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The first week of December, Andy started her new job at The New Yorker as an official staff writer. But before that, she took on an additional gig: helping Angela edit and research a longform piece for the New York Times Magazine. It was focused on harassment in the workplace and explored a significant number of high-level, evidence-rich accusations resulting in little to no consequence for the accused. Irv’s story was the exception rather than the rule. Angela wanted to reveal the pattern of protection that men in power generated for themselves and their cohorts through money, power, or other more nefarious means. Andy spoke to her new bosses about it in advance to make sure there were no conflicts. She’d been hired because of her work around the subject and they took no issue.

After a few Saturdays on the project, Andy thought the magazine was the wrong place for the piece. It felt more like a full-length book. But she’d let Angela come to her own conclusions as things evolved.

Leading up to the holidays, Miranda had dozens of social events to attend, more than ever now because of her higher profile. Andy worked what felt like longer hours than she had when she’d first started at Runway, when her day started as the sun rose and ended when she fell into bed at midnight. She wanted to make a solid impression at work and be there for Angela, but her personal life, the one she wanted to have so desperately, wasn’t going anywhere. After she went home for a few days to visit her parents and celebrate Christmas, she made a decision.

She and Miranda were going to start dating.

“Dating?” Miranda exclaimed on a Skype call the night before New Year’s Eve. Andy was in Cincinnati till the next morning, while Miranda was at the townhouse, getting ready for a late dinner with Donatella and Miuccia. “I’m not in high school. I don’t date.” She looked away from the screen to slip on her earrings.

“You’re gonna start. Tuesday the 3rd, we’re going to dinner. I don’t care who picks the spot, but we’re going out, in public, together. Then maybe I’ll go back to the townhouse with you, or not. But I can’t do video calls anymore, Miranda. The dust has settled. I love you. Let’s not waste any more time.”

Miranda looked off into the distance, eyes narrowing. Andy could see her weighing the consequences. She nodded once. “All right. I’ll make a reservation. Eight o’clock?”

Andy tried really hard not to glow with happiness. “Perfect.”

The next night, she celebrated New Year’s with Lily, Doug, and scores of people she didn’t know at an annual bash thrown by Lily’s gallery. It was fun to be with her friends and meet new people, but she didn’t enjoy trying to keep her distance when a few men (and one woman) kept circling her like sharks. By eleven, her spirits were flagging. Lily knew she probably didn’t want to be there much longer and gave her tacit approval to depart. “Love you, girl. Don’t be sad tonight, okay?”

“Love you, Lil. I’m not sad. I just… I’m pretty done. Give Doug a New Year’s kiss for me, okay?”

It was freezing out, but Andy had dressed down for the event and thought it might be nice to walk. After a few minutes, snow began to fall, and that made her miss Miranda even more. She huddled in her coat and ignored the random groups of revellers stumbling their way between bars and parties, shouting “Happy New Year” to anyone who passed them by. Andy just kept her head down, ready to be home.

When she got to her apartment, a long black car was double parked and idling in front of her stoop. Her eyes widened and she held her breath, trying not to get her hopes up. The door opened and Andy covered her mouth as Miranda emerged in silver and black splendor. A dark cape covered her hair, and she carried a handbag and a bottle of her favorite Agrapart & Fils champagne. Andy hurried to unlock the exterior door, holding it open for Miranda and racing up the stairs after her. She unlocked her apartment door and pulled Miranda inside, kissing her in gratitude, in desire, in delight.

“My god, you’re freezing,” Miranda said, holding Andy’s cold cheeks in warm hands.

She considered a quip about not everyone being able to afford a car service, but it wasn’t worth it. Not when she was riding a wave of pure euphoria knowing that Miranda had missed her so much she’d skipped out of a party on New Year’s Eve to hang out in her crappy apartment. “You keep kissing me like that and you’ll warm me right up.”

Miranda liked the sound of that, clearly, because she kissed Andy all the way to the bed until she was very warm, indeed. The pile of clothes they left behind was enormous, but Andy ignored it all in favor of pressing her mouth to the places she’d missed so much for so long. Miranda let her lead, lying very still as Andy used her tongue and her hands and her whole body to express her appreciation for Miranda showing up so unexpectedly.

Later, once they were sated, Andy pressed her knees behind Miranda’s and spooned her. They had left the champagne in the fridge and missed the passage of the New Year entirely, neither noticing the raucous noise out on the street in favor of paying attention to one another.

