstaging the "little" developmental milestones that are so important in children, simply because I surpassed them with ease. It didn't seem to matter that I was a child myself."
"What makes you different?" Miranda asked.
"May I sit?" Andréa asked hesitantly.
"You may." Miranda gestured to the armchair, secretly hoping Andréa would settle beside her instead. She adored the warmth and comforting scent of the other woman.
Andréa took her gesture as gospel and sat down on the edge of the armchair, placing her bag by her feet. Miranda sincerely wished she had patted the seat beside her instead. She watched as Andréa closed her eyes before making her revelation. "I went through some serious testing as a child and my Intelligence Quotient was off the charts."
"That doesn't explain what I found in your notebook," Miranda stated. "There was barely any words written, and certainly not the instructions I would expect to see, the things that would mean you are taking note of my requirements."
"Well, I was also diagnosed as being twice-exceptional or, to put it in a way people understand, profoundly gifted. I don't need to take notes since I have a photographic memory," Andréa explained. "I process information quickly, can read anything in seconds, understand it, and then recall what I have read. But when I think, or try to process the solution to a problem, I do so in pictures, which is why I draw."
Miranda sat back against the cushions and considered the explanation. "And why is it I am only finding out now, after almost a year?" She asked, disbelief colouring her tone.
Her eyes opened but she glanced away. "I don't tell people, Miranda. Simply put, I don't want to stand out. Plus, when I've accidentally revealed it or told people in the past, they treat me differently." Andréa shook her head. "I don't want—" She exhaled in frustration. "—I—I hate it. You can't imagine how it feels to retain an image of every useless thing you've seen or heard."
Miranda thought about that and couldn't comprehend, even for a second, that it could even be possible. "There's no way on earth that is even a thing." She scoffed, unable to stop herself from expressing her scepticism.
Closing her eyes, Andréa sighed. "I knew you'd say that and even told my Grams you would." She sighed as her eyes blazed open. "She said I could no doubt make you believe, so feel free to test me."
Miranda saw the stubborn determination flashing in her expressive eyes. "My cerulean—"
Andréa interrupted her. "This stuff? Oh, okay. I see." She spoke coldly, and it was somewhat reminiscent of how she often expressed herself. "You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back."
"Andréa, I—" Miranda tried to intervene.
"But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin." The way Andréa emphasised certain words, imitating her, was uncanny.
"That's enough," Miranda declared, growing disconcerted at having her words echoed back to her in such a cold, concise way.
Ignoring her, Andréa continued, recounting her monologue word for word. "However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff."
"I said that's enough." Miranda seethed. "So what if you can transcribe conversations from memory. If you had let me finish, I was going to ask for the date."
"March 15," Andréa returned to speaking in her usual warm tone. "It was a Wednesday, my first day and—" She shook her head and chuckled. "— and I was seriously clueless." Letting out a sigh, she continued. "You were wearing, what I now recognise as Bill Blass. A gold bead-detailed jacket over a black silk dress." She licked her lips and gestured to her neck. "You wore a gold layered chain, hooped earrings and a green Roberto Cavalli belt with a snake buckle. You looked seriously stern and yet so sexy." She admitted breathlessly.
Miranda sat back in stunned silence, unable to fathom the use of that adjective.
Stern? Yes, admittedly she could understand how she was seen that way on occasion.
Sexy? No, the idea she was viewed as such was utterly absurd.
Andy could sense Miranda's uncertainty over her final words and bit her lip nervously. Looking down, her hand moved into the Hermés Birkin Bag she'd carried into the room with her and placed at her feet. Her fingers curled over the spine of an A4 sketchbook and pulling it free, she opened it to a page towards the front. She lay it down face open on the coffee table between them.
On it was a portrait of Miranda, her head raised proudly, glaring out from the page.
"The first sketch I ever drew of you was after I corrected you about my name on that first day after you called me Emily." She tapped the page. "That was the look you gave me," Andy stated lightly. "You got your own back by reeling off all those instructions about skirts from Calvin Klein, Pier 59 and wanting to see a few of those satchels that Marc was doing in the pony." Her lips twitched up in the hint of a smile. "I still haven't a clue what the last one means." She admitted. "It's like you're speaking another language sometimes."
"Pony or pony-hair is a leather made from cow or goat hide," Miranda explained softly. "But it's made from the hair side of the hide rather than the reverse, as normal. It is the way it is shaved that makes it resemble pony hair."
"Oh," Andy was surprised by the explanation. "Good to know." She grinned.
Miranda rolled her eyes. "Do you seriously remember everything?"
"Yes," Andy leaned forward and flicked through the pages of the sketchbook slowly, her fingers stroking the images unconsciously. She finally tapped her fingers against another page to get Miranda to focus on what she was showing her. It was another sketch of her, her head tilted as if looking down on someone or something, her eyes holding surprise, sadness and a little anger. She'd drawn it after that first night delivering the book.
"Turn back a page," Miranda demanded abruptly.
Sighing in frustration, having hoped Miranda would have missed that one particular sketch, Andy did as she was told and flicked the page back.
Miranda snatched the sketchbook off the table between them and with her head tilting to the side, she contemplated the image of the familiar staircase of her home with the twins leaning over the bannister railing. "I should have known." She muttered. "My mischievous, little Bobbsey twins." Her lips pursed. "And I rewarded them for it." She shook her head in disbelief.
"They just wanted to stop Stephen," Andy stated gently. "They simply took a chance and it worked."
