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For you, I'll fight

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But if you ever fall down straight to the bottom

And you can't get back where you started

With no strength to stand

Gonna reach for your hand

When the going gets rough

Right when it's hurting I will be there

To help any burden

Any place any time

You gotta know for you I'll fight

(Ooh ooh, ooh ooh)

Any place any time you

Gotta know for you I'll fight

 

~Daughtry

 

 

- Townhouse -

 

Miranda felt the bed dip beside her and sighed. It had been several hours since she had finished with the Book and had gone to bed herself. It was probably pushing three in the morning now. Miranda turned over and watched her wife get in to bed. “What’s wrong, darling?” she asked reaching out to the brunette and pulling her close. She kissed her temple and corner of her mouth.

 

“I’m fine,” Andréa replied calmly but her mind was racing a mile and minute. She didn’t want to go to sleep. She couldn’t sleep. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

 

“Andréa,” Miranda chastised her softly. “Talk to me, please,” she practically begged of her wife.

 

Andréa turned her face towards Miranda and tried to stay calm but she was beginning to tremble and not in a good way. “I can’t,” she shook her head, the images, the carnage, it wouldn’t go away.

 

“Okay,” Miranda sighed. She didn’t want to push too hard. She tightened her grip and kissed the brunette firmly. “Try to sleep,” she whispered softly into chestnut hair.

 

Andréa nodded but knew what awaited her when her eyes closed and her subconscious took over.

 

Screaming. Everyone was screaming. Andréa  looked up from her purse. People were running. They were terrified. What the hell was going on? Sirens wailed in the distance and then she heard it. A loud thundering tore through the air as if the God, Zeus, had struck down an entire city. And then screeching tires, blaring horns and car alarms, and the shattering of glass could be heard. Out of her periphery she saw two cars coming right towards them. Her eyes grew wide and she ducked towards the right side of the car. Her head smacked the inside of the door and she felt the vibration reverberate through her skull. The smash of metal and glass was deafening and she cupped her hands over her ears to stop the ringing. She felt a sharp pain in her right temple. Then, everything was black.

 

Andréa slowly came back to her senses; first light. There was a sudden brightness and then it was gone as quickly as it came, replaced by a thick dense fog of dust. She waved her arms around trying to clear the dust from the air around her but coughed nonetheless. She blinked heavily. Her ears were ringing. The sounds were muffled but there was shouting, horrified screaming, and sirens filling the air around her. She tried to move only to fall onto her shoulder. She felt a prick against her skin. Something burned within her shoulder. Warmth trickled down her back and arm. She glanced around but still couldn’t make out more than the fog surrounding her. Her head hurt. A lot. She blinked several more times before the darkness consumed her once more and she gave in to unconsciousness.

 

“Andréa!” Someone was calling her name but she couldn’t wake up.

 

Miranda had suddenly woken up to her wife’s cries and blinked the sleep from her eyes. The brunette was thrashing around kicking and screaming. The editor grabbed her wife before she could do damage to herself or Miranda and pulled her to her chest. Her arms surrounded her wife protectively,

 

Andréa jerked awake in Miranda’s arms. Her voice was hoarse, skin covered with a cold sweat, and she was breathing heavily. “Andréa!” the editor held her face in both hands forcing the brunette to meet her wife’s eyes. The writer’s eyes were wide and panic-stricken. “Breathe, darling,” Miranda commanded softly stroking her thumbs along Andréa cheeks. Tears had fallen from her eyes and were rolling down her cheeks. Her heart hammered in her chest.

 

She gripped Miranda’s arms tightly and sobbed. “Mir.“

 

“Shh,” the editor’s heart constricted at her wife’s display of pain and she hugged her tightly. She no longer knew what to do. Nothing helped Andréa.  “If you cannot talk to me, you must talk to someone. Please, darling?” she asked running her long delicate fingers through chestnut locks.

 

Andréa  shook her head. She wasn’t ready.

 

- Runway -

 

Miranda paced her office while she was on the phone gripping her necklace tightly. “I don’t know what to do,” she said exasperatedly. “She’s not sleeping and when she does she always has some sort of nightmare.”

 

“You can’t force her,” Nigel said gently.

 

“I’m worried. She needs to speak to someone, Nigel.”

 

“I know, but again, you can’t force her.”

 

“Why not?” Miranda snapped rubbing the back of her neck.

 

“She’ll resent you for it. She’s not ready to talk to anyone.”

 

“I just want my wife back, Nigel,” she sniffed trying not to cry while at work. She heard a knock at her door and sighed. “I need to go.”

 

“Try to be patient,” he said.

 

“I’m trying.”

 

She hung up and her eyes darted to her assistant. “Well? Speak.”

 

“The board is ready for you,” the girl squeaked.

 

“Very well,” Miranda went to her executive bathroom to check her reflection. The girl was still standing there when she came out. “That’s all,” she said in her usual tone before striding passed her and to the elevator. The elevator ride was spent thinking about how she could convince her wife to get the help she needed.

 

“Ah, Miranda,” the CFO stood up to greet her as she entered. She recognized several stock holders, the Chief Operations Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Legal Counsel. The only person missing was Irv.

 

“Mr. Richardson,” she smiled and took his offered hand.

 

“Greg,” he corrected. “Please, sit,” he said pointing to the open chair and rounding the table back to his seat. “We’ve asked you here because we heard a rumor that you want to retire.”

 

“Yes, I have decided to, I have just not decided when.”

 

“I believe this stems from the very real situation you found yourself in not too long ago?” he asked pouring himself a water. “Care for some?”

 

She shook her head. “Can we get to the point, Gregory? I still have a magazine to run.”

 

“Fair enough,” a balding man with a slight paunch said. “I’m sure you noticed that Irving is not in attendance. This is because the board has relieved him of his duties.”

 

“Oh?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

 

“Yes,” Gregory coughed. “Well, we wanted to see if you were interested in the position before we looked elsewhere for a new CEO.”

 

 “You want me to take the position of CEO?”

 

“Yes,” the Chief Operations Officer, Kelly, relied. “We all know Runway is our money maker and Runway is you. Our only question is do you think it is possible to do with all our publications what you do with Runway?”

 

Miranda rubbed her face somewhat nervously. She had not come in here expecting to be offered an even higher position than she already held. “It would take some serious overhauling, but I do believe with the right people in position we could build the publishing house back to what it used to be.”

 

“How about a trial run?” the Chief Marketing Officer, Stanley offered.

 

“I would need to seriously consider the matter and speak with my wife. I was supposed to be taking a step back here not gaining responsibilities.”