“You didn’t know I’d be home before 12. Couldn’t make it three more days, huh,” Andy teased, unable to keep the smugness out of her voice.

“You couldn’t last three more days in Paris, remember? Now we’re even.”

Andy thought that sounded just right. “Where are the kids?”

“A friend’s house till the morning. What are you doing tomorrow?”

“Nothing. I thought I’d be sleeping off a hangover after the gallery party.”

Miranda didn’t say more for a minute. “You could come over, if you like.” Andy tried not to hold her more tightly, even though she wanted to. “Spend some time with the girls and me.”

“I could not imagine a better way to start the year.”

The next day, Andy made coffee and tried not to laugh as she watched Miranda get ready in her tinier than tiny bathroom. She didn’t turn down a ride in a sedan back to the townhouse, where they drank more coffee and ate eggs and toast and fruit. The girls squealed when they found Andy there waiting for them and wanted to share all the exciting things they’d gotten for Christmas, clothes and video games and music and DVDs, plus a couple of books thrown in for good measure. It was the best day Andy could remember for so long that by the end of it, she found herself crying in the foyer as she put on her coat to leave.

Miranda watched her, frowning.

“I keep telling myself it won’t be much longer,’” Andy told her, wiping her tears. “I’m being really patient. I didn’t think it would be this hard to be apart. I mean, we weren’t even together before. It didn’t hurt like this.”

“You’ve got your new job, and things have quieted down at mine. It feels like enough time has passed to… be seen together.” Miranda rolled her eyes. “I’m not calling it dating.”

That lifted Andy’s spirits. “I am. We’re dating. We’re going to make out at the movies, go to Friday night football games, maybe even go to the Homecoming Dance--”

“Very funny,” Miranda interrupted, stepping closer and taking Andy’s hands. “I need you to be prepared for this, Andrea. The news is going to cause a stir, once people realize we’re together.”

“Stir,” Andy repeated. “I like the sound of that. Like a good cocktail.”

“Or prison,” Miranda added. “Remember those words when your name is in every gossip column in the city, darling. You might regret it.”

---

Their first date was at a small Italian restaurant where she and Miranda met for dinner at 8 on the dot. It was romantic and lengthy as they consumed a full bottle of wine, three courses, and two desserts. No one paid any attention to them. She went to her own apartment that night since she had to be up and at the office early.

The second date was Andy’s choice at her favorite Indian restaurant on Clinton Street. Miranda glowed in the darkness as they sat in a corner, huddled close together, ankles crossing beneath the table. It felt like a normal meal with someone she loved. She was happy and Miranda looked happy, too.

For their third date, Miranda picked her up in a sedan on a Friday night and took her to Tom Colicchio’s Craft, where they sat in a highly visible location and shared an outrageously priced, unbelievably good strip steak for two. The chef made an appearance at their table to confirm Miranda’s approval and Miranda introduced Andy to him as “a writer for The New Yorker. You might already know her work.”

When they finished, Miranda suggested they walk a few blocks, which Andy thought made no sense at all, looking at her ridiculous Zanotti heels. But then Miranda took her hand, lacing their fingers together and Andy got it. This was it; maybe they’d be seen and photographed together. They’d be out and everyone would know. Andy smiled and brushed her hair back from her face, hoping she looked okay.

But it didn’t matter. They didn’t show up in any papers or columns that day. By then she’d had it. She planned to start going to the townhouse and staying over every night. If no one cared, then she didn’t either.

A few days later, she was in the middle of the weekly editorial meeting with fifteen other people when her phone started buzzing in her pocket. She ignored it, assuming whoever it was would leave a message. Then it started going again, and again, and again, till finally she fished it out as clandestinely as possible. Below the conference room table, she opened the first message--a text from Emily--which read are you and miranda screwing? you are the worst don’t ever speak to me again. She noticed she had 6 other messages and a voicemail, so with a silent groan she pocketed her silenced phone and tried to look like she was paying attention.

Thirty minutes later, she left the meeting and immediately raced to her cube to find out the damage. The texts were from the usual suspects: Doug, Lily, Nigel, Serena, Leticia, Jocelyn, her mother (who seemed awfully cheerful about the whole thing), Angela (who noted she had left a few details out about the person from work she’d been in love with), plus a group text from Caroline and Cassidy who were both relieved the news was out so Andy could move home. The voicemail was from Miranda, who was sure the story had been held until they had real proof, most likely “because of the whole Thiel fiasco.” Andy didn’t know what she meant until she discovered Gawker was behind the story, aptly titled We Don’t Just Out Dudes: Runway HBIC Miranda Priestly Nabs a Gal Pal.

