Chapter 1: Introduction
Three’s a Crowd
Emily was glad that she wasn’t on the receiving end of the dressing down that Miranda had just delivered. The latest second assistant didn’t seem to know whether to cry or run away. The job that a million girls would kill for was killing her. Well, to be fair the job was killing her spirit. Emily realized that after Paris Miranda kept hiring girls who resembled Andrea either in appearance or demeanor. The problem was none of them were Andrea.
Andrea had contacted Emily immediately after she returned from Paris. They had spoken extensively and developed an unlikely relationship. Now Emily was trying her damnedest not to fall for the brunette with the beautiful smile and big heart.
Emily was no idiot. She’d noticed the heated glances between Miranda and Andrea. If that wasn’t confirmation enough, the seven assistants (that were not Andrea) that they’d gone through in the five months since Paris were. The fact that Miranda hadn’t black-listed Andrea was a blaring Klaxon. You did NOT walk away from Miranda Priestly without repercussions.
There are consequences for every action. Andrea never expected to walk away from Miranda free and clear, but that is exactly what happened. The recommendation she’d received from Miranda was unexpected. Professionally speaking Andrea was free, but her heart was irrevocably tethered to Miranda.
Finding a job so quickly after her return from Paris was shocking. Andrea had thought she’d have to get a loan from her parents or worse return home to Cincinnati. She knew that without Miranda’s recommendation she would not have been offered the position.
Andrea knew she had to somehow thank Miranda. She desperately wanted to talk to the woman. She wanted to apologize and explain. She wasn’t sure she’d have the opportunity.
Not only did Andy miss Miranda, but she missed the girls as well. Caroline and Cassidy had taken to Andy after the Harry Potter incident. Andy hadn’t lost all contact with the girls, but she hadn’t seen them since before Paris. The daily texts and emails were all the communication the three had, and all three wished for more.
Miranda had changed after Paris. It wasn’t glaringly obvious, but the girls noticed. She spent more time with them which was major. The thing that stood out to anyone who was really looking is the momentary sadness in Miranda’s eyes anytime Andrea’s name was mentioned.
The girls noticed right away, but didn’t know what to do about it. They liked Andrea. She talked to them, and more importantly she treated them like individuals. She listened and offered advice, even now months after leaving Miranda in Paris.
The girls knew they had to keep their communications with Andrea a secret from their mom, at least for now. Both girls noticed how Andrea always asked about Miranda in their daily communications.
A plan began to formulate. The mischievous duo was determined to bring Andrea and Miranda together they just weren’t sure how to accomplish this or who they could turn to for help.
The answer to the who came a few nights later when Nigel joined them at the townhouse for dinner. After their return from Paris weekly dinner at the townhouse had become part of Miranda “making it up to Nigel”.
After dinner the two would usually adjourn to Miranda’s study to discuss Nigel’s future. Tonight, however, Miranda was on a call with her lawyer. Seems Stephen wanted to make the divorce difficult.
Nigel had joined the girls in the entertainment room to allow Miranda her privacy. He didn’t expect the ambush that came as soon as he sat down. One twin sat on each side of him, and he could tell by the look in their eyes that they were up to something.
“Girls, I know that look, and the answer is NO!”
“But Uncle Nigel we haven’t even said anything” the girls replied in unison. It was still eerie to him how they did that.
“The answer is still NO!”
Cassidy had gotten up from the couch to retrieve her laptop and Caroline was busy bringing up the text exchanges on her phone. They knew that to convince Nigel to help they had to be completely open and honest.
Caroline just shoved her phone in to Nigel’s hand “read them”.
Nigel returned the phone to Caroline after he finished reading the texts just as Cassidy slid the laptop over. It was opened to the most recent email exchange between the Andrea and the twins.
Nigel didn’t know what to think, but a picture was forming in his mind. Andrea had not been blacklisted, and she was still in contact with the twins, and wonder of all wonders they seemed to have a very stable and loving relationship from the tone and content of the email and texts that he had read.
