Emily had seriously considered ending it all many times during the day, although she‘d realized that she’d be fighting with a slew of fellow coworkers for the rope with which to hang herself.
Miranda stalked out of the office for a lunch offsite, wafting a subtle hint of her signature scent as she passed. Emily thought, as she often had, that it was strange this delicious, intoxicating fragrance (and it was both of these things, she was quite sure, intentionally) could make one almost want to vomit from anxiety.
She shook her head, clearing her mind. Right. Enough. She gave Miranda two minutes to leave the building and made her call.
The bright chipper voice on the other end was an ice pick in Emily’s ear, “Mirror. Sachs.”
Eighteen months earlier Emily would have pulled her own nose off with kitchen tongs before calling Andy Sachs for help with anything, but that was then and this was now. Now that she’d finally swallowed the ostrich egg of astonishment that Miranda was actually sleeping with, living with this talking, walking fly-paper of bad fashion, she had to admit the girl had her uses.
One of these uses was to wrangle Miranda when she was in a wretched mood. She’d only felt the need to call Andy a few times previously and, each time, Miranda had invariably arrived in the office the next day in much better spirits. Emily felt these calls needed no preface, no salutation, “You simply must do something, Andy.”
“Oh hi, Em. What’s up?”
“What’s up? Well, let me see…”
Sitting in her cubicle, Andy listened with a sinking feeling of horror as Emily listed a truly staggering list of ‘what was up’ items about a tremendously expensive and time-sensitive photo shoot that had gone disastrously awry the night before. She felt her entire body tensing. Although she no longer worked for Miranda, loved the woman and was loved by her, she was still quite susceptible to that old familiar chill in her stomach. It probably didn’t help that the information was delivered by the equally familiar English voice.
She’d been eating lunch at her desk, so she stood up and strode through her office toward the front door, lowering her voice, “Fffuck, Em. You’ve got to be kidding me. How is she?”
“Oh I don’t know, Andy. How do you think she is? She is entirely demonic, that’s what. Even for her, and we both know very well that’s saying something. I thought Jocelyn was literally going to throw herself off the top of Elias Clarke this morning, but I know why she didn’t.” Emily lowered her voice, “She didn’t because Miranda is so furious that she seems almost immortal. You’d kill yourself and she’d follow you into the afterlife twice as angry.”
Andy almost laughed at this as she stepped outside so that she could speak more privately, but didn’t because if anyone knew Miranda, it was Emily. If she said it was bad, it was really bad. And then she heard Emily saying, “So do something. Today.”
Andy felt a bit of ire rise at Emily’s tone, “What am I supposed to do about it? I mean it’s not like it’s my fault that—“
Emily interrupted her with a quiet, clipped voice, “I don’t know and don’t want to speculate upon what you two get up to but there must be something you can do. You’ve assisted before.”
Andy did sort of laugh at this, “Yeah, Emily, but it was nothing. I just took her to dinner or we watched a movie with the girls. Things like that.”
Emily pursed her lips in a way, should Andy have seen it, would have reminded her of the woman in question. “Well, whatever you’ve done before, I think this will require something rather…more, Andrea.”
The use of her full name made Andy pause, “What are you suggesting?”
“As I said, I’m not making reference to anything in particular you two do but if you think it will help, I’d—“
Andy’s eyes widened with understanding, “Wait-a-minute. Are you nuts? Are you suggesting I have sex with my partner for the sake of Runway? We do quite well in that department already, thank you, and anyway we happen to make love, not have sex.”
Emily’s voice was withering, “Well, cheers for that. For God’s sake, Andy. I don’t care what you call it. I don’t want details. Do whatever it takes. After all, you are the real first assistant now, aren’t you?”
Okay. That was really snotty and just a bit much, Andy thought. “I don’t like your tone, Emily.”
“Thank you for that bit of information. Here’s a bit for you—I don’t like dealing with your older girlfriend’s shite. I swear to you, I’ve had it. You had better fix this or I will give notice tomorrow and you can deal with the ramifications of that at home.”
This was a sharp thrust of a blade. Losing Emily would create a total black hole of suck-age for Miranda, whether the older woman knew it or not. Andy and Emily both knew it very well.