Gawker photogs had actually been tailing her and Miranda since New Year’s Day when an eagle eye spotted them with the girls walking Patricia in the park. (Apparently very few residents in the area had such an easily identifiable dog.) There were zoom lens photographs from all of their dates accompanying a detailed timeline of every event, written in a lighthearted tone that Andy appreciated. To her relief, the writers did not accuse Miranda of anything untoward by dating a former assistant; they were simply impressed that a woman with such a dragon-lady reputation had bagged an up-and-coming writer who had publicly vanquished Irv Ravitz in the pages of the New York Times.

“Anyone who worked for Miranda Priestly knows what she’s getting into when it comes to relationships,” the article read. “She works twenty-four hours a day. We spoke to numerous former assistants, all female, who stated flatly that their time with the Runway EIC had been extremely challenging. One claimed that it had been ‘the unsexiest, most depressing job [she] ever had and [she] wouldn’t do it again for a million dollars.’ We also contacted Miranda’s former husbands on publication of this article--”

Andy gasped in horror.

“--and only one had anything to say of interest about their ostensibly straight ex. The most recent Mr. Priestly, Stephen Tomlinson, replied with a surly ‘No comment,’ while the previous husband Jeremy Garner, of law firm Garner, Stubbs and Rockford in midtown, offered us four words: ‘That’s nice,’ followed immediately by, ‘No comment.’”

Andy examined each of the pictures they had published. Some were nicer than others, but none were unflattering. One in particular from their walk after dinner at Craft was verging on beautiful, with Miranda gazing at Andy with what the Gawker team called “an historically out-of-character actual smile” as they strolled down the block holding hands. “One thing can be said for Miranda’s actions: she’s not hiding. So if you wanted out, Miranda, here you go. You’re out,” were the article's final words.

Andy thought maybe she’d send Nick Denton a thank you note.

She left the building and from the sidewalk called Miranda, who bypassed both assistants to pick up the call herself. “I think I should send Nick Denton flowers,” was Miranda’s first comment.

Andy laughed and agreed wholeheartedly.

From there, photographers chased them around the city for a few weeks till the news cycle found more interesting fodder. It turns out covering two people who go out to dinner, go to work, attend school soccer games, and walk dogs was pretty boring. At the office she was far from the only queer person so the news was mostly ignored. Her new colleagues were much more interested in her Ravitz investigation than anything else related to Runway.

By the middle of March, she and Miranda decided that Andy would give up her place, so on April Fool’s Day, Andy became a full-time resident of the Upper East Side. The big move was so small that the workers had the tiny truck unloaded in less than thirty minutes. Consequently, the only two photos that Andy caught online appeared on JustJared: the back of the U-Haul as it drove away, and Andy herself handing a backpack to Caroline as they climbed the stoop. Miranda was in Milan at the time, so it was a non-event for the tabloids.

But the thing that made her feel like she had made the right decision around this massive yet mostly unremarkable moment of her life was discovering something unexpected in Miranda’s office. She stopped in to drop a few extra wires and chargers on the desk when she noticed a new frame hanging on the wall that didn’t quite match the other decor. Those were of Caroline and Cassidy at various stages of their lives; babies walking, toddlers with ice cream, young girls frolicking on the beach. But to the left of those images now hung a professionally matted piece of notepaper in a silver frame: Andy’s hand-written resignation letter from Paris. Andy took a photo of it and sent it to Miranda with the accompanying words, i guess this never made it to HR.

Four hours later, Miranda replied: certainly not.

Andy had just started to feel settled in with Miranda and the kids when she got an invitation that confused her. It was for a dinner at Dovetail on West 77th, hosted by CFG, scheduled for the end of April. The timing was curious. Miranda’s big gala would take place only a few days later with Andy attending as a guest rather than an assistant. She texted Miranda, who would arrive home from her European travels the following afternoon.

Got an invite to some dinner from CFG. ???

I will also be in attendance, Miranda replied.

What’s it for?

Pre-gala celebration. They probably included you because of me, Miranda typed.

