Andy rises to her feet.
Is she leaving ? Miranda watches the young woman, silhouetted by the brilliant sun now high in the sky, as she turns away. Miranda cannot move. She holds her breath.
Andy turns back and holds out her hand. Miranda hears the words, “Come. Let’s walk.”
Stifling a small sob of relief, she swallows, nods and rises to her feet, fastening her shawl across one shoulder, and takes hold of the outstretched hand. It is warm and soft. A strength exudes from it, spreading though Miranda like honey. Andy seems to glide across the uneven boulders, as she moves down in the direction of the small sandy beach below. Miranda follows as best she can, trying not to stumble and keep her balance, gripping onto Andy’s hand tightly. She can do this. She can do anything Andréa asks of her. She vows this to herself. She will not fail her again.
They reach the shore. Andy releases her hand after guiding her over the final stones, and bends to take off her sandals. Miranda follows suit, feeling the warm sand squeezing up between her toes. They stand facing each other. A wave crests and breaks, surging up across the beach, reaching their feet, then draining back into the sea, pulling the sand beneath them with it. Andy moves towards Miranda, her hands clasping the sides of Miranda’s face pulling it in towards hers. Their mouths meet with an urgency, lips crushing against lips, tongues seeking each other out. The kiss pours out of each into the other. It is hungry. It is everything. Miranda stretches her arms out to encompass Andy and pulls her body tight against her.
The need for air forces them to pause. Andy holds Miranda’s head still, her hands buried in her iconic white hair, her eyes squeezed tight in concentration, searching. Her breath is rapid as she gently pushes Miranda away. She turns and walks a few paces before spinning round to face her.
“But can you do this ? Can you really do this ?” she shouts across the din of waves and wind.
Miranda understands what she is asking. Can you Miranda Priestly ? Can you love this woman regardless of anything else ? Regardless of the consequences.
There is no doubt in her answer.
“Yes !” she shouts back.
Andy looks at her and finds only the raw truth. Miranda watches anxiously as the younger woman stretches out her right leg and drags her toe across the sand.
“What are you doing ?”
“Drawing a line in the sand. We put the past behind us. We start afresh.”
Relief washes over her as Miranda stumbles across the line and into Andrea’s arms. Andy loses her balance and they fall to the ground. Lying there for a moment neither moves. Then mouths and hands rush to seek each other out. It is without finesse. Feral. Andy’s leg presses between Miranda’s and Miranda drives back hard against it. Miranda’s hands pick at the buttons on Andy’s shirt and give up, pulling it apart regardless, her mouth hot against Andy’s pebbled nipple, as she tears the strap of her bra down from her shoulder to expose her breast. Her hand pushes down beyond the waistband of Andy’s shorts, and curls and clutches at her core, as she grinds her own against Andy’s thigh. Her fingers plunge into the wet heat that meets them.
“Fuck, Miranda,” Andy gasps, “Oh fuck,” and she comes obscenely quickly against the palm of Miranda’s hand. Miranda bucks urgently against her thigh, until she too follows suit, biting down silently on her own lip and drawing blood.
Panting they lie back in the sand, side by side. Miranda, still breathless, covers her eyes with the back of her forearm, hiding from the sun’s intensity, and maybe from herself. After a few moments of silence, Andy sits upright. Moving her arm away again, Miranda watches as Andy’s shoulders begin to heave. Oh God, I’ve done it again, she thinks, I’ve pushed too far. Gingerly she sits up beside her and tentatively reaches an arm around the younger woman’s back as if to offer comfort, before realising that Andrea is not in fact crying but laughing as she fumbles in bemusement with the front of her shirt, now devoid of its buttons. Her laughter is infectious, and Miranda finds a smile breaking out across her own face.
“Well, I think we’ve established the fact that we still want each other,” Andy snickers as she turns to Miranda.
Miranda’s smile broadens ‘til it too breaks out in rich deep laughter.
“Not exactly what I had in mind as a way of wooing you back,” Miranda teases.
Andy beams back at Miranda. “Worked though,” she winks.
For a while they just sit there looking out at the impassive sea, hoping their antics have gone unobserved by anyone but each other, gloriously happy that the awkwardness between them has now been swept away with such animalistic clarity.