“Fine,“ Andy said.
“Right,” Emily said.
They both rang off and said, “Fuck,” at the same time.
While she was still outside, Andy decided to do a quick diagnostic on the situation and called Miranda’s cell. After two rings, Miranda picked up and Andy instantly knew everything was all as Emily had said and more. Why this was, she could never have expressed to anyone, except to say that the very slightest fraction of a second longer than usual before Miranda said, “Yes,” told her everything.
“Yes. I’m in a business lunch—is there a point to this conversation?”
Andy winced and half chuckled, “Well no, if you put it that way. Sorry. I guess I was just calling to say that I was looking forward to seeing you tonight.”
She had been—they’d both been. John had the girls early this week so this night, a Thursday, was the early beginning of a romantic weekend together, despite the fact they had to work the next day. Andy heard Miranda sniff once before making an attempt to be polite, “Normally that would be lovely but a few…major issues have arisen and I’m taking care of them. Call Emily for the details if you need clarification.”
Before Andy had the good sense to just die first, she found herself saying, “Oh yeah, I sort of just talked to Em.”
She knew it was an illusion but the cell phone next to her ear seemed to frost over, “Well then, since you two are coordinating the particulars of my day, I’m quite certain there’s no reason for this conversation.” Before Andy could say a word, Miranda rang off.
Andy thought for one moment and actually stamped her feet on the ground. Fuck her! Just inside the foul line!
During the early days of their relationship and because Miranda was Miranda, they’d discussed at rather tedious length (in both of their opinions) the rules and technicalities of phone etiquette, including what constituted ‘ending’ a call as opposed to a ‘hang up.’
The main rule? When a phone call was over in Miranda’s opinion, if Andy was not in the middle of a sentence or could not truthfully say she could be expected to add anything salient to further the discussion, it was Miranda’s prerogative to end the call. So yes, Andy thought, narrowing her eyes because it still pissed her off, Miranda had not ‘hung up’ on her; she’d ended the call. Miranda had made a fair hit. She decided, right then and there, Miranda was going down.
Andy instantly furrowed her brow. Maybe not, actually. Miranda loved going down on her but that probably wasn’t something that would necessarily tame the savage beast, so to speak.
She was so deep in thought that the ringing of her phone was alarming enough that she almost dropped it. She looked at the number, rolled her eyes, but answered it, “What?”
“I’m sure you heard what I mean. I know you called her.”
Andy sincerely, and, not for the first time, wanted to punch Emily into the next week, although she not so secretly liked her more than the woman deserved.
“Yes, I heard,” she admitted with a sigh. “She was really…her. You know what I mean.”
“Of course I do. Right. If you have any common sense, which I’ll grant you might, I’m sure you’re a bit angry with her now, but keep your wits about you. This is not about your relationship; it’s about Runway. Focus on that. Fix that.”
Emily rang off as abruptly as Miranda had and Andy glared at the sidewalk and stamped one foot again. Fuck! That wasn’t technically a hang up either! Although Emily couldn’t possibly know that….or maybe she did—Emily and Miranda were more alike than either of them knew or would ever admit even if they did. Fine. Regardless, Emily was right. This was about Runway. She sighed, thinking it would be so much easier if she could just ask Miranda how she could help. Of course it would. But that would be like asking an onion for traffic directions. No information, the expression on the onion’s face would remain unchanged and then you’d feel like a jackass for talking to an onion.
Okay. Think. She forced herself back…back into the job situation she’d left. She thought about how absolutely beside herself she’d be if she were working there right now, with Miranda in the mood she was in. What would she do? What had she ever, actually, been able to do when faced with the silent, foreboding and inevitable wrath of Hurricane Miranda?
Not much. What would she have done if she’d been able to? What had she wanted to do? A thought that was silly, a thought she’d had many times during her tenure at Runway, came back to her. Oh. Yes. Yes, she thought with a new gleam in her eye. That was exactly what she had wanted to do.
She re-entered her office and asked Mike for the rest of the day off because she wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t tell him she had shopping to do.