Andy felt somewhat indignant at that, but when she thought about it, Miranda was right. She was no longer remotely part of the fashion universe and had converted her work wardrobe to something more staid. Then again, she was no longer trying to impress Miranda with her clothing, preferring to dazzle her while wearing nothing at all.

Weeks later for the CFG event, Andy let Miranda dress her in an elegant Chanel cocktail dress with an absolutely gorgeous organza neckline and flared skirt. She felt as beautiful as she ever had at Miranda’s side when they arrived, flashbulbs going off and photographers calling out their names from behind a roped-off sidewalk entrance. Inside, it was already crowded although they were only a few minutes later than the suggested arrival time. Dozens of exquisitely dressed industry insiders milled around the dimly lit, elegant establishment. Andy saw Serena and Emily right away, hovering around a table with some others she knew from the art department. She turned to Miranda, who motioned with her chin for Andy to mingle, so Andy squeezed her hand and went straight over.

Serena enveloped her in a huge hug, complimenting her on her dress and her makeup. “Not as good as mine would have been, but still wonderful,” she added. “How are you?” she asked, her eyes tracking to where Miranda was in conversation across the room. “And how is your beautiful girlfriend?”

Emily groaned. “Do not call Miranda that ridiculous word,” she grumbled.

Andy smiled and put an arm around Emily. “She’s so good, Serena. Really. She’s just…” She leaned close to Emily and said seductively, “Delicious. Mm.”

“You are my nemesis,” Emily said stiffly, turning her head away as Serena laughed loudly enough to attract attention from nearby guests.

“Aw, come on, Em. You know I’m just teasing. Sort of.” She paused. “How are things for you all?”

“Going well,” Serena said. “Busy. You remember what it’s like just before the gala every year.”

“I know,” Andy replied. “I thought it was so weird that they’d have some event tonight with it coming up on Saturday. Do you know what this is for?”

Serena looked at her in confusion, eyebrows rising as she glanced at Emily. “Um, no. I have no idea,” she said.

“None whatsoever,” Emily added, sipping from her glass.

“Huh. Oh well, I suppose we’ll find out eventually. I hope we’re eating soon.”

Emily shook her head. “Of course you do.”

Not long after, Andy joined Miranda at a table where she claimed her seat next to Nigel. “Well, don’t you look dapper,” she told him as he enfolded her in a warm embrace. “I’m so happy to see you.”

“Me too, darling. You are gorgeous as ever. As is your lovely… What are you calling each other now, partner? Sweetheart?”

Andy shrugged, reaching out for a moment to touch Miranda’s thigh beneath the table. Miranda took her hand and threaded their fingers together. “Both sound nice.”

“Well, I for one am so glad you’re here. You’re practically the guest of honor.”

Andy frowned. “I am?” she asked.

There was a clinking sound across the room as someone tapped a wine glass with a piece of silverware. “One of them, anyway.” He kissed her cheek unexpectedly. “I love you, kid.”

Andy was so surprised by his words that her mouth fell open. She was unable to reply.

“Thank you everyone, for coming,” someone said as the room grew quiet. Andy turned to see who it was, realizing it was Massimo Cortelione himself, the head of CFG. “I’m so happy to welcome you all here tonight to celebrate the success of James Holt International these past eighteen months. And that is in no small part to the partnership we share with our esteemed colleague, Jacqueline Follet.” There was a smattering of applause as Andy noticed Jacqueline at Massimo’s table too, alongside James Holt. “We are tremendously grateful for her guidance and influence as we launched JHI to become a leading brand in the industry. As some of you know, for more than a decade, Jacqueline was part of the fabric of the number one fashion publication in the world, Runway. She came up through the ranks to lead Runway Française before joining us. Her efforts have been invaluable, but we know her heart has always been with her home and the world of Runway. Which is why now, our friend Miranda Priestly has some news to share with you all.”

Andy glanced next to her with wide eyes as Miranda stood and put on the placid smile that she used for public events. Andy knew it well but hadn’t seen it for some time.

“Yes, thank you, Massimo, it’s wonderful to have you all here tonight, on the eve of my very favorite event of the year.” She paused, glancing around at the crowd. “For almost seventy-five years, Runway has been a gleaming diamond of aspiration and influence for readers around the world. Runway Française has always been an essential part of our global brand. Under the tutelage of Jacqueline Follet, it grew to become the top-selling fashion magazine in Europe before her departure to JHI. But now, we are thrilled to announce her return to the family, leading the charge in the European division not just for Runway Française, but Runway Italia, Runway Deutschland, and Runway España.” When Miranda smiled this time, it was the real thing. “Congratulations, Jacqueline. Welcome home.”

