Miranda went out onto the terrace and looked around. She liked this quiet and beautiful place where, as Donna had promised her, and she didn't have to worry about her privacy. She wondered if the people here were that nice or if Donna had told them to leave her alone. She looked down into the tavern and was surprised to see that Donna was still there, sitting at a table with her daughter. Looking at them gave her an idea.
"Mom, look who's coming," Sophie exclaimed in surprise."Hey girls," Miranda greeted them.
"Where are you going?" When she saw the bag slung over Miranda's left shoulder and the bound Book under her arm, Sophie asked.
"I'm going to look around for some places we can use for our photoshoot," Miranda replied as she placed the book titled 'Runway' on the table.
"Isn't it a little inconvenient to carry this book with you?" Sophie couldn't take her eyes off of it.
Miranda caught the curious look she was hoping for. "It's a mock-up of everything in the current issue, and I'm editing it right now. Do you want to take a look?"
Sophie hesitated for a moment. "Are you serious?"
"As long as you promise not to tell anyone," Miranda paused for a moment.
"I swear I won't!" Sophie replied quickly. "You have my word."
"Maybe you can give me something in return."
"Oh, me?" Sophie couldn't have been more surprised.
"Your mom said you like to draw. I'd love it if you draw something for me," Miranda suggested.
"What? Me? No, Miranda, I, I'm not as good as my mom thinks I am," Sophie panicked.
"No pressure, Sophie. It's not about you, Mom. Just draw anything you like. I'll be happy to look at it," she smiled at her.
"Okay. I'll try my best," Sophie agreed.
"Great," Miranda smiled and winked at Donna, who returned the wink with a smile. She understood Miranda's intention very well.
"Are these your notes?" Sophie wondered, having seen them on several pages.
"Yes, they're mine. That's my way of editing. I'm going through every detail, and when I don't like something that needs improvement, I let my staff know. My assistants deliver the Book to my apartment every night, and I return it to them in the morning with my notes. Then they go to the art department to give them the Book," Miranda explained the process.
"Every night?" Donna arched her eyebrows. "What time do you go to bed then?"
"That depends on how much editing I have to make. I usually get it done around one or two in the morning. Some days I go to bed so late and get up so early I almost cross myself in the hallway."
Sophie burst into a burst of laughter. "Who knew you could be so funny?"
Donna rolled her eyes. While Miranda and Sophie had lively discussed the Book, Donna left for the kitchen and returned less than ten minutes later with the food.
"Hey girls, it's time to get something good to eat," Donna said.
"Oh, my, Tiramisu," Sophie's face lit up. "Mom's weakness," she winked at Miranda.
Donna closed her eyes for a moment. Miranda had to fight to keep her love-struck gaze away.
"Can we go now, Donna?" Harry suddenly appeared.
"What took you so long?" Donna asked him sharply. Miranda could still hear the anger in her voice.
"I would have been here sooner, but Lavros was late. Again," Harry apologized.
"Oh, these people!" Donna sighed. "Okay, let's go. I want to be back as soon as possible. And you," Donna turned her head to Miranda. "Take good care of yourself. Those paths are pretty rocky and very treacherous."
Miranda nodded. "I'm aware of that."
"Good. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. I'll see you later," Donna said and then left. 'How I'd love to stay here with you,' ran through Donna's mind.
"Mom's right. A lot of people hurt their ankles because of that," Sophie said.
"I'll take care of myself, I promise. But I'm a little worried I'll get lost somewhere," Miranda said with a nervous smile.
"Don't worry, Miranda. I'll get you our guide. Mom started it when we moved here, and as you'll see, she wrote down everything. Sky made it look like a real guidebook, but everything inside, he kept it the way Mom wrote it. You'll love it," Sophie giggled and scurried off.
'She's so much like Donna,' Miranda thought with a smile on her face.
"So here it is," Sophie said as she came back. "I hope mom doesn't kill me," Sophie laughed.
