I wake up early as I normally do. I dreamt of luscious lips and bottomless eyes, bright smiles and unspoken promises. I am anxious to see Andrea, to secure a shared future. Yet I temper my natural impatience with the knowledge that she needs to rest. Wrapping a black silk robe around my matching negligee, I stand in front of her door wondering whether I should tempt myself by entering her room. I half-heartedly promise myself not to wake the younger woman and enter.
Standing at the foot of her bed, I notice her wrapped wrist resting on her abdomen as she sleeps on her back. Her nightgown has ridden up enough to reveal bruises on her right leg. I wonder whether her hip is also discolored. I see her prescription bottle open on the nightstand. She must have taken one during the night. Thinking back, I realize she did not take any medication while we spent time together. That reassures me to some extent. I would hate to find out that her words, her actions, were unduly influenced by narcotics.
I turn to leave when I hear my name whispered. Looking back over my shoulder, I see luminous eyes staring at me. Her eyes travel over my body, heating me to the core. I shiver. My nipples harden as I reactively straighten and turn fully toward her. Her eyes fasten on my breasts. “Come here,” she demands. Not a question. She sits up and reaches for me. I go to her.
Who knew I could take orders so well?
Andrea pulls me on the bed, hugging me tightly. One of my legs falls between hers, causing her to surge against me. I feel fingers rake through my hair. “Miranda,” she moans.
Not able to resist, I turn my head to kiss her neck, sucking lightly. The noises she makes spur me to lower my lips to her sexy collarbones. They taunted me last night to such an extent that I nearly offered to help her change into her nightgown—after an extremely thorough exploration of her battered body. Years of self-control warred with my eagerness to know her compelling curves. Last night my willpower prevailed. Today I’m not so confident in my ability to restrain these carnal desires—not now that she’s in my arms.
A hiss of pain makes me jerk away. I cast my eyes over her, locking onto her face for an answer to my concern.
“It’s nothing. My hip’s a little sore.” I hear Andrea’s apology in her tone.
“We can wait, Andrea. I don’t want you to be in pain.” I shift to my side before covering her lips with mine. I kiss her slowly, wanting her to understand that we have time. She breaks the kiss and sighs loudly.
“I don’t want to wait. I finally have you in my arms, and I can’t do everything I want to do, what I’ve wanted to do for years.” Andrea looks away, as if afraid I will belittle her words.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
“I knew I had to be worthy, that I needed to wait until I could prove myself to you. Those thoughts kept me going. I planned to get in touch with you, and then you contacted me. I knew that couldn’t be a coincidence. I knew it was time.” Andrea stares at me while running her fingers down my arm. “Now the thought of waiting even another minute to hold you, to love you, seems unbearable.”
Needing to reassure her, I push back a lock of her hair tenderly, as I smile. She is so brave—so willing to reveal her heart while not knowing the contents of mine.
“Andrea, at Runway I am pulled in several directions every moment of every day. When you worked for me, I had no warning, no notice that you would be unique, that you would change me. And I didn’t have time to contemplate why I was reacting so differently toward you. I just kept up the pace and promised myself I would figure it out when I had the opportunity.” I sit up, resting against the headboard as I gather my thoughts.
“Once you left, I was extremely angry. For a very long time. Such a response should have warned me that I needed to reflect upon my feelings. Instead, I pushed those unresolved emotions away.” I snort softly. “I can be very good at ignoring what is so blatant to everyone else.”
“I shied away from these strong feelings because I knew they were life-changing. That’s why I seem to have missed so very much, why it has taken me this long to see what is important. I may be able to recognize what others want and need, I may be able to choose for myself, as you are able to, but I have found that I do not have that same ability when it comes to my personal life. I choose to become distracted by my professional ambitions to the detriment of all else.” I huff realizing the irony of babbling on as I am. Her hand clasps mine, giving me the strength to finish this revealing and ultimately humiliating monologue.
“I want you in my life. I knew I needed to wait until you were ready. That if we were meant to reunite it must occur on level ground. I have tracked your career and received rather pointed updates from a few mutual friends.” I dare to glance at her, astounded by the look of affection shining toward me. “I have discussed this with my girls. I have no intention of hiding, and you deserve better than to be some dirty secret.”
I gaze into her eyes determinedly. “If this isn’t what you want, tell me now, Andrea. I have no intention of indulging in some superficial fling. I fully expect that you are all I will ever require.” I look away as my voice breaks. “If you do not believe you can come to care for a foolish, detached old woman, I’d rather you leave and never come back.”
Silence falls like a heavy blanket of snow. I fight the urge to shiver and cower against the perceived coldness. Bleakness steals over me as I pull my hand away from hers, unwilling to hold on to an impossibility.
“Wha—” I start as hands forcefully pull my body into a supine position. I feel tears shower my face, curtained by silky hair just before supple lips mesh with mine. Surprise and delight do not begin to describe my feelings. I pull her to me more tightly, accepting Andrea’s tacit approval to forget her body’s aches in favor of healing much more important wounds—two suffering souls. Patience is forgotten as I grab the hem of her nightgown and remove the garment. I have enough sense not to touch the bruised areas; I will explore that part of her body another day. Soon.
I pray she knows her heart well, that she won’t break mine. That she won’t change her mind. I decide to trust her, to trust she is not making an impetuous choice borne of passion and opportunity. I choose to believe she has matured to the extent that she will not grow bored once the newness of us wears off. Her recent writings reflect a growth and worldly experience Andrea did not possess when she worked for me. I look forward to listening to what has occurred in her life since we separated.
