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"Yes, Miranda," Andrea replied, "I'll be right there. Roy is turning down your street." Andrea heard a click on the other end of the line, signaling that Miranda had hung up. In the past few weeks, Miranda had been calling Andrea in the evening to inquire about the status of the Book and what time she would be arriving. Andrea presumed it was pre-Paris Fashion Week anxiety, and on the nights when the Book was finished early, or when Miranda did not call her, Andrea kindly sent a brief text message when she was leaving Elias-Clarke.

Andrea couldn't pinpoint the day it began, but Miranda started to make her presence known when Andrea would enter her townhouse late in the evening. Sometimes she would wait at the door, other times she would be sitting on the stairs or come out of the den to greet Andrea, eagerly taking the Book. She was almost always wearing a long silk robe, a different color every day. Andrea had always wondered who Miranda was outside of work—and even though work never really ends for Miranda, Andrea was curious about how Miranda interacted with her family.

On several occasions, Andrea caught her eyes canvassing Miranda's body, the loosely-tied piece of silk the only thing covering her, her nipples lightly tenting the fabric. The woman was gorgeous, and Andrea wanted nothing more than to touch her, hold her, and make her come.

When her feelings began, Andrea also could not pinpoint, as it was a combination of everything—Miranda's reaction to her makeover, her face after walking in on Miranda & Stephen's fight, her surprise after the Harry Potter task, when she began sharing her elevators, or when she began throwing her coat and purse to Emily. It was as if every new step made her more and more intrigued with the woman.

No, she was not infatuated. She knew Miranda was real, and that was what she liked most of all—the glimpses into Miranda's humanity, which mostly came when Miranda was caught off-guard or on the phone with her daughters. Andrea craved Miranda like an addiction. She needed to hear her voice, to see her face, to see the glimmer of a smile in her eyes, even though Miranda would never admit to any such thing. Andrea dreaded weekends when there was nothing urgent enough to do at work that gave her reason to email or call Miranda. In fact, her efficiency as an assistant was working against her at times: if she didn't accomplish so much during the week, she would surely have a list of things to do over the weekend, like Emily.

Andrea checked to make sure the Book was neatly tucked into her Michael Kors tote and grabbed the dry cleaning hangers as Roy opened the door. "Do you need me to wait for you, Andy?" He asked. She knew Roy had a bit of a crush on her since he and his girlfriend split up a few months ago, and he was always eager to take her places after work, though Andrea always declined.

"Uh, thanks, Roy, but I've got to meet some friends tonight, so I'll just hop on the subway. Have a good weekend!"

"You too, Andy! See you Monday!" Roy said as he stepped back into the car and shut the door.

Monday. Right, Andrea thought. Today was Friday, and she lied. She had no friends to meet out later. Work had become her life, and her boyfriend moved out, taking her best friends Lily and Doug with him.

Sighing, Andrea climbed the steps to the townhouse and let herself in the door, quietly closing it behind her. She hung the dry-cleaning in the closet, and was about to set the Book down when Miranda sauntered down the stairs and held out her hand.

"I'll take that," she said. Andrea swore she saw something in Miranda's eyes—she looked as if she were trying to hide her nervousness or something.

Andrea handed over the Book and turned to leave, only stopping when Miranda said, "Wait!" and grabbed onto the young girl's wrist.

Miranda's heart was pounding. She couldn't believe she was about to ask Andrea something so personal—so, so inappropriate. But, she and Stephen had decided to try and spice up their love life weeks ago. She had always made sure that Andrea would not interrupt them, but no matter what new position or toy or what they tried, Stephen was only mildly satisfied. One evening—the first evening Andrea had delivered the Book, in fact—Stephen laid eyes on her second assistant. Ever since then, he had been casually asking about her.

Stephen reassured Miranda that he was not interesting in having any sort of affair, so she needn't worry about his wandering eye. He was simply intrigued by her beauty and innocence, and also by her effect on his wife. Miranda treated Andrea differently than her other assistants, and Stephen instantly recognized the softer tone she used when speaking of her, or even the way her eyes would smile at the mention of her name.

"Honey, I know we're trying to switch things up and keep the romance in our lives, but I have to ask you a question," he said. "How would you feel about um, maybe, uh, a threesome?" Miranda pondered the question for a moment.

"I don't know how I feel about a strange man touching me, seeing me undressed. I mean, I have an image to protect and it would have to be someone we trust, someone we know." Miranda said.

"Of course, honey, I know that. And I would never want to bring a stranger into our bed to risk our privacy. But I wasn't exactly thinking of a man."

"Oh?" Miranda questioned. "You have a woman in mind, then?"

"Well, yes. But please don't be upset when I say it," he said.

"Ok, ok, who?"


"My assistant? Oh, please, Stephen."

"Hear me out, Miranda." Stephen pleaded. "Yes, I think she's absolutely beautiful, but I know you do too. I know you notice her, and for some reason, you regard her differently from your other employees. And on top of that," Stephen added, "she's head over heels for you—hopelessly devoted."

Miranda looked at her husband in shock. How had he realized all that when she herself didn't even see it? "What makes you say that?"

"The way she looks at you, the emails you get from her—I know she's a little shy, but Miranda she would be perfect."

Oh, right, threesome, Miranda thought as she tried to wrap her mind around the knowledge that Andrea liked her. "Well, I suppose she would be acceptable. But I would need to make it clear to her that her job would not be affected no matter her choice."

"Of course, honey." Stephen said, wrapping his arm around his wife and pulling her into an embrace. "Will you ask her tonight?" he whispered into her ear.

Miranda nodded and left to phone Andrea and inquire about her arrival. After she hung up, she turned to Stephen, "She'll be here in two minutes." He smiled and led Miranda towards the stairs.

Miranda quickly returned to the situation at hand. Her hand was gripping Andrea's wrist and the young woman was asking, "Yes, Miranda? Was there something else?"

Miranda let go of Andrea's wrist and placed her hand on her forehead, partly in embarrassment, partly to focus. "Yes, Andrea." Miranda said, "I, um wanted to ask you a favor—well, no, it's not a favor," she corrected herself. "It's just I was wondering—and of course your job would not be affected whether you say yes or no—but I was just wondering, if maybe, possibly, you'd be willing to, um—"

"To what, Miranda? You're scaring me, are you okay?" Andrea said, anxious to hear what Miranda was about to ask but seriously concerned because she had never heard Miranda stammer.

Miranda sighed again, "—to engage in a threesome with my husband and me." She bit her lower lip and closed her eyes, holding in her breath as she waited for Andrea's answer. She hoped Andrea would politely decline, seeing as she would no longer need to discuss her feelings for the young woman with her husband. But on the other hand, if she accepted, Miranda would be able to touch her freely and kiss those luscious lips…for Stephen's benefit, of course.

"A—a threesome?" Andrea asked.

Miranda nodded in reply.

"Miranda, are you sure? You look like you're hoping this situation will go away." Andrea said. She knew her boss very well, and knew that Miranda closed her eyes and bit her lip often when waiting for something to pass or for someone to stop blabbering.

Miranda opened her eyes slowly and regarded Andrea. She was amazed at how well the young woman could read her. "Yes, I am quite sure," she said, "It's just that I've never done this before—never asked anyone this rather awkward question." Miranda began to blush. "Of course, if you decline, we'll forget this ever happened, and actually, yes, let's just forget I asked. That was highly—"

"Yes." Andrea said, interrupting Miranda.

"Uh, excuse me?"

"I said 'yes,' I will." Andrea replied, her eyes shining brightly as she imagined having the opportunity to touch Miranda.

"Oh, well then, yes." Miranda was at a loss for words. She never expected Andrea to agree. What now? Would they set a date and time? Would they invite Andrea to dinner at the townhouse? Miranda's mind was reeling. Thankfully, Stephen came and took his place beside Miranda. He had been on the stairs listening.

"We'd hoped you would say yes," Stephen said, wrapping his arm around Miranda's waist.

Miranda was grateful he was there to take over. She was speechless.

"Do you have plans this evening?" Stephen asked. Miranda's eyes went wide, clearly surprised that Stephen was asking her to join them tonightnow.

"Um, well, no, actually," Andrea said, but seeing Miranda's expression she added, "but it might make more sense to schedule at time that works for everyone. I know I like to have things planned, to be prepared."

Miranda's eyes met Andrea's as she silently thanked the girl. Andrea knew Miranda hated spur-of-the-moment meetings, and thought perhaps she would be more comfortable if she were in control of the planning.

"Well, is there a good time for you?" Stephen asked.

"Actually, I'm generally free when Miranda is. So, Miranda, if you'd like to choose…"

Miranda smiled. Andrea sensed that Miranda needed to regain control of the situation. If she was this good in conversation, Miranda thought, she wanted her in her bed sooner rather than later. "What about tomorrow? You could come by for dinner at six o'clock, and perhaps we could all get to know one another a bit before, um, engaging in our activities."

"That sounds lovely," Andrea said. She reached out to grab both Stephen's and Miranda's hands. "Good night. I'll see you at 6 tomorrow."

"Good night."

"Good night, Andrea."

The couple stood in the foyer as they watched the young woman leave. Miranda turned in Stephen's arms to face him. "Thank you," she said as she stood on her tiptoes to press her lips to his neck.

"For what, honey?" He asked, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her closer.

"For being you, for this idea, for being so good to me," she said as she threw her arms around his neck and reached up to kiss him. He quickly lifted her up off the floor, and she wrapped her legs around him, feeling his shaft poking at her core through their clothes. "Oohhh," Miranda moaned as she pulled away from his lips.

She would never admit it, but seeing Andrea, and thinking of the prospect of their new relationship tomorrow was incredibly arousing. She could feel the wetness building between her thighs.

"Let's take this upstairs," Stephen whispered as he nuzzled her neck.

"No!" Miranda shouted, "Now, here." She wrapped her left arm tightly around Stephen's neck as she pulled her silk robe away, exposing her core.

"Oh god, Miranda, you're so hot," Stephen said as he continued to kiss her neck. He turned and walked over towards the table with the flowers so he could set Miranda down and undo his pants.

"Not here," Miranda panted, "against the door."

Stephen pressed Miranda into the closet door. The closet Andrea used every night when she brought the dry-cleaning. "Ooohh god!" Miranda moaned as she reached down between them to unbuckle Stephen's pants, her hand brushing her clit as she fumbled.

She gave up on the buckle and unzipped his pants, easily pulling his rock hard penis through the fly, quickly stroking it before lining herself up and sinking into him.

"Ahh, fuck, Miranda," Stephen moaned, "You're so wet tonight—you feel so good."

"Ooh… oho…ohh…ohh…ohh…yes…Stephen…right there…so close…soclose…uuuh!" she panted, biting down on Stephen's shoulder as her orgasm swept through her.

"Fuck, baby," Stephen shouted as he felt her walls tightening around him, pulling him deeper. He was almost there. He stepped back and slammed into Miranda, pushing her into the door as he crushed himself into her, driving deeper than before. Her legs were wrapped tightly around his waist, and he reached up and pulled the silk away from her breasts, squeezing and tugging on her nipples.

"OOoooh! Stephen," she shouted, "I'm—I'm—oh!—come with me!" And with that, Stephen grunted low and deep as he emptied his hot semen into her core. Miranda felt so full as her muscles tightened around him again, his hot fluids mixing with her own.

They stayed pressed together for several minutes as their heartbeats returned to normal. "Ohhh, wow," Miranda said, her voice husky as she pressed her lips to his in a passionate kiss.

"Honey, that was amazing. Did you really—twice?" he said in disbelief.

Mmm-hmm, Miranda nodded, thinking back to Andrea's bright eyes when she said yes.

"Let's go upstairs," he said, "I don't know how much longer my legs will hold up."

"Oh, honey, I'm sorry," Miranda said as she kissed him softly on the cheek and unwrapped her legs as she lowered her feet to the ground. Stephen groaned as the cool air hit his penis, while Miranda blushed as their mixed fluids spilled down her leg. She looked over at Stephen. Seeing her own wetness coating the front of his pants, a smile crept across her face. Stephen tucked himself back into his pants and took Miranda's hand, leading her up the stairs as he shut the downstairs lights.

"I'm going to go check in on the girls," Miranda said, softly squeezing Stephen's hand as she let go. "I'll be right in," she added, tying the silk robe closed.

Miranda walked up to the fourth floor where the girls rooms were. They were previously on the third floor, but once Miranda and Stephen began wanting to spend more time together, Miranda suggested letting the girls have the top floor all to themselves, and they jumped at the idea.

Miranda softly opened Cassidy's door and peered in on her ten-year-old daughter. She approached the bed and bent down to press a kiss to her forehead. "Mommy?" Cassidy asked, opening her eyes, searching the darkness for her mother's eyes.

"Yes, I'm right here, baby. Go back to sleep. Sweet dreams, my darling." Miranda whispered as she pulled Cassidy's blanket up.

Miranda left the room and quietly shut the door, walking down the hall to Caroline's door. Caroline leaned over and turned her bedside light on when Miranda opened the door. "Darling, you should be asleep," Miranda said.

"I was," she said, "but I heard you coming."

"Is everything okay, baby?"

"Yes, I just missed you."

"Oh, darling, I'm right here. Go back to sleep, Bobbsey."

"Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?"

"Yes, baby, I will," Miranda said as she turned Caroline's bedside lamp off. She was exhausted and wanted to go to sleep herself, but she knew how inappropriate it would be to climb into bed with her daughter without first showering to wash between her legs.

Miranda pulled the desk chair over by the bed and laid her head on Caroline's bed, falling asleep. She was awoken by Stephen's hand on her shoulder. "Come to bed," he said. Miranda sat up and soon realized she had fallen asleep at Caroline's bedside. "Will she be okay?" Stephen asked.

"Yes," Miranda said as she stood from the chair. Stephen quietly replaced the chair in its place by the desk before quietly leading Miranda from the room. "What time is it?" she asked him.

"Three in the morning," he said.

"Ugh, I need to shower."

"I like the way you smell—you smell like sex," Stephen said with a devilish smile.

"Stephen Tomlinson, behave yourself. We have a busy day tomorrow."

"Don't I know," he said, a smirk on his face.

"I still need to make arrangements for the girls," Miranda said. "They will be very disappointed if they find out I had Andrea for dinner and sent them away."

"What if they stay for dinner, and then I will take them to either Rachel's or Isabella's house to spend the night." Stephen paused before adding, "And you and Andrea can put dinner away and have a drink and talk about how it won't affect your working relationship or whatever."

Miranda smiled. That really was a good idea, especially since she would have time alone with Andrea before Stephen returned. "Yes, that will be suitable. Thank you," she said. "But now, I really do need to shower before crawling into bed." Miranda stepped into the bathroom and locked the door behind her.



Andrea left the townhouse wondering if she was dreaming. Did Miranda and Stephen just ask her to join them in a threesome? Did she just agree? "Wait," Andrea said aloud, causing others on the subway to give her a strange look. This means I will be having sex with Miranda's husband, and probably Miranda, too. Oh god, she thought, what have I gotten myself into?!

As she returned to her apartment, she immediately crawled into bed. Knowing that, in less than twenty-four hours, she would be in bed with the object of her nightly fantasies, she began to panic. How much would one be able to get away with under the guise of acting out a part? Could Andrea really pretend that she had no interest in Miranda?

Andrea did not want to think about it anymore, but instead wanted to make sure she got a full night's rest. The past week had been busy at work and Andrea wanted to be fully awake for whatever was to transpire Saturday evening at the Priestly-Tomlinson home.

Around 10am, Andrea woke up, her hair matted to her face. She hadn't slept that well in weeks. After quickly checking her messages, she showered and decided she would need something to wear that night. Andrea remembered a beautiful La Perla shelf bra and garter set in the Closet—she would definitely need to wear that tonight under something simple, perhaps a black sheath dress or her black pants and a white blouse.

The day flew by for Andrea as she busied herself with preparations, including a quick leg/bikini wax and mani/pedi. She desperately wanted everything to be perfect tonight for Miranda.

On the other side of town, today was like any other Saturday for Stephen and the girls. Miranda woke to make the girls homemade pancakes and suggested they spend the night at one of their friends' homes. The girls jumped at the chance, since Miranda rarely let them spend the night with friends. Although everything seemed normal and Stephen was still basking in the previous night's sex, Miranda was in her own world. Tonight, she would have Andrea Sachs in her bed—Andrea, her second assistant and the only woman she has ever wanted sexually.

Miranda suddenly became quite self-conscious of her own body. She was significantly older than Andrea, what if the young woman didn't like what she saw? Miranda cringed as she thought about her wrinkles and scars. Even though she readily agreed, it didn't mean she was interested in Miranda. Oh god, Miranda thought as her mind raced to Stephen fucking Andrea. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, she set her mind on more tangible thoughts: what to have for dinner, what to wear, what room(s) to prepare, what toys they might use.

Miranda selected a longsleeve cashmere/jersey blend wrap dress to wear with her favorite Calvin Klein chunky heel pumps. She carefully selected a solid black garter belt with her thigh-highs, and decided to be a bit more risque with open corset Carine Gilson bustier. Stephen had never even seen her in it, and she felt comfortable knowing it hid most of her scars, lines, and sagging skin.

"Moooom!" the girls shouted as they came barreling down the stairs and into Miranda's room. "Can we have pizza tonight? We're sooo hungry!"

"Well, my darlings, we are actually having a guest for dinner tonight. I asked her to come at 6pm so she can eat with all of us before you head to Isabella's."

"Oh," Caroline said. "Is it going to be someone boring and you're going to talk business again?"

"No, Caroline," Miranda said, "you two actually know her: my assistant Andrea."

"Andy!? Is coming for dinner?! That's soooo cool, mom!" they said as they rushed to hug Miranda.

"I knew you would be disappointed if you missed her, but we must be on our best behavior for her, okay?"

"So, that means fancy food and no pizza?" Cassidy asked, curling her lower lip into a pout.

"Actually, pizza will be perfect. I imagine Andrea likes pizza, and your creations are surely one-of-a-kind. Now run along and finish packing your overnight bags and make sure your rooms are tidy."

The girls nodded and left the room, silently cheering that they were going to hang out with Andy tonight. If they only knew, Miranda thought, thinking of her inappropriate plans for Andrea later that night.

It was already 5pm, so Andrea dressed and began heading over to Miranda's. It was a brisk evening, but she chose to walk, hoping to clear her mind and mentally prepare her for the evening. She wasn't sure if she would be staying the night, so she threw a toothbrush, clean underwear, leggings, and a tank into her bag just in case. As she approached the townhouse, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, reminding herself that a) Miranda was married, b) Miranda was her boss, and c) Miranda agreed to this to please her husband. While Andrea's reasons for agreeing were entirely different, she respected Miranda and was happy to help.

Suddenly, the double doors to the townhouse burst open as two red-headed girls shouted for Andy to come inside. "How long were you going to stand there, Andy?" Caroline asked.

"Um, hi, Caroline. Cassidy." Andrea began. "How have you girls been?"

"Good!" they shouted in unison as Cassidy held one of Andrea's hands and Caroline held the other, leading her into the kitchen. "We're having pizza tonight, Andy! Do you want to help us?" Cassidy asked eagerly.

"Well, of course, if your mom is okay with it," Andrea said, "but first I need to put my coat and bag down, and maybe get an apron on."

"I'll take those," Miranda said, appearing out of nowhere. "And yes, their mom is okay with it," she added with a smile.