 

“You obviously do what you need to; we’ll need an answer by the end of the week. If you do agree to the trial run we can discuss your terms then,” Gregory said with a smile. “And we do hope you agree.”

 

“Thank you for your confidence. I will have my answer to you as soon as possible,” Miranda stood. “If that’s all, I really do have a magazine to run.”

 

She needed to have a very serious conversation with her wife tonight. She really hoped the woman was in the right mind space to listen and not stare off into space like the last few nights. Miranda knew she was tired and with the babies, it made it very hard for Andréa to get any rest.

 

- Townhouse -

 

Andréa rubbed her eyes and slid back from her desk. The computer screen was making her eyes hurt. She needed a break. Her first novel was due out next month and she was working on her second. Of course, she never thought she would deviate from her dream of being a reporter but that was before she fell in love with her wife. She loved being a foreign correspondent but her heart ached all the time from being so far away and the letters. God. Andréa sighed and felt the need to read through a few.

 

- Five Years Ago -

 

Andy sat on her small twin bed on her side of the room that she shared with another reporter from the United Kingdom, Jessica. She was a nice enough person if not slightly cutthroat about the stories she wanted. Andy didn’t mind it much; it was nice to have another woman around. Jess was slightly older than her, with reddish blonde hair. It was quite long but usually in a bun of some sort. They were starting to become friends and went out with a few of the others at night for drinks. Andy was beginning to miss home though. It had been two months since she first arrived and today she received her first letters from home. One looked odd to her, it was from Dalton. She opened it first.

 

Dear Andy,

 

Your boss told our school we could write to you. My sister is with me too. We’re writing this together. We hope you are ok. What is living in a different country like? Is it scary? What kind of stories are you writing? Do you think you’ll stay there long? My sister likes to write. I prefer math. Can you send us pictures? We think you are very brave.

 

Your Pranksters,

 

CP2

 

P.S. Please write back!

 

Andy felt tears form in her eyes. Those little rascals. I wonder if Miranda knows. She immediately withdrew her pen and pad from her backpack and began writing a reply.

 

Girls,

 

I loved your letter. It made my day. I am doing alright for now, I do miss New York though. Syria is very hot and dry. It’s mostly desert. I have sand in places I didn’t know existed. LOL. It is sometimes scary. There are so many sounds at night that I have a hard time sleeping sometimes. I write all kinds of stories, in fact, my friend from the UK and I are working on a piece together. It should be out within a week or two. I’ve been here for a couple of months but I’m not sure how long I will be here. I guess as long as I’m needed. I will do my best to round up a picture or two for you. I hope you are both doing well in school.

 

Love,

 

Andy

 

P.S. You are more than welcome to write me as much as you like.

 

Andy folded the small paper so it would fit in an envelope and then asked Jess if she had a stamp. She included a picture from a couple of days ago with a bunch of the guys and a few of the nearby village before enclosing it. She dropped it in the mail the next day and went about writing her next article.

 

- Present -

 

Andy stroked the letters from her twins lovingly before putting them away and moving on to Miranda’s. She smiled fondly. The woman thought she could fool the reporter. Not likely. She laughed to herself. She knew the minute she opened the parchment. It smelled faintly of her Chanel perfume; sandalwood, rose, cloves, amber, coriander, pomegranate blossom, and a touch of vanilla. It was complicated but light and sensual. It was Miranda. The first letter was much like the twins’, asking a lot of questions and insisting she was brave. The more letters she received, the more she missed New York and the people who had stolen her heart.

 

On the six month mark since the day she arrived, she received another one of Miranda’s letters. It was a day she wouldn’t ever forget. Miranda’s letter had arrived and she was supposed to go out with the guys and Jess for drinks but instead wanted to stay back to read the letter and craft a reply.

 

- Four and a Half Years Ago -

 

Andy waved goodbye to her friends as they headed out for the night. “Are you sure you don’t want to come?” Jessica asked.

 

Andy nodded. “I have something I need to do.”

 

“Okay,” Jess said a little worried. “If you’re sure. See you in the morning.”

 

“Have good night!” Andy shouted at her retreating back and all but ran into her room. Her twenty-seven-year-old brain was overly excited. She shut her door and leaned against it holding the envelopes in her hand. She breathed deeply and pushed off the thin wood and plopped on her bed. She slid her fingertip under the flap and neatly opened it without it ripping. The soft notes of the perfume tickled her nose and she inhaled sharply bringing the parchment to her nose. The scent surrounded her, engulfing her senses, it was like Miranda was here with her. Finally, she opened her eyes and began reading.

 

Dear Andrea,

 

You are quite the charmer. That was a beautiful poem. No one has ever taken the time to write something like that for me. Dare I say it was even romantic? Andy could picture Miranda’s challenging expression just daring her to continue and she laughed. “You have no idea Miranda…” she sighed and continued reading. You are an excellent writer and have such a way with words that I truly am lost for a response other than what I have said. Miranda, speechless? Who would have thought? I read your recent article. It was very enlightening. And a change of subject. Andy smiled and laughed. That was Miranda, alright. I wonder sometimes if you have figured it out. Figured me out and if I wanted you to. I think I did. And I think by now you have and you must know that I miss you. I think of you daily. Please stay safe.

 

Always,

 

M-

 

Andy’s eyes watered at the end. It was the first time Miranda had signed her letter, even if it was just her initial. The brunette knew then she loved this woman with her whole heart and made a decision. She would be leaving Syria, the first chance she got.

 

- Present -

 

She put her letters away in her desk where they were wrapped neatly in blue ribbon when she heard the babies crying. Andy walked to the next floor; her mother and Cara close behind with three bottles. Andy picked up Charlotte and took the offered bottle from her mother and they fed the babies. The brunette made sure she held each of them for an extended amount of time cooing softly to them and kissing their faces. She could feel both her mother and Cara looking at her intently. They were probably wondering if she was alright but she didn’t feel like addressing them.

 

Cassidy and Caroline arrived home about an hour later and went right to starting their homework before dinner while Andy helped to put the babies down for their third nap. It seemed like all they wanted to do was sleep. Really, she couldn’t blame them. That’s all she wanted too. The problem was, every time she closed her eyes, something managed to leak through her subconscious only for her to wake in a cold sweat and a feeling of fear gripping her heart. She checked on the girls and asked them about their day.

 

They both pulled her over to Caroline’s bed and climbed on top of her. They were still more clingy than usual but it was okay, the brunette understood they were still reeling from the accident and nearly losing their other mother. “It was so cool; you should have seen it, mama! We dissected a frog and then had to label all of its organs in Biology!” Caroline beamed. Cassidy made a gagging sound before pretending to vomit.

