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The Devil's Void

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Miranda Priestly ruled the world of anything and everything fashion. The almighty editor of Runway, the be-all and end-all fashion magazine, only had to walk the halls of Elias-Clarke publishing to send minions scurrying out of sight. Her mere glance was enough to induce fear in the most seasoned of designers, even in other editors. She could step into an elevator and have it cleared in a matter of seconds. Miranda found highly amusing the rumor that she could probably part the Red Sea the same way, but as a devil rather than a deity, naturally. She had chuckled at the thought, thinking who ever came up with that idea had probably meant to say the “Dead Sea/”

So, Miranda enjoyed ruling everything and everybody. She wielded her sword ruthlessly when need be, chopping incompetent people off at their knees, or even their ankles. Miranda was also known to keep Human Resources on speed dial. Second assistants came and went, usually lasting two, three weeks before Miranda in her lethally quiet voice told her first assistant to replace them.

Her last year had been the most successful to date, the Runway sales numbers going through the roof and several articles and photo shoots winning awards. She should be proud and content. Miranda knew this on an intellectual level. She should be thrilled, and in many ways she was, but in another, much more profound way, she felt utterly empty.

She went to work every day, and when her twin girls were at their father's, she went into the office on weekends as well. Working on The Book, the dummy layout of the current issue, throughout the evening was fulfilling and as exciting as ever, but when she put it down and went to bed, Miranda tossed and turned. She tried taking a hot shower, drinking disgusting warm milk, and reading poetry, but sleep eluded her, which was something she feared would eventually make her lose her edge. Miranda could tell that it was already starting to emphasize the less attractive parts of her personality, making her more annoyed, testier, and outrageously demanding. Even her girls felt the brunt of her dissatisfaction, the void in her soul.

Miranda, now in the town car driven by her ever-faithful chauffeur, Roy, adjusted the skirt of her long, black dress. Daring and innovative, it followed her figure like a second skin without actually hugging her anywhere. Hosting the Met Ball, yet again, was one of her yearly highlights, or should've been. Drawing a deep, surprisingly shaky breath, Miranda donned her wide, fake, crocodile smile and got ready to step out of the car. Her last husband, Stephen, had once said this scared people even more than her best glare.

The early May night was nippy, but Miranda disregarded any attempts of her body to shiver or produce goose bumps. She merely stepped onto the red carpet, gliding along it while paparazzi fired off their cameras and flashes in a deafening cacophony. She knew this would add to her beloved magazine's success and solidify her position as the powerhouse in the business.

Inside, Miranda made sure her entrance was the same well-orchestrated event as usual before she met up with her assistants, Linda and Linda-2. She never did bother with learning the name of a second assistant until she'd lasted more than a month. Their performance this evening was not completely objectionable, which Miranda of course didn't tell them. Linda supplied the names of the dignitaries and stars that filed before her. Miranda smiled, air-kissed, and allowed tuxedo dressed men to kiss her hand, a habit she secretly detested. It was all so automatic and predictable, and perhaps that was why she was caught completely off guard when Linda-2 leaned forward and murmured, "Andrea Sachs, reporter, and David Gallini, art gallery owner."

Andrea. Feeling like fate had just sucker-punched her straight in her solar plexus, Miranda struggled to breathe. Andrea Sachs. The second assistant that had left her. Walked out on Miranda during Paris Fashion Week. Still a size four, her shiny chocolate brown hair even longer than before, she stood before Miranda dressed in a stunning cerulean dress. Narrow, slit up to her hip, and with the most beautiful draping across her full breasts, it fit her as if it was—Of course it was made for her. It had to be. Probably a present from the man who looked immensely proud to be escorting the doe-eyed beauty.

"Miranda. You look wonderful. I'm so glad to see you again." Andrea spoke in a low voice, sounding calm and confident. "It's been more than two years."

"Has it? I can't remember," Miranda lied. She bent forward and air-kissed Andrea's cheek while inhaling Andrea's perfume, which she recognized as Magnetism by Escada; she lingered a couple of moments too long. Turning to the man, she allowed him to kiss her hand, but quickly dismissed him while homing in on Andrea again. "I approve of your dress, Andrea. That color always was becoming on you."

Andrea smiled brightly. "Really? I remember that horrible old sweater you hated with a passion."

"True. I had nothing against the shade, though."

Glancing behind her, Andrea winced a little. "We're holding up the line, David. Sorry for monopolizing you, Miranda. I hope you enjoy the evening."

Annoyed at being dismissed, again, by Andrea, Miranda smiled tightly. "Don't leave without saying goodbye, Andrea. This time."