Miranda's eyes closed. "What am I doing to my babies that they feel they need to protect me in such a way?" She pursed her lips further and continued to mutter under her breath. "And to think, I've been considering doing it again, of bringing someone new into our lives, having them take the empty spot in my bed."
Andy sat back, stunned by Miranda's quiet admission. Her heart shattered from the knowledge Miranda was looking for someone new now her divorce was final and Stephen was gone from her life.
She'd been able to continue at Miranda's side, despite going AWOL for an hour in Paris, and with the new understanding, she felt something more for the editor than was, when she let herself think of it, perhaps proper. Deep in her heart, she knew it certainly wouldn't ever be something Miranda accepted, that's if she vocalised her deepest desires. Unable to bear the ache in her heart, Andy stood quickly and picked up her bag before turning towards the door in preparation to leave, forgetting the fact her sketchbook was in Miranda's lap. "I can't do this." She mumbled.
"Where do you think you are going?" Miranda's question was followed by a shift of movement and her wrist was grasped lightly. "We're not done here."
"I think we are. You may take this as my verbal resignation, offered with immediate effect." Andy was fighting a losing battle with her emotions, and, despite her valiant attempts to hold herself together, tears sprang into her eyes. She bit her lip hard and the tears started to fall in earnest. "Please, just let me go."
"You came back to me once—" Miranda's hand moved to encircle her fingers and she squeezed them lightly. "—in Paris. You came back to me and I took it as the gift it was." She whispered. "What can I do or say to make you stay? I shall do anything, give you anything."
Andy shook her head. "You can't give me—" She shook her head again. "—No, it's not possible."
"I've said it once, and I'll say it again, despite the fact I abhor repeating myself," Miranda stated turning her around to face her. "You can do anything. Right?"
"Don't ridicule me, Miranda. Please" Andy pleaded. "Don't—you can't—" Her voice broke when Miranda's free hand rose and her thumb gently swiped at a falling tear.
"I am not mocking you. Whatever it is you want or need, Andréa, I shall gladly give it, if it means I keep you in my life." Miranda declared softly.
Andy sniffed back her tears. "I—I'm easily replaceable, Miranda."
"You are invaluable to me." Miranda insisted.
"I can't—" Andy faltered, confused by Miranda's words. "—you said life, not Runway?" She queried hesitantly. "You're not making any sense."
Miranda's hand dropped from her cheek and she pinched the bridge of her nose. "Why can't you just tell me what it is you want?"
Andy expelled a breath. "Because you can't give me that, Miranda. I can't tell you because it's not, nor will it ever be, something that's possible."
"I could open doors for you." Miranda declared. "I could—I could move you into editorial should you not wish to remain as my assistant. Anything!"
"You'd keep me at Runway?" Andy was stunned by that.
Ignoring her question, Miranda started to pace. "People always want something from me." She rubbed her lip as she tried to formulate her next move. "I just need to work out what it is you want. That's all," she murmured.
Andy hovered nervously, feeling Miranda's growing agitation. "Miranda, I—I don't want—"
Miranda stopped and spun around to face her. "You have almost seen your year out and I will do whatever it is you want, place you wherever it is you wish to go." She repeated yet again before licking her lips. "You are inestimably precious, Andréa, Runway would be lucky to keep you—" She faltered. "—I would be lucky." She whispered.
She saw the depth of anguish as well as something she had never thought to see in Miranda's clear blue eyes.
Hope flared deep within her and taking a risk, she stepped quickly to enter Miranda's personal space and before she could lose her nerve, she acted impulsively. Cupping Miranda's jaw between the palms of her hands, she tilted her face up and caught her lips in a chaste, yet heartfelt, kiss. "It's you I want," Andy muttered, pulling away. "Only you," she insisted.
When they finally broke apart, Miranda took the time to gather her wits and taking Andréa's hand, pulled her towards the couch. Settling side by side, her arm wrapped around the brunette's shoulders and she held her close, tucking her face into the crook of her neck and taking delight in the warm breath caressing her skin.
She felt decidedly giddy. The first touch of Andréa's lips on hers, telling her, without words, what she truly wanted, initially left her unable to reciprocate. But then, when Andréa made to pull away and whispered those words, she found the idea of breaking away, the risk of losing the chance to have Andréa's lips on hers again, vastly intolerable. She came to life, chasing the soft, full lips to capture them in a searing kiss of her own.
And now, despite feeling overwhelmed, in the silence that had formed, she let herself contemplate the events of the evening and all she had learned. From what she understood about Andréa, from the words spoken and sketches she'd been shown before their kiss, the younger woman had a visual memory and she found herself wondering if this would be yet another memory the younger woman would retain with almost perfect precision, even down to the smallest of detail.
"You know, one of the things I adore about you is that you don't repeat yourself often." Andréa broke the deep silence. "Honestly, I find it frustrating how much people repeat themselves, how they tell the same stories and anecdotes over and over again, regardless of whether or not I've heard them before." She sighed.
Miranda's curiosity rose. "Why is that so frustrating?"
"I've found people have this thing, where they have around ten stories, five theories, and three or four things that they love or hate, things in their own lives they keep centring on." Andréa sighed. "You can't talk about the fact that these things have been repeated a lot without people becoming defensive about what they share with you."
"I believe I understand. I have also been known to find such things tiresome." Miranda smirked at Andréa's small giggle. "You realise, I hope, that conversation is often more about sharing an emotion than an exchange of information, which explains the fact it is often repetitive."
