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Oral Histories

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Andy remembered reading literary theory in college: theory that had explained how Western cultures had "fetishized" the book, the written word, privileged it over oral traditions, often at the expense of other, more "primitive" civilizations.

She couldn't speak for the whole Western world, of course, but as she watched Miranda on the sofa, Andy thought maybe the theorists had a point. Out of everyone she'd ever met, nobody could fetishize a book--okay, The Book--better than Miranda Priestly. The Book: Runway's mockup, the one she got every night and read more religiously than any newspaper, magazine, or holy text. Of course, the routine had changed just lately--now that Miranda had started coming by Andy's apartment, she sometimes didn't get a look at the book until early the next morning, when she returned home. But sometimes, when she'd stayed late at the office for whatever reason, she'd get the book in person. And bring it to Andy's with her. Which, in Andy's opinion, was a waste of a perfectly good evening.

It wasn't that she didn't respect Miranda's work or career. God, after spending a year watching her at it, how couldn't she? But Miranda hadn't been able to come over in a week, and Andy was horny, and due to start her period in a couple of days and they were both still too squeamish to get naked when one of them was on the rag (yet another thing Andy'd never really thought about in a relationship before--two bouts of PMS to deal with), so it wasn't like they could afford to waste time tonight.

And yet, there sat Miranda, as absorbed in the book as if she was back home in her own place and Andy wasn't anywhere near. She'd been at it for nearly two hours. It was almost midnight and Andy had to be at work the next morning.

Well, this was just unacceptable.

Andy set aside her own book and rose without a word, heading towards the bed. Her small apartment didn't have a 'bedroom' per se, but from where Miranda was sitting, she couldn't really see what was going on in the alcove. Not that it mattered, since she didn't even look up at Andy's movement.

When Andy re-emerged, she was wearing a low-cut blouse, a short skirt, thigh-high silk hose and--the piece de resistance--toweringly high black patent heels. She hated walking anywhere in them (and never did), but they made her legs look great. The outfit in general came perilously close to "Catholic schoolgirl," but it was the best she could do on short notice.

She stood in front of Miranda and cleared her throat. Miranda looked up from the book, blinked, and then raised her eyebrows.

Andy smiled at her, and then looked down and began to unbutton the blouse. She took her time, as if she hadn't a care in the world, and revealed, beneath the blouse, the bra Miranda had given her last week.

Miranda didn't give her a lot of gifts. She couldn't afford to. Not because of money, but because anything she wanted to give--clothes, jewelry, shoes--people would notice, and wonder how Andy came by such luxuries on a cub reporter's salary. Underwear was different, though. Nobody saw it but them, and as a consequence, Andy wore some of the most exquisite lingerie in the world. She knew Miranda loved that: that beneath her workday clothes, against her skin, Andy wore her gifts. And moments like these were when Andy gave her something back.

Andy placed her hands on her hips, cocking them, aware what she looked like: blouse open, short skirt, high heels. Like some guy's clichéd pornstar fantasy. But there was a reason it was a cliché. It worked.

Miranda said nothing--but she did take off her glasses and set the book aside. Then she sat back on the sofa, crossed her legs, and tilted her head, as if saying, All right--show me what you've got. Only the faint color on her cheeks showed her interest in whatever scenario was about to unfold.

Andy didn't have any stripper music, and she was pretty sure she couldn't pull off a real routine with a straight face. So she kept it simple: she looked into Miranda's eyes the whole time as she slid the blouse from her shoulders, and then bent forward and shimmied out of her skirt, letting Miranda get an eyeful of her cleavage. She managed to balance in the shoes, and when she tossed the skirt to the side, she stood before Miranda in lingerie and black patent leather stilettos.

Of course, Miranda saw stuff like this every day--women who were taller, thinner, tanner, and more beautiful than Andy strutted around in their undies all the time for various modeling shoots, and Miranda took less notice of them than she did her Starbucks lattes.