"Oh! Hello, uh, Miranda," Andrea stammered. "Thank you," she said, handing her the coat as Miranda handed Andrea an apron. She couldn't help but notice the slinky wrap dress Miranda was wearing. Something about it made her look sexier than ever before. She quickly averted her eyes and returned her attention to the pizza.

"Do we need to start with the dough?" she asked.

"Nope, Mom already made that. It's in this bowl," Cassidy said, pointing to the bowl on the stovetop covered with a towel.

"Oh, great! So, let's make three pizzas, what do you say?"

"Sure!" Caroline said. "Stephen likes lots of meat on his. And Mom likes goat cheese and spinach."

"What about you two?" Andrea asked.

"I like pineapple and onion, and Cass likes pepperoni."

"Well, that is quite the combination. Let's make one pizza with pepperoni, and we can put some extra sausage and bacon on half for Stephen. Another pizza will be goat cheese and spinach, and the third pizza will be half pineapple and onion, half tomato and basil. Deal?"

"Deal. I'm making the meat pizza," Cassidy said.

"And I'll do the pineapple one," Caroline added.

"Well, looks like that leaves me to the easy one!" Andy said as she divided the dough into three balls. "Please sprinkle some flour on the counter so we can roll our pizzas out." Andrea said. The girls did so and each helped roll pizza into the perfect pie. Once finished, they transferred the pizzas to individual baking sheets and popped them in the oven.

Andrea wasn't sure where Miranda was, but she had to admit that spending time with the girls took her mind off her anxiety. The girls helped her put the toppings away and clean the counter, and Andrea washed her hands and took off the apron as the girls set the table and poured some sparkling water.

"Thank you, Andrea, for making dinner." Miranda said. She was leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the kitchen.

"You're welcome, but I don't think I really did anything. The girls did it all. I didn't expect—I mean, I didn't know they would be here tonight," Andrea said, avoiding eye contact with Miranda as she looked around the room.

"They're spending the night at a friend's. They won't be here," Miranda reassured, "but they just look up to you so much, they would have been devastated if they knew you came for dinner and they missed you."

Andrea smiled and met Miranda's eyes, "Well, then I'm glad I got to see them, too."

Just then, the timer on the oven went off and both girls ran back into the kitchen to take their delicious creations from the oven. Conversation at the dinner table was civil, and Andrea watched as Miranda and Stephen shared glances, silently communicating throughout the meal.

"Okay, girls, it's 7 o'clock and I told Isabella's mother you would be there by 7:15. Run along and grab your bags while Stephen pulls the car around." Stephen kissed Miranda on the forehead and winked at Andrea before grabbing his keys and heading to the garage.

"Andrea, help the girls with their bags," Miranda said in a demanding voice as Caroline struggled to bring her bag downstairs.

"Whoa there," Andrea said, meeting her halfway up the stairs and carrying the bag down. "Here, let me take this out to the front porch, then Stephen can put it in the car."

Caroline nodded. "Andy, will you be here tomorrow when I come back?"

"Oh, no. No. I'm uh, just going to stay and help your mom with a few Runway things tonight. But I'll see you next week, remember? You have your piano recital on Tuesday."

"Oh, right! Okay. Thanks, Andy!" Caroline said before hugging her and rushing out the door.

Cassidy's bag was significantly lighter and she managed to carry it outside on her own. "Have a good time at your friend's house!" Andy called as she waved to the girls.

When Andrea stepped back into the house and shut the door, Miranda quickly grabbed her by the wrist and practically dragged her upstairs. "Follow me," she said.

Miranda led them into the sitting room on the second floor and directed Andrea to sit on the couch. She walked over to the bar and poured two healthy glasses of scotch. Offering a glass to Andrea, she sat next to her on the couch. "Andrea, please, relax. I don't bite. You've been on edge since you arrived."

"I'm sorry, Miranda." Andrea said, her hands shaking as she struggled to hold the glass still.

"Andrea," Miranda said, turning to face her, "I know this is rather awkward. But I need to be sure that you don't feel pressured or forced in any way."

"I don't."

"I'm very serious. I absolutely meant it when I said it would not affect your job either way. It won't. If at any point, you want to stop, we can, and it won't affect anything."

"Miranda, please. It's okay," Andrea said with a smile.

"I—I—it's just baffling to me that you would agree to this," Miranda said before taking a long drink. When Andrea did not respond, Miranda continued, "M—my husband will wear a condom for you, of course, and, well I—I don't want you to feel obligated to…with me…" Miranda stammered, unable to look anywhere but at her hands in her lap. "Oh," she sighed, "let's just forget this altogether. Forget I asked, forget you agreed, forget—"

"No—" Andrea interrupted as she reached over and hesitated before she placed her hand softly on Miranda's arm. "No, we won't just forget about this. Miranda, please, and I'm not saying this to you as an employee," Andrea paused and added, "Because as an employe I'm not allowed to touch you." She reached for Miranda's glass, setting it on the coffee table with her own. Grasping both of Miranda's hands, she continued, "I'm saying this to you as a friend, for lack of a better word. Miranda, you need to calm down."

Miranda was on the verge of tears. She regretted asking her young, naive, lovely assistant to do this, to get involved in her ultra-personal affairs. To top it off, Andrea was now comforting her. Miranda wanted her so badly, but was too worried about scaring her away or disrespecting her to do anything, and the tension building inside her was getting to be too much.

"Turn around," Andrea said quietly, gesturing for Miranda to turn herself so she was facing the arm of the couch. Miranda turned, not sure why, but grateful to let go of Andrea's hands.

Suddenly, Andrea brought her hands up to Miranda's shoulders and began to knead and massage her tight muscles. Miranda sighed and leaned forward, resting her head against the arm of the couch. She could feel the tension and anxiety seeping from her body as she moaned at Andrea's touch.

Andrea was relieved that Miranda was finally allowing herself to relax. She still wasn't quite sure how she felt about everything, but knowing Miranda was no longer on edge was an enormous weight off her shoulders.

As Andrea massaged Miranda more intensely, she could feel a familiar twinge between her legs and wetness beginning to pool. Remembering her decision to forego underwear, Miranda quickly stood up so as not to ruin her dress. "Thank you, Andrea." Miranda said, smiling. "What you said before, about 'speaking not as an employee,'" Miranda paused, "I liked that. I think if this is to work, you and I need to make sure that here, now, I am not your boss."

Andrea was staring at Miranda's chest, watching her taut nipples stretching the fabric of the dress. "Oh, um," Andrea stumbled, not entirely paying attention to the conversation. "Yes. You're not my boss right now." Andrea said, nodding. Oh god, but what if I want you to be? she thought to herself.

"Miranda?" Andrea said, "Is it okay to, um, touch you?"

Miranda looked up sharply at Andrea. "Excuse me? You just did, did you not?"

"Well, you didn't exactly say I could…"

"Are you asking my permission, Andrea?"

"Umm, yes, I guess so. I think it would be a little awkward if my hands were tied."

Miranda's eyes went wide as she imagined the things she could do to the young woman if she tied her up. But, the thought of Andrea's hands running across her body won out. "Of course you can touch me, Andrea. When have I ever said you could not?"

"I don't think you ever said it. It was just one of the rules I learned on my first day at Runway."

"Rules?" Miranda questioned. She had no recollection of giving the girl any rules.

"Um, yeah. 'The Miranda Rules' is what Emily called them. One, you do not touch Miranda, two, you do not ask Miranda questions, three, you do not ride in an elevator with Miranda, four, you do not call Miranda by any other name, five, you always walk behind Miranda…"

Miranda was practically in shock. "I—I never knew these existed."

"Oh, Emily quite stern about them."

"Oh," Miranda said, "Well, of course you can ignore that when you're here for…this." Although, Miranda thought, I could practically come right now without you touching or talking to me.

Just then, they heard the door shut as Stephen returned. Miranda stood and walked over to the bar to fix Stephen a drink. "Miranda? Honey, where are you?"

"In here," Miranda said. Stephen walked in and she handed him his drink, giving her a soft kiss on the lips.

"Andrea," he said, nodding to the young woman on the couch, "shall we get started?"

Andrea nodded and finished her drink before standing to join Stephen and Miranda. "Um, where are we going?"

"I was thinking that we could use the bedroom, at least to begin," Miranda said. Stephen nodded in agreement and finished his drink as he walked down the hallway to the master bedroom. "Are you sure you're okay with this?" Miranda whispered to Andrea.

"Yes, now please stop talking," Andrea said as she pressed her index and middle finger to Miranda's soft lips.

Miranda's breathing hitched and her eyes grew dark as her tongue darted out and licked Andrea's fingers before she could pull away. Not wanting to keep Stephen waiting, Miranda took Andrea's hand and led her to the bedroom.

Once they were all inside, Miranda shut and locked the bedroom door as Stephen sat on the edge of the bed.

"May I use the bathroom, please?" Andy choked out. She needed to calm her nerves and focus on hiding her feelings for Miranda.

"Of course," Miranda said, pointing towards the master bathroom.

Once Andrea closed the bathroom door, Miranda walked up to her husband, standing between his legs. Stephen pulled her closer, his left hand gently squeezing her ass as he wrapped his other arm around her waist. Miranda began to softly untie his necktie and unbutton his shirt.

"Honey, what are you wearing under that dress?" Stephen said, feeling the ribbing of her corset.

"Oh, just some new lingerie," she said, adding, "I hope you'll like it."

Stephen pressed his lips to Miranda's neck as he murmured, "Oh, I know I will."

"Stephen?" Miranda whispered into his ear, "How would you like to do this—Andrea and I can take turns, or we can both pleasure you at once—"

"No, no," Stephen said, "that all sounds great, but I really want to watch."

Miranda's eyes went wide. "Wa-watch?" she asked hesitantly, "As in watch Andrea and me?"

"Ooh yes," Stephen moaned, "I want to see you make her come while she's sucking me off."

Miranda gasped, torn between the horror of Andrea's beautiful mouth around her husband, and the delight in having the opportunity to taste her herself. Stephen didn't wait for a response, but pressed his lips to his wife's as he began to untie her wrap dress.

Andrea emerged from the bathroom, and Miranda and Stephen quickly parted when the young woman made her presence known. "Andy—that's what you go by, right?" Andrea nodded. "Come here," Stephen continued, reaching out his hand and pulling the young woman to the spot between his legs that Miranda just vacated. Andrea could feel his heat as he pulled her against himself.

She softly pressed her hands to his chest and finished unbuttoning his shirt and removing his belt while he unbuttoned hers and she cast it onto the floor.

Miranda had moved away to the far corner of the bedroom to turn out the lights and turn a few indirect lights on that were built into the crown moulding of her bedroom. The darkened room was now filled with a dull, warm, candle-like glow, one in which Miranda felt much more comfortable removing her clothing.

Turning her attention back to her husband, he was now completely naked, sitting on the bed, and Andrea's shirt and pants were in a pile on the chair in the corner, and she was on her knees, Stephen's penis in her mouth. Miranda walked around to the other side of the bed and sat, pulling her knees up underneath her. She was grateful that she had an extra-large king size bed, otherwise she would be sitting too close to Stephen and Andrea. As Miranda tried to quell the jealousy and horror surrounding Andrea, she saw Stephen scoot back on the bed and slip a condom on.

Andrea crawled on top of Stephen and raked her nails down his chest as he took her hips and lined himself up underneath her, teasing her entrance with the tip of her cock. Stephen closed his eyes as Andrea slowly sunk down on his cock.

"Oh fuck, Andy, you're so tight!" He shouted as he thrusted into her undulating hips. Andrea stayed silent, looking over to Miranda and meeting her eyes quickly before Miranda turned away.

Refusing to make eye contact again, Miranda inched closer to Andrea and knelt on the bed to whisper in her ear, "it will be over faster if you're vocal for him… oh, and, he wants to watch us."

Andrea couldn't believe what she just heard. Every fiber of her body wanted to jump off Stephen and onto Miranda, but she didn't want to risk angering Stephen. So, she began to moan… quietly at first, but then, much louder until she was practically screaming "oh! oh! oh! yes!" over an over. Stephen suddenly lifted her off of him and sat up, positioning himself behind him with Andrea on all fours.

As he was driving himself deeper and deeper into Andrea, Miranda noticed the young woman's moans had changed their tone, and she had tears in her eyes. Miranda softly put her arm around Andrea's shoulders and pulled her hair back away from her face before asking, "Is he hurting you?"

"No," Andrea said, "I can take it." That was enough for Miranda. She crawled over to Stephen and began running her hands all over his torso, pulling his chin down to hers and passionately kissing him.

"My turn," she purred as she pushed Stephen backwards, away from Andrea and so he was sitting on his heels.

Andrea sighed and collapsed on her side as she tried to calm her breathing. Miranda quickly shrugged her dress off her shoulders and tossed it onto the floor. As Stephen's eyes raked her body—the garter belt, the corset, the way her nipples stuck out just above the top—Miranda laid on her back in the bed, bending and lifting her legs high and wide.

Stephen could not resist this invitation to fuck his wife. She had never looked so sexy in her life, and Stephen didn't know if he should go for her nipples or her cunt first.

"Fuck me, Stephen," Miranda said in a low, sultry voice. Without a second thought, he braced his hands on either side of her and began drilling into her core with no preliminaries. "Ohh! Fuck!" she shouted as she tilted her head back, her eyes fluttering closed.

"You're so fucking wet, Miranda," Stephen said. Miranda smiled to herself, if he only knew she was wet because of Andrea.

"So close, so close," Miranda panted. "Come with me—now!" she said, reaching out to grab something and finding Andrea's hand. She squeezed tightly and Andrea was mesmerized by Miranda's complete control, even during intercourse. Sure enough, as if on cue, Stephen obeyed Miranda's command and began emptying hot semen into the condom as she kept undulating her hips.

Andrea thought it was odd that Miranda's body never went rigid at all while she came, or, Andrea thought, maybe she was faking it. Either way, Miranda looked more beautiful than ever, her cheeks flushed and sweat beading on her forehead, her hair damp at the roots. Andrea squeezed Miranda's hand and was surprised to see Miranda's eyes open as she turned her head to look at Andrea.

Just then, Stephen collapsed atop Miranda and she grunted at the impact. She whispered something into his ear as she rolled him to the side and rose to her knees to face Andrea. Miranda made sure to keep her back to her husband so he could never see her eyes, dark and hooded with desire for Andrea.

Miranda softly cupped Andrea's cheek before tilting her head and pressing her lips passionately to Andrea's. Miranda's lips were soft and smooth against Andrea's larger, luscious lips. Andrea immediately opened her mouth, returning the kiss and dragging her teeth along Miranda's tongue as it darted in and out of her mouth. Miranda moaned into Andrea's mouth, and finally pushed away, needing air. She turned her lips to Andrea's earlobe, her hot breath covering her neck and sending a chill through her body. "I want you," Miranda quietly purred into the young woman's ear, eliciting a moan and triggering Andrea to lift her arms from her sides and begin caressing Miranda's body.

As Andrea ran her hands up and down Miranda's corset, she bent her head down to begin licking and kissing Miranda's neck and breasts. She squeezed Miranda's breast as she licked and sucked on her hard nipples, moving from one to the other, and back. She could tell this was driving Miranda crazy, as Miranda now cupped her own breasts, offering her nipples to Andrea who was all too eager to suck and lick and bite.

Miranda's hands were running up and down Andrea's body. As gorgeous as she looked in the La Perla, she wanted them off, but she knew that if she removed Andrea's clothes, hers would be next, and even in the dim lighting, she did not want Andrea to see her naked.

Andrea pushed Miranda backwards into the pillows on the bed as she trailed kisses down Miranda's body, pausing briefly to kiss her hips and blow her breath between Miranda's legs before undoing the garter clips and kissing her legs as she slowly unrolled each stocking. Next, Andrea removed the garter belt and pressed her hand firmly against Miranda's clitoris. Andrea smiled when she felt how soft and swollen and wet she was. At that moment, Andrea was overwhelmed by desire for the older woman. She didn't care if Stephen or anyone else was in the room. All she cared about was pleasuring Miranda, who was squirming beneath her touch.

Miranda cupped Andrea's breasts and pulled her forward, crushing Andrea's hand to her clit while forcing the young girl to ride her own arm. Miranda pulled some of the lace back on Andrea's shelf bra and softly began sucking her nipple, rolling the opposite between her fingers.

"Off!" Miranda said as she reached back to undo the clasp on Andrea's bra. Andrea lifted her arm and slid the strap off one shoulder, but the other was trapped between their bodies. "So beautiful," Miranda whispered as she cupped Andrea's firm breasts, pushing them together and pressing her face between the soft skin. Andrea sat back and pulled her hand from Miranda's core, shrugging off the bra and bring her hand covered in Miranda's fluids to her mouth, smiling devilishly as she slowly licked her palm before sucking each digit clean.

Miranda pulled Andrea in for a kiss, moaning as she tasted herself in Andrea's mouth. "Please," Miranda whimpered, "I need it—you—down there."

Andrea released Miranda, moving her body lower and lifting Miranda's legs over her shoulders as she pressed her lips to Miranda's swollen, soaking wet folds. "MmmMm," Andrea hummed as she lapped at Miranda's juices. Miranda's mouth formed a perfect "O" as she breathlessly panted and moaned, bucking her hips in Andrea's face.

Stephen had finally recovered from before, and kneeled right next to Miranda's head, pressing his dick to her lips. Miranda was suddenly reminded of his presence, and obligingly, began to bob her head back and forth, humming and moaning in her own pleasure as she took in his length.

It was a little known fact that Miranda Priestly could deep throat. She never liked oral sex, and with her ex-boyfriends and ex-husband, she never actually attempted it. Stephen, however, was a bit more adventurous sexually, perhaps because he was younger by nearly ten years. His looks, on the other hand, would put him at ten years older than Miranda, but she didn't mind that one bit. He presented a believable society husband and Miranda was glad that at least she didn't have to fend off any other women.

Shortly after they were married, Stephen asked her for oral sex. She tried her usual speech about her preferences, but they had both been drinking that evening, and Miranda caved to Stephen's demands. It was not until that night that Miranda truly realized how much longer his penis was than the other men she had been with. When she opened her throat and took Stephen's entire length in, it was much simpler and cleaner, too. She still preferred not to, but on occasion would please him in that way.

Miranda was losing control. Andrea was thrusting two, maybe three, fingers into her core as she sucked on her clitoris, sending wave after wave of release through Miranda's body. Stephen had his hand wrapped behind her neck, pulling her closer as he thrust himself deeper and deeper into her mouth. Andrea noticed Miranda squirming and flailing her arms, so she softly kissed her folds before pulling her hand out and slithering up Miranda's body, trailing her sticky lips across Miranda's corset.

Andrea softly untangled Stephen's hand from Miranda's hair and pushed him away from here. Miranda was struggling to catch her breath, and Andrea gently brushed the hair out of her eyes before returning her attention to Stephen. She took his cock in her hands and pumped a few times before pressing her lips to the tip of his penis and laving her tongue up and down his shaft. As she began sucking, she reached underneath and squeezed his sac, urging him to come. As Andrea tasted the hot semen trickle into her mouth, she could tell he was going to need some rest if they were to continue. When he finished, he pulled away and brought Andrea up to eye-level, his hand underneath her chin. "Thank you," he said, kissing the young woman on the forehead before climbing off the bed and shutting the bathroom door behind him. Andrea was slightly confused, but quickly turned to Miranda on the bed next to her.