"Yeah, I get that. Worse than my exasperation is the fact it seems to annoy the people on the receiving end of one of my perfect recalls. When you can remember stuff, often proving someone wrong on a subject, they see it as you being a know-it-all, rather than it being a genuine way to help." She sighed unhappily. "I swear, I've never gone out of my way to embarrass someone, but it's not usually seen that way." Andréa nuzzled into her. "One of the roll-on effects of this is that I've always found it difficult to make friends because I struggle to let go of the things that have hurt me, simply because I can recollect the moments more readily than the average person. Things just don't fade easily, plus I can honestly admit I'm an over-thinker. It can be so isolating."
Miranda was taken aback by the admission. The fact Andréa's gift had left her feeling isolated seemed incomprehensible to her and she desperately wanted to comfort her. "Andréa, I—"
"I need you to know before this goes any further—if this goes further, that I'm far from perfect, Miranda. In much the same way I've found it hard to keep friendships, I've also struggled to preserve the relationships I have entered. I tend to see patterns that make me question someone's behaviour, I focus on the stuff that rubs me up the wrong way, the shitty comments and the things that drive me crazy. It's something I've tried to work on over the years, without that much success."
Pulling back slightly, Miranda realised she had said quite a few hurtful things to the other woman. "I'm sorry—"
"No! No apologies," Andréa interrupted, lifting her head and placing a finger on her lips. "I've forgiven it all even if I can't forget, Miranda. In all honesty, you're different in that respect too. You're so unlike anyone else that has come before you."
"How so?" Miranda asked in wonder.
"I don't think there's anything I couldn't forgive, except if you intentionally broke my heart. Off the top of my head, that includes empty promises of a future, blatant dishonesty and the abuse of my trust, including cheating." She stated. "The rest, well—" She shrugged. "—although I recognise some of the things you do or say are done deliberately, it's not done from any sort of real malice. You just say or do what you think in that moment of irritation." She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, drowning her senses in Miranda's signature scent before pulling back slightly. "If I said, 'do you remember when you called me the smart fat girl' I recognise that you wouldn't try to minimise the hurt it caused by asking why it mattered. You are unlikely to leave me feeling gaslighted because you now know I can't just forget." Andréa offered with a small shrug.
"I am glad you realise I would not manipulate you in such a way." Miranda was astonished and leaning close pressed a kiss against her cheek. "You are a truly remarkable woman." She breathed before sitting back. "You know, when I first brought the twins home, I just knew they would be special, if only to me. They were perfect in my eyes. I can understand, how your parents, as you grew into a little person and upon realising you were not just perfect or special, but extraordinary, must have been rather overwhelmed. I know I am." She admitted. "Now, would you like a glass of wine?"
"That would be great." Andréa smiled, happiness filling her expressive eyes.
Miranda wanted to know more, but needed time to process the quickly developing openness that had suddenly sprouted between herself and the other woman. Standing, she moved to the corner of the room where she had a small dry bar. "What is the first thing you remember, Andréa?" She asked, filling two wine glasses from an open bottle of Sauvignon Blanc before moving back towards the sofa, glasses in hand.
Andy spoke easily of her first memories, of being a baby splashing around on her mom's lap while sitting in a small Doughboy inflatable swimming pool in her grandma's back garden. She talked of the way the warmth of the sun caressed her skin and of how it set the silver in her grandma's hair sparkling. She somehow understood what was going on around her, knew what her mom and grandma were saying to each other, but she was still at an age where she couldn't respond.
She then spoke of time spent with her grandma as her primary carer, once her mom returned to work, the finger painting and other crafts, the childish joy she found in creating things as her grandma read to her. She admitted that even before her first birthday, she was using whole sentences and by fourteen months old she was completing puzzles from which she had to match pictures to words. She claimed she was artistic, even as a small child, unusually so. She became obsessed with sketching, could play music by ear and sing at perfect pitch. She paid attention and asked questions, even when she knew the answers. She grew to have high expectations of herself and confessed to being a perfectionist.
Her grandma, realising how smart she was, worked with her and taught her to read and write. Her close family were amazed by how quickly she caught on, picking up on letters and words, writing them out, holding a book properly and reading while using the pictures to understand the story. They encouraged her and she soaked up the information she learned, somehow retaining it.
Eventually, with Miranda still listening intently, Andy spoke of the months at her local kindergarten, where she managed to alienate her classmates, who couldn't understand why she didn't struggle or didn't want to play with them and her teacher, who felt out of her element with the little girl who spoke to her as if she was an equal. The final straw was when she corrected the teacher over something trivial, offering a perfect recollection, and the school decided they didn't want her in the classes, disrupting the physical, social, emotional, language, literacy and cognitive skills and development of the other children. Her parents had been infuriated at the school's accusation they were pushy parents and her mom quit her job and began to homeschool her.
Over the years, Andy's dad had been perpetually frustrated and impatient with her and he displayed no hesitation in declaring that she drove him crazy with her fidgeting, whether it was her pacing, the tugging of her fingers, playing with her hair or the compulsive tapping she couldn't always control. Her mom was the polar opposite, patient and understanding, she often had to run interference between them and, along with her grandma, was her biggest champion despite initially being frightened, and occasionally embarrassed by her gift, and often being heard to mutter; "Andy Sachs, just because it may be true, does not mean you have to say it!"