This was different, Andy knew. Those girls were all desperate for Miranda's approval. But they didn't offer their own approval in return, like Andy did. They wouldn't dare. They certainly didn't offer themselves as completely as Andy did; they didn't saunter forward with a look on their face that said, Go ahead--take anything you want.

Most importantly, they weren't Andy. And Miranda didn't want anybody who wasn't Andy.

When Andy came to stand in front of her, Miranda's nostrils flared, and her lips pressed together, but she didn't make any move to sit up. Andy reached up, touched her own collarbone, and then smoothed her hands downward, only closing her eyes when she cupped her breasts. The bra was little more than black tulle tied in front with a silk ribbon, and the tulle rubbed gently over her nipples, letting the heat of her hands through. Andy rolled her head back and arched into her own touch with a sigh. She didn't care what she looked like--she wasn't playacting her own pleasure. It felt wonderful. She heard Miranda's breath catch.

She opened her eyes. Miranda was sitting up, now, leaning towards Andy--not moving to touch her, but watching with all the avid stillness of a snake about to strike. Andy lowered her lashes and smiled, feeling smug satisfaction curling up and down her spine.

Their sexual fascination with each other had come as a welcome surprise to them both. Andy had wondered, at first, if it just might be the curiosity of a new experience, or the thrill of doing it with somebody who'd been off-limits for so long (and still was, sort of). But they'd been at it for six months, now, and once they got started, they still couldn't stop until either circumstance or sheer exhaustion forced them to. And whether they were here in Andy's apartment or in a cheap, anonymous hotel, there was nothing hotter than watching Miranda's eyes fog over with pure need.

Andy knew, without asking, that nobody had ever turned Miranda on like she did. It couldn't be otherwise, with the way Miranda completely lost herself in Andy's body, abandoning herself to desire like she was helpless to do otherwise--and surprised by it. Sometimes, Andy thought, even frightened.

But not frightened tonight. Andy felt Miranda's hands sliding up her silk-stockinged thighs to rest on her hips, tugging her forward. Andy opened her eyes, and looked down to see Miranda staring intently up at her. Heat surged through her, and she bit her lip as she slid open the bow at the front of the bra, letting it fall open in two wisps of tulle. Miranda's eyelids fluttered for a moment and she swallowed. Andy kept looking into her eyes as she stroked her breasts again, feeling her nipples crinkle and harden beneath her fingertips, feeling goosebumps rise in the wake of her own touch.

Miranda gave up, then, closing her eyes and leaning forward until she brushed her lips against the smooth skin of Andy's belly. She held still for a moment, and then sighed, a hot gust of air, as her lips curved in a wicked smile. Her hands tightened on Andy's hips, and then she began to nuzzle gently between Andy's legs, pressing her lips and nose against the lace and tulle. Andy gasped, and dropped her hands to clutch at Miranda's shoulders for support, trying not to wobble on her stilettos as Miranda mouthed at her through her panties, her warm breath tingling. Miranda's hands slid up still higher, curved, cupped her ass, pressing Andy closer against her mouth. Oh. Andy's knees trembled and her head tilted back again.

Miranda nibbled at the place where Andy's hip met her thigh, and took the delicate, lacy elastic waistband between her teeth. She held it for a second, and then snapped it back against Andy's skin. Andy squeaked, and Miranda gave a dirty little chuckle as her fingertips brushed over one of the two tiny hooks that held the panty together at either of Andy's hips. No shimmying for this part of the ensemble. Easy access was the point. Andy shivered in anticipation.

Miranda didn't disappoint. Maybe she couldn't wait, either. She unclasped the hooks and let the flutter of cloth fall to the floor, her eyes gleaming and never leaving Andy's face as she leaned forward again.

Andy refused to let her eyes close or her head tilt back, so she kept looking right at Miranda while Miranda ate her, and the intensity in those steely blue eyes was almost enough to make her come on the spot. But Miranda wouldn't like that, not when she was in this sort of mood. She liked taking her time, and didn't like having to stop just because Andy had climaxed and was too tender and sensitive for more. Her eyes said as much: Don't even think about it.