Miranda looked at her questioningly. "Wait, if you're in any trouble... "
"No, no, it's okay. This guide is just not determined for tourists, you know. They wouldn't take us for the serious company anymore," she grinned. "You'll find lots of useful advice in it, and I can guarantee you won't get lost even if you wanted to."
Miranda gave her a broad smile. "Thank you so much, Sophie. I appreciate that you don't think of me as just another tourist."
"I'd love to come with you, but I have to stay," Sophie surprised her.
"You would? Perhaps we can find time for that," Miranda smiled again.
"And one more thing," Sophie said. "Take this bottle of fresh lemon water with you. It might come in very handy."
"Oh, what would I do without you?" Her concern touched Miranda.
Sophie blushed and wished Miranda to enjoy exploring the surrounding area.
Miranda went in the same direction as she did with Donna yesterday. She could still feel her gentle hand. There were many beautiful and exciting places. She took lots of pictures from different angles. She couldn't believe she'd been wandering around for over two hours. The guide was very unusual, peppered with many of Donna's witty remarks that made her laugh a lot. So funny and very practical at the same time. It was so detailed that, as Sophie said, she couldn't get lost in it even if she wanted to.
Miranda found a quiet spot in the shade under the olive trees. She was grateful to Sophia for lending her this excellent guide. She enjoyed swimming in the crystal waters of the pleasantly warm Aegean Sea. It was liberating to feel what it was like not to be hunted by paparazzi or curious people.
'If only my girls were here,' she thought. And Donna. 'Where are you wandering now?' She sighed as she walked back to her spot. She slung her blouse over her back and continued editing the Book.
"I have to admit that Miranda surprised me a lot," Sophie continued. "She's completely different from what people say. At least so far. We chatted for a while before she left. She was very nice."
Donna started to say something, but Sophie's hand gesture stopped her. "I know what you want to say, and you were right," said Sophie. "And I was right when I said you could handle her with ease. I think that's the main reason Miranda is so nice. So it's fifty-fifty," she winked at her mother.
Donna didn't know what Sophie was referring to, but she was pleased with Miranda's impression of her.
"Are you going to look after her?"
"Yes." Donna nodded. "It's not very polite to let her wander off on her own. I mean, we should be on hand when she needs to find the best spots for their photoshoot. We could save her a lot of time," she felt guilty.
"She'll be fine, Mom. I'm sure she understands our situation. I just hope she'll be happy enough to come back eventually."
Her daughter's concern touched Donna's heart. She hugged her and kissed her cheeks. "I love you so much, Soph."
"I love you too, Mom."
"Hey there," Pepper greeted them warmly. "I hope to see you at the party tonight."
"I'm not in the mood to go," Donna declined the offer. "I've had a hectic day.."
"Just come for a short while," Eleni begged her. "You can always spice things up."
"I hope that's a compliment," Donna grinned.
"Of course, it is. Take Miranda with you. She's down by the Trees," Pepper informed her.
"So now you know where to find her," Sophie winked at her. "I know you're tired, but it would be great if you could make it to the party."
"I do not promise anything. I'm sure you can have a good time without me," Donnawinked at them before walking away.
Donna would have liked to give Pepper a big hug for that information. Miranda was closer than she thought. Her heart began to race. She couldn't wait to be with Miranda again. And then she saw her. The sun was shining in her silver-white hair. Her right hand quickly wrote something in the Book. She was busy editing, and for some reason, Donna didn't expect to see anything else.
Suddenly, Miranda started to hear a noise. She looked up and couldn't believe she saw Donna.
"Hi," Donna said merrily. She looked radiant in the white beach dress.
"I thought you'd never come," Miranda said softly.
"Tell me about it!" Donna rolled her eyes. "I'm so exhausted." She sat down next to Miranda. "How have you been? Did you find any good spots?"
"Oh, yes. There are so many breathtaking places. Some are harder to get to, but we'll deal with that."
"I'm so glad to hear that, though, I think. It wasn't very polite to let you wander off on your own. I mean, we should have been on hand when you needed to find the best spots for your shoot. We could have saved you a lot of time."