She spoke for so long, the time passed quickly and she revealed that despite everything, all she ever wanted was to fit in and had hidden this rather unique part of herself to do so. She talked of the fact she often felt guilty about not being grateful for her differences. Some people within her extended family had advised her that she was responsible for using her unique ability to improve the world.
In her everyday life, she strived to be patient, empathetic and compassionate rather than reacting with impatience, irritability and cynicism. "I worry I may come across as arrogant and that I've failed to live up to the potential this "gift" gives me. I've read a lot, you know, about people like me, and I didn't want to end up isolated or lonely. I also didn't want to lack the interpersonal skills required to succeed. I want friends and a semi-regular life." Andy felt her chin wobble and tears threatened to fall. "If I could feel like I belong somewhere, that I am truly connected to another human being and find someone who will love me, exactly as I am, I might feel like all the other stuff that comes from this is worth it."
Pulled back into Miranda's arms, she was comforted by the warmth they provided. "I wish you could see yourself through other people's eyes, darling. That way you would realise you are adored by many." Miranda soothed. "Myself included." They sat in companionable silence, wrapped up in each other's arms until Miranda broke the silence. "You know, in all honesty, having heard all you have told me so far, I cannot truly see how having such an exceptional memory would be a disadvantage. For example, you will always have memories of the precious people in your life even when they are no longer with you."
"My Grams has said something similar. We lost my grandpa a few years ago and she now struggles to recall his facial features and mannerisms where I still see them." Andy smiled sadly. "I can close my eyes and he's with me."
"I would assume there's some comfort in that," Miranda advised softly. "Memories are so precious, darling." She sighed. "And for those who have failed to accept you, because of this ability, please know that is not a reflection on you. It is their issue and to their disadvantage, not yours." She exhaled. "I include your so-called friends and the cook boy in that."
With her face still buried in the crook of Miranda's neck, Andy opened up about the end of her relationships with Nate and Lily, who had both claimed she was the most brilliant person they had ever met, but also the dumbest, simply because she hadn't recognised what she felt for Miranda was more.
"And when did you realise?" Miranda asked.
"Paris," Andy breathed. "That night in your suite, and then the following day on the steps of the Petit Palais," she explained, remembering how her feelings had all but slapped her in the face causing her to run. "What will happen now, Miranda?" She queried cautiously, growing tense.
"Rest easy, darling," Miranda reassured, running her nose into her hair and inhaling deeply. "I would like you to see your notice period out and while you are doing that, I shall have you train your replacement whilst we search for a position where you shall thrive, one where you do not have to worry about what others think. I hope it will be a situation where you are free to simply embrace your phenomenal self and to use your gift for your advantage."
"So—?" Andy frowned, unsure if her question would be accepted.
"—not Runway." Miranda interrupted.
Andy couldn't finish what she was about to ask and felt a sense of dismay. When she moved back slightly, Miranda's fingers trembled as she traced her jawline and she couldn't help but lean into the tentative touch, her eyes closing, willing herself to always remember this moment.
"Not Runway, not if, like me, you want more," Miranda explained hesitantly. "I must admit, I've dreamt about this a lot over the past few months," she admitted. "Of being with you like this. In my waking moments, I have told myself, rather sternly, that it was pure folly." She caught Andy's hand and placed soft kisses against each finger. "I should not have allowed my dreams to take me to you, it was wrong to do so."
Andy was stunned. "It was not—"
"I know it was wrong," Miranda interrupted. "After all, I was still very much married when it began. I simply couldn't stop myself though." She pressed her lips against the palm of her hand. "You fascinate me, Andréa, you always have."
"So, does this mean—?" Andy grew flustered. "—are we going to be a couple now?"
Rolling her eyes, Miranda gave her a look that asked "are you stupid?" before leaning in and placing a soft kiss against her lips.
Andy pulled back and grinned brightly. "Holy shit, I can't believe Miranda Priestly is my girlfriend." She crowed gleefully.
"My word, are you sure the doctors and whatnot were correct in their summation you're a genius?" Miranda quipped sarcastically as she rolled her eyes.
Andy laughed, blushing a little before leaning in and kissing Miranda softly on the lips and humming happily.
One Year Later
"Emily, advise Nigel I require his presence immediately," Miranda called out softly.
Turning to face the window, she smirked when she heard Emily pick up the desk phone and hiss quietly into the receiver. "Drop whatever it is you're doing and get here now, Nigel. She wants you."
Within two minutes Nigel was hovering nervously in the doorframe. She saw him in the reflection of the window mopping his brow with a handkerchief. Spinning her chair around to her desk, Miranda picked up her glass of Pellegrino and sipped it before raising her eyes and glaring at the bald man. "Are you simply going to stand there all day?" She queried.
"Uh, no," Nigel shook his head and entered the office, seating himself opposite her.
Emily's voice came loud and clear. "You can't go in there. You are not expected and she's in a meeting with—"
"Nige," Andréa's happiness was clear from her voice but she bypassed him entirely and came to a standstill beside her. She leaned in and brushed a gentle kiss on her cheek. "Hey, you." She murmured.
Emily sat at her desk in the outer office open-mouthed.
"Emily, come in here and close the door." Miranda gazed up at the woman beside her, unable to tear her focus away from her. She heard the door snick shut and finally turned her gaze to the two other people in the room. "I believe it is time to pay up." She advised.
"What?" "Pardon?" Nigel and Emily sputtered simultaneously.
"My darling, if you would—" Miranda flicked her hand towards the pair.