Okay. Control. Andy panted desperately, trying to find some of it. Fortunately, just then Miranda tilted her head, which meant she couldn't keep looking in Andy's eyes at that angle. Unfortunately, that meant she began doing one of her favorite tricks, which was when she buried her nose in the wisps of hair at the end of Andy's belly and began working her tongue, with tortuous lightness, just to the side of Andy's clit, millimeters away from where Andy was most desperate for it. Andy longed to grab fierce handfuls of that silver hair, to shove Miranda's mouth exactly where she wanted it to be, but Miranda had teeth and wasn't afraid to use them, and besides, Andy's knees weren't long for this world.

She broke her self-imposed silence to pant, "Uh. Can I take these shoes off now?"

Miranda moved down to suck at Andy's inner thigh before saying, "If you want me to stop, feel free."

"What?" So completely unfair. "But, but I might fall over on you--"

"That would make me stop as well," Miranda acknowledged, and, true to form, bit where she'd just sucked. "So you'll just have to be careful…that's all."

That's all. One of these days Andy was going to tell Miranda that that was neither cute nor a turn-on, just as soon as she convinced herself of it. "Jesus," she whimpered. "Please, Miranda."

Miranda didn't even ask, 'please what?' She just kept going, moving her tongue so delicately that Andy was about ready to scream in frustration. Which Miranda would fucking love, so forget that. Instead she carefully let go of Miranda's shoulders, and drew her trembling hands as gently as she could through Miranda's hair, combing through, tickling the tops of her ears. "So good," she breathed, rocking her hips the tiniest bit back and forth. "You're so good. You make me crazy."

She felt Miranda's fingers brush against her, parting her, and knew her flattery had been rewarded. But she kept enough of her mind to say, quickly, "Rings!" Miranda made a growling sound as she pulled her hands away, and Andy heard the 'clink' of two very large and no doubt sharp-edged rings being dropped on the end-table. They'd learned about that pitfall the hard way. The hard way, in fact, had resulted in a wincing Andy getting a bonafide heartfelt apology from Miranda that had almost made the ordeal worthwhile.

No apologies tonight, though, and, as if to take revenge for the delay, Miranda slid three fingers inside with no warm-up. Andy's back arched into the faint, but welcome burn. Miranda sat back, wiping her mouth, and watched her own hand moving in and out of Andy as if hypnotized by it. She brushed her thumb over Andy's clit, and bit her lip at Andy's resulting moan. "You like this, don't you," she murmured.

"Uh…huh," Andy gasped, holding on to Miranda's shoulders again, trying desperately not to come before Miranda wanted her to. Before Miranda let her.

"Do you want more?" Andy only nodded, swallowing, trying not to fall down. And almost failing as Miranda twisted all three fingers inside her at once. "You certainly look as if you do," she said. "I wish you could see yourself now, Andrea, the way I see you."

"Huh, how," Andy managed, "how's that?"

"Ready," Miranda said, her lips turned up in a cool smile. She spoke in her usual low, commanding thrum when she continued, "More than ready. Bra undone; panties gone; silk stockings and high heels. And my God, you're so wet." She flexed her fingers to prove her point, and Andy squeaked.

"And you?" Andy asked when she'd gotten her breath back. "Are you wet too, Miranda?"

Something flickered in the depths of Miranda's eyes. "We're not talking about me."

But they could be. Andy couldn't help but remember a night in July, when Miranda had come over and the air conditioning unit in the window stopped working just as they'd gotten undressed. Opening the window hadn't helped much, since New York had been hotter than hell all week long. It was too late at night to leave and find a hotel, and it had been too many days since they'd been together, and miserable, sticky heat or not, they hadn't stopped.