Miranda was still panting, or rather, she was gasping for breath. It sounded to Andrea like she was wheezing, but she didn't know Miranda to have asthma or any allergies. Andrea wrapped her arms around Miranda and tried to sit her up, realizing that Miranda's corset was restricting her breathing. "Hey," Andrea whispered nervously, "I, uh, I need to remove this corset." Andrea was in full-on assistant mode, working to solve Miranda's problem, and Miranda realized the change in tone. Her eyes widened at the thought of being exposed to Andrea, the fear of Andrea's look of disappointment or repulsion when she saw her beneath the garment.

"Robe—" Miranda said. Andrea quickly jumped off the bed and grabbed a robe that was draped across the chair in the corner. She threw the robe over Miranda and reached around to undo the twelve hooks fastening the corset.

"There," Andrea said, "take some deep breaths, Miranda, let your lungs expand." She did as she was told, her eyes closed, hiding her embarrassment.

"Turn around," she said, motioning for Andrea to look in the other direction. Andrea did, and Miranda sat up and slipped the robe on, tying it tightly at the waist and tossing the corset to the floor. "Okay," she said, turning her back to Andrea, dangling her legs over the edge of the bed.

"Hey," Andrea said as she crawled over to Miranda and began to rub her shoulders much like she had been doing earlier that evening. "You were amazing tonight," Andrea whispered in her ear.

"No," Miranda said, standing up to escape Andrea's touch. "No, I wasn't. I was…foolish," and ugly, she added in her head.

"That's not true," Andrea said, joining her next to the bed. "You know what I think," she said with a smirk, "you've never come that hard in your entire life." Miranda turned and glared at her. "And," Andrea continued, "therefore, you had no way of knowing how to prepare." She paused before adding, "It was really gorgeous—you know, until I realized you couldn't breathe."

"Yes, well, thank you, I suppose," Miranda said, her eyes focusing on the floor, looking at anything except Andrea's breasts.

Andrea sensed that Miranda didn't want to talk anymore, so she gathered her bra and began dressing. By the time she finished buttoning her shirt and putting her heels back on, Stephen had still not come out of the bathroom. Andrea moved towards the door. Grasping the doorknob, she said, "Thank you, Miranda. I had quite the enjoyable evening and would be happy to return if you should wish. I hope you—and Stephen—sleep well tonight." I know I will, Andrea added in her head.

Miranda turned around, suddenly realizing Andrea was leaving. "Thank you," she said quietly and somehow, Andrea knew she was thanking her for everything. "I would ask you to stay, but I'm not sure how my husband feels about that."

"I understand," Andrea said, thinking, I understand that you are married, and that's why I know I can never have you in any other way than this.

"Take a cab, please? It's late." Miranda added as Andrea was halfway out the door.

"Of course. Goodnight, Miranda."

"Goodnight, Andrea."

Miranda heard the front door shut and tears began to fall from her face. Tonight only confirmed was what before, only a fanciful desire in her mind. Tonight, she knew she desired Andrea, knew that she needed her to survive. But of course, she could not read the young woman. Her kisses were passionate and her eyes spoke volumes as she had her lips pressed to her folds, but just how much was an act for Stephen's benefit? Was it all just playing a role because Stephen had asked her to? Miranda was exhausted not only from their activities, but also from thinking so hard, and she needed to shower and go to sleep.

She gently rapped on the bathroom door before opening it. Stephen was in his robe, sitting on the chaise, his head in his hands. Miranda sat next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "What's wrong, honey?" she asked as she rested her head on his shoulder.

"What the hell are we doing, Miranda? Jesus, I just fucked your assistant while you watched. And I enjoyed it. Fuck," Stephen said, running his fingers through his hair.

"Stephen, please," Miranda said as she sank to her knees on the floor, resting her head on his thigh. "I enjoyed it, too, honey. And we agreed that when Andrea was here tonight, she was not 'my assistant' and she was here as a friend." Miranda stood to her knees and took Stephen's head in her hands. "I thought we agreed that we needed this to spice up our relationship?"

"I thought so, too, but, I don't know, do you think it helped?"

"I'm not sure," Miranda answered candidly. "I realized tonight how well I know you," she said, "But I also realized how easily you are distracted, how you seem to need something more… more than me." Miranda lowered her hands and her head as she sat back on her heels. "I'm going to shower, then I'm going straight to bed."

Stephen nodded, and tried to grab Miranda's hand as she walked by, but she was already stepping into the shower. Stephen slipped into his pajama pants and a clean white t-shirt before turning the bedroom lights off and crawling into bed.

In the shower, Miranda let her tears fall. Her marriage was falling apart, and other than seeing it as another personal failure, she actually didn't care because there was only one other person she wanted: Andrea Sachs. She shut off the water and dried her body, slipping on her silk dressing gown before shutting the bathroom light and crawling into the opposite side of the bed.

Despite her exhaustion, sleep did not come easily for Miranda that night. She tossed and turned, thinking about Andrea and Stephen. She wanted to spend more time with Andrea, but she felt like suggesting another threesome would be dishonest, since she wanted the young woman all to herself.

Andrea did not sleep well, either. From the moment she left Miranda's home, she could think of nothing other than wanting to be near the woman again. Sure, it was awkward to be so close to Miranda and Stephen together, but the look of desire in Miranda's eyes only made Andrea want her more. She wanted to be the one causing that look. She wanted to be the one to flush her cheeks and make her scream.

As Andrea showered and laid in her bed, she could not shake the image of Miranda's body from her mind. Her smooth, soft, porcelain white skin, her firm, lean legs, and that sexy-as-hell corset, oh god, Andrea thought, what she would give to feel Miranda's body against her own, skin on skin. Shit! Andrea thought, how was she going to act as if nothing happened Monday morning at work? Andrea presumed Miranda would just ignore it and act as if nothing happened, since that was how she handled anything that she was uncomfortable with. But Andrea wanted, no, needed to talk to her. She left in such a hurry, and Miranda was embarrassed about the corset…and it was strange how she demanded the robe, right? Andrea needed to see her, needed to know what she meant when she said "I want you." Was she just acting out the role, knowing Stephen wanted to watch them? Or, was there a chance she meant it? Andrea brought her fingers to her lips, reliving the feeling of Miranda's mouth against her own.

Andrea felt her sore muscles tighten between her legs and remembered Miranda's protective whisper, "Is he hurting you?" Andrea smiled as she recalled Miranda pushing Stephen away and offering herself instead. And the way Miranda squeezed her hand when Stephen came, oh god, Andrea was never going to get to sleep until she knew where Miranda stood.

By now, it was nearly four in the morning, but Andrea crawled out of bed, took some ibuprofen to relieve her sore muscles, and grabbed her phone:
M, I hope you're doing ok. Sorry I left in a hurry. Can we talk sometime tomorrow? -A

Andrea sent Miranda the text message, plugged in her phone, and tried yet again to fall asleep. Within minutes, her phone buzzed with a reply from Miranda:
Yes. Are you okay? -M

Andrea smiled, knowing she would get her answers tomorrow. She replied:
Yes, I am fine. What time works tomorrow? -A

Miranda instantly replied:
I presume Stephen will be out of the house all day. I am picking the girls up at noon. Does 10am work? -M

Andrea smiled, but wondered why Miranda felt the need to tell her Stephen would be gone. She replied, feeling a little more confident:
I will be there. I wish I was there right now. -A

It took a little longer, but Miranda replied:
Why? What would you do?

Andrea grew nervous. This conversation was getting dangerous. She replied:
Wrap my arms around you and hold you until you fall asleep. Goodnight, Miranda. See you in a few hours. -A

Miranda did not reply, and Andrea did not expect her to. Setting her alarm for 9am, Andrea was easily able to fall asleep, and she hoped Miranda would, too.

Miranda woke at nearly 6am when Stephen climbed out of bed and took a shower. He didn't touch her all night. It wasn't like they hadn't fought before, but every time, they woke up in each other's arms. Today, Stephen was silent. He showered silently, and dressed silently. He didn't even wake Miranda to tell her goodbye or where he was going. When Miranda heard the front door shut, she knew her evenings would suddenly be free once again.

But for some reason, she was not upset about that as she thought about what it would feel like to have Andrea's long arms wrapped around her. Shaking her head, she got up and dressed for the day in lounge pants and a tank, a warm, loose cashmere sweater draped over her shoulders.

Sitting at the kitchen table with the newspapers and a cup of fresh hot coffee, she wondered what Andrea wanted to talk about. Just then, the doorbell rang. It was only 9:30, and Miranda wasn't expecting anyone for at least fifteen minutes, so she cautiously turned on the security camera in the kitchen and saw Andrea at her doorstep. Quickly turning the camera back off, she practically ran to the door, shouting "I'm coming!" and laughing to herself at the double-meaning.

She opened the door, almost out of breath. "Andrea, is something the matter? I was not expecting you so early," she said, ushering the young woman inside.

"I—I was anxious. I couldn't wait. Sorry."

Miranda smiled, "No need to apologize. Would you like some coffee? I figured we could sit in the den—"

Andrea grabbed her wrist and interrupted her rambling. "No coffee, no den." She took a deep breath. "Miranda," she began, "Last night you told me, 'I want you,' you pushed Stephen away from me because you were worried he was hurting me, and you squeezed my hand while you were coming, or faking, or whatever." Andrea paused for a moment, unable to read Miranda's eyes. "I need to know what that meant."

Miranda pulled her hand away from Andrea's grasp and walked towards the den. "Please," she said, "sit down." Reluctantly, Andrea sat.

"Stephen suggested a threesome with you because he thought I would be more receptive. He said he noticed the way I look at you and the way I act around you, that it's different than with my other employees. That is absolutely true," she continued. "You are different than my other employees. No one else can read me like you can, Andrea. You always seem to know what I need. Case in point, last night when you texted that you would hold me in your arms until I fell asleep, or when you stopped fingering me and pushed Stephen away because you could tell something was wrong."

Andrea thought back for a moment. So…did that mean that Miranda wanted Andrea to hold her last night? "Miranda, I don't understand."

"Let me make it clear, then. I meant what I said last night. I do want you. I have for some time now. But Andrea, I would never compromise my role as Editor in Chief to make a pass at my assistant. So, when Stephen presented this opportunity and you accepted, I was thrilled beyond reason until I realized I would need to hide my true feelings from Stephen, and that I would have to watch as he was… with you." She stood up and walked to the window, leaning against the windowsill. "I knew this was the only way I could have you, and I was selfish, Andrea. I feel so guilty, and I know Stephen has similar thoughts. I am sorry, Andrea."

Andrea stood behind Miranda and wrapped her arms around her. "Don't apologize. I agreed to it and knew what I was walking into, but I only agreed because I saw it as my only chance to be with you."

Miranda turned to look Andrea in the eye, asking, "Really?"

"Yes, really." Andrea sighed, "So you said when I'm over here I'm not your assistant, right?"

Miranda turned around and met Andrea's dark eyes, filled with desire. "Andrea, what are you thinking?"

"I think we need to pick up where we left off last night," Andrea said, pulling Miranda to the couch. "And if I remember, I think you owe me…"

"Oooh god," Miranda moaned as Andrea pulled Miranda on top of her, the young woman's thigh sitting right between her legs. "Andrea, my god," she murmured as she placed kisses on the young woman's neck.

Andrea removed her cardigan and pulled Miranda's sweater off, too. Andrea ran her hands up and down Miranda's back, sliding her hands under the hem of her tank. Miranda quickly swatted her hands away and pushed her shirt back down. "Darling," she said, "this just doesn't make any sense. What do you see in me? I'm old, and my body has aged." Miranda buried her head on Andrea's chest and could feel the rapid heart beat below her.

"Oh, Miranda, you are not old, and your body is beautiful. Everything about you is perfect to me, and I can't explain it either, but my feelings for you are overwhelming. And before you even say it, I do not have any mother-fixations. I love that you have power, but also a softer, weaker side that most don't get to see."

Miranda pushed herself up off Andrea's chest and pressed their lips together. It was passionate and deep, just as before, and they only broke the kiss when Miranda reached down and cupped Andrea through her jeans, causing Andrea to gasp. Miranda attempted to undo Andrea's jeans, but they were too restrictive. "Oh, fuck it," she said and she began pressing into Andrea's center through her jeans, rubbing furiously back and forth.

"Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh god! Oh! So clooose! So! So! Oh! Close!" Andrea moaned, her back arching as she thrust her hips towards Miranda's hand. With her other hand, Miranda reached up and cupped Andrea's breast through her thin camisole. "Ohhoho! Ohhh!" Andrea moaned. Still rubbing her jeans furiously, Miranda began to suck and bite Andrea's nipple through her camisole. Suddenly, Andrea's moans stopped as her body went rigid, her right leg twitching as her eyes fell shut.

"That's it," Miranda whispered, crawling up next to Andrea on the couch, "Come for me. I've got you." Several minutes later, Miranda felt Andrea's heartbeat return to normal and the young woman opened her eyes. "That was incredible," Andrea said.

"Mmm," Miranda murmured. The sweet smell of Andrea's come lingered in the air as Miranda took a deep breath. "I could lay here forever," she said as she absent-mindedly traced circles on Andrea's shoulder.

"Miranda," Andrea interrupted, "It's almost half past—didn't you need to pickup the girls?"

Miranda quickly stood and retrieved her sweater from the floor. "Oh my, I forgot all about that. Thank you," she said reaching out to hand Andrea her cardigan.

"Miranda?" Andrea asked, "So, what are we going to do?"

Miranda took a deep breath and sat at the other end of the couch. "For now, we will do what we can."

"What about Stephen?"

"There is a clause in our prenuptial agreement that negates the agreement if I am caught cheating. If he is caught cheating, it is built-in that he cannot contest. I will not allow him to get a dime from me, Andrea."

"So…your marriage is over?" Andrea asked, taking a step back.

"Sadly, yes. It was over months ago. We tried to work it out, but sex didn't fix what was broken. Sex is never enough," she said, thinking about the implications.

"So, bottom line is he cannot know about this," Andrea said, waving her hand between them. "And we just need to catch him cheating and we'll be good to go!"

"Yes. If only it were that simple," Miranda sighed.

"I could set him up," Andrea offered.

"Oh no, I don't want you involved like that. It's too dangerous."

"No, I mean I could literally set him up with one of my friends. He must think I'm sort of kinky, after last night and all. I could casually give him someone's number and tell him she might be interested in a threesome, tell him he's her type, etc."

"And just where would you find this girl?"

"You'd be surprised. My friend Doug seems to know every hooker in town."

"Hmm," Miranda said, "It could work, but when would you see Stephen?"

"Well, I might see him if I deliver the Book extra-late, or we could have another threesome," Andrea said, winking at Miranda.

"Oh god, I don't know if my heart could handle that."

"Well, if you wear less restrictive clothing, it might be easier," Andrea joked.

Miranda glared at Andrea.

"Oh no, I mean, god it was so fucking sexy, Miranda. That was all I dreamed about last night, but, umm, I'd prefer to see you without it, without anything."

Miranda inhaled sharply. "We shall continue this discussion, Andrea. If—When Stephen comes home tonight, I shall casually ask if he would like you to join us again. Then, we can go from there."

Andrea nodded as she stood to leave the house. "When can I see you again?" she asked.

Miranda looked into her deep brown eyes and wanted to scream whenever you want, but she knew better. "We will have to play it by ear, Andrea." When Andrea frowned, she continued, "I know, I know, believe me, but it is just too risky. And I leave for Paris in ten days." Miranda cupped Andrea's cheek and pressed their lips together in a brief, chaste kiss. "I promise you this is not over."

Andrea nodded and ducked out the front door before she ravished Miranda in the hallway. Miranda locked the door and grabbed her purse and keys, wondering what she was going to do.

Miranda picked up the girls and ordered dinner as they settled and went upstairs to finish their homework. Miranda had been checking her phone all day, but there was no message from Andrea. Stephen returned close to 10pm, after the girls were already in bed, and Miranda offered to heat up some dinner for him, but he declined and went straight upstairs. Several minutes later, Miranda followed him.

As she suspected, Stephen had moved his things into the guest bedroom, just like he did three months ago. Miranda gently knocked on the door before entering.

"What do you want?!" Stephen shouted from the bathroom.

"I'm sorry," Miranda said softly, closing the door behind her so they did not wake the girls. "I just wanted to talk, to see how your day was, that's all." Miranda stepped further inside towards the bathroom, where it sounded like Stephen was applying lotion or something.

Seeing Stephen standing over the toilet jerking himself off, Miranda gasped.

"What the fuck, Miranda?" Stephen said as he continued, stroking himself harder.

"I—I—I'm sorry. I thought—Do you really prefer that to me?" she said as her voice faltered. "I wanted you this morning, Stephen, but you left and didn't wake me. I've waited all afternoon and evening for you. You—you—" Miranda continued, tears falling down her cheeks. "You wouldn't even touch me."

"Miranda, get out of here."

"Should I ask Andrea to come over again?"

He groaned loudly. "I just want to be alone," he said. The truth was, Stephen couldn't get Andrea out of his mind, and Miranda was interfering with that right now.

Miranda stormed out of the room and pulled her cellphone out to check again for any messages. Finally, she wrote to Andrea. She couldn't lose both of them in the same day.
Andrea, I have not heard from you all day and that concerns me. Please let me know everything is okay after our conversation. xo M.

Before she could sit on her bed, she received a reply:
Open the Book, find a horrible page, and call your second asst to discuss. Delete this message.

Miranda was confused, but deleted the message immediately and went downstairs to pick up the Book and bring it to her bedroom. She flipped through a few pages, and even though she already made her comments, page twelve was particularly garish, and she left the book open to that page and dialed Andrea.


"Andrea. Have you seen page twelve? Did Nigel not receive my message that we needed something fresh and innovative? Why then did I receive dull and boring?"

"Miranda, it's so good to hear your voice. I miss you."

Miranda smiled, "Yes, well, these colors are all wrong."

"I've been wanting to talk to you all day, but we cannot text. Those are traceable, and submissible in court."

"Oh, really? Well was someone going to tell me that he changed his mind? Honestly. It is just baffling to me that they would have the courage to deliver this piece of garbage to me, to my home."

"Yes. I want you so badly, Miranda."

"I see. Well, we will have to discuss this in further detail first thing tomorrow morning. Schedule a meeting with Nigel and Jocelyn at 9:15 and tell them they better be prepared this time."

"Wait," Andrea asked, "Do you really want that meeting?"

"No!" Miranda practically shouted. "No, no, no. This is all wrong. Andrea, you will deal with this first thing tomorrow. I will be in early. That's all."

Andrea could tell that Miranda was still on the line. "Goodnight, Miranda. That's all, to you too." Andrea swore she heard a laugh before Miranda ended the call.

Miranda sighed as she closed the Book. Communicating with Andrea was going to be difficult, but keeping her hands off her while in the office would be another issue entirely. Sighing, Miranda set her alarm and let sleep claim her exhausted body.

Andrea was going crazy flipping through her closet, looking for something to wear to work. Miranda said she would be in early, which meant 7:30, and it was already approaching 7am and Andrea was standing in front of her closet, naked. Ha, she thought, Miranda would love it if I wasn't wearing anything, but she did need to keep up her guise. Andrea selected a short black BCBG skirt with wide fishnets, the Chanel boots, a simple cream blouse and an emerald tuxedo blazer. Satisfied, she threw on a black trench coat and headed for the subway.