Flinching, Andrea shook her head. "Um, of course not, Miranda."

Oddly mollified by still being able to make Andrea uncomfortable enough to stutter, Miranda directed her gaze to the next guest in line to greet her, her alligator smile once again intact.

Andy didn't realize how hard she held on to the crease of David's arm until he gently patted her hand.

"Hey, Andy, you're out of the devil's headlights. Time to give me the full circulation of my arm back." He smiled good-naturedly at her.

"Oh, God, David. I'm sorry. Did I leave permanent indentations from my fingers?"

"Nah, I may be gay, but I'm quite sturdy."

"So you keep telling me." Andy laughed, as much as from relief as from mirth. She had dreaded seeing Miranda again, and it had taken every bit of her willpower and newfound sense of security to stand looking completely at ease before the stunning woman. They circled the museum, drinks in hand, greeting people David knew from his business. After an hour they were back where they started, but Andy wasn't ready to leave just yet. She wanted one more eyeful of Miranda.

Miranda was where they'd left her. Glancing furtively in her direction, Andy devoured the revelation that was her former boss. The black dress—Valentino, of course—was without a doubt one of the sexiest, yet most understated, dresses Andy had ever seen Miranda wear. It set off her milky white skin perfectly, not to mention her iconic silver-white hair. People flocked around her, naturally; she was like a rock star at these events. And still that wasn't the whole story. Andy knew that no matter which field Miranda would have chosen in life, she would have drawn people in. She exuded power, money, impeccable taste, fashion-forward sense, and—there was no denying it—danger. At least to Andy. It had taken her a year, but eventually Andy realized that the hole in her heart was not from the breakup with Nate. Granted she was sad that their future together hadn't happened, and she missed the camaraderie between them as a couple and with their friends Lily and Doug. Still it was the absence of Miranda in her life, of not seeing her almost every day, that burned her stomach and turned it into a knot while she was getting ready to go to work every morning.

Andy loved working as a reporter; even if climbing the career ladder at a smaller press was tedious at times, she did like it a lot. Not having Miranda tapping her foot, waiting for a scorching hot Starbucks latte, was a relief, but also the worst pain. Miranda would never know the true reason Andy left her high and dry in Paris. She wasn't proud of her cop-out, cowardly departure, even if it had felt good at the time to shuck the cell phone in the fountain and leave. It hadn't taken Andy long to regret it thoroughly, and when Miranda in her odd way gave her the strange letter of recommendation that landed Andy the job at The Mirror, she had written her a note to apologize and thank her. Naturally, Miranda didn't reply, and Andy hadn't expected her to. It meant that Miranda was either angry or simply didn’t care. Andy decided to employ Miranda's fabulous work ethic when it came to perseverance and tenacity, and thus, she was actually further ahead in her career than expected at this point.

"Champagne, Andy? Andy?" David's voice interrupted Andy's musings.

"What? Oh, thank you." She accepted the glass and endured his lopsided grin for about five seconds. "Oh, please. Don't start."

"You're my best friend, girl. I can read you quite well. You're in Miranda-land."

Blushing profusely, Andy sipped her champagne. Miranda-land. That was David's favorite word to tease her with ever since she'd confessed her infatuation with Miranda when she was more than a little tipsy once. For more than an hour she had talked in depth about her confusing emotions, and he had diagnosed it right off the bat.

"Surely you realize that you're in love with her, Andy?" he'd asked gently. This made Andy burst into laughter and then tears. Of course he was right. Of course he had seen it written all over her face and now Andy had to hold it together to make sure nobody else did. Especially not Miranda. Andy could easily picture Miranda pursing her lips and looking thoroughly ill at ease. Anybody who knew anything about Miranda was aware of what the pursing of her lips meant. To a designer, death to your collection. To a minion, fired. To Andy at this point, a heart beyond broken—crushed under a Prada heel.

"Battle stations. We've got company." David squared his shoulders and smiled politely. "Hello again, Miranda."

Andy slowly turned around and found the courage to mimic him. "Having fun, Miranda?"

"A blast." Miranda stood just shy of Andy's personal space. Her Chanel perfume wrapped around her, pulling her in. No sign of assistants for now. "Are you here in a professional capacity, Andrea?"

Ah, a small insult. As if Andy was too insignificant ever to gain an invite.

"No, I'm on my own time. David was kind to invite me as his date." Andy blinked at the sudden glimpse of something resembling fury in Miranda's eyes.

"David. Yes. I've visited your gallery a couple of time. Your assistant sold me two aquarelles of that wonderful new artist."