Andy remembered the feeling of being locked together with Miranda and writhing on top of the sheets, both of them straining for completion in a mixture of frustration and excitement. They hadn't been making love that night, or having sex; that night, they'd been fucking, with no tenderness or finesse, and Andy had been unable to stop herself from whispering just how fuckable Miranda was, telling her all the things she wanted to do to her, how she wanted to do them all the time, anywhere.

And it had driven Miranda nearly out of her mind. Later she tried to blame the heat, but the truth was she'd moaned desperately against Andy's sweat-slicked shoulder and begged for more. Andy had given more, holding Miranda down and using her mouth and hands on her any way she could think of, any way she wanted to. And that hot, stuffy night had been, to date, the only time she'd actually made Miranda scream.

But tonight was a crisp evening in October, and now Miranda was the one in charge. And she loved it, Andy knew; loved pushing the limits of her control. It wasn't that she so much wanted to see how far Andy would go--she already knew--but how far she could push herself before that control broke, before she gave in to whatever impulses hounded her beneath the cold eyes and the low, measured voice. Forget Chanel or Versace: the ultimate luxury, for Miranda, was letting go.

She was close to letting go right now. Andy could tell. She'd learned to read the signs. "Well, you're right," she said, bending over and sliding her hands down Miranda's back, letting her hair fall around her shoulders and Miranda's face. The new position let Miranda kiss and nuzzle at her breasts while she kept working her fingers. "I'm ready." She gasped when Miranda licked a nipple. "God. More than." She stroked up and down Miranda's back again, enjoying the softness of Miranda's silk blouse. She turned her head and whispered in Miranda's ear, "I'm ready for whatever you want."

Miranda sucked in her breath between her teeth. Andy kissed her temple. Almost there. It was time. She said, "But whatever you want better not involve me standing up anymore, because I'm about to fall over here, seriously."

Miranda's breath left her again in a surprised huff of laughter, coming warm and soft against Andy's breast. Andy laughed too. Letting-go-ness achieved. Yeah, timing was everything, and she felt Miranda's rare, buoyant smile against her skin.

Miranda stroked her hips again, still smiling. "All right," she chuckled. "Lie down, then. And keep the shoes."

"Actually," Andy said, "I had a thought," and she carefully sank down to her knees, stroking her hands up and down Miranda's shins and calves. Her turn, now. Miranda blinked, and her breath hitched again. Andy grinned and drummed her fingers on one of Miranda's knees. "You waiting for something in particular?"

Miranda tried to glare at her, but it wasn't very convincing, what with the blush that had started at her throat and was now nearly all the way to her forehead. She looked good, blushing. Then she cleared her throat and said, "Help me get these off." A few minutes of undignified wriggling later, Miranda's shoes, slacks, and underwear lay on the floor beside Andy, and Andy set about paying Miranda back--or getting payback, she wasn't sure--for the last fifteen minutes.

Miranda liked taking her time, so it only seemed fair that Andy should do something Miranda liked. To that end, she began kissing her way--slowly--up Miranda's legs, from the insides of her knees up to her thighs. Not wanting to seem prejudiced, she devoted equal time to each leg, enjoying the softness and smoothness. And, the farther up she went, the scent. Sex. Andy sighed happily in anticipation.

Miranda, who had started out with relative equanimity, began shifting restlessly as Andy progressed. Andy saw her fingers beginning to curl into the couch cushions, and she was trembling with the effort not to move her hips. Oh well, Miranda obviously wasn't in a hurry, then. Andy purred as she reached the juncture of Miranda's thighs (and felt the shiver run through Miranda's whole body)--and then turned her head and nuzzled against her hip instead.

"I hate you," Miranda gasped.

"You do?" Andy moved her head to hover right over the nest of silky curls--fine, dark curls, the only clue as to Miranda's former hair color. She exhaled softly against them, and Miranda gasped, hands scrabbling against the cushions again. "That wasn't a very nice thing to say." She turned her head and nipped at the inside of Miranda's thigh. "Be nice."

"Oh for God's sake--" Andy bent down and pressed a very, very light kiss against the down-covered lips. She could taste the moisture hidden inside. "--do it," Miranda finished, a slight break in her voice.