Shop she did, and she winced a little at the result, finishing her preparations for the afternoon. She felt both a bit of elation and a greater anxiety because what she was setting up could be a grand slam homer or a truly dismal strike-out. She eyed, yet again, the items in question. Although they enjoyed them, she and Miranda actually rarely used the sex toys they owned, toys that had entered their relationship in a rather odd way, the way many things happened with and around Miranda. One watched for a mere flicker of interest, remembered, and ran with it.
A person on the outside, someone who’d never worked for Miranda, would probably think of the woman as a micro-managing dictator. The fact was, however, that much more than half of what Miranda needed or desired was always unstated. As an employee, you had to watch and guess, infer or deduce. Andy had not been the least bit surprised that Miranda was exactly the same as a romantic partner.
The sex toy issue had come up after they’d been making love for hours on a Saturday when the twins were with their father…
They’d been kissing and snuggling for a while when a cloud crossed over Miranda’s face as she looked into Andy’s eyes.
Andy, seeing this, brushed a stray lock of hair behind Miranda’s ear, “What’s wrong, honey?”
“You’re so young. How do you know that one day you won’t,” she paused then reasserted herself, “Do you think one day you’ll miss it?”
Andy tilted her head quizzically, “Miss it?”
Miranda made a vague gesture with her hand, “A man. Or a penis, I suppose. You love it so much when I….” She didn’t finish the thought Andy could finish for her because she was, indeed, quite vocal about her love for having the other woman inside her.
She leaned forward and kissed her softly, “Miranda, your hands and mouth are all I’ll ever want or need.”
Seeing a hint of disbelief in her lover’s eyes, she smiled and said, “Alright. How about this? I promise, if I ever feel like I miss or need a penis, we’re buying one for you. I don’t want anyone else to touch me that way.”
And that was when Andy had seen it—the slightest glimmer of interest. She let a few moments pass before asking, “Would you like to try…something like that sometime, sweetheart?”
Miranda had immediately gotten out of bed, saying over her shoulder, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
That was a definite yes, as far as Andy was concerned and she shopped online immediately. She waited, however, nearly a month to show Miranda what she’d bought because she’d known any sooner would have cost her at least a scornful ‘oh, you just couldn’t wait, could you?’ look and probably a bad attitude lasting days.
On the night of the big reveal, as Andy helped a very dubious Miranda into the strap-on’s harness, she had to bite her lip not to react to the sight. The idea of using the toy was wildly exciting to her but there was something undeniably ludicrous about the set-up and Miranda’s pursed lips said she was of the same opinion. Trying really hard not to laugh made Andy want to fall over laughing and she momentarily had the wild thought that she might be able to chuckle and maybe Miranda would chuckle along with her. Looking into Miranda’s eyes, however, sent that thought the way of the dodo bird. Looking into Miranda’s eyes also, evidently, gave the older woman at least a glimpse of her amusement, because one of those perfectly sculpted eyebrows lifted in an expression she only used at Runway, leaving Andy under no misapprehension that she was now in big…big trouble.
And indeed she was, because Miranda proceeded to fuck her so thoroughly and make her beg so shamelessly that Andy was incredibly sore, yet continually, embarrassingly wet and barely able to meet the other woman’s eyes for days. Whenever they looked at each other in those following days, Miranda always raised one eyebrow yet again as if asking a question—a question she proceeded to answer herself by running her eyes over Andy’s body, lingering at her crotch, her mouth twitching with smug amusement. For Andy, it had been equal parts irritating, disconcerting and shockingly, tropically hot.
After a few more uses, Andy made a unilateral decision, one Miranda never questioned, that toys were for special occasions only. When Miranda deigned to suffer what Andy was pretty sure the woman considered the indignity of wearing a strap-on, she demanded her full pound price for the effort and always took it quite ruthlessly. Andy knew they both enjoyed this, although using a toy brought out parts of their personalities that were fun to visit but where neither of them needed to live.
Andy looked, yet again, at the items she’d assembled on the bed, one of which was entirely new. She was really, really asking for it. But that was entirely the point, wasn’t it?