"Of course." Andréa grinned. "Last March 13th, you all found out that Miranda and I were dating after it broke on Page Six. If my memory serves me correctly, which I am certain it will—" Her smile widened and Nigel groaned. "—Emily said she'd bet a hundred bucks that we wouldn't last six weeks, while you, Nigel, claimed the relationship would be over within the year, once the novelty wore off. Serena, who can't be here since she's in Brazil, refused to lay down a bet, voicing her unwillingness to put a time limit on the future happiness of two people she respected. I matched your bets and advised you all I'd be just as happy a year on, as I was right then, despite the press invasion and the personal upheaval that ensued."
"I believe it is obvious that Andréa is just as happy today as she was on that particular day, if not more so, and since is exactly one year, as I said, I believe it is time to pay up," Miranda advised.
"They say elephants never forget," Nigel muttered as he stood up, pulled his wallet from his hip pocket and placed a wad of twenty-dollar bills on the glass desk. "By the look of things, neither does Andy Sachs."
Emily grimaced. "My purse is out there." Her head jerked towards the outer office. "I'll have the money ready for you when you leave."
"Good enough," Miranda tilted her head. "Perhaps this shall teach you not to bet on the outcome of people's lives, especially since many things occur within a relationship that, as an outsider, you simply cannot see." She stated.
"Yes, Miranda," Emily agreed, blushing profusely.
Nigel's eyes dropped and they focused on the large heart-cut pink diamond ring that sat on Andréa's left-hand ring finger. "Do you have something you wish to say, Nigel?" Miranda asked with false sweetness.
Nigel grinned and shook his head slightly. "That's a pretty fine looking rock you're sporting, Six?"
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Andréa smiled broadly when Emily groaned and Nigel beamed at her. "I got it to mark our first anniversary a couple of weeks ago."
"A couple of—?" Emily bristled. "—but today's the 13th and one year from—"
"Do pay attention, Emily." Miranda rolled her eyes. "The 13th was simply the day it became public knowledge and fodder for the gossip mongers," Miranda smirked and glanced up at the woman stood at her side. "What are your plans for your winnings, my darling?"
"I thought I'd treat you and the twins to dinner at that place you all like." Andréa grinned down at her.
The response was vague but Miranda understood exactly where they would be having their intimate family dinner.
Andréa's apartment on the Lower East Side.
It would be one of the last they had there since, upon her placing the ring, which symbolised their future together, upon her finger, the woman had agreed to move into the Townhouse. "That will be acceptable," Miranda stated. Looking across at her assistant and Creative Director, she arched an eyebrow. "That's all."
Letting herself think over the past year while waving Emily and Nigel out of her office, Miranda realised she was truly content. She had spent her entire life, up to that moment in her study just over a year before, striving and fighting towards achieving her professional goals. She'd worked towards having everything she thought would make her happy, yet it hadn't.
It was in this past year spent with Andréa, that she had learned one of the greatest life lessons.
To embrace happiness and peace.
Allowing her heart to open and truly love someone, other than her children, had left her susceptible to further pain, and although it was scary at times, she had confidence in Andréa to alleviate her fears when it was needed, to accept her occasional vulnerability and to offer her a kick in the backside, or rather, to tell her to remove her head from that particular orifice, when it was warranted.
"Would you like Coq au Vin or steak for dinner?" Andréa asked softly.
Unable to stop her small smile, Miranda responded easily. "Oh, I don't know. Why don't you surprise me?"
Andy exited the town car and leaned against the door, waiting for the twins outside Dalton's main exit. It was something she had started to do after she and Miranda went public, and at least once a week, if not more, she spent quality time with them after school before Miranda arrived and they enjoyed dinner and their evening together.
She marvelled over the change in the twins. They were still mischievous and full of nonsense, but also surprisingly loving, and nowhere near as spoilt and spiteful as Emily and everyone else at Runway believed them to be.
Over the past year, she had grown to love them as much as she loved their mom and as far as she was concerned, they belonged to her, as if she had given birth to them herself. They accepted her entirely in the same way Miranda did, never treating her any differently because of her "gift", which they had been on the receiving end of on multiple occasions. They'd quickly gotten over the fact she could perfectly recollect each promise they made to take out the trash, tidy their rooms or brush Patricia, which they so often so easily "forgot" about.
Twin squeals of her name had her raising her head and squinting towards the door of the school. Before she could prepare herself, two pairs of arms had wrapped themselves around her waist and neck and she'd stumbled back into the car.
"Andeeee, it feels like ages—" Cassidy started.
"Where have you been?" Caroline demanded.
"—Since we've seen you." Cassidy finished.
Laughing, Andy pushed herself off the car and wrapped her arms around the twins, hugging them both tightly. "Hey, you two," she grinned down at them. "It's only been two days, but I've missed you too." Seeing Roy hovering, clearly waiting to open the door, she directed them away from the car slightly.
He opened it with a flourish before bowing. "Miladies, your chariot awaits." Roy declared gently, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
"Come on, my imps." Andy pushed the twins ahead, but Cassidy hung back and raised an eyebrow at her as Caroline scrambled across the back seat. She knew what the young woman wanted. Smiling again, she slid into the car and settled next to Caroline and peered out at the young girl. "Come on, Cassi-dee, we have groceries to buy if we're going to make dinner for your mom."
"What are we having?" Caroline asked.