Miranda can feel the sun beginning to burn at her pale skin and reaches around to find the shawl and hat shed in their frenzy. She draws the shawl around her shoulders and pulls her legs up close so that it drapes around her like a tent. She thinks she must look ridiculous and really should move into the shade. Recognises that La Priestly would take more care of her herself, would care about how she appeared even in the absence of an audience, but she has never felt more removed from that persona. Now all that matters is that she is sat there beside Andréa, beside her love. She sighs a deep contentment.
“Just, hey you.”
“Silly girl,” by which Miranda means, you wonderful woman.
Andy just grins, “Swim ?”
Miranda shakes her head, “But you go ahead.”
Andy sheds the remnants of her shirt and steps out of her shorts. In her underwear, which Miranda notes would never pass Runway muster, about which she gives not a damn, she winks at Miranda and runs into the water, shrieking with the cold shock of it, as the waves leap up to greet her. She dives beneath the surface, and rises back up again, tossing her now drenched mane of hair back from her face, the resultant spray of water droplets catching in the light like a shower of diamonds. Glorious, Miranda thinks, glorious.
The hot sun dries Andy swiftly after she leaves the water, leaving a coating of fine salt across her skin. She pulls her clothing back on, the shirt hanging limply across her shoulders, and sweeps her sea tangled hair behind her ears. She leans in and kisses Miranda’s cheek.
“I think I’m in need of a shower. And something cool to drink. Maybe some food ?”
Miranda reaches into her bag and pulls out a pear, which she holds out to Andy.
“You magician,” Andy laughs, before biting into it eagerly, the juice oozing down her chin, wiping it away with the back of her hand before Miranda can dare to lean in and lick it off.
“And I have a perfectly acceptable shower in my room,” Miranda proffers.
“Then what are we waiting for,” Andy grins.
Miranda had been right. Her hotel room with its blues, and whites, and beach scavenged art work, is exactly to Andy’s taste. As is a freshly showered, white towelling dressing gowned Andréa to Miranda’s, her hair brushed free of tangles, laced with the scent of apple shampoo.
They sit on the little balcony. The light is dimming now. The dusk chorus of bird song is filling the air as it cools. And they talk. They are being honest with each other. Miranda is still afraid, but somehow as she expresses those fears out loud, they seem to shrink. She feels a courage flow through her. She can do this. One step at a time. With Andréa by her side.
Andy listens. She is learning that she can trust Miranda to make this journey. That Miranda wants it. Wants her. One step at a time.
The sky is dark and clear, lit by a myriad of stars. Andy shivers in the now cold air. They have talked for hours. Miranda wonders if it is alright to assume Andy will stay. Tentatively she asks, “Will you stay the night ?”
Andy huffs a small laugh in response to Miranda’s sudden coyness.
“What do you think ?”
By the time they fall onto the bed, they are tired. From the sun, from the emotion of the day, from the truths that they have spoken. Andy lies curled into Miranda, her leg draped across her thigh, her hand resting on her breast, her fingers stroking the soft pale flesh, as the older woman lies on her back, carding her fingers through Andy’s thick shampoo scented hair. They whisper promises into the night, as they slip into sleep.
In the morning Miranda wakes to a soft calling of her name. It takes a moment for her to recollect where and with whom she is. She slowly opens her eyes to the bright morning light.
“Miranda. Miranda,” she hears softly whispered.
She feels lips gently trailing a path of soft moist kisses across her skin. She closes her eyes and abandons herself to the sensation. Across her stomach, down to her hips, her thighs and up again to her centre. She feels the flush of heat sweep through her as Andréa’s head nudges her legs apart and nuzzles in towards her cunt. She can’t help the moan that escapes her as Andy’s tongue slides across her with a tenderness no lover has ever shown before. She feels her body melt into her in response, and gives a small cry of surprise as Andréa enters her, first with her tongue, and then with her fingers, as her tongue laves and circles. It is slow. A balm. She is dizzy with the pleasure of it, as it rises and bursts, her climax washing through her. Andy lays her head against her thigh and does not move, save for the fingers which still softly stroke through Miranda. As Miranda’s heart beat slows again she hears Andy sigh. This is it. The final act of forgiveness. Their love making will not always be like this. There will be more, much more. Together. For this is both an ending, and a beginning.