 

“And you, my munchkin,” Andy asked Cassidy. Both girls snuggled closer. 

 

“We started a new story in Lit today. The teacher asked us to write an ending to it. I’ve already finished mine,” she stated proudly. “Can you check it for me?”

 

“I certainly can,” Andy smiled and ran her fingers through their hair.

 

They stayed like that for a while just talking about their day until Andy sighed and stretched. The brunette smiled softly at her girls. “Mama has to get back to work now. Cass, if you give me your story I’ll have it checked by morning.”

 

“Thank you!” Cassidy reached into her backpack and handed Andy her story.

 

“You’re welcome munchkin; I’ll see you both at dinner.”

 

She went back to working on her novel and felt better after allowing herself a moment to relax. The babies were still asleep and both her mother and Cara were just downstairs if they woke up. Really, it was the perfect situation. She was so lost in thought about where to take the plot and main characters of her novel she didn’t realize the time. The front door slammed open and then shut. Her chest constricted and her breathing quickened as she watched in horror as her surroundings began to change. She slammed her eyes shut and smacked herself in the head. “No… no… please…” she cried.

 

Miranda looked up wide eyed at the sound of her wife’s panicked voice. She dropped her coat and bag and took the stairs two at a time with Gretta and Cara on her heels. The girls were standing outside Andy’s study frightened and holding on to each other.

 

- Andy’s Mind -

 

That morning was a blur. Her and Jess were off with their photographers to get shots from the base that day and only had a moment’s notice to get ready. They interviewed soldiers and took pictures around the base and were eating lunch when it happened. An attack. An explosion went off just outside the base and then gun fire started. The boom left us gripping our ears to try and stop the ringing but it didn’t help. People were shouting at us to get down and take cover. Zack was pushing his button a thousand times a minute to capture all the shots he could. Jessica and I dove under the makeshift picnic table and watched in horror as wounded were carried in. The smell of charred flesh and hair was nauseating.

 

The sand was covered in a sludgy red liquid, body parts littered the ground. Andy gaged and looked away. She could hear the cackle of the machine gun. Bullets whistled through the air until they hit their mark whether it was flesh or sand. The brunette covered her head and prayed as Jessica gripped her hand for dear life. Silence filled the air and Andy looked up. “No!” Zack was kneeling on the ground looking down at his chest. She could tell it was littered with bullets because there were several that had gone through. He slumped over and she sobbed. Jessica gripped her hand tighter to keep her in place but she yanked free.

 

“What are you doing?” the redhead hissed. “Don’t be stupid.”

 

Andy glanced at her briefly. “We can’t leave him there!” he was halfway between the enemy line and theirs. That camera and getting Zack back to his family was the only thing that mattered right now. She scrambled from hiding spot and stayed on all fours crawling Army style towards her friend, hoping all the while they didn’t see her. She checked periodically and would stop moving. A bullet whizzed by her head but when she checked nobody was looking her way. It must have been an errant bullet. They were too busy fending off the troops at this point. She reached Zack and tugged the camera from his neck. She placed it around hers and pulled him into her lap.

 

“Tell my family I love them,” Andy nodded. “And give this to my girlfriend.” He pulled a box from his pocket. “I keep meaning to-“ he coughed, blood sputtering from his lips.

 

“Shh…” Andy cried stroking his head. “I’ll tell them. I’ll make sure you get home.”

 

- Townhouse -

 

Andréa was under her desk curled up in the fetal position crying when Miranda finally reached her. She was trembling and cold. Miranda carefully extracted her from under the desk and into her lap. Her breathing was heavy and nearing hyperventilation. Her whole body was rigid and unmoving. The editor tried to open her wife’s hands so they would stop clenching so tightly but it was a failed attempt.

 

Andréa could feel her body shaking and she just wanted it to stop. “Make it stop,” she sobbed.

 

Miranda kissed her head and held tighter. “I wish I could, darling,” she whispered.

 

Gretta and Cara ushered the twins to the kitchen for dinner. It looked like Andréa would not be joining them. Andréa’s body finally relaxed into Miranda. The editor could tell the writer was exhausted and practically carried her wife to their room. She got her in bed and changed out of her clothes. Andréa watched her with heavy eyelids. When Miranda turned off the light and was about to leave, Andréa’s voice stopped her. “Please, stay.”

 

Miranda looked back at her wife and nodded. This woman was her life, how could she not acquiesce to her plea to not be left alone. The editor climbed into bed with the brunette and opened her arms. Andréa placed her head on her chest and sighed when Miranda’s fingers trailed over her scalp through her hair. “How were the babies today?” she asked trying to take her wife’s mind off whatever it was that had her in such a state.

 

“They were great, very quiet,” she replied softly. “They’re getting so big, already.”

 

“I know I’m sad I’m missing it.”

 

“Have you told them yet?” Andréa asked meeting the editor’s eyes briefly.

 

“That’s actually something we need to talk about. And please don’t think I have changed my mind because I haven’t. I still want to retire so I can spend my time with my family. You are by far the most important parts in my life.”

 

“I know, sweetheart. But you wouldn’t be you if you totally left Runway.”

 

“I’m so sorry, Andréa.”

 

“Silly woman, I fell in love with you both as the Devil in Prada and the woman. I love every side of you. Whatever you decide, I’m here. I’m not leaving.”

 

Miranda sighed and kissed the top of her wife’s head. “How did I get so lucky?”

 

Andréa shrugged. “Your letters.”

 

Miranda chuckled softly. “Yes, those. You know I sprayed them with my perfume thinking that you’d guess eventually. I never thought you’d figure it out after the first one.”

 

“How could I not? I loved you even then. I knew every complicated scent, look, and mannerism.”

 

“I know, in hindsight I suppose it would have been a whole lot easier to just confess to you. Then, maybe you wouldn’t be-“

 

“Don’t,” Andréa whispered. “This isn’t your fault and no, I’m not ready to talk about it, but I think I will be soon. I’ve got to get some sleep.”

 

Miranda nodded. “Why don’t you try now?”

 

Andréa sighed and closed her eyes. “Tell me about what happened today?” Miranda recounted her board meeting to Andréa and continued to run her fingers through her hair lulling her to sleep. For the first time in a while it wasn’t filled with nightmares or memories and she didn’t wake up crying or shaking in a cold sweat.