"I thought hamburgers for you and Cassi-dee, Care Bear" Andy announced and received loud whoops. "And for me and you mom, Steak and that cheesy baked asparagus, she finds rather acceptable." Andy shrugged. "Or maybe something light, a lemon and herb couscous." Caroline wrinkled her nose and Cassidy groaned. "No? How about Salt 'n Pepper sweet potato fries?"
"Yes, those." Caroline insisted.
"We'll have them too," Cassidy stated.
"Okay, okay." Andy agreed. "Hey Roy, can we stop at Citarella before heading to my apartment?" Andy asked. "I have an order to pick up."
"Sure thing, boss," Roy grinned into the rear-view mirror.
Andy shook her head before wrapping her arms around each girl's shoulders and pulled them closer so they were snuggled in close. "So, what's been happening with you guys?"
"Do you remember me telling you about Bella being mean to me?" Caroline asked.
"Of course, I do. I remember every little thing you tell me." Andy reminded them. "Now what's happening with Bella. I told you to ignore her, Care."
Cassidy grinned. "Oh boy, you should have seen it, Andy, she thought I was Care and got all up in my face."
"Please tell me you didn't retaliate?" Andy sighed. "You know how your mom and I feel about you using physical violence. It doesn't solve anything."
"Don't go all mama-bear on us now." Caroline laughed. "Cassi stayed calm and just told her to beat it, but Bella went nuts. She grabbed her arm and started shouting that she'd see her after school and thump her, but she was so loud, Ms Jenkins came out of her class and heard her threats."
"Mrs Stein pulled her mom and dad into the school and she's been suspended for three days," Cassidy told her gleefully. "She's also been told she has to write an apology letter to both me and Care."
"Will you accept her apology?" Andy asked.
"Nah," Cassidy claimed.
"It won't change anything," Caroline added sadly.
"She hates us because we've been on Page Six and they say mean things." Cassidy finished with a shrug.
"Well, she's definitely stupid if she believes whatever's spouted on Page Six." Andy sighed. "You know, some people are too scared to think for themselves and to make up their minds about people or things." She remembered some of the words Miranda had spoken on the night their relationship had changed. "Your mom once gave me some advice regarding that kind of people. You both need to realise that when people fail to accept you it's not a reflection on you. It's their issue and to their disadvantage."
"Really?" Cassidy mumbled.
"Yes, really," Andy reassured. "You two are totally awesome, and if someone can't see that, then it's their loss."
Miranda sat back, pushing her empty plate away with a small, satisfied sigh. She lifted her glass of wine to her lips and sipped the robust red liquid as she watched Andréa and her daughter's laughing and joking with one another.
As small as the apartment Andréa still rented was, it was homey and over the past year she had grown rather comfortable sharing the small space with the brunette and her children on the evenings they spent there.
She could easily remember the first night she'd been granted access to the apartment, although she had met the brunette at the front door on multiple occasions. It had happened almost three weeks after their relationship status had changed, upon having Roy drive them there before she was dropped at home, after a late night at the office.
She stepped from the car, as per her new custom, to walk the younger woman to the door and when she leaned in to brush a chaste kiss against her lips, Andréa threw her arms around her neck and pulled their bodies together. The press of the other woman's lips against her own ignited the fire that had been slowly building for weeks, if not longer, and it was one she understood would shatter her closely-held resolve.
She couldn't even fathom how long they shared the warmth of each other's mouths, but a second kiss followed the first, and a third rushed in on the heels of the second. Neither of them had noticed that they had drawn the attention of the press.
"Maybe we should take this upstairs?" Andréa suggested, breaking the kiss.
"You have all the best ideas," Miranda replied breathlessly.
Miranda hadn't expected this turn of events and frankly, she didn't truly care where Andréa was leading her, as long as they would continue to be together. Still, she was surprised when Andréa guided her up three flights of stairs, to a dark green door announcing their arrival at Apartment 3C.
The door had barely even closed behind them when she found herself pressed against it and they were picking up where they had left off out on the street. Their lips pressed together hungrily while Andréa's hands caressed insistently up and down over the swell of her hips and waist.
Miranda wasn't going to let her first orgasm at the hands of the other woman crash over her as she was pinned against a wall or door, of that she was certain. Raising her hands, she pushed against André's sternum and tore her mouth away. "Bed." She demanded.
"Hey, love, are you okay?" Andréa asked lightly, breaking her from her reverie.
"Mm," Miranda hummed absentmindedly. "Yes, I am." She smiled softly. "Are you okay with us staying this evening?"
Andréa glanced at the girls. "You two wanna stay?"
"Yay!" Cassidy and Caroline cheered happily. As much as they loved their own space at the townhouse, staying at Andréa's and sleeping in the bunk bed she had put together for them in the small box room, was still such an adventure.
"Homework done?" Andréa asked gently.
"Yes, Andy," Cassidy groaned.
"Will you read my English essay?" Caroline asked hesitantly.
"Sure thing, Care Bear," Andréa smiled softly. "But first, let me set up a movie for us to watch."
Andy took Miranda by both hands and guided her to the oversized bed before pressing her down onto the mattress.
The bed had been something Miranda had added to the apartment after a night spent on the futon she'd acquired after Paris, when Nate left with more than half the furniture they'd bought together, with the claim it had been the most uncomfortable night's sleep she'd had for many years.