"Francesca Varga." David nodded enthusiastically. "Apart from the obvious beauty of the paintings, that's a great investment. Francesca will become the new household name. She's going to become huge."

"Undeniably so." Miranda made it sound like that should be obvious since she had spent money on the artist. "How do you know Andrea?"

If David realized he was being interviewed, he didn't falter for a second. "I've known Andy for a year or so now. She interviewed me when I moved my gallery to the renovated warehouse district. We learned we have friends in common, and she introduced me to the love of my life. When he couldn't make it tonight, she was gracious enough to agree to come with me. I may not look like it, but I'm really shy and need a strong person by my side." He actually winked at Miranda, completely ignoring Andy as she pinched the back of his upper arm.

"This clarifies so much." Miranda didn't elaborate, which was hardly surprising as she was infamous for never explaining herself. She shifted her eyes back to Andy. Her gaze was like a physical touch, and Andy felt her skin tingle in response. Her lips parted slightly of their own volition and she desperately pinched David again, this time so hard that the man yelped.

"We should let you go, Miranda," Andy managed to say. "We shouldn't keep you from all the people who are dying to meet you."

"Unlike you, Andrea?" Steel covered Miranda's soft voice.

"Uh, n-no. No, that's not what I meant." Suddenly, Andy was stuttering like she used to when she worked for Miranda, hating that it didn't take Miranda long to induce the speech pattern that they both detested, but for different reasons.

"What did you mean?" Miranda tilted her head slightly. "You've forgotten how I loathe when you dawdle?"

"Stop it, Miranda." Andy lowered her voice, angry now. If Miranda thought she could initiate some sort of cat-and-mouse game right here, in front of people, she was mistaken. Andy wasn't going to cause a scene, but Miranda didn't know that. "Not here."

Miranda's eyes flashed, a bright blue searing jolt, an unmistakable sign of wrath. "Where, then?"

"What do you mean?"

"You said, not here. Then where?" Miranda sounded exasperated. If Andy hadn't known better, she could've sworn she heard genuine fatigue in her voice as well.

"What can I do for you, Miranda?" Andy had no idea what Miranda was up to, but knew instinctively that if she wasn't careful, her heart could be mortally wounded by this devil of a woman.

"You can talk to me." Dismissing Andy for now, Miranda turned to David. "Perhaps I will have better luck getting through to you. When you decide to leave, you will find my driver waiting outside. Andrea will know which car. Escort her to the car so she can wait for me there." Miranda nodded curtly and left before anyone had a chance to respond.

"You worked for her almost a year? You dealt with that kind of onslaught for months on end?" David sounded slightly shell-shocked.

"Yes. And that was nothing compared to what she can be like. Unbelievable, huh?"

They started moving toward the exit. "What do you want to do?" David placed a hand against the small of her back, guiding her past a group of laughing people.

"I know what I want to do. And what I have to do."

"Not the same thing?"

"I want to run back home and hide under the bed, to tell you the truth. It's just…I feel I owe her something."

"I would strongly disagree, but I can tell that you're nuts about her."

"I'm that transparent?" Andy cringed. "Truth is, I'll never have this chance again." Andy walked out on the stairs leading down to the street. She spotted Roy immediately where he stood by the latest model silver metallic Mercedes.

"What do you hope this chance will bring?"

"Some sort of closure. Even if she has her version of a hissy-fit, or virtually peels the skin off my face with her acid tongue, at least I'll have the opportunity to tell her how sorry I am, and grateful too, in person."

"You're reasoning is beyond me." David frowned. "You don't owe her anything."

"I do. I think I do." Andy wasn't sure why she felt that so strongly, only that she did. Perhaps she also wanted one last chance to be close to Miranda, no matter the reason, since it was doubtful that it would ever happen again.

Roy opened the door for Andy as soon as he saw her approach.

"Hello, Andy. Nice to see you again. Miranda called and told me to expect you. She'll be out in a little bit."

Andy nearly did a double take. Had Miranda actually told Roy to pass that on?

"Thanks. Good to see you too. This is David, my date for tonight. Still driving for Miranda, huh?"

"Hello, David." Roy nodded in his friendly manner. "Wouldn't have it any other way, Andy. Irv Ravitz tried to persuade me to work for him, but that wasn't a hard choice to make."

"Irv!" Andy wrinkled her nose. "Perish the thought." She turned to David. "All right if we part ways here? I don't know how long I'm going to be, and I'm sure Roy will drive me home. If that's not possible, I'll take a cab."

"You sure?" David still looked hesitant.

"Very sure. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

"All right. Thanks for standing in for Doug."