'Do it,' huh? "Mmm," Andy said thoughtfully, as she kissed her again. "That's still not nice."

"You said, whatever I wanted," Miranda reminded her, sounding a bit testy beneath her arousal.

"I did," Andy agreed. "But you know…" she kept nuzzling, never licking, never using more than the slightest pressure, "you know, when I worked at Runway, when I worked for you, I would have done anything you told me to." Miranda held very still. "Even this, probably," Andy said, realizing it was true. "Anything you told me to. And now…" She let her tongue brush against Miranda for the briefest of seconds.

"And now?" Miranda asked hoarsely, her legs beginning to tremble.

"I'd do anything," Andy said, "that you asked me to." She rested her head on Miranda's thigh and looked up at her, hoping that Miranda could read the promise in her eyes: anything. Anything.

"Anything?" Miranda asked softly, dangerously, as if reading Andy's mind. Wordlessly, Andy nodded.

"Then pretty please, Andrea," Miranda said, reaching down and tracing her thumb over Andy's lips, "make me come, and don't be all night about it."

Andy grinned, pressed Miranda's thighs even farther apart, and leaned in, her mouth already watering. Miranda's hips jerked at the first touch of her tongue. "So you are wet," Andy breathed, and before Miranda could retort, set to kissing Miranda's cunt like she did her lips--sealing her mouth to it, flickering her tongue in and out, savoring every second.

Miranda's hands clamped down on her shoulders and her back arched, undulating her body like a wave. "Oh," she gasped, "God!" Her nails curved into the unprotected skin of Andy's shoulders. "Andre--ah--" Andy pulled back a little, teasing again with just the tip of her tongue. "Oh no, please, please--"

There was definitely a difference between 'asking' and 'begging' when it came to making love with Miranda Priestly. It was strange how one of them seemed to come so naturally to her. It wasn't so strange that Andy wanted to give her every single thing she pleaded for, and more. She set to tongue-fucking Miranda in earnest, just the way she liked, and listened to Miranda's noises degenerate into a series of quick, high-pitched whimpers. After a moment Andy realized the whimpers were also words, breathless, nearly inaudible repetitions of make me make me make me--

All right, then. She moved her tongue to lick and work Miranda's clit even as she slid two fingers inside the slippery heat. Miranda made a strangled sound; then she arched her back and came, silently, breathlessly. When she was done, she sank back against the couch. "Oh," she whispered, her eyes closed and her cheeks flushed. "Oh…"

Andy licked her lips. The taste was wonderful. She decided she wanted more of it and bent down again. "Oh," Miranda said, opening her eyes wide, "what--oh--" Her hands tightened brutally hard on Andy's shoulders, her whole body curling around Andy's head. "No, you don't, I can't, I can't I--!"

She did.

Wow. Andy sat back on her heels and wiped her mouth, feeling smug as she watched Miranda collapse against the sofa again, panting as she stared up at the ceiling with glazed eyes. "Oh," Miranda managed, her voice nearly a wheeze, "you did it."

Really smug. Andy rested her head against Miranda's knee and beamed up at her. This was a first, Miranda coming more than once. Could Andy make her do it three times? Something to find out later. Still looking totally out of it, Miranda murmured, "I never--" And then she stopped talking and squeezed her eyes shut, looking acutely embarrassed.

Never? Damn. Andy'd never come twice in a row either (at least…not yet), but Miranda had been having sex for a lot longer. What the hell had her husbands done in bed, anyway? The crossword puzzle?

Andy carefully rose to her feet, and then slid onto Miranda's lap, straddling her on the couch. Miranda opened her eyes again in surprise. "You are amazing," Andy said, "and watching you drives me crazy, and now it's my turn." She brushed her lips against Miranda's sweat-damp forehead. "Are you going to kiss me?" She kissed her temple. "We haven't yet, not all night." Unless you counted the distracted kiss on her cheek as Miranda had entered the apartment, book in hand, which Andy didn't.