 

Andréa ate her dinner with everyone else while they had dessert. She enjoyed their company. She had woken up re-energized. And as she sat observing them she realized that as much as it might hurt she had to talk to someone. This wasn’t just affecting her. It was happening to all of them. She read over Cassidy’s story while the twins played with their siblings and smiled each time she looked up at the joyous sounds around her.

 

- Runway -

 

Miranda was giving her answer to the board today and she was a little nervous so she called Andréa. She was pacing her office and Andréa laughed softly. “Sweetheart, just tell them that you would love to do it you just have some stipulations. What’s the worst thing that will happen? They say no? Please, they need you.”

 

“Just because they need me, doesn’t mean they will give in to my demands.”

 

“Are you kidding?” Andréa snickered. “Everyone gives in to your demands.”

 

“Does that include you?” she wondered dreamily. Her voice was huskier than normal and Andréa had to press her thighs together. It had been a while since they had been intimate, partially because of her incision and partially because she was just always so tired.

 

“I called a doctor today,” Andréa said biting the bullet. “I’m meeting with her in a couple of hours. I’ll let you know how it goes when you get home tonight.”

 

Miranda released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. “Thank you, darling. I know it was hard for you.”

 

“You know what’s harder? Losing my family because I’m too stubborn to accept help. I have to try and get some work done today, but I love you. Knock ‘em dead.”

 

“I love you too,” the editor said before handing up. She felt a deep peace settle over her and smiled. Things would be okay, it would all work out for the best. Whatever happened today, at least she still had Andréa.

 

- Psychiatrist’s Office -

 

Andy sat in the small comfortable office. The rich hues made her feel warm and relaxed. There were two couches with throw pillows and blankets and a small desk in the corner by a bookcase. The door opened and she looked up. The woman who walked in was tall, maybe in between her and Miranda’s age, with a dark complexion, and she looked to be of Latin decent.  “I’m Dr. Ramirez, but you can call me Olivia,” she smiled softly and sat across from Andy on the other couch. “You’re Andrea Sachs-Priestly?”

 

“Just Andy,” the brunette smiled and shifted.

 

“Okay, Andy, do you mind if I take notes?”

 

The brunette shook her head. “Not at all, whatever you need to do.”

 

“Why don’t you tell me about yourself?” she asked sitting back. Andy scratched the back of her neck. “You’re nervous,” it wasn’t a question. “Would you like some tea?”

 

“Please,” Andy nodded and accepted the steaming mug when handed to her.

 

“Just relax, we don’t have to get too far today. Just tell me about you, your family, whatever you want, okay?”

 

Andy nodded and took a sip of tea. Earl Grey, her favorite. The warmth filled her and she sighed. “Well, I’m married to Miranda Priestly. We have five children. I’m a writer; I used to be a reporter for the Mirror. I went to Syria as a foreign correspondent for about eight months five years ago. I worked Runway before that as Miranda’s assistant.”

 

“Tell me about your time as your wife’s assistant,” Olivia asked jotting down a few things.

 

Andy smiled without even thinking about it. “She was and still is a very demanding boss. But she pushes you to be better than you are. There were times when she could be cruel but not unnecessarily so.”

 

“Can you explain that for me?”

 

“She expects absolute perfection and nothing less. When you don’t deliver you receive the tongue lashing of your life,” she laughed remembering the cerulean lecture and then recounted it to Olivia.

 

“My, yes, I can see what you mean now. And how did that make you feel?”

 

“Embarrassed mostly. Maybe a little turned on,” she laughed. “I am married to the woman now.”

 

“And how did that happen exactly?”

 

“Well you see,” Andy started to explain. “It all started a few months before I left. I had met up with my friends after work, Miranda had given me some samples of products she didn’t want and I was handing them out when she called. My then boyfriend took my phone and they were passing it around as if my job were some kind of joke. It got really angry and left after I got my phone back. The whole time they were just cavalier about how they spoke about her. And I just kept thinking “You don’t know her” not that I really did either not personally at least. Professionally? I could anticipate her every need, I even knew when she had a headache coming on or need another coffee run before she asked me for anything. But I had to defend her because to me she was just a woman trying to succeed in a man’s world.”

 

“But you hadn’t quite figured out your feelings yet?”

 

“No, that came a little later, right before we left for Paris,” Andy explained. “I was at this opening for my friend Lily, maybe you know her, she’s pretty big now, one of the largest gallery owners in New York. Anyway, she confronted me about it and I lost it. She said she didn’t know who I was anymore and walked away. When Nate overheard and mentioned Paris I just walked out. I didn’t want to hear it. He came after me and we had it out. He had said to me that the person whose calls I always take, that’s the relationship I was in and that he hoped we were happy together.”

 

“Wow, what happened to Emily that she couldn’t go?”

 

“She had the flu and then was hit by a cab driver when I told her that Miranda wanted me to go,” Andy winced.

 

“Poor thing.”

 

“I gave her all my clothes when I got back from Paris.”

 

“And what happened in Paris?”

 

“I realized that Nate was right. I was in love with Miranda. And I thought that I couldn’t have her, so I left. I came back home, Nate was gone, moved to Boston and took half my stuff with him. But that Monday, I got a call from the Mirror, and apparently Miranda had given me a glowing recommendation.”

 

“Well, I would say it all worked out for the best. We’ll pick up here next time?”

 

“Okay,” Andy nodded and finished her tea.

 

“How are you sleeping?”

 

“I’m not,” Andy sighed.

 

“And how is your intimacy level?”

 

Andy sniffed. “If you’re talking closeness, we’ve always had that. Sex on the other hand, between the pregnancy, accident, and recovery it’s also nonexistent.”

 

“It’s to be expected. I would think the more rest you get the more likely you and her will both be more open to being intimate with each other sexually. I’ll prescribe you something to help you sleep, keep in mind that you need a full eight hours of rest on these. I would also try some aroma therapy. It sounds like a bergamot, sandalwood mixture might work for you,” she said scribbling across her pad. “Call me if you need anything, if not, I’ll see you next week. Same time?”

 

“Yes, I’ll set it up with the receptionist.”

 

“It was nice to meet you Andy,” she said extending her hand.

 

Andy took it and smiled. “Thanks, you too.”

 

- Townhouse -

 

Andréa arrived at the townhouse just in time to greet her babies as they were waking from their naps. Miranda was already home and sent Cara and her mother off to do something enjoyable. “How was your day, sweetheart?” Andréa asked removing her coat and hanging it in the closet.

 

“They accepted,” she smiled.

 

“Of course they did,” Andréa replied walking towards her family. She played with Connor and Chase on the floor while Miranda held Charlotte. “So you’ll be working from home then?”