Miranda looked at her adoringly. "Your genuine concern for my comfort never ceases to amaze me."
"I want you to be comfortable here. Did you swim?" Donna asked
"I swam a little, and it was amazing. The water is so hot. But as much as I enjoyed it, I wish my daughters were here with me," she paused.
"You looked so happy this morning when you were on the phone with them." Donna put Miranda's hand in hers and stroked it.
"Oh, I was. I mean all the years I've missed. I've been so stupid, you know. All I did was worry about work and let others take care of the twins. I don't know if I can fix this." She paused again. Tears glistened in her eyes.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, Miranda. "Just because you put your job before your family to some extent doesn't mean you're not a good mother," Donna tried to comfort her. "And I'm sure your daughters know very well how much they mean to you and how much you love them."
"I hope so," Miranda sighed.
"Didn't you say they talked to you differently today than they ever have before?"
Miranda nodded. "Something's changed. It's strange, but I got the feeling they wanted to ask me something, but in the end, they didn't."
"Where are they, if I may ask?"
"What kind of question is that?" Miranda asked instead sharply.
Donna was taken aback by her unusual tone.
"They are in the Canary Islands with my third ex-husband," she said in a quiet voice again. "They have a good relationship, and I don't want to interfere with it. Stephen is a responsible and sensible man, and I know I don't have to worry about the girls."
"Their father?" Donna asked with a racing heart. For some reason, she felt a sort of jealousy without knowing why.
"No, no," Miranda shook her head."You know, having kids is a miracle. "You know, having kids is a miracle. When I got married the second time and Greg and I was thinking about having a family, the doctors told me I couldn't have kids. That news was tough to swallow, but we had to learn to live with it. Then, when I turned thirty-five, I got pregnant! It was such a huge shock. Both of us had been busy, and our jobs fulfilled our lives, and this news changed everything. I was expecting twins!” Miranda rolled her eyes, recalling the memory. “But once we absorbed the shock, we both were very excited about having kids. The childbirth was complicated, but we made it with help from the doctors and the medical staff. We were a happy family. In the beginning, we succeeded in combining work and parental responsibilities.
However, I was getting busier and busier, and without realizing it, I sort of started pushing my family aside. When I came home, I was so tired that Greg, who cared a lot about the girls, required marital obligations. But you can imagine how low my mood was for having sex. It was the beginning of the end. We kept arguing daily, he was so jealous, and as I am most of the time surrounded by men, he told me many disgusting things. Also, his ego took very severely because I was making a lot more money than he did. Then one day, he just packed his bags and left. Never cared for the girls.”
Suddenly, Miranda stopped, looking off into the distance. She was so beautiful.
Donna couldn’t find any reasonable explanation for what attracted her to Miranda, but she was happy.
“I’m boring, aren’t I?” Miranda said in a silent voice.
“Are you kidding?” Donna wondered. “I want to know everything about you,” Donna leaned on her elbows.
Miranda looked around and then bent over Donna and gently touched the buttons of her blouse.
“These three little buttons are the way to your naked breasts, do you realize that?“ she sighed in a silent, sexy voice. “Making love with you must be beyond amazing.“
"Mmm, I wouldn't be so sure about that," Donna questioned, quite surprised at how Miranda went straight to the point. She was relieved that Miranda had brought it up.
"Excuse me?" Miranda furrowed her brow and tilted her head questioningly.
"I mean, I, well..." Donna didn't know how to say it, "I can't even remember the last time I did that," Donna said after a moment, blushing heavily.
"Then we're on the same page. I'll do all I can to make you happy." Miranda gently stroked Donna's cheek with her fingertips.
"You make me very happy, Miranda. You do. I'm just not sure I can satisfy your needs," Donna whispered shyly.
Miranda kissed the tip of her nose. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever fall in love again. And certainly not with a woman. It just hit me without warning, and it was like nothing I'd ever experienced in my life. Yes, I'm confused and maybe even scared, because as strange as it sounds, I'm happy with you. I believe you're the best thing that ever happened to me."