Andrea stopped at Starbucks and retrieved Miranda's venti no-foam latte, plus a tall black coffee for herself. As she made her way through Elias-Clarke security, one of the guards kindly informed her that Miranda had just arrived seconds earlier. Andrea smiled and rushed into an elevator, eager to meet Miranda upstairs.

As she stepped out of the elevator and made her way to her desk, she saw the light on in Miranda's office but did not see the woman anywhere. Andrea set her things down, turned on her computer, then stepped into Miranda's office with her coffee.

"Andrea, shut the door." Andrea was startled, but stepped back to shut and lock the door. "Come here," Miranda called.

"Miranda, I don't see you—" Andrea said, her eyes searching the dimly-lit office for the silver-haired woman.

"In the bathroom."

"Oh!" Andrea said, rushing quickly towards Miranda's private bathroom. "Is everything okay? Are you hurt?"

"I'm much better now," Miranda said, pulling Andrea into the bathroom and pressing her against the back of the door. "Aaandreeea," she moaned as her hands roamed all over the young woman's body. "Oh," she said, between kissing Andrea's neck and face, "I needed—this—you—oh, darling—"

Andrea moaned as Miranda assaulted her with kisses. She could already feel a moist tingle between her legs, and she spread her legs wider as she stood against the door. "Miranda, kiss me," Andrea pleaded, "down there."

Miranda's eyes lit up, knowing the young girl actually wanted her to do this. Miranda quickly sank to her knees and ran her hands up and down Andrea's legs. "These boots, these stockings. Andrea, you should know better than to wear this to work. People are liable to get handsy," Miranda said with a smirk as she tore a tiny opening at the crotch and pushed Andrea's thong aside. "Mmm," Miranda hummed as she licked Andrea's hot juices. "So good," she murmured as she made love with her tongue.

"Pleaase, Miranda," Andrea begged, "oh fuck please!"

I will have to teach her patience, Miranda thought, but knowing how little time they had anyway, Miranda chose to submit to the young woman's demand. She rubbed her finger against Andrea's bud and she began pumping three fingers in and out of Andrea's body. Andrea's hips thrust into her hand over and over again, and Andrea's back arched off the door as her hands fumbled for something to grab onto.

"Oh fuck Miranda," Andrea shouted as she felt her muscles tighten around Miranda's hand, the sensation quickly making its way through her entire body, her knees shaking at the intensity of the pleasure.

"You're so beautiful," Miranda said as she pulled her fingers from Andrea's core, licking them like a cat grooming grooming herself. "Here, darling," Miranda said as she softly tugged on Andrea's arm, pulling her to the floor, on top of her.

Andrea looked into Miranda's eyes and smirked when she saw her sticky come on Miranda's nose and chin. Andrea quickly leaned forward to lick it off Miranda, tasting herself. She noticed the flush creeping up Miranda's face and quickly snaked her hand down between them, bunching up Miranda's skirt and slipping her fingers straight into Miranda's wet folds.

"Uhhh, god," Miranda groaned as her body jerked at the sensations. She lifted her Prada-clad heels from the floor and pressed them into the door on either side of Andrea, allowing her better access. "I'm so close, Andrea, so clo—" Miranda sharply inhaled and her voice trailed off as her head tilted backward and her body went taut. Andrea kept pumping her fingers and stroking her clit with her thumb as she watched the seemingly endless contractions of the tendons in Miranda's neck.

Andrea pulled out her fingers and wiped her hand on Miranda's already-ruined skirt. "Miranda," she purred, softly stroking Miranda's cheek and brushing the hair out of her eyes. Her eyes blinked open. "Miranda? You okay?" Andrea asked.

Blinking her eyes a few more times, Miranda responded. "Yes, yes, I'm more than okay. That was incredible. And on the bathroom floor," Miranda added, laughing. "But I need to get up. This is really an uncomfortable floor."

"Of course," Andrea said, smiling. She stood and helped Miranda up, though she realized Miranda looked slightly reluctant to accept her hand. "Uhh, I'll run and get you a new skirt," Andrea said, blushing.

"Find the Calvin Klein black or charcoal skirt from the rack in my office."

"The new collection?" Andrea asked. Those skirts had just been used for a photo shoot, and the issue wasn't set to publish for six weeks.

"Yes," Miranda hissed. "They will thank me if a photo of me in that skirt draws attention to that collection which otherwise suffers from lack of imagination."

"Yes, Miranda," Andrea said, slipping out of the bathroom to retrieve Miranda a skirt while Miranda fixed her makeup and hair. The black skirt was a tight pencil skirt, and the charcoal was a wool pleated skirt. Hmm, Andrea thought to herself. Miranda's ass would look amazing in that black skirt, but the charcoal skirt would provide much easier access…

"Andrea? My skirt?" Miranda called from the bathroom.

"Right," Andrea said, pulling the black skirt off the hanger and handing it to Miranda, knowing she would probably not have another opportunity to "access" Miranda today, so at least she could stare at her ass.

"Is Emily here yet?" Miranda asked quietly.

"No, her desk is dark and the computer is off."

"Please slip out now." Miranda said, "Oh," she added, grabbing Andrea by the wrist, "I will text you when you can deliver the book tonight."

"Yes, Miranda," Andrea replied and slipped out of Miranda's office, immediately printing her schedule for the day from her computer.

The rest of the day was torturous for both of them. Every time Miranda called Andrea into her office, she forgot what she was going to say when she saw the short skirt and fishnets and Chanel boots. And when Andrea dropped her pencil in Miranda's office, she deliberately bent over with her ass to Miranda, causing Miranda to practically choke on her Pellegrino.

That night, Miranda had been waiting for Stephen in the den. He did not arrive until after 9pm, and again, declined dinner and went straight up to his room. Miranda followed him upstairs, put on a La Perla lingerie set much like the one Andrea wore several nights ago, and threw on a sheer black robe.

"Stephen?" she asked, knocking on the door politely before opening it. The room was completely dark, and once Miranda's eyes adjusted, she saw him laying on the bed. "Stephen, honey," she said as she sauntered over to the bed, sitting down on the edge. "How was work today?" she asked as she ran her hand up and down his body.

"Get away, Miranda. Not tonight," he growled. When Miranda pulled her hand away but didn't move, he continued, "Miranda, please leave. I can't do this."

"Let me help, Stephen, tell me what's going on." Miranda beckoned.

"NO!" he shouted, rising from the bed. He walked over to the side of the bed where Miranda was sitting and grabbed her by the arm, marching her towards the door. "I said get out." He snapped before he pushed her into the hallway and slammed the door, locking it behind her.

Miranda collapsed into a pile in the hallway in front of Stephen's door, sobs taking over her body. The only thing she could think of was Andrea and how much she wanted her to hold her in her arms. She made her way downstairs to text Andrea to bring the Book. It was nearly 11pm: Will the Book be ready soon? -M

Andrea replied:
Going down to meet Roy now. Eta 10 minutes. -A

Andrea knew the girls were home that night, and presumably Stephen, too, so she wasn't sure what to expect, or why Miranda waited so long, but she certainly hoped to at least see Miranda.

When she let herself into the townhouse, she quickly hung the dry-cleaning and set the Book on the table before peering around for Miranda.

"In here," she called softly from the kitchen.

Andrea tiptoed to the kitchen and was surprised to see Miranda sitting at the table by herself, Miranda's wine glass on the table next to the bottle. As Andrea moved closer, she could see that Miranda had been crying, judging by her puffy eyes and the tissue in her hand. It was dark, but Andrea could see she was wearing some La Perla lingerie underneath a sheer jacket.

"Hey," Andrea said quietly as she moved to sit next to Miranda. She softly covered Miranda's hand on the table with her own. "What's wrong?"

"What isn't," Miranda said, as Andrea kept her right hand on Miranda's, wrapping her left arm around the woman's shoulders. "Talk to me, Miranda," Andrea said, "I can't bear to see you crying."

"What if we get caught? Oh god, I wanted to touch you so badly this afternoon, and—" Miranda sighed. "This just won't work, it won't."

Suddenly, Andrea was worried. "What are you talking about Miranda? Us?"

"Yes. I'm too old. You'll eventually find someone younger, who is more pleasing to you, and you'll toss me out."

"No way. Miranda, wait, where is this coming from? First, I would never just toss someone out. And second, don't you think I've seen younger?—but I still want you. You, Miranda," Andrea said as she gently pressed her lips to Miranda's cheek.

"Stephen won't touch me." Miranda said, shaking her head away from Andrea. "He moved into the guest bedroom. Last night, I went to talk to him after he got home, and he was masturbating in the bathroom."

"I'm so sorry Miranda," Andrea said, trying to console her, though she was surprised it had upset Miranda so much.

"It's not just that. When I asked him if it was really better that way than with me, he told me to leave. He couldn't even get off with me watching," Miranda cried. "And tonight," she said between sobs, "I tried to sit on the bed and ask him about his day, but he told me to get out," Miranda paused to catch her breath. "He grabbed me and dragged me out of the bedroom, slamming the door in my face and locking it. Oh, god, Andrea," Miranda cried.

"Shh, shh," Andrea said, pulling her into an embrace and rubbing soothing circles on her back. Miranda clung to the collar of Andrea's jacket as Andrea wrapped both arms around her.

"Andrea, I'm afraid." Miranda said, suddenly vulnerable and raw. "I'm afraid that you'll give up on me because of all this with Stephen, but I don't know how to act otherwise."

Andrea squeezed her tightly before placing her hands on either side of Miranda's face, wiping her tears with her thumbs. "Please don't be afraid, Miranda. I want you to trust me. I understand that Stephen is your husband, and you love him. You spent years together, and surely you have good memories." Andrea pressed her forehead to Miranda's before continuing, "I can't begin to imagine what you're feeling right now, but I'm sure it's a combination of failure, loss, and guilt, and that's okay. You put a lot into this relationship, and even if you feel like you're ready to move on, it still hurts to look back at what didn't work. And I need you to believe that I will be here for you through it all, and after."

"Andrea," Miranda said as she sniffled, "where did you learn to be so wise?"

"I'm an observer, Miranda. It's amazing what you can learn about people by paying attention." She placed her hand under Miranda's chin, bringing her eyes up to meet her own. "I cannot promise you that we will last forever, because people grow, and sometimes they grow together, sometimes apart. But I will do everything in my power to grow with you, Miranda. If your heart breaks, mine does too."

Miranda did not say a word, but simply kissed Andrea with all her heart. After a minute or so, Andrea pulled away. "Miranda, I better go now or I won't be able to stop."

Miranda nodded and reached down to hold both of Andrea's hands. "Thank you, darling." Andrea squeezed her hands before getting up and heading to the door.

"Oh, what is this?" Stephen said from the bottom of the stairs.

Andrea was furious and she knew Miranda would not be able to handle any further accusations from him. "Stephen, this is me comforting my friend. No one deserves to be treated like that, Stephen. And no one should have to cry alone," Andrea said loudly enough for Miranda to hear. She leaned in closer and whispered into his ear, "You're such a fucking asshole, but for some reason, she's still in love with you. Don't be such a fucking coward."

Andrea quickly turned and stormed out of the house before he could reply. "Stephen?" Miranda asked, standing in the doorway to the kitchen. "Did you need something?"

"Uh," he said, "I was just going to get a glass of water."

Miranda returned to the kitchen and retrieved a bottle of water from the refrigerator. She took a glass from the cupboard and poured the bottle into the glass, tossing the bottle into the recycling bag under the sink before she walked back over to Stephen and handed him the glass.

Stephen accepted the glass and said nothing, seeing Miranda's red-rimmed eyes up close in the hallway light.

Miranda walked past Stephen and straight up to her bedroom, shutting the door and locking it behind her. She turned out the lights and slid into bed, first reaching for her phone to send Andrea a brief message:
Thank you, Andrea. -M

Andrea smiled when she read the message. She knew Miranda needed no reply. As she crawled into her own bed, she thought about how much it meant that Miranda had opened up to her tonight. Tonight was probably the first time Miranda shared her fears with someone else and actually allowed herself to be vulnerable. As much as she hated to see Miranda so upset, she was grateful the woman let her in and was willing to cry on her shoulder.

The next day, things were back to normal at Runway. She did not ravish her boss in her private bathroom, or anything like that. Andrea could tell Miranda was upset by something, but knowing Paris was in less than two weeks, she could understand the added anxiety.

"Andrea," Miranda called to her assistant, "Get my husband on the phone."

Andrea was surprised to hear that, but quickly dialed Stephen's number. "Hi, Stephen, I have Miranda calling for you." He did not respond, so Andrea transferred him to Miranda's private line. "He's on line 2," Andrea called to Miranda and hung up the phone.

Andrea got up and shut the doors to Miranda's office, sensing that this might be an especially private phone call. Roughly ten minutes later, Miranda opened the door and poked her head around the corner by Andrea's desk. "Call Roy," she said, "Tell him three minutes. And grab your things."

Nodding, Andrea quickly emailed Emily who was at lunch and told her to clear Miranda's schedule for the evening, then shut down her computer. Andrea slipped on her jacket and grabbed her bag before ducking into the coat closet to retrieve Miranda's items. Miranda marched past her desk and walked straight for the elevators. Andrea joined her in the open elevator and helped her into her coat before handing her her handbag. She knew better than to say a word. Something was going on, and Andrea could tell Miranda was furious, but she didn't dare ask any questions.

Roy pulled up and Miranda did not even permit him to get out of the car to open her door, instead jumping into the backseat herself. "Just drive. Anywhere. I'll let you know when to return. Oh, and screen up." Roy nodded, and Andrea slid into the back seat.

Miranda lunged at Andrea the minute she shut her door, not caring that the privacy screen was not all the way up. Andrea could feel the fierceness in Miranda's touch, and didn't fight it, instead just being there to give Miranda what she needed.

Miranda said nothing, but began ripping Andrea's clothes off, frantically touching the young woman's soft skin. "Ohh," Miranda growled as Andrea slid onto the seat, pulling Miranda on top of her. Miranda began to grind her hips on Andrea's thigh, pressing her hands against the roof of the car so she could press her hips even harder against Andrea's leg.

Andrea ran her hands up and down Miranda's thighs, unbuttoning her pants and sliding her hand inside. She eased Miranda off her leg and wrapped her arm around Miranda's waist as she fucked herself on Andrea's fingers.

She breathlessly panted as she moaned loudly, "Ah—ahh—ah—ah—ooh—oh—harder—harder—" Miranda reached her right hand down and furiously rubbed her clit as she sank down deeper and deeper onto Andrea's hand.

"Aaaah, yessss!" Miranda shouted as she kept her hips down, her muscles violently contracting around Andrea's fingers. As Miranda's breathing calmed, Andrea slipped her fingers out and Miranda collapsed on top of her. She wrapped her arms around the older woman and cradled her against her, feeling Miranda's tears as they trickled onto her open chest.

Andrea's hands felt strong around her, and for a few minutes, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to truly relax. "Miranda?" she whispered, "I'm sorry, but I need to stretch out my leg."

Miranda blinked her eyes open and quickly moved aside as Andrea slid out from underneath her. "Oh, Andrea," she said, seeing Andrea's open shirt, "I'm sorry. I think I got carried away."

"No need to apologize, Miranda," Andrea said as she massaged the cramp in her calf. "Is there anything you want to talk about?" Andrea asked nonchalantly.

"You know the answer to that," Miranda said, sighing. "I needed to talk to Stephen to make plans for Paris. He is supposed to join me for the last two days, and we needed to make arrangements for the girls. Now," she continued, pausing to look out the window, "He tells me he is leaving this evening for Los Angeles on business Monday, and he expects to be gone for the next week. I asked him about the girls, and he rightfully said that was my problem, not his. I am sure his trip to LA will be more pleasure than business, but what can I do?"

"Miranda, you'll figure it out. But wouldn't it be easier to ask him for a divorce rather than watching and waiting for him to slip up?"

"I suppose you are right. I don't know what I would do without you, Andrea," Miranda whispered, drawing Andrea closer and pulling her onto her lap. Miranda began to button Andrea's blouse as she softly kissed the young woman's cheeks.

"Miranda, we should be getting back soon." Andrea said. "Not that I wouldn't want to spend the rest of the day like this, but, um, you know, we don't want people to talk."

"Hm, yes." Miranda reached up to turn the call button on so she could speak to Roy, but noticed the light was already on. "Roy…?" she asked cautiously.

"Uh," he paused to clear his throat, "Yes, Miranda?"

Miranda's eyes grew wide as Andrea covered her mouth with her hand, suppressing her giggles. She must have turned it on when her hands were on the roof, oh god, Miranda thought, he heard everything.

"Is there something I can do, Miranda?" Roy repeated.

"Take me back to the townhouse, then give Andrea a ride back to Runway."

"Sure thing, Miranda. Oh, and if you will please press the call button to turn off the intercom, I would greatly appreciate that. We should be there in 25 minutes."

Miranda smiled and turned off the intercom, relaxing into Andrea's shoulder as Roy drove them through the city. "Andrea," Miranda called before stepping out of the car, "bring the book as soon as it's ready."

Andrea nodded, "See you soon."

Later that evening, Andrea was greeted by Miranda at the door to the townhouse. She invited Andrea in and offered her a drink, taking the book and sitting in her chair in the den, flipping casually through the pages as she enjoyed a glass of wine.

"Andrea," she said, not looking up from the Book. "Unfortunately I will need Emily to bring the Book for the next few nights—just until Paris. We have so much to go over, and I need to be absolutely focused."

"Of course, Miranda," she said, "What did you decide concerning the girls?"

"Well, that's where I hope you come in," Miranda said, lifting her eyes to meet Andrea's. "Stephen leaves Monday morning, and my flight leaves Wednesday night. Cara will be here, but the girls need someone else, as she is consumed by the other household duties. Would you be willing to stay here for them next week? I would only need you Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening, with the thought you would stay over Wednesday night, and through the weekend."

"Yes, Miranda, I would be happy to. Your girls are great."

"Thank you, Andrea. They will be thrilled to hear this, seeing as they adore you so much." Miranda paused before adding, "If you actually don't mind, It might make more sense for you to stay Monday and Tuesday night as well. I will be working 18-hour days, and, well, it would be nice to know the girls aren't alone."

"Of course, Miranda. What time would you need me here in the afternoons?"

"Roy brings them home from school between 3 and 3:15pm, so if you could be there by 3, that would be ideal. Of course everyone at Runway would understand you are running around with the girls, so there would be no problem there."

"And when is Stephen returning?" Andrea asked, pulling out her notebook to make a few notes.

"I don't know," Miranda said, returning her attention to the Book in her lap. "He said something about flying from LA to Paris, so I don't imagine he would return before me. And I am scheduled to return—"

"at 2pm on Friday," Andrea said, finishing her sentence. "Yes, I know. So, you would need me for two full weeks?"

"Most likely yes," Miranda said. "Andrea, I understand you have a life, and of course I'm asking above and beyond the demands of the job, and, well, I would be more than happy to pay your rent for the next month, if you feel that would be suitable compensation. It certainly isn't fair for you to be paying on an empty apartment. Or, if you have other arrangements and change your mind, I can find someone else. Andrea, you're not obligated to—"

Andrea interrupted Miranda when she knelt next to her and took the book from Miranda's hands. "Miranda, calm down. I said yes. I will do it. Two weeks is not a problem. Anything I can do to help you out," Andrea said as she laid her head in Miranda's lap. "I know what your daughters mean to you, and I want you to be able to do what you do best without having to worry about the girls. And, if you're willing to pay me $1,275, well, I certainly can't turn it down."