Miranda really must have had her mind blown, because she didn't even try to say anything smart; she just raised her chin and offered her mouth, and they kissed, Andy stroking her fingers through all that silver hair. She felt Miranda's fingers sliding up the crease of her thigh, and she pulled away from the kiss, tugging Miranda's hand to the side. "No," she said. "You watch."

And Miranda watched, wide-eyed, as Andy fingered herself in her lap, fingers slipping and sliding over her own swollen, twitching flesh. She was already so hot just from Miranda's tongue, and then from making Miranda come, that it didn't take long at all; she slid two fingers inside herself, flicked her thumb over her clit, and moaned as she came. She could have sworn that, over the roaring in her ears, she heard Miranda moan softly too.

She sank back down, trembling, onto Miranda's thighs, knowing that she was getting them both even stickier and not really caring. Miranda, also trembling, tugged at her, and they lay down on the couch, their legs sliding together. Andy rested her head on Miranda's breast. Miranda stroked an idle hand through Andy's hair.

Then Andy began the countdown to how long it would be before Miranda ruined the mood. She always did. She couldn't seem to help herself. With Miranda, it was always go-go-go, all the time, and she devoted herself entirely to whatever she was currently doing. That meant, when it was time to make love, she gave it her full attention; then, when lovemaking was over and done with, she turned her mind to the next thing on the agenda. If Andy was lucky, that was sleeping, but it often wasn't. (Miranda had achieved her personal best when, glowing and sated, she'd rolled over and said, "I'm really dissatisfied with the treatment Patricia received at the vet yesterday. I think I'll have to switch practices.")

So Andy listened to Miranda's heart beating beneath her ear, and waited. Sure enough, after no more than ten seconds, Miranda said, "The divorce should be final in about a month."

Oh. Well, that was definitely a mood-killer, but at least it was sort of…well, "on-topic" wasn't the right phrase, but at least it had something to do with relationships. Andy made her usual "Mmm?" sound.

"Yes. Brad thinks we're finally in, as he puts it, 'the home stretch.'" Brad was Miranda's extremely expensive attorney. Andy wasn't sure why he was so important, given that 'ironclad pre-nup' Miranda had mentioned on their second night together, but she was also glad that sort of thing was so far beyond her own realm of experience. She never wanted to find out for herself, that was for sure. The divorce had been wearing on Miranda in more ways than she'd ever admit. Once they'd had an afternoon rendezvous after Miranda had returned from a meeting with Stephen and his lawyers, and Andy could have sworn Miranda had been crying. But she hadn't asked, and Miranda hadn't said anything about it, and Andy had just made love to her until that awful, bruised look had gone out of her eyes.

Andy had never exactly spent meaningful time with Stephen, but she'd never liked him. Even before she'd fallen in love with Miranda, way before, she'd thought he was kind of a whiny guy--always bitching about how busy Miranda was, about how people paid more attention to his famous wife than to him, boo hoo, sometimes people called him Mr. Priestly. 'Get over yourself,' she'd often wanted to say. Maybe she would, if she ever saw him again. Serve him right.

"So," she said cautiously, "that's good, right? I mean, you'll be able to put it behind you." She tilted her head so that she could see Miranda's face. Miranda was looking up at the ceiling, her brow creased in thought.

"I'd like you to meet the twins," she said after a moment.

Andy froze. Miranda kept looking up at the ceiling, but Andy could feel that she was tensing up, too. "Oh," she said.

'Oh?' God, she had to do better than that. But what the hell else could Miranda expect, dropping a bomb in her lap like that, out of the blue, when they were both mostly naked? "Are you," Andy tried, "I mean, will they be--you know, okay with--do they even know about--?"

Miranda's throat worked as she swallowed. "They know something's going on," she said. "It's been harder to hide it, as we've kept up. They must wonder where I am, or why I sometimes call for a taxi instead of my car…" She closed her eyes. "They'll start to ask questions. I can tell. I don't want to lie to them."