 

“Yes,” Miranda smiled. “It’s only about twenty hours a week including functions. The pay is slightly higher for much less work so that’s nice.”

 

“Indeed.”

 

“How was your appointment?”

 

Andréa sighed and rolled onto her back to stare at the ceiling. “It was fine; she gave me a prescription for a sleep aid. I can only take it if I can get a full eight hours though.”

 

“What did to discuss?”

 

“You,” Andréa answered honestly. “Mostly, how I came to recognize my feelings for you. I think she was just trying to get me to trust her and feel comfortable.”

 

“Well, did it work? And we’ll make sure you do.”

 

“Yes it did.”

 

“This next issue will be my last.”

 

“It is?” Andréa rolled back over and looked at her. “Are you sure?”

 

“Yes it’s time.”

 

“What number is this?”

 

“250th.”

 

“Wow, sweetheart, I’m so proud of you.”

 

“Me?” Miranda scoffed. “It is I who am proud of you, darling. It takes a brave heart to ask for help when you are so used to handling everything on your own.” Andréa blushed and they continued to speak about their day until dinner.

 

It was now closing in on eleven o’clock and the rest of the house was sleeping except Miranda and Andréa.  Andréa was the first to look up from her work and gaze at her wife. The fire put off a warmth and glow that enveloped Miranda casting shadows in just the right places to highlight her beauty. She was mesmerized by her love and slowly and carefully put her laptop away. She walked over to Miranda’s desk and pushed the Book to the side with a knowing smirk. The editor looked at her over her glasses and Andréa bit her lip sliding between her wife’s legs. She grazed her sock clad feet along Miranda’s bare calves and the editor hummed. The brunette’s smile turned wolfish and she gripped Miranda’s chair pulling her forward.

 

The editor put her hands out to catch herself before she hit the antique desk with the arms of her chair and slipped her arms around her wife. Andréa slid her hands through Miranda’s hair shaking loose the hairspray holding it together and brought their lips together. They both sighed. Miranda pulled back slowly as Andréa teased her bottom lip with her teeth. Fire burned in her eyes and Andréa moaned when Miranda stood and practically forced her back onto the desk. Lips found her neck and she gasped as teeth grazed over her collar bone. “Mir.“

 

“Yes, darling?” her voice was octaves lower than her normal register and it went straight to Andréa’s core.

 

“Make love to me,” the brunette sighed. Miranda’s heart soared and she carefully pulled Andréa into a sitting position again this time with her standing between her legs. She kissed her gently pushing her hands into her chestnut locks. Her lips caressed Andréa’s in a way that left her wife whimpering and wanting more. She nipped at her lower lip then soothed the ache with her tongue. The editor pushed her tongue passed Andréa’s plump lips and kissed her thoroughly. By now the brunette’s chest was heaving and wrapped her legs around her wife. She had to be closer.

 

Deft fingers quickly removed the button down shirt covering the brunette. Miranda moved her lips to Andréa’s neck licking, sucking, nipping, and kissing her way along the slender column, across her clavicle and shoulder, back up her neck across her jaw and below her ear. Her fingertips set Andréa’s skin aflame and goosebumps erupted in their wake. The brunette tilted her head to the side giving Miranda more access to her lovely neck and moaned when the editor’s teeth grazed her pulse point. “Mmm, Mir, please touch me.”

 

“Yes, darling,” Miranda intoned her hands cupping Andréa’s breasts through her black lace La Perla bra. The brunette arched her back and pushed herself into her wife’s waiting wandering hands. Delicate fingers pinched, pulled, and caressed her nipples through her bra. Impatient, she tore it off and threw it behind her causing Miranda to chuckle against her flushed chest as her lips once again began their sweet torture. She slid off Miranda’s desk and her hands immediately found the zipper to her skirt. Andréa yanked it down and the skirt fell to the floor. She took the editor’s hand and guided her to the soft plush rug in front of the fireplace.

 

Miranda popped the button on her jeans, designer of course, while Andrea worked on unwrapping the blue wrap around blouse covering her wife’s torso. Andréa pressed her feet against the carpet and slid her socks off, then kicked her jeans aside. Chocolate eyes took in every inch of skin revealed to her as she pulled the lingerie from her wife’s body. Stormy blue orbs watched as Andrea’s finger tips brushed against the skin of her hip, stomach, ribs, and finally the underside of her breasts.

 

Andréa pulled the editor down to the floor and positioned her body above. Miranda’s hands reached into her hair and pulled her down for a searing kiss. Hands explored as their lips and tongues dueled for dominance. Miranda raised her thigh and gripped her wife’s hips pulling her down and causing a delicious friction. “Mmm,” Andréa gasped and pulled back to look at the editor. Her eyes were alight with a furious passion and Miranda used the opportunity to flip them. With Andrea now on her back Miranda kissed and licked a path from her neck to her breasts all while using her thigh to press against her wife. Andréa felt her lips wrap around a stiff nipple and her hand squeeze her other breast. She arched and gyrated her hips trying to feel more. “More, please,” she panted threading her fingers through a white coif and holding Miranda’s head to her chest. Miranda switched sides and used her free hand to grab Andrea’s knee. She pulled her leg up and over her hip to get better access as her hand slipped between them.

 

Deft fingers found wet heat and Andréa whimpered pulling Miranda’s lips to hers. “Please,” she bit her lip and found Miranda’s eyes. Her wife practically growled and slipped three fingers inside. “Ah, yes!” She waited for Andréa to feel comfortable before moving and set a pace to match her hips. Andréa lifted her leg and used her hands to pull Miranda’s hips down in a similar motion that her wife had used earlier. They breathed heavily, chests heaved, lips connected until their limbs were shaking. Miranda flicked her thumb across Andréa’s clit just as her wife entered her and rubbed the spot she needed.

 

“Fuck,” Miranda pressed her hips down harder and pumped her fingers faster feeling both of their orgasms being pulled forward.

 

“Mir.“ Andréa’s breathing was coming in short gasps followed by unintelligible words. White hot fire started in her belly and spread outwards, her entire body enflamed as she shuddered against her wife with a barely audible moan and her mouth dropped to form an ‘o’. Miranda watched as her wife came and moved her hips riding her hand until she too came and let herself fall on top of Andréa. She kissed her neck gently and tucked her head under her chin. Andréa wrapped her arms around her wife and kissed her temple. “I love you.”

 

“And I you.”

 

- Psychiatrist -

 

Andy waited patiently for Olivia scanning her phone for the latest news. “Sorry I’m a bit late; I promise I’ll give you some extra time today. How are the pills working?”