Miranda stroked Andrea's face, brushing her hair behind her ear and pressing her hand to her cheek. "Darling, what did I do to deserve you? I feel like all I ever do is thank you."

Andrea kissed Miranda's palm and stood up. "I'm happy to do it. Tell the girls I will be over Monday afternoon when they get home from school."

Miranda nodded, "Goodnight, Andrea."

"Goodnight, Miranda," Andrea said as she stood at the front door. She smirked as she added, "and thank you for the lovely car ride today."

Even though Andrea was already out the door, Miranda burst out in laughter. Smiling to herself, she grabbed the Book and went upstairs for the night.

As Andrea made her way home, she texted Emily to let her know Miranda wanted her to bring the book for the next few days because they had Paris-related things to discuss. She knew that would make Emily immensely happy, so she thought she would break the news early. As first assistant, it was Emily's duty to travel to Paris for Fashion Week with Miranda, and for some reason, Andrea was much happier to stay in New York with Miranda's girls.

The rest of the week went smoothly, with Miranda and Andrea keeping their hands off each other, and an occasional phone call late at night as Miranda was reviewing the Book after Emily left.

On Sunday night, Andrea packed a suitcase of some personal items and called Roy to ask if he could swing by early in the morning and put her suitcase in the trunk, then drop it off when he took her to Miranda's in the afternoon. He pointed out that he would have to drop her a the townhouse earlier so he could be at Dalton on time for the girls. Andrea made note and planned to leave Runway around 2pm.

When Andrea brought Miranda's Starbucks in on Monday morning, Emily was already off running an errand, and Miranda was staring at her computer screen, rubbing her temples.

"Good morning, Miranda," Andrea said, walking around her desk to hand her the coffee. "Is there anything I can do today?"

"Not unless you can make $70,000 suddenly appear out of thin air—" Miranda began. "Andrea, I'm sorry," Miranda apologized, pulling her gaze from the screen. "I need to have this budget finished before I leave, and I'm just a little on edge because there's so much else to do." Miranda reached up and took the coffee from Andrea's hand. "Thank you."

"Of course Miranda. Can I help with anything?"

"No, Andrea, just knowing you will be there for my girls is enough."

"Do you have a headache?" Andrea asked.

"It's just tension," Miranda said, waving her hands in the air.

"Come here," Andrea beckoned, grabbing Miranda's hand and pulling her towards her bathroom.

Miranda was about to protest, but Andrea's pouty lips and big brown eyes won out in the end. Miranda let herself be led into the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

"Sit," Andrea said, pointing to the small stool in the bathroom. "Andrea, I'm very busy today. I can't—ooh, oh, yes," she said as Andrea began kneading the knots in her shoulders. Miranda leaned forward and rested her head on her folded arms on the vanity as Andrea's fingers worked magic on her shoulders, neck, and even the base of her skull. Miranda lifted her head and looked up at Andrea, "that was divine, Andrea. Thank you."

"Of course, Miranda, it was my pleasure. You looked so tense."

"Yes, well, I may be requiring your services later this evening. But for now, I need to get back to that spreadsheet."

"Maybe you should step out first and let me know if the coast is clear?"

Miranda nodded and approached her desk. "Andrea? Emily, where is Andrea? Did she even show up this morning?"

"Uh, Miranda, I do not know, but I will go track her down."

"Yes, please. If she isn't here in 10 minutes, you can say goodbye to Paris."

"Yes, Miranda. I will find her," Emily said as she went running down the hall to search for her counterpart.

Miranda smiled and sat back in her desk. "You can come out."

Andrea stepped out of the bathroom and stood in front of Miranda's desk, "Okay, now that was just mean…"

"It's the little things that bring humor to my day, Andrea. Give her a few minutes before you let her know you're here."

Andrea rolled her eyes as she walked out, robotically answering, "yes, Miranda."

Andrea informed Emily of her duties with Miranda's girls, reinforcing what a chore it would be to hang around those nasty, vicious twins, and reminding her that she would be tortured by 10-year-olds while Emily was in Paris.

Emily seemed to agree with Andrea, which was good. This way, there would be no need to lie or cover anything up—Andrea would only need to pretend to hate staying with the girls, which she was pretty sure she could handle.

That afternoon, Caroline and Cassidy were thrilled that Andrea was staying with them for a while. Andrea sat and talked with them for a while Caroline had a cookie and Cassidy ate an orange. She ushered them upstairs to begin their homework, and told them to come find her if they needed anything. Andrea checked her Runway email on her phone and was even able to take care of a few errands for Emily from the townhouse, such as having the Starbucks barista personally deliver Miranda's order three times a day for the next two days.

Cara cooked a delicious meal, and Andrea listened as the girls talked animatedly about their day at school and their upcoming ballet recital. At 9:30, Andrea shooed the girls upstairs and told them to get ready for bed. She had to ask Caroline which bedroom she would be staying in. She knew there were two bedrooms next to the study on the third floor, but wasn't sure which one was "Stephen's" and definitely did not want that one.

Caroline pointed to the first door on the right, adding, "he sleeps there," when she passed the room across the hall. Andrea made a mental note to ask the girls more about Stephen, as it seemed they did not care much for him.

Andrea followed Caroline upstairs and turned out the lights for both her and her sister as they went to bed. Andrea quietly crept downstairs and hauled her suitcase to the bedroom on the third floor. She changed into something comfortable and warm—some JCrew drawstring lounge pants, a ribbed tank, and a wool sweater—before grabbing the book she brought and heading down to the den to wait for Miranda.

Hours later, Miranda quietly entered the house and noticed a light on in the den. Seeing Andrea curled up on the sofa with her book next to her, Miranda almost didn't want to wake her, but she knew Andrea would be uncomfortable tomorrow if she allowed her to remain in that position.

Miranda hung her coat and left her bag and shoes by the table in the foyer. She crept over towards Andrea and squeezed into the oversized chair next to Andrea.

She slowly woke, looking up at Miranda. "Oh, I'm sorry, Miranda, I must have fallen asleep, and—"

"Shh," Miranda said as she pressed her lips to Andrea's lips. "I missed you this afternoon," she said, "and it's so nice to come…home…to you."

"Mmm," Andrea moaned, standing up and breaking away from the kiss. "The girls are asleep, but I told them you would check in on them when you arrived. Have you eaten? I can reheat some of Cara's carrot soup, or I could make you a light fruit salad…." Her voice trailed as she noticed Miranda was shaking her head.

"What will I do with you, darling? Settle down. I've already eaten dinner, and I will check on the girls shortly. I just want to sit here with you a while longer."

"Oh," Andrea said, moving back to the chair with Miranda. "Okay, so how was the rest of your day?"

"Honestly? It was dreadful, and the meeting with Irv was just icing on the cake, but I don't think I'll have a problem," Miranda said.

"Oh, well at least it's manageable," Andrea said. "And, if I may ask, have you spoken with Stephen?"

"He came back here around 8pm Saturday night, beyond intoxicated. I had to run outside and pay the cab driver, and it took all three of us to drag him up two flights of stairs to his room, where we deposited him face-down on the floor and shut the door. Late Saturday afternoon, he briefly emerged for a few minutes to grab some coffee and a bagel, but then he went back upstairs and the next time I saw him was Monday morning as he was getting in a cab to the airport with his things. It was awful, and I should have been more considerate, but I had to spend hours talking with the girls about alcohol after that episode on Saturday."

"Wow, that's crazy," Andrea said. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I don't want you to think my life is centered around him. I need you to realize that right now, he's hardly an afterthought."

"I appreciate that, Miranda, but I like when you tell me things. It gives me more opportunity to support you and help out if I know what's going on."

"I'm working on it, Andrea, I promise," she said as she laid her head on Andrea's shoulder. "I could sit like this forever," she said. as she sank into Andrea's arms.

"Miranda, you must be exhausted from your day," Andrea said. "Why don't I draw you a bath while you check in on the girls?"

"Actually, that sounds lovely, Andrea," Miranda said, smiling as she climbed up to the girls' bedrooms on the fourth floor.

Andrea walked over to the bar and poured Miranda a generous glass of scotch before turning the lights off and heading upstairs. She set the glass on the small stool next to Miranda's large claw-footed tub, and ran the hot water, swirling in a few drops of sandalwood oil. Andrea grabbed a clean towel from the linen closet, and made sure Miranda's robe was on the back of the door. Once the tub was 3/4 full, Andrea turned off the water and shut the door, keeping the room from growing cold.

They met on the third floor as Andrea was heading to her bedroom and Miranda to hers. "Darling," Miranda said, "Will you ride to Runway with me in the morning? I have to be there by 8."

"Yes, of course, Miranda," Andrea replied. "And the girls? They leave at 7:15?"

"Yes, Andrew usually takes them in the morning. I like to spend time catching up with the girls in the morning, so, um," Miranda paused. She didn't quite know how to tell Andrea she did not want her to interrupt.

"I will wait until at least 7:15 to come downstairs, Miranda," she reassured. "I would never want to cut into your precious time with them, especially before you leave for Paris."

"Thank you, Andrea," Miranda said, wrapping her arms around the young woman in a tight embrace.

"Don't let your bathwater get cold," Andrea warned.

"Right, I'd better hurry. Goodnight—"

"Goodnight, Miranda," Andrea said before she stepped into her bedroom and shut the door. Oh god, she sighed, flopping down on the king-size bed. As much as she wanted Miranda, she never imagined she would be spending two weeks living in the woman's house. And what did Miranda say? Something about how it felt good to come home to her? Andrea sighed again as she tried to understand her strange feelings. Of course, she would move in with Miranda in a heartbeat, but only if Miranda was divorced, and if she knew somehow that she was truly serious, that she wasn't just a fling to get over Stephen. It was already clear that there was more than sex to their relationship, which was a good thing, but Andrea was concerned about the viability of a woman like that who also happened to be her boss.

Sleep overcame the young woman until she was awoken by Miranda in the early hours of morning. "Miranda?" she asked, seeing a figure approaching her bed from the doorway. "What time is it? Is something wrong?"

"Shh," Miranda said as she approached the bed. "Honestly, Andrea, have you never been taught to sleep under the covers?" Miranda asked.

Andrea looked around and blushed, "I must have been really tired," she said as she scooted back and tucked her toes in under the duvet and sheet. "But why are you here?" Andrea asked.

"May I?" Miranda said tugging at the duvet cover.

"Oh, sure." Miranda quickly slipped into the large bed with Andrea, positioning herself close to the young girl, but not touching her.

"So," Miranda began, "the girls won't be up for another hour, and, well, I just wanted to hold you."

Andrea smiled and scooted over on the bed, turning so she and Miranda were spooning. Miranda wrapped her arms around the young woman and left soft kisses in her hair as they laid in silence, Andrea drifting off to sleep.

"Mom? Andy?" the girls shouted from their rooms.

"That's my wake-up call," Miranda said, slipping out of the bed and away from Andrea's warmth. "I'll be up in two seconds, girls," she said from Andrea's doorway, smiling as she pulled the door shut behind her.

Andrea showered and dressed, waiting for the girls to leave before she went downstairs for coffee. Miranda was leaving tomorrow for Paris, and Andrea would not see her for the next ten days. Andrea certainly did not like that idea, but she knew it would be even more difficult on Miranda, given how attached she'd grown in the past week. Andrea had an idea, and would need to spend most of the day preparing for it, but luckily everyone at the magazine was so busy because of the Paris trip, no one would question her errands or wonder what she was furiously working on. Her workload was very light, as Miranda did not have many meetings in the past two weeks, and they were waiting to do the next two photo shoots post-Paris, which meant they would be terribly busy again once they returned. Andrea sighed and began making a mental list of the items she would need to procure to pull off her surprise.

Just then, she heard the girls tell Miranda goodbye and head off to the waiting car. Andrea grabbed her handbag and headed downstairs.

"Good morning," she said.

"Andrea," Miranda said with a nod. Andrea had clearly run into the all-business editor-in-chief this morning. "Coffee is on the counter," she added, motioning to the coffee pot.

Andrea walked over and poured herself a cup, leaning against the counter while she drank. Miranda was running around the house—either looking for something or cleaning up, Andrea wasn't sure—but it was certainly a controlled chaos. Andrea chose to stay in the corner of the kitchen, out of Miranda's way.

It was only 7:30, but Andrea already finished her coffee and was ready to head out. She put her coffee mug in the dishwasher, grabbed her coat, and stood at the door. "Miranda," she called, "are you ready to leave?"

"I'll be down in a minute!" she called from upstairs. Miranda quickly ran down the steps, a shopping bag in one hand as she picked up her Prada handbag from the hall table. "Okay, ready?" Miranda asked as she stepped out the front door.

Andrea locked the door behind them, and the minute they were seated in the car, Miranda began rattling off instructions for Andrea and Emily for the day. Andrea frantically noted everything in her notepad. When Miranda finished, she turned to look out the window.

Andrea slid her hand across the seat and took Miranda's hand in her own. Miranda turned and glared at Andrea. "Breathe," Andrea said as her thumb traced circles on Miranda's palm. "Take a deep breath," Andrea urged again.

Miranda closed her eyes and did as Andrea told. Several times, in fact. She opened her eyes, smiling. "Thank you," she said, "for keeping me grounded."

"Just doing my job, Miranda," Andrea said with a smile.

Miranda immediately released Andrea's hand. "Your job? You're doing all this because it's your job?" she hissed.

Shit, Andrea thought. "No, no, that's not what I meant, Miranda," Andrea said, trying to reason with her. "In some way, I see 'taking care of you' in general as my job, given I am your personal assistant, but please believe me," Andrea said, scooting closer to Miranda and putting her hands on her shoulders, "I take care of you because I love you, and I—" Andrea stopped short as she realized what she just said.

"Andrea, we will talk more when I return home tonight," Miranda said with a wink before stepping out of the car. Andrea stayed in the car for a few moments, letting her heart stop racing.

"I can't believe I said that," Andrea said to herself.

"Don't worry," Roy said from the front seat. "I've seen quite a lot in my years, and you certainly get the special treatment, Andy."

"I do?"

"Yep. You're the only one I know who's ever taken the dragon on and survived to tell."

"Well, let's not talk survival just yet, Roy."

"Okay, but trust me on this one, kiddo."

"Thanks. And, um have a good day. I'll see you this afternoon." Andrea said as she exited the car and headed for the Runway offices.

Andrea quickly typed up the tasks Miranda gave her in the car, and took care of anything urgent, sent a few Paris-related items to Emily, and saved the rest for the afternoon.

Andrea typically read the news or some fashion blogs during her downtime at work, but today, she took advantage of the light workload and scouted out a few stores online that would have what she needed. Seeing as it would be a surprise for Miranda, she grabbed a few Runway-branded recyclable shopping bags and jammed them into her handbag on her way out the door. Within thirty minutes, she found the items she needed and even had them packaged. Andrea stopped at Starbucks before she returned, bringing Miranda a piping hot latte, which she most likely didn't need.

Andrea needed to bring her laptop home to finish setting up her present, so at 1:55, she quietly disconnected her computer, stashed it in a Kate Spade laptop sleeve she found in the Closet and grabbed her bags to head out the door.

"Andrea," Miranda called.

Andrea quickly stepped into Miranda's office, her arms too full to pull out a notepad. "Yes, Miranda?"

"I need you to pack my luggage. Most of the garments I am wearing in Paris have already been chosen, and will travel with the Runway trunks, but I will need some wardrobe staples, loungewear, makeup, and all those other personal items. The girls should be able to help you."

"Yes, Miranda, not a problem," she said, turning to leave.

"Oh, and Andrea?"

"Yes?" she asked, stepping back inside Miranda's office. "I will be home late tonight, but would you please wait for me in my room?"

Andrea smiled, "Yes, Miranda." Hearing Emily return to her desk, Andrea added, "I will call you if I have any questions."

"That's all," Miranda said, dismissing Andrea.

When Andrea arrived at Miranda's, she quickly turned on her computer and began setting up a Skype account for Miranda. Andrea had her own personal account, but needed to create one for Miranda. All she needed to do was slip into Miranda's office at some point tomorrow and download Skype onto her desktop with the login preprogrammed.

The afterschool ritual with the girls was the same as the previous day. Once they finished their homework, Andrea asked them to help her select some of their mom's favorite items, and between the three of them, Miranda was pretty well packed. Caroline knew which hair brush and dryer Miranda always used, while Cassidy was on top of things like minor first aid and pain relievers.

Andrea tucked the girls in bed and changed into her own pajamas, selecting a lacy red camisole and matching boyshorts before brushing her teeth, grabbing her book and phone, and heading to Miranda's room. Andrea crawled into the bed, being sure to lay between the sheets this time. Miranda's bed was so luxurious, and within minutes, Andrea was drifting off to sleep, her book having fallen from her hands.

Miranda returned around 10pm and was relieved to have accomplished so much during the day that she had nothing to do until the morning. Turning out the lights, she climbed the stairs and slipped into her bedroom, locking the door behind her.

Andrea was curled up on Miranda's side of the bed. She looked so beautiful, so peaceful. But, Miranda had other plans for the evening. She stepped into her closet and quickly changed into a black silk chemise. Turning off the bedside lamp, Miranda crawled into bed behind Andrea, wrapping her arms around her and trailing kisses over her body.

Andrea gasped, waking up as a chill ran down her back. "Andrea," she began, "I want to continue our conversation from earlier, but not until I return from Paris, okay?"

"Yes, of course, whenever you're ready."

"Tonight," Miranda said, "Tonight, I just want you." She crushed her lips to Andrea's as she straddled the girl and pressed their pelvises together. Andrea moaned into her mouth as she felt Miranda's heat against her core. Miranda slowly worked her way down Andrea's body, kissing her everywhere except for her folds, which were swollen and dripping. Miranda wanted to build her up slowly, teach her patience.

Miranda carefully traced one finger around Andrea's folds, so lightly it could have been a tickle. Miranda added a second finger, slowly tracing her wet, exterior walls. By the time she added a third, Andrea was bucking wildly and practically sobbing.

"Please," Andrea cried out, "Please let me come, Miranda, oh, I can't take it."

Miranda continued the movement of her fingers, replying, "You can take it, you have to take it. Now you'll know how I feel at work." She continued circling Andrea's opening until finally she slowly pushed one finger in. She pumped in and out a few times, bending down to blow on Andrea's folds before she began penetrating her again.

"Oh god oh god oh god oh god! This is killing me, Miranda, please!"

Miranda smiled and pushed two fingers in, repeating the same thing, thrusting gently, then blowing. When she thrust three fingers, she was careful to stay away from Andrea's clitoris, knowing that even the slightest brush would send her over the edge, and Miranda intended to draw it out a bit longer.

"Does this hurt, darling?" Miranda said as she pumped three fingers in and out.

"No, fuck, harder, Miranda, deeper, please, oh fuck please," Andrea sobbed, tears streaking down her face as her hips moved, trying to make contact with anything.

"Tell me if you need me to stop," Miranda said as she slowly pushed her fist inside Andrea's hot, pulsating core.

"Oh shit, Miranda, fuck fuck fuck," Andrea shouted as she felt her muscles tighten around Miranda's fist. "Fuck, I feel so full, Oh god, Miranda, harder, please, so close," she wailed.