"What if they don't like it?" Andy whispered, feeling her heart go cold at the thought. Miranda indulged her children's every whim; there was no way she'd ignore them if they wanted her to break it off with Andy. If they wanted this to end.

"Well…we'll deal with that if it becomes an issue," Miranda said, also sounding apprehensive. "But when the divorce is over--I won't have an excuse. They have a right to know."

Did they? Andy realized that Miranda was saying a lot more than she might realize. If Andy was just a fling, just a bit on the side, then it wouldn't matter so much if Miranda's kids never found out. But if Miranda cared about Andy, wanted Andy to be a meaningful part of her life, then of course--

Andy closed her eyes. "Do you want to bring them by here sometime?" she asked. "I mean--probably someone would notice if I came by your place, right?"

A fine, nearly unnoticeable tremble ran through Miranda. "Right," she said. "That's…or perhaps we could all meet somewhere else, or…" She shifted so that she could pull her arm out from underneath Andy, and ran her fingers through her own messy hair. "I'll have to think about it. I'll come up with something." She glanced at Andy. "Remind me: I don't think you've spent much time with them, have you?"

"No," Andy said, vowing then and there that Miranda would never find out how the twins had initially introduced themselves, and how Andy had nearly been fired as a result. "I'd like to, though. They seem like great kids." Or not. But she hoped like crazy they improved on acquaintance.

"They are," Miranda said, sounding fond. "They'd like you. They will like you," she corrected herself.

"I'll make them," Andy said, almost as if she meant it, and grinned at Miranda. "Hey, I got them Harry Potter and a blue ribbon at the science fair, didn't I?"

Miranda chuckled, not looking remotely apologetic. It probably hadn't even occurred to her that she should be. "I suppose you do have some credit to your name," she allowed.

"Yeah," Andy said, "precisely." She propped herself up, leaned forward, and kissed her. Then she ran a thumb over Miranda's cheek and smiled down at her.

"It'll work out," she said, making herself believe it. "You'll see." She kissed Miranda again, and said, "Let's go to bed."

"I need to finish checking that spread," Miranda murmured, glancing over at the book on the end table.

She might have known. Andy sighed as she began to pull herself off Miranda and the couch. It was long past time for her to get some shut-eye before tomorrow. "Just keep the light down low, okay?"

"I won't be long," Miranda said. "Besides," she added archly, "whose fault is it that I'm not already finished?"

"Blame the girlfriend," Andy muttered as she sat up, and arched her back in a long, blissful stretch. When she opened her eyes again, she grinned to see that Miranda was watching her with raised eyebrows. "Next time I'll try to remember to have some music ready."

"Don't forget the pole," Miranda said, and yawned. "You keep surprising me, Andrea. I never realized anyone from Ohio could be so…unwholesome."

"What else is there to do in Ohio?" They'd taken pretty naturally to banter like this, once the initial strangeness (and unspoken awkwardness) of their meetings had worn off. Andy had been yearning to snipe back at Miranda since she'd worked at Runway, of course, but she'd quickly realized that Miranda enjoyed it too. Plus it was a handy way to defuse a sensitive topic. Like the twins. Like the divorce. Like the future.

God. Nothing could ever be simple when Miranda was involved, could it? Andy already knew she was crazy about Miranda, and she suspected that she got crazier every day. How else could she explain getting in the middle of a situation like this? The only compensation was that, over the past few months, she'd started thinking that Miranda must be equally nutty, if she was willing to endure Andy's hole of an apartment with touchy climate control, and Mexican food she only watched Andy eat, and cheap hotels during the lunch hour when they couldn't find any other way to be together. And now, the possible censure of her own children.

That was great compensation, though.

It'd all work out. It had to.

"Don't stay up too late," Andy said softly, and kissed Miranda's cheek before she stood up to go to bed.

"I'll be along soon," Miranda said, kissed her back, and smiled.