Donna couldn't breathe with all the happiness she felt inside her. "I have to be honest with you. I think about you a lot. Ever since you arrived, all the time, actually," Donna said with a twinkle in her eyes. "You make me feel comfortable, and you should know that means everything to me."
Tears welled up in Miranda's eyes, and she tried to blink them back.
"Maybe it's time to think about going home," Donna said. "I'm pretty hungry. What about you?"
"You're right. I'm hungry too," Miranda admitted.
"How about pancakes?" Donna suggested.
"Pancakes?" Miranda exclaimed in surprise.
"I love pancakes," Donna smiled.
"Well, I haven't had pancakes in ages, so I'm all for it. Breakfast for dinner is always fun," Miranda choked out a laugh.
"You wouldn't regret it! Would you like pancakes with chocolate syrup or wild blueberries," Donna asked as they walked back.
"Wait... you're going to make them yourself?" Miranda raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"And who else would make them?" Donna replied in surprise as well.
"Well, I thought they were going to serve us at the tavern."
"If you want, we can..."
"No, that's fine. Maybe I can help you."
Donna grinned."That's sweet of you, but I can do that. We don't have guests working."
"I thought I was more than just a guest." Miranda teased Donna.
"Of course you are. You're my guest." Donna winked at her.
They sat at the table, enjoying delicious pancakes with wild blueberries. Miranda's eyes were soft and dark, just like the blueberries. After eating, Donna washed the plates and cups, and Miranda wiped them with a cloth.
"Oh gosh, you don't have to do that."
"Why not?" Miranda wondered. "Look, I've done it, and it didn't hurt at all," Miranda poked her gently.
"You're just incredible," Donna laughed heartily. "You'd make a great housekeeper. I think I'll hire you."
"Calling me a housekeeper!" Miranda burst into tears of laughter. Her laughter was so disarming. "I need to take a shower now. I want to wash the salt and fatigue off of me," Miranda said when she had calmed down. "I'll be back if you want me to," she smiled at Donna and walked towards the door.
"Wait, Miranda. You don't have to go anywhere for that. You can shower here," Donna stopped her.
Miranda turned around. "You're right. If it doesn't bother you, I'll be happy to accept your offer."
"Great, follow me." Donna led her to her room upstairs. She opened the door to her en-suite bathroom. The bright sun shone through the large window.
"Here are the bathrobes, some nightgowns and pajamas, and over there, you'll find bath towels. Use whatever you want," Donna said, closing the door behind her.
Miranda took a quick shower. As she began to wipe her wet body with the towel, she suddenly realized that Donna had offered to let her stay the night. Her heart went boom boom, and she had to sit on the edge of the tub for a moment. Wearing Donna's bathrobe on her naked body irritated her to the point of insanity. She remembered Donna's concerns about getting her needs met, but now the same fears hit Miranda's mind. She took a deep breath and entered Donna's room. She was lying across the bed, her loose hair falling over her face. Miranda cautiously approached her and gently tried to brush her hair away. Donna opened her eyes.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you," Miranda apologized.
"You didn't mean it? Donna was confused.
"I thought you were asleep," Miranda clarified.
"How could I have fallen asleep? "I'm waiting for you," Donna whispered in a husky voice.
"You are?" Miranda smiled sweetly at her. She leaned over and kissed her.
Donna pulled her closer, and they both gazed deeply into each other's eyes, "I love you so much, Miranda."Donna stroked her hair.
"I love you too. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in your loving arms,” Miranda kissed her pulsating neck.
"If you kiss my neck, you might as well take off all my clothes, too." Donna blushed heavily. She didn't know where the courage to say that came from, but it came from her heart.
"You know... you're in my inappropriate thoughts," Miranda breathed hot air against her ear.
"Oh, I am?" Donna kissed her passionately, moaning loudly. She couldn't get enough of kissing and touching Miranda.
Miranda wanted so much to hear those magic words. This assurance that she couldn't hurt Donna's feelings. All that sweet caressing made the rising romantic tension between them even hotter. But there was no time to enjoy it without fear of being caught.