Miranda quickly began moving her fist in and out, careful not to go too far. "I want you to come for me," Miranda said, mesmerized as Andrea's muscles contracted around her wrist, pulling her deeper inside. "Come for me, Andrea, now," she said as she furiously rubbed Andrea's clitoris with her other hand.

Andrea inhaled sharply and arched her back off the bed, as wave after wave of pleasure ripped through her body. Miranda kept her hand inside Andrea, but crawled up to press kisses to her face. "You're so beautiful, Andrea," she said, slowly puling her hand out and licking the copious amounts of liquid from her arm.

"Darling?" Miranda called as she continued to nibble on her neck and press kisses to her lips. "Andrea, come back to me," she said, causing the young woman to slowly blink her eyes open.

"M—Mi-Miranda," Andrea exhaled, her eyes wide open. "I've never—I mean—that was the most intense experience of my life. Oh my god, I'm still shaking."

"Here," Miranda said, pulling the duvet back over them. "Let's just rest for a while."

"Wait, what was the occasion, Miranda?" Andrea asked, still trying to process the last thirty minutes of her life.

"No occasion. Just wanted to…express what you mean to me. Make sure you don't forget me while I'm gone."

"Oh lord," Andrea replied, "I will never forget that."

"Good," Miranda said as she wrapped her arms around Andrea, "sleep well, my darling."



The next morning, Miranda was up early, working in her office. Once the girls left, she examined the luggage Andrea packed and tossed a few last-minute items in. "Andrea, please finish packing this and leave it by the front door. Roy will stop by the house this afternoon to pick them up before collecting Emily and I at Runway."

Andrea nodded. Miranda was on her way out the door when Andrea tugged her hand and pulled her back. "Wait," she called, "Goodbye, Miranda. I hope you have a good time. I will take care of everything here, and I've even got a few surprises for you."

"Andrea, I do not like goodbyes, and I refuse to participate in anything related. Now, please finish the bags and I will see you at the office," Miranda said sternly, pulling her hand away and closing the door behind her.

Andrea sighed and brought Miranda's custom Louis Vuitton luggage down. She took the small gift box and tucked it into the center of Miranda's suitcase and attached a small note that instructed her not to open the box until Andrea told her to. She ran upstairs and grabbed the black chemise Miranda had been wearing the previous night and one of her own tank tops and shoved them into the suitcase as well. Lastly, Andrea fetched the Carine Gilson corset from her bedroom. She had one of the seamstresses at Runway sew wide ribbons into the back so the corset could be worn more loosely and removed by tugging on the black satin ribbon. Andrea gently folded the corset and tucked it in the bottom of Miranda's suitcase before securing the straps and zipping it shut.

Andrea grabbed her coat and bag and left for work. As she expected, the morning was uneventful for her. When Miranda, Emily, and Nigel were busy going over last-minute changes for the benefit in the conference room, Andrea went into Miranda's office and setup her Skype account. By the time 2pm came around, Miranda, Emily and Nigel were all running around so frantically, no one noticed her leave.

But, she thought, there were more important things to do, such as take care of Miranda's girls. As she sat in Miranda's den, waiting for Caroline and Cassidy to return from school, she went over Miranda's schedule one more time. The first showing would be Thursday night, with more shows Friday, French Vogue's gala on Saturday, a few early shows Sunday, and the remaining shows the next week through Wednesday, with the Runway benefit for James Holt on Thursday morning, closing out Fashion Week. Andrea knew that Miranda would not have much time during this trip, but she hoped she would at least enjoy taking a few minutes each day to speak with the girls.

Wednesday night was, for Andrea, like the past two nights, except Miranda did not come home. Before turning in for the night, Andrea wrote Miranda a short email:

I hope your flight was suitable. The girls miss you very much. When you have a moment after returning to your room this evening, turn on your computer and click on the "Skype" icon—the girls have a surprise for you. In the meantime, email or text me anything you need me to take care of back here.

Andrea sent the email, and awoke several hours later when Miranda sent a quick reply:
Thank you, Andrea. Flight was bearable. Will sleep a bit before Jason Wu, but will check out the computer afterwards. Give C&C hugs from me. -M

Andrea smiled as she fell back asleep. The girls woke her several hours later, and Andrea helped them get ready for school, letting them know their mother arrived safely and had a surprise for them after school.

The office was deserted, and Andrea expected it would be for the next ten days. She made sure Miranda's line was forwarded to her cell phone, then packed up and decided to work from home. When the girls arrived from school, Andrea had her computer setup on the coffee table in the den, waiting for Miranda to sign in.

"Andy! This is so cool!" Cassidy said. "So, we will actually be able to see Mom?"

"Yep, that's the plan. Do you think she'll like it?" Andrea asked.

"Oh yes!" Caroline said, "I can't wait to see her!"

They sat on the couch and talked with Andy for a half hour before the computerized doorbell alerted them that Miranda had signed-in. The girls quickly positioned themselves in front of the camera and connected to their mother. "Mooooom!" they both shouted. Suddenly, an image of Miranda with glasses on, squinting at the monitor, came into view.

"Oh my god, girls! I didn't know what I was looking for. It is so good to see you, I miss you so much."

"We miss you too, Mom," Caroline said.

"Thank you for doing this, girls. Now, I can talk to you every day while I'm away."

"It was actually Andy's idea, Mom. She thought you would like it."

Miranda smiled, "Well, that was very thoughtful of her—please thank her for me."

"She's right here—do you want to talk to her?" Cassidy asked.

"Oh, well, sure," Miranda said, knowing she had no choice.

"Hi, uh, Miranda. I hope you're having a good time."

"Thank you, Andrea. Yes, it's…interesting."

"I take it Jason Wu wasn't spectacular?"

"Not in the least, but so is the case with fashion."

"Well, it's late there, you probably want to get some rest, right?" Andrea said.

"Yes, actually, I am quite exhausted. But I will be sure to call or chat or whatever it is—I'll be sure to do it again tomorrow around this time, okay?"

"Yes, Mom, goodnight! Love you!" they both shouted and waved.

Miranda blew a kiss, saying, "Goodnight, my darlings," just before signing out.

The next few days were similar. Andrea didn't have time to talk to Miranda, but was glad the girls were able to share stories about school and everything else. On Saturday, the girls wanted to spend the night with their friend Isabella, so Andrea had Roy drop them off, and being the good babysitter she was, she went with the girls and insisted on meeting Isabella's parents, giving them her phone number for emergencies, and arranging to pick them up at noon the next day.

When she returned to the townhouse, she showered and bathed, reapplied her makeup and even fixed her hair. Andrea carried her laptop into Miranda's bedroom and situated herself on the bed as she texted Miranda:
M, The girls are at Isabella's tonight. I will be up for a while if you need anything. Oh, and did you unpack everything yet? -A

Within ten minutes, Miranda replied:
Thank you, A. I just returned to my room for the night, and finally unpacked. I will call you to check-in momentarily. -M

Andrea smiled and made sure her computer was plugged in and that she was signed on. Miranda started the Skype chat, and Andrea was looking at Miranda in her white fluffy robe, tucked into bed.

"Hi Miranda," Andrea said with a smile.

"Good evening, Andrea. I'm sorry, but I am quite tired again tonight. Is everything going okay with the girls? You'll pick them up personally tomorrow?"

"Yes, Miranda. I met Isabella's mother when I dropped them off tonight, too. They have very little homework for Monday, and it's mostly completed."

Andrea watched Miranda nod at the computer. "See if they can fit in a piano lesson on Saturday. The instructor's contact info is in the book in my study, and he usually comes to the house for one hour."

"Okay, I'll call him tomorrow morning," Andrea added. "How have things been in Paris?"

Miranda sighed, "It's fashion week, Andrea. It is what it is. Now, I really need to get some sleep. Tell the girls I missed them tonight."

"Ok, will do. Goodnight, Miranda."

"Yes. Goodnight," Miranda replied as she shut the screen of her laptop. Andrea wasn't sure what was going on, but Miranda seemed distant. It was probably the stress of Paris, Andrea tried to reassure herself as she carried her laptop back into her bedroom.

Andrea made an appointment with the girls piano instructor early the next morning. He would be at the townhouse from 3-5pm, so Andrea urged the girls to finish their homework beforehand, and they did.

Around 4pm, Andrea was sitting in the den, listening to the sounds of the piano echoing throughout the house. The girls were quite good, and Andrea was actually impressed, not that she really expected anything less from the Priestly girls. She received a text message from Miranda:
Are the girls busy? I'd like to say hello.

This was not like Miranda, but again, Andrea figured the stress of everything going on in Paris, plus the fact that she didn't speak with them yesterday, was to blame. Andrea ran and got her computer and set it up in the den, replying to Miranda that they'd be online in two minutes.

"Girls," Andrea said, "Let's take a five minute break. Your mother would like to say hello, and with the time change and her busy schedule, she might not be free this evening."

Both girls nodded and excused themselves from the presence of their instructor as they headed down to the den, where Miranda was already on Skype.

"Hi, Mom!" they said in unison.

"Hi, my darlings. It's so good to see you—" Miranda paused and seemed to wipe her eye before continuing, "—I missed you yesterday. Did you have a good time at your friend's?"

"Yeah, it was good. We miss you, too." Cassidy said.

"I can't wait for you to come home," Caroline added.

"Well, darling, Mommy has to work over here. I will be home in a few days. Are you being good for Andrea?"

"Yes," they replied.

"Okay, good. I don't want to keep you too long. I love you both very very much, okay?"

"Yep, we love you, too. We're going to go back to our piano lesson now, though. Talk to you tomorrow?"

"Yes, of course, baby," Miranda said as the girls walked away. Andrea took their place in front of the computer. She could tell something was different with Miranda. She was not wearing any makeup, she had her glasses on, and she was wearing a soft grey bathrobe. Her eyes looked distant.

"Miranda," Andrea said by way of announcing her presence.

"Oh. Andrea, uh, there was something I needed you to do but it seemed to slip my mind momentarily."

"Oh, okay. Let me know when you think of it," Andrea said. "So, do you have any plans for your free night tonight?"

"No," Miranda said. Andrea made note that Miranda was not in the mood for small talk.

"Have you heard from Stephen?—I could book his ticket…"

"Stephen isn't coming."

"Oh. Uh," Andrea stammered, somewhat confused at what Miranda just said. "So we don't need to ship the Armani tux to your hotel for Thursday night?"

"Not unless Stephen decides to rethink signing the divorce papers."

"The—the div—divorce?" Andrea said, in shock.

Miranda continued, as if Andrea had not even spoken. "Another divorce, splashed across page six. You know, I don't really care what they write about me anymore, but…my girls. Another father figure, come and gone. And those vultures will make up vicious lies just to sell papers. Papers for which my daughters will be yet again ridiculed at school. Little dragons, Spawn of satan—I'm sure they'll come up with something new this time."

Andrea did not say a word but tried unsuccessfully to meet Miranda's eyes on screen. "Miranda, I'm so sorry. I—I wish I was there for you right now." Andrea could feel Miranda's heartache coming off her body in waves, and wanted nothing more than to wrap her arms around the older woman and hold her until she was ready to move on.

"Don't be silly, Andrea."

"I can cancel the rest of your trip for you if you'd like," Andrea suggested.

"Whyever would we do that? Oh, now I remembered. You need to send Emily the seating chart so she can make a few rearrangements. Damon will be moving to my table, and we have to keep Donatella far away from Marc."

"Of course," Andrea said, "but Miranda, is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Yes," Miranda nodded, "your job. Take care of my girls. Talk to Leslie about handling the PR for this. Keep them home from school if necessary."

"Okay," Andrea said, "I will call her right away." She paused, realizing Miranda didn't want to say any more, but also that she was not ending the call. "Miranda, I can't even imagine what you're feeling right now. You loved Stephen, and I know you tried to be the wife he wanted, you tried to make it work for your sake and for the girls. I wish I could take away the hurt—if I could, I would." Miranda slowly began to look up at Andrea, their eyes meeting for the first time that day.

"Thank you, Andrea. You're the first person I've told, and probably the only."

"Miranda, if you want to call me later tonight, any time, really, you know I'll be here. Even if it's just to listen to someone else breathing."

"Thank you," Miranda said. "I think I'm going to take a bath and then tuck in for the night."

"Sounds like a good idea. I will send the seating chart and let you know if there's any changes around here."

"Thank you, Andrea," Miranda said. Under her breath, she added, "And I do miss you here."

Andrea smiled as she ended the call, only to get herself worked up as she called Leslie and explained the situation. Leslie's approach was to provide the information to the Post before they found out for themselves, and Andrea agreed. She made arrangements for Roy to pick up the girls' schoolwork from Dalton tomorrow morning, and then she realized she needed to tell the girls why they would be staying home.

After their piano instructor left and they finished their homework, Andrea was tucking them in. "Girls, you know your mom and Stephen have not been getting along too well lately, right?"

"Yeah," Caroline said, "We heard Mom screaming and crying in the hallway one night."

"And we had to drag Stephen's drunk ass upstairs once, too," Cassidy added.

"Cassidy! Watch your language!" Andrea shouted.


"Ok, well anyway, so this might not be a surprise to you, but Stephen and your mom are going to get a divorce. There is probably going to be stuff in the papers tomorrow and the next day, so I talked to your mom and she suggested we all stay home tomorrow if that's okay?"

The girls nodded. "So you'll be home with us?" Cassidy asked.

"Yes, I'll work from home, and Roy will pick up your schoolwork for you to complete here at home."


"Do you girls have any questions or anything? Are you okay?"

"Yes," Caroline replied. "We hated Stephen and knew he wouldn't last."

"I'm surprised mom kept his—kept him around here this long," Cassidy said.

"Well, they loved each other once, and they tried to make it work, but it just seems that they grew apart. If you need anything, though, or even need to talk, you know you can come to me, or we can call your mom, right?"

"Yeah, thanks Andy," Caroline said, hugging her. Cassidy joined in, too.

It was relatively quiet in front of the Priestly house on Monday morning, despite the feature that ran on page six. Still, after hearing what Miranda said, she felt better knowing the girls were at home.

"Andy, can we have pizza tonight?" Cassidy asked.

"Sure, I'll order it now. Let me know when the delivery guy gets here and I'll come down and pay."

The girls nodded in agreement and ran back downstairs to continue their homework. It was 5pm and Andrea had not heard from Miranda in over twenty-four hours, so after ordering the pizza, she slipped into Miranda's bedroom, signed into Skype and sent Miranda a text message, letting her know she was online if she wanted to talk. Thirty minutes went by with no word from Miranda.

Then, the doorbell rang. Both girls ran to answer it as Andrea pulled out some cash and headed downstairs. She was shocked to see the girls standing in the foyer with Stephen, not the pizza delivery man. Stephen had his hand around Caroline's wrist, but she jerked away quickly, shouting for him to get his hands off her and throwing him off-balance, sending him stumbling into the wall and knocking down a photo.

As the glass shattered on the hardwood floor, Andrea approached the trio. "Girls, upstairs, now. Don't come down until I tell you to."

"Ooh, Andrea," Stephen said. "First you're after my wife, now you're after my daughters."

"That's not true. It was an arrangement. And I'm here looking after Miranda's daughters only while she is away in Paris. Now, do you need something? Please leave."

The house phone rang, but Andrea ignored it like she always did. If someone needed her, they would call her cell phone.

"Andrea," Stephen said, now grabbing her by the wrist and pulling her towards him, "I want to make you scream."

Andrea could tell right away that he was drunk. Not only did he smell like a cheap bottle of whisky, but his eyes were glassy and he was slurring his words. Still, god help her, he was strong as ever. She tried to wriggle away, but he pulled her into the den, sitting on the chair and pulling her onto his lap.

"Stephen! Let me go! Let me go!" she shouted.

Stephen wrapped his arms around her waist and held her on his lap, thrusting his hips into her. "Oh, fuck, Andrea, you make me so hard," he moaned as he circled her hips over his cock. "I want to make you come. Just me, all me."

"Stop it! Let me go!" Andrea shouted over and over but could not get away from his grasp. What's worse, she could feel herself getting wet as he pressed against her, her body betraying her. Thankfully, they were both fully clothed

Caroline answered the house phone immediately when she saw the caller ID. "Mom!" she shouted.

"Caroline, what is going on? I was online waiting for Andrea and heard glass break and shouting."

"It's Stephen—he's drunk. And he's got Andy. He's forcing her to sit on his lap and she's shouting for him to stop. She told us to stay upstairs."

Miranda's heart stopped momentarily before she regained composure. "Darling, you need to hang up this phone right now and call 9-1-1. Demand that they send someone right away. And stay away from Stephen."

"Ok, mom, bye," she said as she hung up and dialed 9-1-1 immediately.

Stephen was still restraining Andrea, thrusting at her, his hand wrapped around her waist, massaging between her legs from the front. No matter how hard Andrea scratched or hit him, his grip on her would not let up.

Suddenly, two police officers stormed in through the front door, pointing guns at Stephen. He released Andrea, and she ran to the other side of the room. They handcuffed him and were taking him to the precinct, and asked if Andrea wanted to press charges. She knew how damaging this would already be for Miranda, and the last thing she wanted was any speculation about screwing the assistant, so she said she wanted to think about it. The female officer kindly offered her any additional assistance, and gave her her business card in case she should decide to press charges later.

Once they were all out of the townhouse, Andrea sank to the floor in tears. Stephen was disgusting. He was a pig. But he was also Miranda's husband. Oh god, Andrea thought, what if the press starts saying that she—Miranda's assistant—was the reason for their divorce? Her head was spinning and she could hardly think straight anymore.

Just then, there was a gentle knock on the door. It was the female police officer again, this time to hand her their pizza, courtesy of NYPD for their troubles tonight.

Andrea locked the door behind her and set the pizza on the kitchen table. "Girls, you can come downstairs now. Pizza is here."

"Andy! Are you okay? Is he gone?" the girls shouted as they ran down the stairs.

"Yes, yes, I'm fine. I'm so glad you stayed upstairs. Stephen didn't hurt either of you, did he?"

"No, I'm okay," Cassidy said.

"Me, too," Caroline added, rushing to hug Andrea. "I'm glad he's gone, and I'm glad you're okay, Andy."

"Yeah," Cassidy said, running over to join her sister in wrapping her arms around Andrea. "Stephen scares me sometimes—what was he doing to you?"

Andrea sighed. She knew Miranda would probably want to do this her own way, but Andrea wanted them to know the truth. "Girls, remember what your mom explained to you about drinking alcohol a few weeks ago?"

"Yes, it makes you do strange things, it can make you angry and want to hurt people, and it makes you smell," Cassidy said.

"Okay, good. So you've seen Stephen after he's been drinking before, when you helped your mom get him to bed, right? He was drinking again before he came over tonight."

"Why was he holding you?"

"I think he was trying to hit me but couldn't because he was too drunk." She was not about to explain sex to these girls.

"Oh," both girls said.

"Now, please eat something for dinner. I'm going upstairs to take a shower or something. Stay out of the foyer, please. I'll have it cleaned tomorrow morning." The girls nodded and Andrea headed upstairs to her bedroom, forcing herself into the shower.

The hot water pounded her flesh, and she tried to get the image of Stephen out of her mind. It was as if she could still feel his hands wrapped around her. Andrea stepped out of the shower, dried herself and threw on a cami and shorts before curling into a ball on the bed. She wished Miranda's arms were around her, and that she could forget the past twenty-four hours.

An hour or so later, Andrea woke as both girls were standing at her bedside, staring at her. "Andy? Were you crying?" Caroline asked, seeing the puffy, red eyes.