What stood out the most to Nigel was that Andrea always seemed to ask about Miranda. She expressed how much she missed Miranda (not the job). Nigel is a smart man who could read between the lines. He just didn’t know what the girls expected him to do.
Before he had a chance to ask, Miranda appeared at the door requesting his presence. He slipped the girls one of his cards and as he leaned in to hug them goodnight he told them to email or call him.
Each one kissed a cheek and whispered they’d call him the next day.
Chapter 2: Rapid Changes
Things are going to change in ways that some aren't quite prepared for.
Sorry for the delay, sometimes life has a way of creeping up on even the most well-intentioned of us. I will try and do better with future updates. For the record if anyone is willing to beta-read this may go a bit faster. Let me know if you're interested as this is my first attempt at a DWP fic.
Miranda entered the offices like a tornado stirring everything in her wake. She spouted off her list of demands so fast that Emily wished for a recorder lest she miss something. Today was not going to be a good day.
“Emily” floated softly out to the assistant’s desks.
The new girl jumped up immediately, “yes Miranda?”
“Why is my coffee not hot. Is it so hard to get a hot cup of coffee? Am I reaching for the stars? I’m surrounded by incompetence.”
The new girl sputtered “I’ll get you another one right away Miranda.”
Emily had learned a few secrets from Andrea as their friendship developed. She texted the barista at Starbucks to ensure Miranda would get an extra hot latte this time.
Nigel was in his office thinking back over the last several months when his phone rang.
When he answered all, he could hear was crying. He whispered assurances that everything would be alright until the caller was calm enough to speak.
One of the twins, Caroline maybe, informed him that they’d just received an email from Andrea stating that she may have to move back to Cincinnati if she couldn’t find a place to live soon.
Her boyfriend abandoned her during the Paris trip, and she’d depleted her savings paying the bills. She didn’t know how she could afford to stay in New York.
This was not good news. Not good news at all. The fact that the girls were distraught did not bode well.
Nigel knew he had to come up with a plan, but wasn’t sure what he could do that wouldn’t set off alarm bells with Six (his nickname for Andrea).
He told the girls not to worry that they’d come up with a plan later in the evening.
Miranda had a dinner scheduled that evening. A plan was forming, but he had to move fast to pull it off.
First, he emailed Six to see if she was free. After receiving confirmation that she would meet him, he went to speak with Miranda.
“I was wondering if you’d allow me to take the girls out for ice cream this evening?” He inquired.
“Well, I just thought it might be nice to spend some time with them.”
“You just saw them last night. Nigel what are you up to?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all. I just thought with the divorce and all the other changes I could be there a little more for them.”
This seemed to do the trick as Miranda simply nodded her head in acceptance. Miranda knew Nigel wouldn’t harm her children, but that didn’t stop her being suspicious. She knew Nigel was up to something.
Serena was rounding the corner near Emily’s desk when she overheard the redhead inviting someone to lunch. The tone of her voice took Serena aback. Her heart ached because the tone Emily used spoke of affection.
Serena had dreamed of having that tone directed at her. As she rounded the corner the look on Emily’s face was so soft that Serena had no doubt that Emily had just made a date with some mystery person.
Serena decided to make a preemptive strike.
“Hey Em, I’m sorry I’m going to have to bail on lunch today.”
“No problem I have lots of work to do.”
Now Serena was really hurt because Emily felt the need to lie to her. She quickly said her goodbye and made it around the corner before the first silent tear fell.
Nigel saw her walking past his office and went to intercept her. Her tears alarmed him, and he immediately asked what was wrong?
Serena told Nigel what she’d overheard and how hopeless she felt knowing Emily had feelings for someone else.
Nigel assured her that he’d get to the bottom of it. Looks like he was going to be an all-around problem solver today.
Nigel decided a little spying was in order.
When it was time for Emily’s lunch he rode the elevator down with her on the pretense of getting a salad to enjoy in his office.
When he saw who Emily was having lunch with he almost fainted. This did not bode well, not all.
Emily was crushing on Andy, Andy was gone on Miranda, and Miranda was in denial.
Not a good mix at all.