There was an explosion of applause as Miranda retook her seat. Jacqueline stood and waved to the crowd, nodding and thanking everyone in appreciation. The clapping went on for at least a minute as Andy tried to digest the new information (that Miranda had clearly kept to herself all this time). She considered Miranda’s unexplained trip to Milan earlier this month and knew instantly that this had been a part of it. Massimo stood again, quieting the group as he did. “Thank you again, Jacqueline. We’re so happy for you and cannot wait to see what you will achieve across Europe and the rest of the world in this new position.” He allowed the rest of the applause to die down before he continued, “That leaves, well, a vacuum in our team that we must fill with only the most qualified individual. Someone who understands all sectors of fashion with the proper perspective and experience, who commands respect and excellence in all things. And because of that, we knew there was only one individual for the job. I could not be more pleased to bring the remarkable Nigel Kipling on board as our new Co-President of James Holt International.”

The applause was just as big, if not larger than it had been for Jaqueline, peppered with a few jubilant cheers. Andy turned to Nigel with so much joy in her heart, she could hardly stand it. Stunned didn’t come close to describing her reaction. Nigel stood to accept the accolades, glancing down and removing his glasses for a moment as he took it all in. “Thank you all. I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Thank you,” he said simply, before retaking his seat.

Massimo continued, “We celebrate you both tonight and look forward to your continued success. Congratulations Jacqueline and Nigel. Now, let’s enjoy the evening. Thank you all!”

There was another round of applause as Andy turned to Nigel, who was staring at the table in what looked like a determined effort to contain his emotions. Andy had tears in her eyes. “Your dream job,” she whispered to him.

He bobbed his head and laughed weakly before looking up. “Yep. My dream job.”

She reached out for his hand and gripped it tightly, overwhelmed. “I’m so happy for you, Nigel. I’m so happy. You’re gonna be great.”

“Thanks. I--just thanks, Andy. For everything.”

Soon Andy noticed that the table had been surrounded by a dozen people who were waiting to congratulate her friend, so she urged him to accept their appreciation. She turned to Miranda on her other side, who acted as though she hadn’t known all along that this was happening, at least until she met Andy’s gaze.

“I wanted it to be a surprise,” Miranda said. “I thought you would appreciate it.”

Andy just watched Miranda, taking in her beautiful features, the motion of her chandelier earrings, the diamonds at her throat. The perfect fall of her hair over her brow. But most of all, she could not tear her eyes away from the way Miranda’s face transformed under Andy’s adoring attention. There it was--that look that made Andy feel loved beyond compare. “I do appreciate it, Miranda.”

Miranda swallowed and looked away, the beloved expression vanishing under the veil worn for the public. “I just needed time to make it happen.”

Andy looked around the room, watching Nigel receive congratulations from the many people who had come to tonight’s event. He accepted it all with humility and a familiar wry grin. Andy turned her to Miranda, thinking back to their very beginning. “Remember the day we first met?”

Miranda huffed a little laugh, smiling at the crowd as she waved at someone across the room. “I do.”

Reaching out again for Miranda’s hand, she said, “I’m so glad they didn’t send me to interview at Auto Universe.”

That made Miranda really laugh, head thrown back with that single “ha” Andy loved to draw out of her. “Me too.”

The dinner was delicious, the company delightful, the occasion worthy of a party. Andy ate and drank with abandon, enjoying her friends and the event more than any she could recall in recent memory. Andy hugged them all, even Emily, with a deep gratitude before she and Miranda departed, saving Nigel for last.

“Ready to call your own shots?” she asked.

“You bet your ass,” he replied. “See you on Saturday.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Andy said.

Andy waited for Miranda to make her last goodbye with Massimo when someone touched Andy’s arm. She turned to see Jacqueline, who looked curiously hesitant for a woman who was now running 25% of a massive corporate conglomerate. “Hi! Wow, Jacqueline, congratulations. I don’t know if you remember me, but I--”

“Of course, I do, Andrea. I’m so pleased to say hello to you tonight.” Andy leaned in and gave her the expected dual air-kisses as Jacqueline pressed close. “I wanted to say thank you, from my deepest heart. I know how much work you did on your story about the former head of Elias Clarke.” It was evident that she didn’t even want to speak his name. “I am indebted to you. Eternally.”