"Just a little."

"Andy, we love you, don't cry," Caroline said, jumping onto the bed and throwing her arms around Andy.

"Yeah, it's okay, Andy, really, it's going to be fine," Cassidy said, joining her sister.

"I am so lucky to have you girls here. Thank you, you are so sweet to me."

"Can we sleep here with you, Andy?"

"Of course, baby."

After a few minutes, the recent events running over and over in her mind, she sat up in bed and woke the girls. "Girls, the phone rang when Stephen was here. Who was it?"

Cassidy yawned, "Oh, it was mom. She's the one who told us to call 9-1-1 right away."

Andrea's eyes widened. "Shi—Shoot!" she shouted and jumped up from the bed, frantically searching for her cell phone.

"What's wrong?"

"Your mom—I was going to tell her about all this tomorrow, but I'm sure she's worried sick! Help me find my cell phone!"

After several minutes, Andrea found her phone and computer in Miranda's bedroom. There was minimal battery left on her phone, and multiple missed calls, texts, and voicemails from Miranda. Andrea told the girls to go back to sleep and she quickly dialed Miranda's number, not caring that it was something like 3am in Paris at the time.

"Andrea! Are you alright?" Miranda answered breathlessly on the first ring.

"Yes, yes, yes, I'm fine. He's gone," Andrea said as she began crying into the phone.

"Andrea, what happened? The girls said he hurt you?"

Andrea took a deep breath and explained everything to Miranda in detail.

"Oh, darling. I'm so sorry. This is all my fault," Miranda said, on the verge of tears.

"No, Miranda, if it wasn't me, it would have been you. At least he didn't do anything serious, and at least the girls weren't hurt."

"Andrea," Miranda said, pausing, "I am going to fly home this morning."

"No!" Andrea shouted. "No, please, this is okay, I can handle it, Miranda."

"Please," Miranda said, "I want to be there with you, with the girls."

"And I want you here, too," Andrea replied, "but Paris comes around once a year, and you cannot miss the next few days. The entire magazine would suffer, Miranda."

Miranda was silent, realizing that Andrea was probably right. "Okay. But what can I do for you now? I want to hold you or something."

"That can wait," Andrea said. "Just talking to me helps, thank you."

"You know, I opened the box you sent."

"What? You were supposed to wait," Andrea pouted.

"I grew very suspicious when I noticed you packed the Carine Gilson corset."

"Ah, of course. Well, did you like it?"

"I'm definitely curious about the anal beads, but the dildo is quite amazing," Miranda said, her voice growing husky.

"Ooh, I'm glad you like it," Andrea said, her mood instantly lifting. "I have the harness for it here at home."

Andrea heard Miranda swallow. "Oh god. And here I was looking forward to wearing the Ben Wa balls on the plane ride home."


"Yes, what other way to entertain myself during the eight-hour flight?"

Andrea didn't know what to say. In that moment, she was overcome with emotions for the older woman. She wanted to be near her, to hold her, to tell her how much she loved her. "Well," Andrea said after a few moments of silence, "I am exhausted and need to get back to bed, and you—hopefully you can get some rest before your breakfast, too."

"Of course, I'm sorry I kept you awake," Miranda said. "But thank you, Andrea, really, for being there for my daughters. That means more to me than I could ever express, knowing I can trust you—" Miranda trailed off. "Yes, so, goodnight, Andrea. Please contact Leslie tomorrow in case this ends up in the papers, too."

"I will. Goodnight, Miranda," Andrea said before ending the call. Andrea went to her bedroom and crawled back into bed with Caroline and Cassidy.

As soon as Miranda hung up with Andrea, she finished packing her suitcase up with the basics—a few items, her makeup and toiletries, the toys from Andrea. She wore flats and cropped lounge pants, a DKNY zip-up jacket over her cotton tank.


"Uh… Miranda? What time is it?" Emily answered after several rings.

"Wake up, Emily. I need you to come to my room so we can discuss something urgent. Throw on a robe. I don't care what you look like," Miranda said before hanging up the phone.

In less than 60 seconds, Emily was walking into Miranda's room, makeup-free with a headband in her hair.

"Emily, I need to return to New York today. The first flight you can get me. You and the team will stay as planned, and you will see that whatever remaining items here in my room are packed up with the Runway trunks as well."

"Okay, yes, Miranda, of course," Emily replied as she hurried to scribble down the details. "Is everything okay, Miranda?" Emily asked.

Miranda looked startled at the question.

"Oh my god, I'm sorry. It's none of my business, Mirnada. I will go book that flight."

"No, wait." Miranda said, taking hold of Emily's wrist. She quickly let go. "You should know that Stephen has signed divorce papers. This evening, he showed up intoxicated at the townhouse and assaulted Andrea."

Emily's eyes widened and she went pale. "Oh my god, I—I had no idea—is she okay? The girls?"

"Everyone is okay. The girls called the police and they escorted Stephen away before he had the chance to accomplish anything really." Miranda sighed. "I spoke with Andrea, and she told me they were okay, that she would handle it. It's not that I don't trust her, because I do. I—I just want to be there to take care of this myself. This is my mess, and I should be there for my daughters. I should be the one to deal with the fallout."

"I understand. What can I do for you?" Emily asked, realizing this was a unique opportunity to ask Miranda questions.

"That's what I needed to speak to you about. You will be responsible for taking my seat at the remaining shows. I need you to be my eyes since I will not be there—no opinions, only details."

"Yes, Miranda, I'd be honored."

"I'm trusting you, Emily, because you have shown great promise. And there is one more thing," Miranda said.

"Yes, of course," Emily said, nodding as she jotted something in her notepad.

"At the Runway James Holt benefit, you need to speak on my behalf. Nigel will introduce you. The speech is already written," Miranda said, handing Emily a sheet of paper. "You will announce the new president of James Holt International," Miranda said, practically whispering. "Nigel will surely think the position is his. I know James spoke to him days ago about it. You will announce Jacqueline Follet as the new president of JHI, and you will focus on the achievements she has made with French Runway, and how that has made her such an admirable candidate for this position, there was no competition, the decision was obvious to us all, and so forth."

Emily was frantically writing notes, nodding as Miranda spoke.

"And Emily, you are not to discuss this with Nigel. The announcement must be a surprise. You will be gracious and congratulatory. James and Jacqueline will work well together."

"Yes, Miranda," Emily said.

"Okay," she said, sighing, "Now, go book my flight."

"Of course, Miranda," she said. "And, uh, I hope things work out at home. I know Andrea likes to put on a tough face, but I don't know how long that will last."

"Yes," Miranda said with a sigh. "I have been asking a lot of her lately, and I am concerned that tonight might be too much for her."

"You, you care about her, don't you?" Emily said, feeling particularly bold at this hour of morning and knowing she had Miranda's trust.

"Yes, yes I do," she said. "She is something…special."

"You know she adores you?"

Miranda smiled, "Yes, I suspected as much. Honestly, I don't know what she finds in me. I am certainly not worthy of her."

"Bloody hell! When will you two see what you mean to each other? Honestly. I wish you two would just screw and get it over with alread—"

Blush was creeping up Miranda's face, the slight smirk on her lip giving her away.

"—oh my, oh god, you have, haven't you? You and Andrea? Oh god, I'm sorry—this—this is too much," Emily said as she stood and went for the door.

"Emily," Miranda called, "get me home." She nodded and ran out of the room.

At seven o'clock, Andrea's alarm clock went off. Quickly turning it off, Andrea reassured Caroline and Cassidy that they did not need to go to school today, that they could sleep in as long as they wanted, because that was exactly what she was planning on doing. At first, she thought it would be difficult to fall asleep in the same bed as Miranda's daughters, but they were so sweet and comforting to her, holding her hands and kissing her forehead, she felt like part of Miranda was there with her, too.

Miranda's taxi pulled up to her townhouse. She felt like she hadn't slept in days, but she needed to make sure her girls were alright. She needed to fix the mess she created of their lives, needed to reassure them that she did, indeed love them.

As she hurried up the steps to the townhouse dragging one suitcase behind her, she suddenly remembered she was wearing the Ben Wa balls, not that she could forget, of course, just that climbing stairs created an entirely different situation than sitting with one's legs crossed.

Miranda entered the house and quietly closed the door behind her, leaving her bags in the foyer. The house was quiet. A shattered glass picture frame lay in the hallway, and from a cursory glance around the first floor, everyone was still asleep. She went to the stairs, and slipped off her shoes before tiptoeing up. She checked her bedroom, but other than a rumpled bed, no sign of anyone. Quickly, she paused in her bathroom to remove the Ben Wa balls, leaving on the vanity for later cleaning. Her panties were practically dripping, and she should have known better than to wear them for eight hours, but she couldn't think about that now. She needed to see her girls.

On the third floor, she noticed Andrea's bedroom door was cracked open. Poking her head inside, she saw Andrea, Cassidy, and Caroline curled up together in the king-sized bed. As tears began to form in Miranda's eyes, she quietly walked up to the opposite side of the bed and climbed in next to Caroline, careful not to wake anyone.

Miranda wrapped her arm around her daughter and kissed the top of her head. "I love you, Caroline. So much. I am so, so, sorry," she whispered softly as she cried and held her tighter.

"Mom?" Caroline said, turning to see Miranda. "Mom! You're home!"

"Shhhh, shh," Miranda warned, "Yes, baby, I'm home. Let's go back to sleep, ok?"

"Sure. Is everything okay—you're crying," Caroline pointed out, clearly confused to see her mother in tears.

"Oh yes, baby, everything is fine. I was so worried about you girls. I just needed to be here with you, to hold you, to protect you."

Caroline smiled. "Thanks, Mom. I love you and I'm so glad you're home."

"Sweetheart, thank you for being so strong and calling 9-1-1 last night." Miranda paused and squeezed her daughter tighter, "I don't know what might have happened if the police didn't come. I don't want to think about that."

"Mom, you told me what to do. I would have been to scared to call myself. It was so scary, Mom," Caroline said, curling up tightly against Miranda's body. "Andy was screaming so loud, and she was crying, and she told us to stay upstairs, but we wanted to help."

"Oh baby, you did help, you did. I'm so sorry I wasn't here for you girls."

"But you're here now."

"Yes, I am."

Cassidy opened her eyes, and at the sight of her mother she jumped over her sister and threw her arms around Miranda, who was trying to motion for her not to wake Andrea.

"I missed you so much, Mom."

"I know, baby, I know. I'm home now. Are you alright?"

"Yes, we're fine. Andy has been awesome, Mom. Not too nice, but still really cool."

"Oh, well that's wonderful. I'm sorry I wasn't here myself."

"Don't worry about it, we like Andy."

Miranda smiled and pulled her daughters close. "Let's go back to sleep, ok?"

They both nodded and curled up against her. Miranda was exhausted, but didn't want to close her eyes. Something about being able to see her girls, to see for herself that they are safe and in her arms outweighed the much-needed rest. But, eventually sleep claimed Miranda, too.

Hours later, Miranda woke, her stomach growling. "Mom? Are you okay?" Caroline asked.

"Yes, it just appears I haven't had anything to eat for a while," she chuckled. "How about you girls go shower and change, and then we'll have some lunch?"

"Yes! Can we stay in pajamas all day?"

"Of course, darlings. Please don't go downstairs, though. We need to clean up the shattered glass first."

They nodded and left the room, running upstairs to shower. Miranda looked over at Andrea, still asleep, and brushed her hand along the young woman's cheek.

"Mm, Miranda," Andrea said, "why are you over there? come closer."

Miranda smiled, knowing Andrea wasn't fully awake, but desperately wanting to hold her in her arms. Miranda crawled across the bed and wrapped her arms around Andrea, kissing her forehead and pulling her close.

Andrea slowly blinked, her tired eyes focusing on Miranda. Andrea reached a hand out to touch Miranda's face, "You—are you really here?"

"Yes, darling," Miranda whispered as she nuzzled Andrea's neck.

Andrea quickly sat up. "But, but you—Paris! Why did you leave? Is everything okay?" she asked.

"Yes, yes, calm down. I was so concerned about you and the girls. The thought of Ste—of him—here in the house, touching my girls, touching you…I could never forgive myself if he hurt any of you."

Andrea wrapped her arms around Miranda and hugged her close. Tears streaming down Miranda's cheeks, Andrea softly kissed her and whispered reassuring words in her ear. "Shh, it's okay, he didn't hurt us. It's okay, we're okay."

The two women sat like that for some time, crying and holding each other, each relaxing in the other's embrace. "Miranda?" Andrea asked. "You didn't need to come back, but, I'm glad you did."

Miranda stretched and sat up. "I will never admit this again, but it feels really good to sleep in and get out of bed in the afternoon," she said as she crawled out of the bed. "I do need to take a shower, though. I promised the girls I would order in lunch if they cleaned up, too."

Andrea sat up, too. "Oh, okay." She suddenly thought about what she would be expected to do now that Miranda was home from Paris. Miranda returned to spend time with her daughters. She had only been staying at the townhouse because Miranda and Stephen were gone, but now, Andrea sighed, she would need to return to her measly, lonely apartment.

When Miranda went downstairs to shower, Andrea changed into fresh clothes—leggings and a cowl-neck sweater—and packed her things back into her bag. She carried her bag downstairs to the foyer, and brought Miranda's suitcase up to the second floor just outside her bedroom door. Andrea carefully swept up the glass in the main hallway.

Miranda opened her bedroom door and was surprised to see her suitcase there. She dragged it into her room and looked downstairs to see Andrea cleaning the last bits of glass from the floor. "Andrea? What are you doing?"

"Uh, cleaning up the broken glass so you can safely walk on the floor?"

"Andrea, you did not have to do that," Miranda began,

"It wasn't a problem, Miranda. It's fine." Andrea said as she tossed the wet paper towel into the trash bag with the other pieces. "Um, okay, then," she said, reluctantly, heading towards her bag at the door. "I, uh, will see you on Monday. Or, if you come into the office on Friday, then I might see you then, but, uh, you can call me if anything else comes up."

Andrea picked up her bag and opened the door, surprised that Miranda didn't even so much as say goodbye. She turned around, wondering if Miranda was even watching her, and she saw her, at the foot of the stairs, clutching the railing as she slid down to sit on the step. Andrea couldn't quite read her expression, so she took her silence as acknowledgment and stepped out onto the front steps, reaching back to pull the door shut behind her.

But, something stopped her, made her pause. It was a muffled sound, but enough to break the silence, and it sounded like weeping. She pushed the door open enough to see the source of the sound: Miranda. Andrea threw her bag back on the foyer floor and rushed over to the woman who was choking out sobs.

Caroline and Cassidy were standing at the top of the stairs. They, too, came running when they heard the cry. Andrea motioned for them to come down and join her. She sat on the stairs with Miranda, wrapping her arms around the woman from behind and gently rocking her back and forth on the stair. The girls joined her, Caroline at Miranda's feet while Cassidy sat holding Miranda's hands.

Andrea knew Miranda had been stressed lately, and knew that the divorce papers could not have eased her mind at all, but she never expected a breakdown from Miranda. No, Miranda was not having a breakdown, Andrea decided. It would be a temporary release. Miranda Priestly did not break down. She does not break.

"Girls," Andrea said softly, "Why don't you run to the kitchen and see if you can pull together something for us all to eat. Fruit, toast, anything." They nodded and went to dig through the refrigerator.

Miranda was still whimpering as she struggled to catch her breath from the last bout of sobs. Andrea turned to face Miranda, never releasing her from her embrace. "Miranda," Andrea called, trying to meet Miranda's eyes that were cast downward, "Sweetheart, please," she begged, "you're scaring me. I don't know what else to do." Certain that the girls were out of sight, Andrea began kissing her forehead, her cheeks, trailing down her neck. "Miranda, sweetheart, come back to me. It's okay, I've got you. I'm here," she whispered as she continued to rock Miranda. "I'm right here, you're safe, Miranda, I won't let you go, please. I love you so much, Miranda, please, talk to me. Tell me what's wrong, I'll make it right." Andrea was desperate—how long could Miranda sit there crying before she became catatonic or something? Were there any sedatives in the house?

Slowly, Miranda lifted her head and looked into Andrea's eyes. "You—" Miranda began in a hoarse whisper, "You walked away. You—you said you were 'doing your job', and," she paused to swallow, "and you left when I returned."

Andrea suddenly recalled their conversation in the towncar before she left, and what Miranda said she wanted to talk about later. Did she seriously think that that was all Andrea saw her for? Andrea took Miranda's head in her hands and forced her to look into her eyes. "And," she said, looking directly at Miranda, "do you remember what else I said when I made the idiotic comment about doing my job? I said I loved you. I love you, Miranda, honestly." With that, she crushed her mouth against Miranda's, her tongue searching Miranda's mouth.

"Wh—why?" Miranda asked, pushing Andrea away.

"Why what, Miranda? I can't read your mind," Andrea retorted in frustration. "Why did I walk out? Because I thought you wanted to spend time with the girls. Because I thought you only wanted me here while you were away. Because I thought you were concerned about Stephen finding out, that clause in your prenup." Andrea paused, then continued. "Why do I love you? Because you're one of a kind. You are so precious to me. I could list a million adjectives and still not do justice. You're perfect. You're sexy. You're smart. God, just thinking about you turns me on. Miranda, I'm so sorry. Please, how can I make this right?"

"You—you think I'm perfect?"

Andrea smiled and embraced Miranda tighter, "Yes, I do think you're perfect. God, Miranda, I fucking love you so much. I don't know what else to do!" Andrea said.

"Help me upstairs," Miranda said as she tried to stand, unsuccessfully.

Andrea smiled again. "You need to eat something first. Knowing you, you haven't eaten in over twenty-four hours."

"Okay, bring something up."

"The girls are worried about you," Andrea reminded her, "They are in the kitchen now."

"Tell them—tell them I'm sorry," Miranda said.

Andrea nodded and stood up, helping Miranda to stand and keeping her arm around her waist as they walked upstairs. Andrea helped Miranda climb into bed and promised she would be back in sixty seconds.

"Andy! Is mom okay?" Caroline asked when she reached the kitchen.

"Yes, she is. She is overly exhausted from Paris and needs to rest, though. She wants me to tell you she is sorry she can't spend time with you girls right now, but she promised to later this evening."

"Okay," Caroline answered. "Why was she crying?"

"I think it was a combination of things—being tired, thinking about the divorce… when she came downstairs and saw me cleaning up the glass from the frame Stephen broke, it probably triggered some emotions, too."

"Oh okay," she said. "Here is a plate of carrots, celery, and hummus, and we have a ginger ale, too. Mom likes this kind."

Andrea took the plate and glass of ginger ale. After the twins reassured Andy that they would eat leftover pizza, she quickly ran to Miranda's room with the food.

"Lock the door, please."

Andrea nodded and locked the door once she closed it. She climbed on the bed and sat with Miranda, handing her the ginger ale and offering her some vegetables. "Please have something to eat, Miranda. You'll feel better."

Miranda nodded and ate a few pieces of celery before pushing the plate away and curling up on her side, away from Andrea. She did, however, finish the ginger ale. Andrea took the plate and moved it to the nightstand before crawling up behind Miranda on the bed.

"Andrea, you do not have to do this," Miranda said as she felt the bed shift as Andrea drew closer.

She wrapped her arms around the older woman and trailed kisses down her neck and in her hair. "I know I don't have to, but I want to, Miranda. Please. Relax, let me take care of you." Andrea kissed Miranda's shoulder and added, "Let me love you."

