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Mahogany and Old Lace

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Andy stood in the empty shop and looked around. The back wall with the darker patches where her signs and Angela’s pictures had hung, the empty hooks and pegs for tools and jigs and patterns, the worn spots on the floor in front of where the workbenches used to be. The emptiness reminded her of how so much had changed in the last two years, from being alone to reconnecting with Angie to being in love and part of a family again. She sighed. It’s not like I’ve sold everything, or given up my trade, I’ve just upgraded shops. It makes much more sense to work in the building where Doug and I are manufacturing tables, plus it’s closer to Miranda’s. That happy thought reminded her of the loft above, rented out to a young couple now, but also of the joy of waking each morning in Miranda’s arms.

Miranda stood at the door watching Andy lost in thought.  She looks amazing — that Valentino dress is perfect on her, and the red brings out the highlights in her hair.  The diamond necklace sparkled even in the dim light of the shop.  “Darling?”  She knocked gently on the door frame. “Are you about ready? We’re going to be late.”

Andy nodded. “There are just so many memories, I got a little lost.” She smoothed down her gown and turned to smile at her love. “Thank you for stopping. I know it was a little out of the way, but the new tenant is moving in tomorrow and this is the last chance I’ll have to say goodbye to the old place.”

Miranda smiled and wrapped her arms around Andy’s waist, laying her head on Andy's shoulder. “You are welcome. I know how important this place is to you. It’s important to me, too — after all, we met on this very spot.”

“Yes, we did. That’s probably the second best memory I have of this place.”

Miranda raised an eyebrow and looked up at her suspiciously. “Second best?”

Andy snickered. “Yes, second only to opening the door and finding what I thought was a drowned rat on my doorstep, only to discover it was the love of my life who walked across town in the freezing rain to grovel for forgiveness. Ouch!” Andy swatted Miranda’s hand away from her rear.

“That’s what you get for teasing me, darling.” Miranda paused, and her face grew solemn. “So many memories. Do you think… Do you think you would like to make another one?” The smoke in her voice sent a flash of heat through Andy.

“Why, Ms. Priestly! There are no blinds on the windows!”

Miranda tapped her lip. “Mmmmm. There’s always the office. Or the bathroom.”

Andy looked to the back. “You have all the best ideas, my love,” she purred, then turned back to Miranda with a shy grin. “That might help my nervousness about tonight, to be honest.”

“Nervous? Why are you nervous? We’ve been out together before.”

“I know, but there is something different about going to an event by your side as your girlfriend, and going as your fiancée.” She glanced at the diamond eternity band on her left ring finger. “I’m glad I get to wear it tonight — on my finger I mean.” She looked into Miranda's eyes. “Does it bother you that I don’t wear it in the shop?”

Miranda smiled and leaned in for a soft kiss, then rested their foreheads together. “No, it doesn’t bother me, especially since you still wear it on a chain. I understand you don’t want to lose it or break it, that’s why I bought you an eternity band instead of a traditional engagement ring.”

Andy sighed a little, then wrapped her arms around Miranda and dropped her lips to Miranda’s neck. “Are you sure we have to go?” she murmured.

“As amazing as that feels, and as delicious as you look, I’m not going to miss my first Runway gala with you. Come along, Andréa.” Miranda turned and swept out the door.

Andy laughed and followed, turning out the lights as she went.