As Miranda entered her home, she was almost prayerfully glad the girls were with their father. She despised visiting her moods upon them and the fact she also despised herself for her obvious incapacity to refrain from doing so often made her even angrier. It was the pluperfect definition of the term vicious circle. So, only Andrea had to be dealt with on tenterhooks tonight. The younger woman had left her a voice mail saying that she’d be in their bedroom and to please meet her there as soon as she arrived home.
She took a deep breath as she climbed the stairs. In the mood she was in, this was making her even more furious—to think Andrea might imagine this sort of day was something that could just be fucked away. She felt a quick stabbing sensation of guilt. Andrea loved her and probably imagined that being close and making love would help. That she was such a bitter bitch and this was out of the question made her angrier still.
When she opened the door, she actually exhaled sharply with surprise. Andrea was wearing that cerulean…thing. In fact, she was wearing, but exactly, the same hideous ensemble she’d chosen to grace her coworkers with on her first day of work at Runway. Those dismal flats, that abomination of a skirt and that hideous cerulean sweater. Just as she never forgot the truly beautiful, Miranda never forgot the truly ugly. In one sweep, her practiced eye took in the fact that the young woman’s makeup was what it had been then, not what it usually was now and that, somehow, her hair looked distinctly rattier. Even the look in her eyes was the same, that doe-eyed look of terror that had always made her want to…what? At this, she faltered. She’d never really known what she’d wanted.
As Andrea began to apologize for every wretched thing that had gone wrong at Runway during the day, hands lightly shaking and voice quavering, Miranda’s eyes shifted to two items that had been placed on the bed. One was their strap-on harness with their largest dildo and the other she’d never seen and could only be described as—a paddle. As her eyes shifted back to Andrea’s, there it was again. That look of anxiety and fear in those brown eyes, a look that made her….
She heard Andrea finishing up her listing of the nearly innumerable instances of incompetence she’d had to deal with and then the girl said, “I don’t know how I can—I know I totally messed up—and really, really badly but if there’s any way I can…”
And then she turned around and lifted her skirt and this sight punched the air out of Miranda’s lungs because Andrea was wearing thigh highs but she wasn’t wearing underwear. Andrea leaned forward and rested her elbows on the bed, exposing her truly delicious ass. Miranda took this in and felt a sudden revelation that jolted her to her core. Everything that’d gone wrong today, that hideous sweater Andrea had dared to wear in her presence, that ridiculous skirt riding up over a beautiful ass that was just waiting for…yes.
She understood that yes—this was exactly what she’d always wanted to do.
Andy waited for what seemed like a very long time, hearing soft and vague movements behind her and feeling a sudden spike of apprehension. The temperature in the room was quite reasonable but she shivered. She’d seen that Miranda was certainly going to take her up on this challenge but had no idea what this would be or feel like. She’d never had anyone hit her in her life, much less asked for it, and she suddenly felt incredibly vulnerable.
The first swat on her ass came entirely without warning and she gasped. After the second, which Andy realized was quite light, even tepid, Miranda said, “All I ask is that my coffee be delivered at the correct temperature. Is that too hard for you, Andrea?”
Hearing the double meaning behind the question, Andy smiled at the duvet beneath her. Perfect. She was entirely safe and Miranda would take care of her. “No, Miranda, my job could be much harder and I should be able to do it.”
The next strike was certainly much harder and even stung. Andy clutched at the duvet. Okay. Yes. She’d been right. She was really going to love this. “I’m sorry, Miranda? What did you say?”
As the spanking continued, it was almost embarrassing to admit to herself how much she loved it. Her fucking ears were nearly ringing with desire and she was ashamed to know how eagerly she was lifting her ass—offering it up for more. Miranda delivered but it was not very long before she felt the woman push her legs apart and finger her wetness. Then, quite unceremoniously, she felt their toy shoved into her, filling her completely, deep and wide.
Andrea heard herself say, “OhmyGod,” before she felt Miranda drag the toy out of her exquisitely slowly, teasing the edges of her opening as she said, “Do you know what you’ve done, Andrea?”
Andy’s ass still stung, red hot, and although her face was already crimson, she blushed more deeply, knowing both of them could hear how wet she was. “No, Miranda.”