Miranda let out a soft moan, and that was all Andrea needed. She began kneading the muscles in her back, her shoulders, her neck. Miranda turned to lie flat on her stomach, and Andrea straddled her as she continued to massage Miranda's tired and tense muscles, willing her to relax. Slowly, she felt the tension melting away. Andrea moved farther down, sliding Miranda's silk dressing gown up, so she could kiss and touch Miranda's legs.

Miranda's breathing grew shorter as Andrea's hot, wet lips assaulted her skin. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She needed Andrea, needed her badly. Miranda turned around so she was laying on her back and reached out her hands for Andrea, pulling her close. They kissed fiercely, Miranda's tongue assaulting the young woman's mouth. Breaking for air, Miranda panted, "Make love to me, Andrea."

Andrea slithered down her body, crushing her lips to Miranda's core as Miranda's hips bucked off the bed. "Ohh, Andrea!" Miranda moaned.

She sucked on Miranda's clit and lapped at her juices. Miranda was already so aroused. Andrea pressed her fingers into Miranda's core, and she could already feel her muscles twitching around her fingers. Andrea thrusted her fingers in and out several times, grazing her teeth over Miranda's bud.

"Ahhhnndrea!" Miranda moaned, gasping as her muscles went stiff, a sharp orgasm claiming her body. Andrea continued to press her tongue to Miranda's core, now pressing her thumb firmly against her clitoris. "Oh god—oh god—fuuuck!" Miranda howled, slapping her left hand against the mattress as a second wave of orgasm ripped through her helpless body.

Andrea removed the pressure from Miranda's center and placed one hand on each side of Miranda's body, slowly sliding upwards, sliding Miranda's dressing gown up over her breasts and over her head. Miranda was still lost in her orgasm, and Andrea took the opportunity to see, touch, and taste Miranda's beautiful body. "So beautiful," Andrea murmured as she trailed soft kisses up from Miranda's center, across her ribs, to her breasts. Andrea quickly memorized the geography of Miranda's skin: the small mole under her left breast, the scar from her c-section, another scar on the other side, perhaps from an appendectomy. Andrea slowly kissed and licked each scar, each imperfection, murmuring her love and admiration for the woman.

She straddled Miranda's body as she bent down to take her nipple in her mouth. Miranda arched her back as Andrea pinched her other nipple tightly between her fingers.

Miranda was panting, consumed by pleasure. "Andrea… I can't… please… I can't… no more…can't take it… stop," she said, breathlessly.

Andrea released Miranda from her grasp and moved to lay next to her on the bed, pulling the sheet over Miranda, and tracing her fingers across Miranda's abdomen as she rest her head on Miranda's shoulder.

Several minutes later, Miranda's breathing slowed back to normal and she lay there, speechless, in disbelief as she looked down at Andrea's hand, tracing the marks, scars, and sagging skin on her midsection.

Andrea turned to Miranda. "You're beautiful, sweetheart. So beautiful. Thank you for letting me love you." Andrea saw tears forming in her eyes, and for a half-second, was concerned Miranda would break down again.

"No, Andrea, thank you," Miranda said as she stroked the young woman's cheek. "Thank you for loving me, for respecting me, for helping me. You make my insecurities wash away, darling. I'm sorry," she said, turning her head to the other side, "if I am still in disbelief sometimes. It just…it seems like a fantasy that you love me and want to be with me. I guess I've been waiting for you to leave, to tell me it was a lie, because that's was my fear."

"Oh, Miranda," Andrea sighed, jumping on top of the woman and crushing their lips together. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Mmm," Miranda sighed. "Perfect," she said as they closed their eyes and drifted off to sleep.

A loud pounding on the bedroom door woke them both up. "Andy! I know you're in there," Stephen bellowed. "We didn't get to finish our conversation last night. Open this door!"

Miranda and Andrea looked at each other in panic. "The girls!" she mouthed. Miranda crawled out of bed, slipped her gown back on and grabbed a robe her as she handed Andrea her cell phone and motioned towards the walk-in closet.

"Go, now. I will handle him," Miranda said. Andrea didn't want to let Miranda face Stephen, but she knew that Miranda was right. It would be worse if he found them both there.

In the closet, Andrea quickly sent a text message to the girls: Stephen is back, call 911 and hide!

Her heart was racing, and she could only hope the police would arrive quickly. She bit her lip as she heard Miranda unlock the door.

"Andy, you fucking cunt—" Stephen shouted as he barged into the room. Miranda stood with her arms crossed. Her eyes were still red and puffy, and despite the intense sex she recently experienced with Andrea, she looked exhausted.

"Stephen," she said. "Not who you were expecting?"

"Uh, Miranda, uh, what the fuck are you doing here?"

"Last time I checked, I shouldn't have to explain my presence in my bedroom in my own home."

"Uh, but, but," he stammered, "you were in Paris."

"Correct. I was. Now I am not."

"Why—why did you come back early?"

"Not that I need to explain myself to you, but your appearance here yesterday upset my daughters very much, so I came home. But now I am quite exhausted and would like to get back to sleep. I believe you know your way out."

"Where is she?" Stephen said, grabbing Miranda's elbow and pulling her towards him. "Where is that fucking whore?"

"Let me go," Miranda said firmly, twisting her arm out of his grasp.

"Where is she?!" Stephen demanded, raising his voice and pulling Miranda tightly against his body. She could feel his hardened penis pushing into her abdomen. "I have some unfinished business with her," he whispered into Miranda's ear, his hot breath sending a chill down her spine.

"Stephen, if I remember correctly, Andrea is my assistant, employed by Runway. You should have absolutely no business whatsoever with her. Now if you will please leave—she is not here."

"Okay, but you are," Stephen whispered, pushing Miranda backwards onto the bed.

"Stop it! Get off me!" Miranda screamed as she squirmed and tried to wriggle her way out from underneath him. "No, don't!" she cried as he forcefully pinned her body down underneath him. Outside, she could hear the sirens and knew that she just had to keep him away a while longer. 

Andrea watched all this from the closet, hidden between Miranda's garment bags. When she heard the sirens, she decided she had seen enough. "Hey!" she shouted, making him release Miranda and turn towards her. "Looking for me?"

She ran out the bedroom door and down the stairs, back into the foyer. He followed, as she expected. "You want some of this? Let's go outside where Miranda can't watch," she said, opening the front door and walking down the steps. 

Stephen followed her and ran right into the two police officers from the day before. "Well, well, Mr. Tomlinson. You're coming with us." The officer put him in handcuffs and into the back of the squad car. 

"Now would you like to press charges?" 

"Yes," Andrea said. "And his wife, Miranda, just arrived home a few hours ago. I watched him physically assault her upstairs before I convinced him to follow me out. Miranda will need an order of protection for herself and her two daughters." 

The officer jotted some notes on her notepad. "We'll take care of it. I'll have someone come by later tonight to follow-up. Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope I don't see you again." 

"Agreed," Andrea said. "And thank you."

Andrea turned to go back in the house and saw Miranda and the two girls standing in the doorway. 

"Thank you," Miranda said as the young woman walked up the steps.

"Are you two okay?" Andrea asked. They nodded, and Miranda shut the front door, engaging the security system. 

Later that night, the four of them were sitting on the couches and watching a movie. Andrea was distracted, thinking about Stephen and Miranda and what might have happened if she wasn't there. Andrea was jolted from her thoughts when Cassidy tugged on her arm.

"Andy, Mom's crying again," she whispered.

"What happened?"

"I don't know. We were just sitting and watching the movie and all of a sudden she started crying."

"Cass, can you and your sister do me a favor? Pause the movie and go into the kitchen for a few minutes." 

They nodded and ran into the kitchen as Andrea wrapped her arms tightly around Miranda. "Shhhh, I'm here," she repeated, "What's wrong?"

Miranda closed her eyes, burying her face in Andrea's neck. "I couldn't get away. If you hadn't distracted him--is this what you felt like the other day?"

Andrea nodded. "Let's go upstairs so you can rest." 

Miranda agreed, and they walked upstairs to the bedroom. 

Andrea went back to the kitchen. "Your mom is fine, but she's exhausted. Do you think you might want to get ready for bed and finish the movie in her room?" 

Their eyes lit up at the suggestion and they quickly ran upstairs.

The next morning, Miranda woke with one daughter on each side of her, and Andrea on the other side of Cassidy. She carefully climbed out of bed and woke Andrea, gesturing for her to join her downstairs. While Miranda made coffee, she turned to Andrea. "I'm so sorry for all of this, bringing you into our lives for all this. I wish Stephen would never have met you."

Andrea took her hands. "Miranda, you had absolutely no control over Stephen's actions. And actually," she added, "I am a little grateful to him in a twisted way. I wouldn't be here with you right now if it weren't for him."

Miranda smiled. "Thank you for the reassurance," she said with a smirk. "And while I am hardly grateful for that bastard, I do have to agree with you. I was really a mess yesterday, wasn't I?"

"Don't worry about it. You were exhausted from Paris, from your mini-meltown when you thought I was leaving, from Stephen... it's okay."

"Well, we will talk more about this, Andrea," Miranda said, "but please know that whatever I say or don't say, I do want you in my life. I'm dealing with a lot right now—well, you know—and I can't promise that I can be what you want or need right now, but I do hope you can wait for me to come around. If not, well, I understand…"

"Shh, stop talking," Andrea said, pressing her finger to Miranda's lips. "I know. And I can wait. I will wait, however long you need," Andrea said as she moved her finger and softly kissed Miranda's lips.

"Thank you, darling," Miranda said, pulling away and caressing Andrea's cheek with her hand. "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

They sipped their coffees in silence for a while.

"Andrea, please know you can leave at any point if you wish, but I am asking for complete honesty."

"Of course," she replied, her brow furrowed. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing really, I just need to know that this is, well, that it's serious. If I am to be involved with one of my employees, we need to make our relationship known to Human Resources as soon as possible, so they cannot use it against either of us later. And while we would only need to tell one person, there is always the risk of it getting out before we are ready. So," Miranda continued, "is this some sort of obligation for you, a job as you so eloquently said earlier? Or, is it something more?" Miranda finished her cup of coffee and poured a second, staring at the cup in her hand.

"My gosh, Miranda. It's always been more. You might say that I developed my sixth-sense, this Miranda-sense, while I was working for you, needing to anticipate your every move, thought, need. But I've always wanted more, wanted to go home with you at night, see the real you behind the Editor-in-Chief, watch movies with you, go for walks with you, just spend real time with you. When I'm away from you, my heart aches. I cry myself to sleep when I don't know where you are or what you're doing or if you'll change your mind. Believe me, this is not an obligation. It's almost an involuntary reaction, Miranda. I'm drawn to you and only you."

Tears welled in Miranda's eyes as she took in the weight of Andrea's words. "So…so it wasn't just about the sexual aspects?" she asked.

"No way. I mean, my god, that is amazing, but no, I love everything about you. If you told me today you never wanted to be sexually intimate again, I would still hold you and love you just as much."

Miranda nodded. "For the record, I will not be telling you that today," she said, chuckling. 

"Good," Andrea said, smirking.

Miranda glanced at the clock, then reached for Andrea's hand. "Come with me."

Andrea put her hand in Miranda's and followed the woman to the guest bedroom. Miranda gently pushed Andrea backwards onto the bed, and climbed on top of her. "I can't explain it, Andrea, but I want you so badly," Miranda whispered as she slid her hands underneath Andrea's shirt and slipped it over her head. "Mmmh," Miranda moaned as she cupped Andrea's breasts and pressed her face to her cleavage. "I crave you, Andrea," Miranda moaned as she pushed the fabric of the bra down and latched onto Andrea's nipple.

Andrea arched into Miranda's touch and moaned quietly, questioning Miranda's motives somewhere in the back of her mind. Miranda leaned forward and pressed her lips to Andrea's, dragging her teeth along her lower lip, eliciting another moan from Andrea.

"Now, I must do something about those pants." She grinned and began to untie the pajama pants, sliding them down and off Andrea's legs, taking her underwear with it. "Mmm, that's better," she said as she ran her hands up and down Andrea's thighs. She pushed Andrea farther back on the bed and climbed up after her. "I need to taste you," she murmured as she pressed her lips to Andrea's tender, swollen folds.

"Uhh!" Andrea groaned, clutching the comforter as her hips bucked into Miranda's face. "Oh, Miranda, please, inside," she begged in a throaty whisper.

"Mmm," Miranda hummed in pleasure, her lips still tightly pressed to Andrea's core as she lapped at the copious fluids the young woman was producing. She sat up and pressed a wet, sticky kiss just above Andrea's curls as she dipped her fingers once in Andrea's juices. Miranda leaned forward and pressed her lips to Andrea's.

The young woman moaned as she tasted herself in Miranda's mouth.

"Ohhh god," Andrea panted.

Miranda grinned and pressed her fingers deeper into Andrea's core, slowly thrusting in and out before penetrating her completely. Andrea's muscles clenched tightly around her hand as Andrea reached up her own hands and caressed Miranda's breasts, squeezing tightly as Miranda's palm pressed against her sensitive bud. "Oooh, Andrea," Miranda moaned as she thrusted.

Andrea lifted her legs and locked her ankles behind Miranda's back. A feeling of fullness washed over Andrea as her hips undulated against Miranda. "I—I'm—so—close—huh—huh—harder—oh god—right—there—huh," Andrea panted. She squeezed and pinched Miranda's breasts as she felt her orgasm approaching. Flicking her fingers across the older woman's pert, darkened nipples, she exhaled, her eyes begging Miranda to come with her.

Miranda's breathing was too ragged to reply with words. She moved her hand between them, crushing her thumb against Andrea's swollen nub. Miranda felt Andrea's legs tighten around her body as Andrea took Miranda's nipple in her mouth. The young woman's muscles contracted through her core, enough to send Miranda spiraling over the edge, too, collapsing on top of Andrea.

Shortly after, Miranda slowly pulled her hand away and turned to lay on her back next to Andrea as heat still radiated off their bodies. Miranda's hair was soaking wet, and Andrea's was similarly damp. Miranda could feel that her cheeks were still flushed, and she felt that familiar stickiness between her legs.

"Moooom?" Caroline called as she headed towards the kitchen. 

Miranda took a deep breath and gently kissed Andrea on the forehead before crawling over her and out of bed. She helped Andrea pick up her clothes from the floor and tossed them into the bathroom, ushering Andrea inside and silently closing the door.

"Yes, darling," Miranda called, smoothing her hair back and straightening out the comforter. She stepped out of the bedroom and into the hall. "Andrea is using the bathroom right now," she said as she closed the door behind her. "Did you sleep well?"

"Yeah. Andy said she would make pancakes. Is that still happening?" 

Miranda grinned. "I do believe she is putting her pancake-making outfit on as we speak," she said. "Go wait for her downstairs." 

When the girls were out of sight, Miranda stepped back into the room. Andrea drew Miranda into a hug as she kissed Miranda's cheek. "Thank you," Andrea said as she lifted her finger to Miranda's lips to stop her protests. "Thank you for being you, for loving me, for letting me in…" she said, her voice trailing as she crushed her lips to Miranda's.

"Darling," Miranda said, "the girls will be back up here if you don't deliver on that pancake promise."

Andrea nodded. "Will you help?"

"I'm not a pancake-making-person, Andrea. I think I'll take a shower. Will—will you be here when I'm finished? You won't leave?"

Andrea took Miranda's hand, "I'm here as long as you want," she said.

"Stay here, Andrea. I want you here," Miranda said, her eyes fixed on their intertwined fingers.

Andrea squeezed Miranda's hand and slipped away.

The next morning, the first Monday since she returned from Paris, when Miranda left the townhouse, she was transformed into Miranda Priestly, Editor in Chief. Miranda and Andrea rode together, but they didn't even talk in the ride to work, except when Miranda confirmed appointments in her calendar.

Andrea had texted her friend at Starbucks when they were on their way, asking him to meet her in the Elias-Clarke lobby, where she handed him a handsome tip for his troubles before riding up the elevator with Miranda.

Once off the elevator, Emily began filling Miranda in while Andrea setup her computer and files back at her desk. Knowing Miranda would appreciate a break in the day, she put an appointment on the calendar from 4-4:30pm. Andrea informed Roy and asked him to be ready, as she hoped to get Miranda out of the office.

All morning, Andrea tried to walk in front of Miranda's office door frequently, reassuring the woman she was still there. When Nigel called Andrea to the art department, she even interrupted Miranda's meeting to inform her where she would be.

Soon, it was four o'clock. "Andrea," Miranda called. "What is this?" she asked, looking at her schedule.

Andrea stepped into Miranda's office and approached the desk. "I blocked off these thirty minutes." Miranda's eyes widened, but she urged Andrea to continue. "We can stay here, or Roy is downstairs if you'd like to step out of the office for a bit…"

"Emily!" Miranda called, "Coat, bag. Cancel my appointments for the afternoon."

Andrea scurried to retrieve her own coat. In the elevator, Miranda turned to Andrea. "Thank you," she said. "You know we can't really do anything in the office, but thank you for making your presence felt as much as possible."

Roy held the door open for Miranda, and Andrea moved to climb in after her. "Roy, just drive around. Oh, and screen up."

"Not a problem," he said. "Oh, and intercom off," he added with a chuckle. Andrea rolled her eyes and slipped into the back seat.

Once the door was shut, Miranda practically lunged at Andrea, hugging her close and squeezing their bodies tight together. Andrea let out a moan as Miranda's hands caressed up and down her body, and pulled her so she was straddling her lap.

"Darling, I have something for you," Miranda said.

"Miranda, you don't need to buy me anything," she said, frowning.

"I wanted to. Just trust me on this."

Andrea nodded, and Miranda pulled a red Cartier box from her purse. 

"I hope you like it," she said. She reached up and pressed her palm to Andrea's cheek as she slowly crushed her lips against Andrea's in a slow, passionate kiss. Miranda rested her forehead against Andrea's as she pulled away. "Open it," she said.

Andrea quickly opened her box to reveal a Cartier Love necklace, made up of a small gold ring attached to a gold chain, with a rose gold ring at the other end of the chain. The rose gold ring was split just enough to interlock with the other ring before inserting the screw to secure.

Miranda took the necklace from the box and draped it around Andrea's neck. She linked the rings, and fastened the screw so that Andrea would be unable to remove it without breaking the chain.

"Andrea," she said, "You have my heart, and I will never be far away." Miranda brushed the tears from Andrea's eyes and softly kissed her cheek. "Darling, I would like you to move in with me, with us. Life is too short to wait."

"Really?" Andrea asked.

"I spoke with my daughters before we left," Miranda said. "Not that anything could change my mind," she said, brushing the necklace.

Andrea smiled. "Yes, absolutely. I would love to." She kissed her softly. 

"Roy, take us back to the hotel."

"Yes, ma'am," he said.

"But what about work?" Andrea asked in disbelief.

"Call Emily and tell her I'm dragging you on some errand and you won't be back until tomorrow morning," Miranda said with a wink. Andrea quickly sent Emily an email, and returned her attention to the woman in her arms.

"What will we do abou—" Andrea began to ask, when Miranda silenced her with a passionate, deep kiss.

"Andrea," she said as she broke the kiss to begin nibbling on the soft skin behind the woman's ear, "Let me love you. Today. Forever."

Andrea moaned and wrapped her arms tightly around Miranda, silently vowing to never, ever let her go.