London was everything she had hoped. Traveling the world as a journalist was on the short list of the things Andy Sachs hoped to have the opportunity to do in her lifetime. The irony was not lost on her that she, like so many others, had been sent into town by her editors in conjunction with one of the largest sporting events on the planet. She had been sent to cover the political implications of the Olympics in a time of economic downturn. It was the biggest story she had been given since she joined the political desk. Her editor clearly had faith in her, which made her happy. She had worked hard over the last three years to solidify her position and prove her worth. She thrived at the Mirror and her life steadily improved. She found her way in New York City with friends to boot.
And yet some things had not changed in the last 3 years. There was no other plausible explanation for why at 7 in the morning on a Saturday, her day off, she was standing in the Fashion and Textile Museum. There could be only one reason she would trade so many favors to be able to view the gallery in private before it opened for the day. It was the last vestige of the life she walked away from in Paris. It was the echo of the presence of a woman so memorable that even years of denial could not erase. So once again in solitude she came to pray at the altar of Miranda Priestly. Among the couture silk gowns she felt close once more to the enigmatic editor. She could practically smell her perfume.
It had taken 2 years and as many interventions for her to admit aloud her feelings, and now 12 months after that it still seemed hollow. Inexplicably she had fallen in love with someone who barely knew she existed, and the moment she realized it she ran. From a painstaking distance she floated just close enough to high fashion to imagine the sting of the woman’s harsh words and the all seeing blue eyes. It wasn’t what she had imagined for her life, but her heart was still so captivated she was left with a decision; acknowledge her feelings or tear herself apart in denial. She chose to quietly pursue the prior in ways so subtle the object of her affection would never be forced to recognize her presence. Only in moments like these did she allow herself the luxury of gazing longingly at beautiful cloth and daydreaming about the events such items would be worn. It was her most private indulgence, one she would never even admit to her closest friends.
Her focus was torn from the silk in front of her by the never forgotten staccato rhythm of heels on marble. If Andy closed her eyes she could still picture how the woman’s hips swayed in a pencil skirt at that cadence. She intentionally did not turn around for fear whatever dream or nightmare she was in the middle of would come to an end.
“What a pleasant surprise to find you here, Andrea.”
The young woman nearly crumbled at the signature pronunciation of her name and the damn-near purr in which it was delivered.
“Miranda,” she whispered with the reverence of 3 years separation.
“Ah so you do remember me,” the quiet voice answered coyly.
Andy could tell the woman had moved closer to her as every hair on her body stood on end. Never in her life had she been so aware of another’s presence, but since the moment she met Miranda Priestley it had been as though gravity itself drew her towards the woman.
“You aren’t the type one forgets or even wants to,” she replied earnestly.
“Which naturally begs the question. What did you come here to see, Andrea?”
“You. Your empire. Your Kingdom. Anything that reminded me of…” She allowed her voice to trail off. To say anything further would simply be too much.
“London seems a peculiar place if you truly sought to find me. I believe you are aware of both where I work and live, neither of which are here.”
“I sought what I thought I could have. Pale reminders are better than nothing at all.”
A hand rested softly on Andy’s hip in a light hold. The contact made her shiver.
Miranda continued. “I would have thought such encounters would cause more pain than joy. But I was happily surprised last night when I received a call that you’d personally requested a private viewing.”
The young woman finally turned to look into the clear blue eyes she dreamed so frequently of. The motion caused the hand on her hip to trace her waist as she spun before settling again in a slightly more possessive hold.
“I was surprised, darling, that you thought it would be safe to use your real name this time. I presume this is not the first visit you’ve made to a couture exhibit?”
“The rest were in the states,” Andy answered truthfully. “Always on business trips and never my real name. I didn’t think there was any reason to use an alias so far from home. Did you come to have me removed from the building?”
Miranda clicked her tongue in response. “If I did not want you here, Andrea, they never would have let you in the door. I’ve been waiting these long years for any sign you were looking for me.”
“I never closed my eyes.”
“Then we both have been fools.”
Dark brown eyes searched the placid pale face urgently before calming once more. “I don’t want to waste time any more,” she said daringly stepping into the iconic woman’s personal space. Tenderly she cupped the beautiful face as though she might break. She took in the warmth and smooth texture of the skin knowing that it might be the only time she was allowed the luxury of doing so. When the legendarily sharp tongue crept out to moisturize pink lips, Andy lost all pretense of not doing exactly what she had always fantasized about. It seemed hypocritical to go to such lengths and not worship the most worthy object in the room.
The kiss was every cliche she could think of. Mountains were moved, polar poles reversed. She felt broken apart and rebuilt. Andy was certain that the only things that kept her up right were the hands planted firmly on her hips. When they finally leaned back both were breathing heavily. Nearly immediately she leaned forward to reconnect their lips, but was halted by slender fingers against her mouth.
"Now that you've found what you are looking for, it's time I get what I've wanted. But that will require a bit more privacy than this gallery allows. Come."
Andy stood frozen watching the mesmerizing swing of hips.
"Andrea," Miranda called eyes sparkling, enjoying the blush on the woman's face at getting caught. She reached out a hand and beckoned her forward. The journalist started at the motion, smiling broadly.
It was oddly natural for Andy to walk quickly to catch up with the object of her affection, but entirely surprising to have her hand taken and tucked in the crook of an arm and led from the gallery into a waiting car. The ride was much like those of years gone by, with the very distinct difference that Andy had not yet been released. She couldn’t stop staring at her own hand. As they settled in, Miranda delicately placed Andy’s hand face up on her own leg. Since then she methodically explored the skin with delicate finger tips.
Though every motion had been steeped in sensitivity, Andy had the distinct feeling that the closeness was a concerted effort to keep her from leaving again. She wanted to reassure the breathtaking woman that she would not be so idiotic a second time, but the words simply wouldn’t come. The silence that enveloped them had an air of sanctity, one Andy was not yet willing to violate. She was not shocked when the car pulled up in front of a much nicer hotel than her own. She thought her heart might come out of her chest when she wasn’t liberated for the walk inside. A few flashbulbs went off and it suddenly occurred to the journalist exactly how serious Miranda was about her. In the privacy of an empty elevator, she carefully wove their fingers together hoping to communicate to the older woman that she was right here and wasn’t balking in the face of the potential ramifications of her fame. She felt the slender body beside her relax slightly in response.
Any hesitance that lingered between them was abandoned in the elevator. As soon as the door to the suite closed, Miranda had her Andrea pinned against the door and captured in a heated kiss. She was greatly pleased with the immediate responsiveness. The young woman’s lips moved solidly against her own, seeking as much as receiving. And her hands were anything but still. They were cool against the skin of her lower back, then possessive as they palmed her ass. The friction created as her center hit Andrea’s leg forced a moan from her lungs.
“Bedroom. Please, Miranda,” Andy begged.
Blue eyes immediately snapped up in smug satisfaction. She would give the woman the bed she wanted, but not just yet. Her fingers slipped into the waistband and easily flicked open the button. She attached her lips to an earlobe and whispered,
“Consider this your punishment for Paris.”
Miranda pushed her hand into the silk until she met divine wetness. The angle allowed her little space to maneuver, but Andrea seemed content to grind shamelessly against her.
“That is little motivation to behave,” the young woman gasped out.
“Oh my dear Andrea, I’ve never expected you to behave. The only thing you have to do is stay.”
The journalist had begun to shake and her hips moved more frantically. Just as she was about to tip over the edge she managed to place her hands on either side of the beautiful face in front of her. “Staying is the only thing I can think of doing.”
“Come for me, Andrea.”