“Well. Let me tell you.” Miranda shoved herself back into her and began to pound into her with a ferocity that Andy was astonished by. Even as she did so, Miranda coolly recited a litany of everything Andy had ever, ever done wrong at Runway. Even as she lost herself to the pure physicality of being fucked by her woman, which she adored, Andy realized that the slightest tightening of the sweater around her throat was caused by the fact that Miranda was not touching her anywhere else but inside. Not holding her hips or sides. Miranda was clawing at the sweater because she was still angry. Angry at the sweater and at incompetence and at Runway and at the whole fucking day.
And that was so…very Miranda and that voice was Miranda’s and she was finally, finally paying for everything she’d ever fucked up at Runway in the way she now knew she’d always wanted to, with the other woman hard and deep and insistent inside her. Andy knew it would only be a matter of time and it didn’t take nearly as long as she would have wanted but when she climaxed, she didn’t dare do anything but say, “Yes, Miranda.”
All movement stopped. They were both breathing heavily and Andy sighed as Miranda pulled away from her. She waited, her elbows shaking, for an indication of what to do next.
Moments went by before Miranda spoke and then her voice was steel, nearly emotionless, “Get up.”
Andy stood and stepped aside.
Miranda, who was wearing nothing beneath the waist and had discarded the toy, tossed a pillow on the ground between her legs. “Clean up. And be very thorough.” Her face and voice were cold.
Andy hit her knees. If she was wondering if this was as exciting to Miranda as it was to her, she needn’t any longer. Miranda was as wet as she’d ever seen her. She placed her face squarely in the soaking space between Miranda’s legs and rubbed her nose back and forth over her clit. And then she began to lick and suck and lap at her. Gently licking her, then lapping, using her hard tongue against the whole of her and then sucking her folds deep into her mouth and letting her go, again and again, drinking her in.
She felt Miranda run her hand through her hair, which was not unusual—she quite often combed her hand gently through her hair when Andy loved her this way. But this hand was firm—and then pushed her face down more firmly than was strictly comfortable. Which Andy found more exciting than she probably should have—so exciting that she felt herself aching yet again for Miranda, as she licked her so fervently that she felt the woman under her mouth inhale sharply, shudder and then release her.
After a few moments, Andy rocked back on her heels and looked up into the eyes of her lover. They were still so blue and cold, still so distant. Miranda took a deep breath and said, “That’s all.” Andy nodded, rose to her feet somewhat shakily, turned and headed toward the door. She hadn’t known what this would be, emotionally, between them but this was probably a good indication. Silence and a détente and embarrassed glances over meals for days. Before she could leave, however, Miranda said, very softly, “Andy?”
Andy. The young woman smiled her relief at the door, then turned around. Miranda motioned with her head toward the bed, “Take those repellent clothes off and get back here.”
Andy hastened to undress and Miranda took off her blouse and bra, as she said, “Honestly, you and your ideas...oof!” Andy pounced on her like a leopard, knocking Miranda flat on her back, making the woman actually giggle, a sound Andy would pay hard-earned or even ill-gotten money to hear anytime.
They kissed—a good, loving reconnecting kiss and, as Andy pulled away, she grinned. “Feel better?”
Miranda gave the question a moment’s thought and returned the grin, another thing Andy could never get enough of. “I feel wonderful.” She reached around and tenderly ran her hand over Andy’s ass, “Did I hurt you, darling?”
“Not a bit—I mean, it stung at the time, but I’m just fine.”
Miranda’s expression sobered, “I don’t know what it says about me that…” she waved her hand in the air, “that should make me feel better—that I enjoyed it as much as I did.”
Andy smiled and kissed her cheek, “Probably pretty much the same thing it says about me. I had a pretty good feeling we’d both get something from it.”
Miranda ran her hand through Andy’s hair, “What on Earth made you think such a thing?”
Andy shrugged, “I just remembered how I felt in my old Runway days—when everything would go wrong or I’d messed up. And you’d be so angry—and so quiet and cool. It would ruin everything for me when that happened and I’d just spend the day flailing through this miasma of your displeasure. I remember wishing, every once in a while, that you’d just spank me—punish me—get it completely over with, instead of my having to just walk around knowing I’d made you unhappy.”
