Emily doesn’t have to spare the flicker of a single neuron to know that she’ll do anything for Miranda Priestly. That knowledge is something instinctual, something innate deep within her that resonates from her very core like a universal truth.
On the other hand, she doesn’t think she’s gay. Or, maybe she is. That truth has gotten a bit muddled, actually, and she finds she doesn’t have the time available on her calendar to search it out.
“Emily, don’t dawdle.”
She’s not sure how Miranda can look quite so haughty with the bottom half of her couture outfit folded neatly on her desktop or how she can find it so strangely, disturbingly alluring. After all, Miranda doesn’t seem to give much thought to the notion of foreplay, at least not with her.
“Shut the door.”
For Miranda, that seems to be enough.
She’s got a million things to do, all of them inked in her calendar as Miranda’s silky voice purrs out commands at point blank speed. Later, she’ll undoubtedly earn a disapproving glare when one of them manages to slip through, and part of Emily will want to protest that it’s hard to remember to send the new girl out to pick up the 10 pairs of Blahniks they need for the upcoming shoot when she’s summoned to spend a precious quarter hour of her time down on her knees behind Miranda’s desk. She’ll want to point out, too, that the carpet will fuzz her outrageously expensive hose just ever so slightly, and when she opens the door and steps out of Miranda’s world she’ll have to run to the loo and switch them out.
She doesn’t dare do either.
The taste of Miranda is a sharp tang against her tongue, surprisingly addictive though she tries not to think of it. It wouldn’t do to think of it, because Emily knows what is chic and what is not. She knows some people can take chic and make it anything they want; in this case, she is certainly not one of those people. She may work for (and worship) one of those people, but unfortunately it’s but one of the many positions she holds which doesn’t provide a return.
After she’s dismissed, it’s almost devilishly hard to look at herself in the mirror and carefully re-apply the outrageously expensive Chanel lip gloss she nipped from Nigel. The thing that makes her want to cry is that it isn’t hard because she’s ashamed. Shame would be completely normal. She has, after all, just provided herself in service to her boss with no hope of anything in return. But, no, it’s not shame; she just doesn’t want to dilute the taste of Miranda still lingering on her lips.
It’s silly to think about crying anyway, because she’s wearing four coats of mascara. With 10 minutes to dry in between applications of each, she needs no further reminder to know that pithy emotional release is nothing in the face of the calculated effort expended to look far from casually gorgeous. In any case, it’s counterproductive and, quite frankly, a blatant waste of time, and Emily doesn’t abide the presence of either.
She congratulates herself that her troubling thoughts of gayness (and she shudders to even think the word) are unfounded the morning she shoos Serena out of her front door with a curt, “Thanks. It was great. Really.”
Serena is model thin and model tall and model gorgeous, so it makes sense that after a few too many glasses of tempranillo she finds herself trailing a perfectly manicured nail up a svelte arm and leaning in for a slightly clumsy kiss that smears two shades of lip gloss together in a way that she notes, vaguely, is actually quite appealing.
It isn’t the hours in between that matter so much but instead the five minutes she spends bundling Serena out of her loft, because the act is a conscious decision to walk away. If she was truly gay, then she would have insisted upon breakfast, or perhaps a morning shag. If she was truly gay, she would have tried to make plans to repeat the experience.
That she does repeat the experience again a month later is of no consequence. She has walked away from it once, and will do so again. Small little indiscretions, littered haphazardly along the way, do not matter.
She has not yet and will never walk away from Miranda Priestly, but that is something different entirely. Miranda supersedes the laws of nature, and as such, Emily decides that she doesn’t count. At least, not in a way that would make her gay.
She’s having great fun belittling the new girl and considering possibly inviting Serena out for drinks after work (because it’s been close to a month since she last proved to herself with Serena that she isn’t really gay and so she deserves a reward) when the new girl goes insane in a dangerously right way.
She looks good, Serena tells her, as Andy stands there looking smugly self-satisfied in her new couture, and Emily wants to snatch out a patch of sleek blonde hair in retribution for the looks Serena is sending the unqualified disaster. Later that day she catches Miranda smiling slightly as the girl leaves her office, and it’s all Emily can do to keep from vomiting.
In the end, she invites Serena out for drinks anyway, then leaves her with the most dazzling pattern of crisscrossed nail marks she can manage.
When Emily discovers that she’s the new Andy, she sneaks out of the office and devours a sinfully delicious dark chocolate mousse from the bistro down the street. She hides in the back of the small space, as far out of sight as possible, as she licks the spoon clean, glancing momentarily at her devastated, distorted reflection in the slick silver. After, the mousse sits heavily in her stomach, a physical manifestation of the weight of her transgression. She momentarily considers sticking her finger down her throat and purging herself of her sin, but she’s never dabbled in bulimia before. It isn’t that she thinks it’s wrong; it’s just that she’s got rather perfect teeth and doesn’t want to even contemplate the damage the acid might do to them.
That afternoon, she’s picturing Andy on her knees behind Miranda’s desk when the other girl looks at her with soulfully sorry dark chocolate eyes, eyes so like the mousse whose bitter tang has replaced the taste of Miranda on her lips. Suddenly Emily is hit by the desire to further educate the girl who has slithered her way into Emily’s dream. She thinks of what those eyes would look like looking up at her as Andy fuzzes her hose on the carpet behind Emily’s desk.
When she realizes she’s wet, she scowls.
“Unacceptable,” she snaps, and Andy looks up with a hint of fear, not quite sure what she’s done wrong and still utterly terrified of Emily, especially now.
She finds that she quite likes that look of terror on Andy’s face. It’s disturbingly appealing in a way that most certainly doesn’t make her wetter.
She will fuck this girl, Emily decides. She will fuck her and walk away from her, and everything will right itself. And when she’s done that, she’ll buy the most expensive pair of hose she can find and positively decimate them on the carpet behind Miranda’s desk.
Andy suppresses a shiver at the positively wicked smile she sees creeping across Emily’s face.
This time, Emily’s voice is dangerously close to a purr.