Kicking off her shoes, she straddled Miranda's legs and leaned in to snare her lips with her own. Their kisses grew increasingly passionate and when their tongues met, Miranda slid her arms around her back to hold her close, pressing her closer against her. Breaking the kiss, Andy noticed Miranda's lips pursing and grinned. "Do you remember that first night you stayed?"
"Yes, I was only thinking of that earlier this evening," Miranda admitted, her hands sliding over her back to grab her ass cheeks. "It was a delicious night." She squeezed the flesh in her hands.
Andy moaned and responded by pressing down harder against Miranda. She felt her skin flush and warmth spread across her body. "Wanna revisit it?" She asked.
Miranda pulled her hands away and her arms stretched behind as she leaned back to look at her. "Are you sure you can recollect that night precisely? Anything less would be vastly disappointing."
Andy grinned at the challenge but shook her head. "You know I hate to disappoint you." She teased.
Miranda leaned up and kissed her softly. "I am aware."
They continued to kiss for long minutes, their bodies moving together as their passion for one another took over. Andy's lips eventually worked her way down along Miranda's neck as she used one of her hands to pull her shirt free from where it was tucked into her trousers and raised it until it exposed her breasts encased in black silk.
Pulling back again, Andy heard Miranda whimper but still took her time to pull it over her head and toss it aside before letting herself admire the perfection of Miranda's breasts, exactly as she had the first night of their intimacy, before softly leaning in and kissing the exposed flesh. The clasp of Miranda's front fastening bra was undone with minimum fuss and brushed aside with ease. Once again, Miranda's breasts became the object of Andy's focussed desire and she closed her lips around a stiffening nipple.
"Oh, God!" Miranda moaned, throwing her head back.
Andy could easily recollect the moment Miranda expressed some insecurity over her body, covering her breasts and soft belly and telling her she'd considered having surgery. "You're perfect," Andy whispered to her before turning her attention to Miranda's other nipple, giving it the same lavish attention before again returning to the first. She moved between them, nipping and sucking with abandon as she cupped the undersides, lifting them towards her mouth slightly. She took more of Miranda's breasts into her mouth, alternating between kisses and love bites that would leave the woman branded.
Miranda's hands moved down over her ass before sliding across to the front of her jeans and twisting the stiff button free. Her hands gripped the soft cotton t-shirt she wore and pulled it up and over her head, breaking Andy's hold on her breasts, and threw it aside with no more thought than she would give a rag.
Sliding from her place on Miranda's lap, Andy knelt on the floor between her parted thighs and taking hold of the waistband of Miranda's trousers, tugged them until she got the hint and lifted her ass from the mattress. Pulling them down, she left them sat around her ankles and took Miranda's well-heeled feet into her lap before removing her Prada pumps and tossing them behind her.
Miranda's eyes burned down into hers as she watched her and glancing up she raised herself and buried her face in the valley between her breasts. From there she slowly kissed her way down her body, incorporating long lavish licks with soft kisses until she reached her stomach, paying close attention to the light stretch marks and scar from the unplanned c-section she'd had to deliver Cassidy into the world. Reaching Miranda's panties, she took a moment to admire the dark patch of desire visible against the material. She spoke the same words she'd used on that first night together. "Fuck, you're so wet for me, Miranda."
She gently ran her fingers across the front of Miranda's panties, feeling the heat and dampness and causing Miranda to whimper softly. Taking hold of the waistband of the panties, she pulled them off in one fluid movement and swiped two fingers along the length of her pussy. Andy dropped down as she gently slipped the tips of two fingers inside, letting her warm breath whisper over the sensitive skin.
"Oh, Andréa," Miranda fell back and moaned softly as Andy's fingers penetrated her and started thrusting gently. "That feels amazing."
Adding a third finger, Andy increased the speed and focussed on the enlarged, nub at the apex of her thighs. She pressed her thumb against it and began to circle it softly, the gentleness setting off wave upon wave of intense desire to flow from within the older woman and amazed, once again, by the reaction it caused.
"Oh, fuck!" Miranda cursed loudly as she quivered around Andy's fingers.
Andy leaned in and replaced her thumb with her mouth and using her free hand to hold her outer lips apart. She drove her tongue against her clit, sucking and licking it with abandon as her fingers moved inside, playing Miranda's body in a way she now knew would bring her to an epic climax.
Miranda's orgasm hit just minutes later and she arched her back and trembled against her as waves of pleasure washed over her. "Oh God, that was—mmm —wonderful," Miranda hummed, sinking back into the mattress.
"I'm glad," Andy smiled and lifting herself from between Miranda's legs, removed her jeans and underwear.
When Andréa held herself over her, her arms supporting her weight, Miranda couldn't stop herself from pulling her down against her and snaring her lips in a passionate kiss, eagerly licking every bit of her desire from her full lips. "Oh, I love how you taste of me." Miranda panted.
Andréa moved slightly, landing alongside her and they kissed softly but with intensity until she claimed Andréa's mouth with her own and kissed her greedily, nipping at her bottom lip with her teeth before smoothing the soft skin with her tongue.
Miranda had never really understood people's fascination with sex, not until Andréa, but as they kissed, and desire swept through her, leaving her aching to please the younger woman, she knew it was because she was with the person who was meant to be hers. After all those months she'd fantasised about this, while Andréa still worked for her, it still sometimes felt surreal. It was more than she ever dreamt it could be.
"I want to taste you too," Miranda whispered, tilting her head away from Andréa's lips. The only difference in expressing her desire now, compared with the first night she had declared such, was the lack of embarrassment. After being together for so long, she trusted Andréa to listen when she voiced her desires.