She tapped Miranda’s nose, “I suppose I guessed if I felt that way, you might feel the same.”
Miranda sniffed as primly as she could, considering, then replied, “Although I appreciate your explaining and it’s obviously something we enjoy, I’m quite sure I’ve never thought about spanking an assistant.”
Andy rolled her eyes, “Look at me and tell me there aren’t times you wouldn’t like to spank Emily. Hell—I want to spank Emily.”
Miranda’s face went completely blank and Andy smacked the bed with one hand, “You do! You totally do!” She chortled as she pointed at her, “I can see it in your eyes, Priestly!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You can take the paddle to work—I think you have a few bags it’ll fit in.”
“If you’re going to indulge yourself in laughing at me, then I guess we can just skip what I had in mind next.” Miranda sat up but Andy pulled her back down, her face now completely serious.
“Don’t be like that. I was only teasing, darling. What’d you have in mind?”
Miranda looked at her, seemed to judge her partner’s apology sincere, and kissed her softly, “I thought we could enjoy ourselves a bit more—as ourselves.”
“Miranda and Andy. Not editor and assistant. It’s fun but it’s not really us, is it?”
Andy smiled, “It’s part of us. Just a part we can enjoy occasionally if we want. And that’s alright. Okay?”
Miranda nodded and pulled Andy into her arms. And as she felt Miranda roll her over and cover her with her warm body, Andy thought, yes, Miranda was right. This was them.
The next morning, Andy found that Miranda had actually put her sweater and skirt in the dry cleaning basket. Evidently keepers, she thought, smirking.
Emily waited, with baited breath, for La Priestly, wondering if Andy had managed to cobble anything out of the previous evening. She cherished very little hope, as the woman who had left the building was Miranda concentrate, Miranda bouillon. Add a pinch of what left the building to a swimming pool and poof! Six thousand Mirandas. It had been sheer brutality.
As Miranda swept in, Emily was completely gobsmacked that the woman didn’t throw—just gently…handed her coat and bag to Emily2 and proceeded to give her a run-down of her needs, but slowly, for her, and almost pleasantly, for her.
She glanced at Emily and said, “Today will be a better day, will it not, Emily?”
Emily gulped as she nodded and said, “Absolutely, Miranda.”
After a few minutes, Emily heard her personal cell ring. She grabbed it, looking at the number, and answered quietly, “What?”
Andy had been planning this all morning. “Well?” She asked.
“I’ll give you this and don’t lord it above me later. Brilliant. Whatever you did and I’m quite sure I don’t want to hear about it—brilliant.”
Andy laughed. “Great. I’m glad. Seriously, it was nothing, Em. I just let her spank me really, really hard for everything that had gone wrong yesterday—I took one for the Runway team. I even took a couple of swats for stuff you’d done.”
There was a long silence before Emily replied, “Ha ha. Very funny, Andy.” Andy didn’t answer. There was a longer silence before Emily asked, “Surely, you’re joking.”
“You don’t want details—you told me that. All I’m saying, Em, is you’d better watch out when you bend over anything around her.”
Andy ended the call and stamped a foot with glee. Yes! That was totally fair. Not a hang-up!
Later that afternoon, Emily brought the layouts from Art and put them on Miranda’s table. Even as she bent over to place them there, she remembered Andy’s admonition and her cheeks reddened. She looked behind her to see that Miranda did have a very strange look on her face and that the woman’s cheeks had pinked a bit, as well, and…oh…fucking hell!
She almost scampered back to her desk.
Emily bending over a table. Hmmmm. Miranda could have strangled Andy for putting this ridiculous thought into her head, and after seeing Emily’s reaction to her reaction, she immediately called her lover.
“Andrea, did you happen to say anything to Emily this morning?”
“About what? Why?”
“Emily acting strangely. Go figure. And this concerns you—or us—how?”
There was a long pause, “I suppose it doesn’t.”
“Right. Doesn’t. I love you.”
Andy punched her phone off. Whoot! That was not a hang-up either.
Andy Sachs for the win!