 

“Good,” Andy smiled. “They help when I really need to sleep but can’t.”

 

“Have you tried the aromatherapy yet?”

 

“No but I just got the essential oils a couple days ago. Maybe tonight,” Andy sighed rubbing her neck.

 

“Did something happen?”

 

“Just a flashback from my accident. I had a short nap and woke up-“ Andy faltered, she didn’t want to talk about this yet.

 

“It’s okay, why don’t we pick up from where we left off last time. Why don’t you tell me about your time at the Mirror?”

 

Andy nodded and began telling her about the first five assignments she got. “Then I was asked to go to Syria as a foreign correspondent. It was quite the experience and that’s when I allowed myself to really hope for a future with Miranda.” Andy explained her earlier stories and how she felt when she received the first letter from the girls and the last one from Miranda before she decided to come home. “I always knew it was her even before she signed the last letter. It smelled like her and there’s no way she didn’t know about the twins writing to me. She sent me all sorts of care packages too. I remember one, it was quite funny actually, she sent vibrator. She said I sounded lonely and she sent me a vibrator, just a little one, but I blushed so badly my friends all wanted to see. From then on I allowed myself to imagine my future with her in it. That last letter though, it came right after we lost Zack, and it jarred something inside me. She said she missed me, thought of me daily, and asked me to stay safe. I knew then she felt the same and I had to come back to New York the first chance I got.”

 

“Who is Zack?”

 

“He was a photographer that went with me. Please, I don’t want to talk about him just yet.”

 

“Okay, why don’t you tell me what you did when you got back from Syria?”

 

Andy smiled and took the tea Olivia offered her.

 

- Andy’s Mind -

 

Andy watched her, sure that from her vantage point Miranda would not notice her until she intended her to. She looked gorgeous in her black low cut Valentino dress. Andy could tell that she was getting bored and would make her exit soon but there was something she wanted to do first. Miranda sipped slowly from her champagne flute eyes sweeping the room to make note of the guests she needed to speak with unaware that Andy was now gliding towards her. Emily was faithfully by her side whispering the names of the prominent people she greeted. The redhead’s words came out in a jumbled mess as she saw Andy and the brunette couldn’t hide the smile at her reaction. She then looked to Miranda and dismissed Emily only focused on her prize. “Leave,” Miranda directed her assistant her eyes never leaving Andréa.

 

The brunette’s eyes trailed over the editor slowly as if devouring her. Miranda shivered and Andy licked her lips. “Hello, Miranda,” she spoke softly and smiled. She felt a stab of longing and desire shoot through her and straight to her core. This woman was so incredibly beautiful that it nearly hurt.

 

“Andréa,” Miranda said slowly nearly an octave lower than usual. “How lovely to see you,” she leaned in to kiss both cheeks and instead of the usual air kiss her lips met each cheek. The younger woman had simply moved her head just enough for it to happen. A wolfish smile formed on her lips as she saw the recognition in the blue orbs.

 

Miranda was caught off guard by the action but quickly recovered. “You look beautiful, as always,” Andréa said slipping an arm around the editor’s waist. “Care to dance?”

 

The older woman nodded just once, her approval. The brunette was positively floored. “You look absolutely radiant,” she stated as Andy swept her across to the dancefloor. “Being a reporter suits you nicely; I read your work on the war in Syria. Did you like it there?”

 

Andréa smiled widely; please that Miranda had kept up with her work, but the letters had touched her so much more than that. “I did go to Syria. It was a nightmare never knowing what would happen or if I’d survive the day. The letters kept me going but I never knew where that life would lead me the next day or week. I enjoyed it and it was a great experience, but I think my heart truly lies here,” she said leading Miranda in a slow waltz and gazing into the older woman’s eyes. Surely the editor could see the love reflecting in the chocolate orbs.

 

“Your heart? I’m afraid I don’t understand,” Miranda was crazy if she thought Andy was going to give up now.

 

“Don’t you?” Andréa asked with another soft smile. “Why do you think I left Paris?” she inquired.

 

“Because you didn’t recognize yourself anymore and you didn’t want to become like me,” Miranda answered.

 

“I did feel like I was losing myself,” Andréa nodded. “That part is true. But, I found that I had fallen, quite hard in fact, for the one person I couldn’t have.”

 

Miranda stared at the brunette. “W-what?”

 

“But I’ve realized over the last year, I can have her, because she feels the same way,” Andréa twirled Miranda in her arms until her back was against Andréa’s front and her lips were next to the editor’s ear. “I can have you.” Miranda moaned softly and sagged into the brunette. Luckily, no one seemed to be watching or Page Six would have had a field day. Andy very carefully maneuvered them outside to the balcony that was vacant. She continued to hold Miranda as they looked out at the stars.

 

“What on earth possessed you to come here tonight?”

 

“Love,” Andy answered simply. “ Your letters gave me hope this wasn’t one-sided and then… so much had happened and when you said you missed me, that you thought about me, and wanted me to come back safe,” Andy kissed her temple and slowly turned her around. “I knew I had to come home. I couldn’t live without you and somewhere deep inside of my heart I knew you would have been devastated if anything happened to me.”

 

“You are correct,” Miranda responded tucking a loose strand behind Andrea’s ear. “So you’re here to stay?”

 

“If, you’ll let me.”

 

“I have no choice. Once the girls know, they’ll be asking you to move in,” they both chuckled. “And just so we’re clear, I love you too and I don’t intend on letting you leave again.”

 

- Present -

 

Andy grinned widely. “I literally came back and the first thing I did was go see her.”

 

“That’s quite the story to tell to your kids.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Well, that’s it for the day. Why don’t you try those aromatherapies tonight and let me know how that goes.”

 

Olivia stood and walked Andy out. “Sounds good, doc. Thanks,” she smiled.

 

- Townhouse -

 

Andréa and Miranda lay in bed with the babies in between them and the twins watching a movie on the floor of their bedroom. Cara and Andréa’s mother were making dinner and would watch the babies until they put them to bed so the couple could have some alone time. Andréa really wanted to try those essential oils but wanted Miranda with her. They had agreed to take it easy since Andréa’s stomach was hurting from their vigorous love making a few nights ago. Not that she regretted it, because it felt so good to be close like that but it burned every time she moved. Dinner was pleasant and delicious. Andréa was stuffed. Miranda simply shook her head at her wife’s appetite.

 

“Alright, youngins,” Gretta said as she walked into the dining room. “Time for bed. Girls, if one of you could please help Cara and one of you straighten up Nana would appreciate it.”