Now, however, I allow her to fill my senses. I run my fingers over her ribs as she arches wantonly, taking the opportunity to lick a nipple. She groans forcefully, stirring me to mouth the breast as I continue to lick. I feel insatiable—she tastes so good. I switch breasts to suck on the other alluring bud as I knead her back muscles. She moves her body over mine, as she whispers in my ear. Both drive me wild.
“You better be ready for me, Priestly,” Andrea mutters. “You’ll never get rid of me now. It nearly killed me when I walked away.” Her neck shoots back as my fingers comb through her pubic hair. “God, Miranda. Please.” She sobs.
“Promise me you won’t walk away again,” I demand, as I brush against her clit. “Promise me you are mine, Andrea Sachs, just as I am yours.”
I plunge three fingers into her soaking channel causing her to shriek.
“I’ll never leave you. Never.” Andrea’s fevered eyes pour into mine before slamming shut once more as she tips over the edge of sanity into endless moments of blissful sensation.
I feel internal muscles clamping on my fingers, sending a thrill through me. I am doing this to her. I am making her lose control.
Tremors wrack her body, and I realize she is crying. I tuck her head beneath my chin as I rub her back soothingly. What this woman does to me. I push aside my body’s desperate state to attend to Andrea.
“Are you all right, Andrea?” I feel her kiss my breastbone, and I smile.
“Let me show you how all right I am,” she says as her lips travel over my revealed cleavage. My throat becomes dry at the sound of her growl. Pulling my robe apart, she continues to explore. I wriggle, so amorous I must remind myself not to roughly push her mouth to where I truly need her. My body is humming with arousal.
She knows what I want, though. Her lithe body slides down my form, and strong arms gently lift my thighs over her shoulders. I had foregone lingerie as I normally do when I dress for bed—never have I felt so thankful for such a decision than at this moment. I fear I will explode with her first touch like a schoolgirl with her first love. Perhaps there is some merit to that comparison. As her tongue swipes broadly from my center to the over-stimulated nerve center, I slam into the bed.
She looks up at me with hooded eyes. “Promise me you won’t turn me away,” she demands. I moan, but she wants a more lucid answer.
I struggle to reassure her. “Andrea, I will always want you with me.” I gasp. “It’s why I contacted you. To see whether you might consider dating me.”
I feel Andrea shaking and look down to see she is laughing. If I weren’t so close to internally combusting, I might feel insulted. My displeasure fades as she redoubles her efforts to drive me over the edge. I concentrate on breathing, on feeling, on not thrashing so much that I will hurt her as I fall willingly into the rapture. I run my hands through her glorious hair while I regain my equilibrium.
“Dating, huh? I think I’d like that,” Andrea murmurs. “I think I’d like that a lot.”
“Hmm,” I reply. “I do have some concerns, though.” I struggle to keep a straight face as she begins to look worried.
“What concerns?” she asks.
“Well, you are a bit easy, Andrea. After all you ended up in my bed by the end of the first date,” I tease. As she sputters in protest, I raise my eyebrow and smirk. Before she can retaliate, I pull her into my arms and kiss her soundly. “And now I’ll always expect you there. In return,” I trail my lips behind a sensitive ear, “I will do everything in my power to make sure you will never wish to leave.”
“I’m sorry I ruined your carefully-laid plans,” Andrea says breathlessly. “But I want you to know,” she continues as her hands begin to wander over my body, “I look forward to dating you.”
Now it’s my turn to laugh. “My plans weren’t ruined, merely accelerated. And you’ve always had a way with upending them.” I deem this conversation over, preferring to prove my affection through action.
When we finally join my girls for a late breakfast, I bear the knowing smirks and snarky remarks they shoot toward us without snapping at them. Too much. I am too content to even attempt reprimanding them. Besides, I have smiled more since yesterday than in the last two years. I acknowledge privately that perhaps they were correct. They had badgered me until I admitted my feelings for Andrea. Teenagers can be annoyingly persistent and sickeningly romantic. I am sure I will utilize some of their many ideas to romance Andrea.
More surprising were the actions of Nigel, Emily, and Serena when they staged a love intervention, demanding I “get over myself,” expand my emotional capabilities (which Nigel proclaimed should not be too hard since I am so suppressed), and go after the girl. After a few tense moments when I contemplated firing them, throwing them out my window, or both, I admitted to myself that I needed to take their well-meaning advice. My affirmative nod sent them scurrying from my office. They had faced the devil and lived to tell the tale. I was touched by their actions.
I will have to thank them appropriately. I grin evilly.
Every moment of every day is filled with laughter, smiles, love. This time is precious. I experience significant moments, noteworthy events, milestones that can and do occur with my approval and reflection. Like the endless flow of water surging down the mountainside, so time moves continuously, providing countless opportunities to express my love to my Andrea.
If I were inclined to use some of my invaluable time to review certain events, if I were inclined to revisit mere seconds that stretched into countless glorious eons, if I were inclined to examine the events or perhaps just the one event that altered my life’s course, then I would spend time reflecting on the astonishing event that occurred on a seemingly ordinary day where one person’s actions created an opportunity, an instant of clarity, that I could never have imagined if I were to spend my priceless time indulging in fantastic dreams.
My imagination, it turns out, could only envision so much. Andrea’s love enhances what my subconscious conceived long before. In just a moment my plans bore fruit with the help of chaos and exuberance. Perhaps accidents are not accidents—merely opportunities to finally acknowledge what is most important in life. Time is fluid. No need to be patient, no need to proceed slowly when life can be so uncertain. Best to redirect the eye toward what is most important, even if it so happens to be the magician’s eye that must be guided.