“Oh,” Andy exhaled. She had never personally interviewed Jacqueline and knew very few details of what went on between her and Irv. But Miranda had known and kept her secrets. “I just--I wanted to help.”

“You did, my dear. Thank you.” With glassy eyes, Jacqueline kissed her cheek for real this time, clutching briefly at one of her elbows before disappearing back into the crowd.

Moments later, Andy sensed Miranda at her side. “Ready to go?” she asked.

Andy nodded and accepted her coat, drifting in thought as they departed. Andy barely noticed the photographers still taking photos while they slid into the car in silence. Andy didn’t even have to worry about privacy; this car’s screen was already up by the time they had their seat belts on. Miranda reached out a hand in concern. “Are you all right?”

Andy nodded. “I just… had a moment with Jacqueline back there. All evening I’ve been reminiscing a bit, you know how it goes. I was thinking about that day in Paris, when I was still in New York and Stephen sent over the divorce papers, and you and Nigel and Jacqueline ended up talking about Irv.”

“Mm, yes,” Miranda replied. “You had to stay home because of your broken arm,” she added, running a finger along the inside of Andy’s left forearm.

“Right. And before that, you came to visit me in the hospital.”

“I did,” Miranda said. “Gave me quite a scare.”

“Really?” Andy asked. “But I was nothing to you, then. A nobody. An assistant.”

“Andrea, you have never been ‘just an assistant’ to me. You’ve always been more.” She shifted in the seat, staring out the window as they inched up to 81st and toward the Park. “You were a challenge. A pain in the neck. A frustrating conundrum. And if you asked me why I showed up at the hospital that day, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.”

This was something they’d never discussed, not in all the months they’d known one another. “I always wondered about that.”

Miranda sniffed. “I was there, you know. Outside your room when you were talking to that boy. The one you broke up with.”

Andy was shocked, as shocked as she’d been when she learned Nigel had gotten the JHI job after all. “What? You heard us?”

“I didn’t intend to eavesdrop. Emily told me where you were and I must have been right behind him as he arrived. I have a vivid recollection of him saying you were obsessed with me.”

With a laugh, Andy turned her body and slipped off her heels so she could lift her legs over Miranda’s lap. “I was obsessed with you. Still am.”

With a gentle hand, Miranda caressed her shin, sliding up toward her knee. “We’re barely going nine miles an hour, take off that seat belt and come over here,” Miranda said. For once, Andy disregarded safety and followed instructions.

Miranda’s arm came around her shoulders as Andy cuddled close. She thought back all those months, remembering the words that had echoed in her mind since Nate had said them. “That morning before the accident, Nate and I were arguing about Paris and you called me. He said ‘the person whose calls you always take, that’s the relationship you’re in.’ I didn’t know it then, but he was right.”

“He treated you very badly that morning,” Miranda said, one hand under Andy’s dress holding her thigh. Rather than sexual, it was a gesture of comfort and familiarity. “I recall being extremely pleased that you cut him loose. He assumed I’d fire you because of the accident.”

Andy winced. “I think he was just trying to convince me to take him back.”

“Well, I’m quite relieved you didn’t.” The car was by the Park now, near the Museum of Natural History where the gala would take place in a few days. Andy thought back to the first one she attended, when she had stood behind Miranda and murmured in her ear. But Miranda’s mind was still on the day of the accident. She turned Andy’s face toward her own. “You showed me something, darling, about making choices. To take a leap of faith and trust another person more than I myself could be trusted.” The soft lights from the street glittered in her pale eyes. “I never thought I could do such a thing. Not until you made me believe I could have this life and still make the right choice.”

“To tell Nigel the truth, you mean.”

Miranda nodded. “And to believe in someone else. Someone like you.”

Andy shivered in the embrace, resting her head on Miranda’s shoulder. She breathed in deeply before kissing her throat, trailing her lips up and over until she found Miranda’s mouth. “I love you,” Andy whispered. “I believe in you.”

“I know you do, my love. And I am grateful.”

They sat together, enjoying the quiet until they arrived at the townhouse. The driver put the car in park, hurrying out to open the door for Miranda while Andy spent a moment getting her shoes back on and gathering her things. By the time she slid onto the sidewalk, Miranda had already unlocked the front door and turned to wait for her expectantly. Andy shut the car door and set aside all thoughts of the past. She raced up the stairs, took Miranda's hand, and followed her home.

-the end