 

“Sure!” they both jumped up and fought briefly over who was going to do which task until Miranda asked Cassidy to please take Connor and Caroline to follow with the babies’ blankets.

 

Gretta scooped up Charlotte and Cara took Chase. Andréa and Miranda kissed each of the babies and then the twins. “Good night my loves,” Andréa smiled happily.

 

“Good night darlings,” Miranda said softly. She waited until they were gone to turn to her wife and bring her close. “How about that bath now?” she whispered kissing her.

 

Andréa nodded and reluctantly pulled away to lead Miranda up to their bathroom. Miranda shut their door and locked it before backing Andréa up to the bed. She gently pushed her to sit and started removing her clothes. Andréa was dying inside. Miranda was moving far too slow for her liking. “Just relax, darling, let me take care of you.”

 

Andréa nodded and tried not to fidget or pull her fingers as was her habit when she was nervous or had nothing to do with her hands. Miranda slowly unbuttoned Andréa’s blouse and let it fall to the floor. Her gaze travelled the expanse of her stomach and chest before pulling her bra straps down. Deft fingers moved around her back to undo the hooks and the editor slid it down her arms kneeling as she did so. Her fingers skimmed across Andréa’s stomach and she hissed, though not from pain. Her dress socks were next followed by her pants. “Up,” Miranda commanded before pulling the waist of her panties along with her slacks. Now naked, Andréa shivered.

 

Andréa regarded her wife with hooded eyes and exacted the same sweet slow torture on her as she removed her garments. Finally, both clothing free Miranda lead Andréa to the bathroom. She turned the water on and set the temperature to a relaxing hot. While waiting for the large tub to fill she poured some of the essential oils in and turned the heater on so it warmed the entire room. Once the tub was full she helped Andréa in and then got in behind her. Both women were grateful the tub was big enough to accommodate them and then some. The water was able to cover their chests so neither of them was cold.

 

Miranda pulled her wife against her and took her hands interlocking their fingers. Andrea stared at their engagement rings and wedding bands remembering the day clearly. Miranda kissed her temple. “What are you thinking about? I can hear your cogs running.”

 

“The day we proposed to each other. How hysterical it was that the twins somehow managed to get us to pick the same rings.”

 

“Yes, they do have that annoying streak of always having something up their sleeves.”

 

“They mean well.”

 

“I know.”

 

Miranda slid her hands from Andréa’s and up her arms to where her shoulders and neck met. She rubbed in soft but firm circles. “That feels so good,” she sighed deeply.

 

“Remember, you need to breathe deeply for the oils to work.”

 

The brunette nodded and closed her eyes leaning her head back onto Miranda’s shoulder. The editor finished massaging the area and moved her hands over her wife’s chest slowly. Her palms brushed hardened nipples and Andréa moaned softly. “Mmm, Mir.”

 

“Shh,” Miranda’s tongue jutted out and trailed a path over the shell of the brunette’s ear eliciting another moan from her lips. The editor went slow, taking her time to work up her wife, and then gently reached down with one hand. Her fingers slid easily through slick folds and found their goal. Miranda turned her head to kiss and nip at Andrea’s exposed neck while her fingers worked their magic.

 

“Mir. Oh, God,” her voice was low and needy. She took her wife’s free hand and placed it on her breast and massaged the other one with her own hand.

 

“Easy, darling. Don’t clench your stomach muscles so much. Relax. I’ve got you. Let it build.”

 

Andrea moaned and pleaded with her wife to put her fingers inside but Miranda refrained for the time being. She wanted to slowly build it and gently take her over the precipice and she knew it would be too much if she penetrated her wife. When Andrea finally came, it wasn’t earth shattering but it was long and made her feel warm, loved, and taken care of.

 

Miranda slowly rubbed her until she was finished kissing her temple. “I love you,” Andréa said going limp in her wife’s arms. They stayed in a while longer just relaxing.

 

Miranda politely declined Andrea returning the favor. “Tonight was about you, darling. I just want to take care of you,” she said cupping her cheek as they dried off. “Come, let’s get in bed. I want to hold you while you fall asleep.”

 

Andréa turned and kissed the palm of her hand. “You’re too good to me.”

 

“Nonsense, you deserve the world,” she said pulling the brunette to their very comfortable king sized bed. She pulled the covers up and positioned her wife so she could nuzzle her neck while holding her tightly with an arm placed just under her breasts. “Sleep, now, darling.”

 

- Psychiatrist -

 

“I saw the news from the attack. Do you want to talk about it?”

 

“I was trapped in a town car, I don’t even really remember how long,” she scratched her head. “Part of me thought I was going to die,” she admitted softly. “I had so many injuries.”

 

“I’m sure it was very scary for you, especially without Miranda being there.”

 

Andy nodded. “I’m glad she wasn’t there though, I can’t imagine if the roles were reversed what I would have done. I remember hearing the explosion in the distance,” she said using her hand to speak. “And then screaming. There was just so much screaming. People literally wailing. I was reaching for something in my purse when the cars came out of nowhere and smashed into us. Roy’s leg got pinned in the driver’s seat and I was stuck in the back with the roof caved in. It was so loud I remember trying to cover my ears at one point but it didn’t help. I smacked my head pretty hard and lost consciousness. When I came to, I had a pretty nasty cut on my head and shoulder but was otherwise okay. Roy had been trying to wake me up. Someone was calling our phones. Turns out it was a friend trying to get a hold of us to find out where we were and if we were okay. When I heard Miranda’s voice,” Andy felt tears pooling in her eyes. “God, I was so relieved because I knew she’d find us.”

 

“And she did?”

 

“Yes, of course, she did,” Andy smiled. “She stayed on the phone with me the whole time. My water broke before she got there. I thought… it was just too soon for them. I was only seven months. I mean I know twins are normally early so I expected to go in a little early but seven months was too early. Then, we got a nice little surprise and our twins were actually triplets. Two boys, Connor and Chase, and a girl, Charlotte,” Andy spoke proudly.

 

“You said you smacked your head, did you suffer a concussion?”

 

“I was told it was a traumatic brain injury, a subdural hematoma, they had to drill holes in my skull to drain the blood and relieve pressure. I was unconscious for a week.”

 

“I bet that was very difficult for your family.”

 

“For me too, I could hear them but I couldn’t move or open my eyes. It was awful. I had to listen to them every day asking me to wake up and I failed them. My girls, they sang to me and cried into my neck and I couldn’t wrap my arms around them. My babies had been born and I couldn’t see them. My wife was in hysterics and I couldn’t comfort her.”