She watched as Andréa nodded enthusiastically and shifted her body against the multitude of pillows at the head of the large bed. She spread her legs in a clear invitation and created enough space for her to crawl between them. Her hands dropped to cover firm thighs, her fingers curling against the muscles, pressing lightly as she pushed them further apart, her own body shifting against the sheets and slipping between them, settling quickly.
With her eyes flicking over the sight of Andréa's desire, a deep growl tore from her throat and her eyes hungrily devoured the sight. Once again she found herself trying to restrain herself from rushing. Lifting her arm, the backs of her fingers traced up one of the supple thighs before swiftly darting away without connecting with her exposed sex.
A groan of frustration passed through Andréa's clenched teeth and her legs moved restlessly against the sheets. "Pleeease!" Her low whine ricocheted off the walls.
"Someone's impatient, my darling." Miranda teased. "But since you asked so politely."
Lifting one of Andréa's legs so it was at a 90-degree angle, she trailed her lips up the inside of her soft inner thigh. She felt the muscle tremble beneath her lips and dipped her head forward and pressed a teasing kiss against the molten centre. At the low growl that came from above her, she laughed softly for a moment.
Leaning close to the body beneath her, without touching it, she watched Andréa's anticipation rise as her breath whispered across the sensitive folds. Her face hovered above the heated skin while Andréa's hips jerked up, her body on fire and eager for her touch.
With both hands, she spread the folds of Andréa's sex before sliding her tongue between them and humming at the taste of her. While her tongue continued to slide over her clit and occasionally breach her core, the woman beneath her moaned and whimpered. The noises Andréa made, were easily the sexiest thing she'd ever heard and it was all the encouragement she needed to take her in her mouth fully and push her towards her orgasm.
Raising her eyes, her gaze drifted over the writhing body, seeing Andréa's back arched off the bed, her hips rocking with every thrust of her tongue, responding to her. She saw Andréa's hands clenched tightly into the sheets under her, the knuckles white as they tugged at the material, pulling the fitted edges out from their moorings.
Unconsciously, her eyes lifted to Andréa's beautiful face, watching her closely as her hand rose and she pressed her palm flat against her stomach, pushing her back down against the bed as her climax roared through her.
Andy had come to realise that Miranda was unlike anyone else in the world. She wasn't overly talkative, but when she spoke, it was invariably important, and she often spoke so softly, you had to listen to be able to pay attention. She was beautiful, smart and funny without trying to be. Her one-liners were full of snark and often had her biting back fits of laughter. She loved nothing more than watching Miranda as she did something relatively normal, like leafing through a magazine, and smiling softly, or running her pointer finger over her lips, as she read something that sparked an idea for Runway.
When she'd walked out on Miranda in Paris, she'd honestly believed that would be the last time she ever saw her. But it wasn't. Within hours, Miranda was pounding on her door as she packed and ignoring the fact she was throwing things into her suitcase, demanded to see the schedule for the following day as if she hadn't walked away on the busiest day of her career.
Deep down, Andy understood she would never have found the courage to initiate a relationship with the editor. She was such a force of nature, she'd never have believed she'd want someone like her.
Always fifteen minutes early, her face flushed from her march across the Elias Clarke foyer and through the halls of Runway barking instructions into her cell, Miranda was so driven and commanding. She was adored, honoured and feared. She was a tough boss and mentor but believed in pushing people to meet her high standards and allowing them to reach their full potential.
Over their year together, Andy was able to open up and tell her what she had thought of her throughout her time at Runway, as her feelings developed. The little things she recalled, such as the colour scarf she wore or something she had said in passing, often surprised Miranda, even knowing of her abilities, and most surprisingly, she was often rather taken by her perfect remembrance and the genuine emotion that she easily shared.
The emotional time-travel she shared with the editor, allowed Andy to re-live the full intensity of their past and the emotions shared while using their relationship in the present to allow the moments to be a little more self-reflective.
When arms wrapped around her waist, she sighed and tilting her head back, felt Miranda's breath against her ear. "Are you ready for bed, my darling?"
Andy hummed her agreement. Puckering her lips slightly, let out a shrill whistle. "Patricia, come on." She called out across the back garden. When the lumbering beast pushed her way past them, she turned in Miranda's arms and grinned at her raised an eyebrow. "I'm ready."
Miranda took her hand and casting a fleeting glance over her shoulder at her, offered a small smirk before pulling her into the house, waiting for her to close and lock the back door and flicking off the lights as she tugged her along in her wake until they reached their bedroom.
Glancing around, Andy spotted the signs that she had made this room her own. Her books were on the bedside table and her robe twined with Miranda's on the chaise at the foot of the bed. Grabbing her pyjamas, which had been folded in front of her pillow, she followed Miranda into the ensuite and side by side they prepared for bed.
She'd learnt so much in the year with Miranda and the twins, primarily about living and loving, and in this new family, she had begun to feel more comfortable in herself. It was the little moments they shared, that created the biggest memories, moments she relived often, and as they lived through so many unforgettable moments, she knew they would continue to build a beautiful life together and create wonderful memories, that she never wanted to forget.
Before Miranda, her photographic memory was more of a curse than anything else, but now she saw it as a blessing. She loved every memory they had shared, all the firsts. The first moment they met, first kiss, first date, and even their first fight because she knew, despite the multitude of firsts, Miranda Priestly would be her last everything.