 

“You didn’t fail them, Andy. You were physically unable to wake up or move. The brain works in very mysterious ways and even those of us who study it do not know the extent to which it can function. You cannot take their grief and sadness on yourself for something you had no control over.”

 

“Thank you,” Andy sniffled wiping her tears away.

 

“How about a different subject? You pick.”

 

“The twins had a recital yesterday. Caroline play the violin and Cassidy just loves the cello for its haunting tones. They were wonderful. They played “Let it Go” from Frozen, “Over the Rainbow”, and “Moonlight Sonata”. They’re growing up so fast. Caroline wants to be a lawyer and Cassidy wants to go into publishing.”

 

“You sound proud.”

 

“I am,” Andy smiled. “I’m so proud.”

 

- Townhouse -

 

Roy, his wife Elaine, and their two boys Jeremy and Adam joined them for dinner. Jeremy and Adam were only a little younger than the twins and the four of them were off playing video games in the entertainment room while the adults were talking. “Roy, how’s your leg?” Andy inquired.

 

“I reckon I’ll be up to snuff soon,” he replied squeezing her hand. “How are you doing?”

 

“I’m getting better,” she smiled softly and squeezed back. She had confided in Roy a few days ago that she had PTSD and had been seeing someone about it.

 

“I’m so very sorry; I should have never taken that street. I don’t know what I was thinking,” the man looked down ashamed.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous. There was construction on our normal route. It’s not like there are fifty other ways to get to my publisher’s building,” Andy gently tapped his hand. “It’s not your fault.”

 

“No,” Miranda joined in. “It is not. And I do expect when you are, as you say, up to snuff, that you will be back to work.”

 

Roy smiled widely and nodded. “It would be my pleasure.”

 

“Perfect.”

 

- Psychiatrist -

 

“So, the oils?”

 

“Work wonders,” Andy groaned appreciatively.

 

“That’s fantastic. And I have to ask because you mentioned it briefly. How are things with you and Miranda?”

 

“Good,” Andy nodded. “Really good.”

 

“Glad to hear it. I know you showed some concern about your sexual intimacy.”

 

“Nah, everything is a-okay in that department. Amazing actually.”

 

“That’s great. That kind of intimacy is something we as humans crave. It is love and acceptance all rolled into one nice little package of endorphins.”

 

“Indeed. So,” she took a deep breath. “Zack. The last topic on my list. He was a friend. We both worked at the Mirror. He was a photographer. We were sent over to Syria together. One day we were out at one of the bases and there was an attack. An IED went off outside and insurgents stormed the gate. I took cover with another reporter under our table but Zack kept taking pictures. One second I looked up and the next he was riddled with bullet holes. I left my spot and went to him crawling on my hands and knees stopping when I thought they might notice. I reached him and he died in my arms. Before that he asked me to tell his family he loved them to give his girlfriend the engagement ring he had been carrying around, and I promised to do all that and take his body back home,” she was crying by the time she finished.

 

“And did you do those things he asked you?”

 

Andy nodded. “Yes. The day after I saw Miranda and we got together.”

 

“And this bothers you?”

 

Andy nodded. “I put my needs above his.”

 

“Andy, do you really think a day made a difference?”

 

“I don’t know,” she said looking down.

 

“Why did you go see Miranda first?”

 

Andy looked up and stared at her hard. “Because I needed to.”

 

“Do you really think that your friend would have wanted you to suffer on his account? Don’t you think that he would have wanted you to go to the woman you love and confess everything you felt? Don’t you think he of all people, who carried an engagement ring around with him every day, would understand your fears and needs?” Andy nodded biting her bottom lip. “You realized your mortality, what you needed in this life, and you went after it. That is not something to be ashamed of.”

 

“Okay,” Andy nodded.

 

“This is officially your last session based on what you’ve scheduled. You are welcome to schedule more if you would like to. I am happy to talk you through whatever you need. If you choose not to that’s fine too. A piece of advice though?” Andy nodded. “Get a journal; write down your feelings, your fears, and your dreams. Keep record of it all. Remember you are surrounded by people who love you and you are not alone. You will never forget these experiences but it will get better. Ask for help if you need it.”

 

- Townhouse -

 

When Andréa got home after her appointment, she went straight to her babies and held each one of them. When the twins came home, she let them put a movie in and they sat with her. Each of them held one of the babies. She gave her mother and Cara the night off. Miranda came down stairs after finishing the book for the night and her heart clenched at the sight of her family curled up on the couches all of them sleeping. She found her camera and snapped a few pictures before joining them. She gently took Chase from Andréa and wiggled her way beside her wife. The brunette woke briefly to re-situate herself and immediately fell back asleep clinging to Miranda.

 

When Andrea woke up again it was well after ten. She had slept right through dinner. She rubbed her eyes and stood up. All of her babies looked to be in bed for the night. She went to her mother’s room on the second floor and knocked softly. “Yes?”

 

She opened the door and peeked in. “Thank you, for everything. I know I haven’t been all that wonderful to be around.”

 

“Oh, you silly child. I love you no matter what. Everyone needs a break and help sometimes. You are no exception.”

 

“Still, thank you.”

 

“You’re welcome. Did you sleep alright?”

 

Andréa smiled and nodded. “You know, I actually did.”

 

“Good. I’m here if you need anything. Good night baby.”

 

“Good night mom,” Andréa smiled and shut the door.

 

She checked on her babies, all sound asleep in their beds. The twins were huddled together in Cassidy’s room under a mountain of blankets presumably to be a fort. Andréa chuckled and turned off the light. The brunette padded to her room and found her wife reading. “Hello, darling,” Miranda smiled.

 

“I think you let me sleep too long,” Andréa smiled back removing her clothes and pulling on a t-shirt. She crawled into bed and snuggled up to her wife.

 

“You needed it.”

 

“You’re right about that,” she yawned. “I exhausted myself today, but it was good to finally get it all out.”

 

“I’m glad you found it helpful,” Miranda said not taking her eyes off her book but stroking her hair.

 

Andréa looked up at her and pulled the book away slowly to get her attention. “Can I talk to you about it?” she asked nervously. “I’m ready now.”

 

“Oh, darling, of course. I would be honored. Whatever you need.”

 

Andréa recounted everything from the very beginning. Paris, Syria, coming home, and the accident. She confided in her wife just how scared she was and then told her about every nightmare and panic attack that had gripped her so terrifyingly. Miranda listened carefully holding Andréa a she did so and comforted her as needed. A few hours later they were both emotionally spent and had fallen asleep in each other’s arms.