"My pleasure. In a manner of speaking." Andy smiled and gratefully slipped into the warm car. Roy followed suit, and to her relief, he didn't continue any conversation. Instead he unfolded an evening paper and started reading.

Andy kicked off her shoes and pulled up her legs. Leaning against the backrest in the far corner of the backseat, she closed her eyes. Trying to calm a sudden onset of nerves, she drew one deep breath after another. It didn't help much, but soon enough she would be at the receiving end of Miranda's anger.

Miranda nodded curtly at Roy and slipped into the car. She knew Andrea was waiting for her, but she hadn't expected the young woman to be fast asleep in the corner. Miranda sat dumbfounded, just staring at her.

"Home, Miranda?" Roy asked.

"Yes. To the townhouse." Speaking absentmindedly, Miranda regarded Andrea's pale skin, full red lips, and semi-circle eyelashes. Her chest rose and sank at an even pace, making her full breasts press at the bodice above her slender waist. The slit in the skirt had parted all the way up, exposing Andrea's left leg completely. Every single part of Andrea was stunning. Miranda prided herself of being unafraid of most everything in this world. Right now her eyes were devouring the only person who could truly get under her skin, who could in a sense terrify her.

They arrived at the townhouse and it was time to wake this sleeping beauty.

"Andrea. Andrea." The young woman didn't even stir. "Andrea!" Frustrated, Miranda grabbed her by the shoulder and shook her gently. "You have to wake up now."

"Mm? Wha—?" Andrea opened drowsy eyes and looked dazedly at Miranda. "Miranda?" Her voice was husky and she looked sexier than anyone Miranda had ever seen.

"We're home. Here. We're here." Furious at how she babbled, Miranda simply stepped out of the car. "You coming?" She heard Andrea stumble out of the car behind her. Opening her door, Miranda noticed The Book sitting on the hall table, delivered by one of her staff. The townhouse was empty. Her housekeeper had gone home hours ago and the girls were with their father for a whole week. Miranda turned around, regarding Andrea closely. For some reason Andrea was shivering.

"Are you cold?"

"Yes. No. A little."

"For heaven's sake. Come with me." Leading the way up one flight of stairs to her office, Miranda grabbed a cashmere throw and wrapped it around Andrea's shoulders. "Take a seat. Can I get you something to drink?"

"No thank you. Let's get this over with." Andrea looked at her with dark, unhappy eyes.

"What on earth are you talking about? 'Get it over with'?" Miranda sat down next to Andrea. Her legs simply gave in, but she masked it pretty well, she thought.

"You're going to give me hell, aren't you? Tell me what you really thought of how I acted?" Andrea clearly was distraught, but she kept her gaze locked on Miranda's. "I know I was all wrong about how I left. Really unprofessional. I should've given notice. I just couldn't. Did you get my letter?"

"Yes." Miranda wasn't going to confess how many times she'd read the apologetic and grateful note. She kept it under her desk cover in this very room.

"And?"

"You apologized, but you didn't explain."

Andrea tilted her head back and covered her eyes for a moment. "God. I'm going to regret this so much. You're really going to regret you actually brought me to your house."

"Don't be ridiculous, Andrea. Why would I do that?"

"Oh, damn, I've even missed you saying 'don't be ridiculous.’ How lame is that?"

Miranda's heart twitched painfully. Had Andrea really missed her? Nobody, except her girls, ever missed her. "Go on."

"It's not fair." Andy gave a muted sob. "It's just so unfair."

Miranda frowned. "What is?"

"I'm the one risking everything here. I'm the one who has to 'fess up, the one who will go home feeling utterly gutted. And just so you will get your explanation, your apology. I'm not saying you don't deserve it. Just that it's uh-unfair." Andrea removed her hand and looked up at Miranda. "Oh, please, don't look at me like that!"

"Like what?" Miranda had never expected such tormented words from Andrea.

"Like you actually care. That what I say matters. We know it's not true."

"Why wouldn't I care what you say? Do you think I'd bring you to my home late in the evening merely to scold you and then send you home in a cab? Really, Andrea."

This stopped Andrea from recoiling. "If not, then why?"

"First of all, you said I deserve the truth of why you left the way you did. I know you were upset about Nigel, about how I went back on my word on supporting him being out on his own—"

"That wasn't it. I mean, it was why I left, but not why I did it in such an unprofessional way." Andy wiped at her cheeks and straightened her back. "I would've left Runway anyway, probably, since being around you hurt so much. The situation with Nigel was just the last straw."

In a way Miranda didn't want to hear why it hurt so to be around her. She knew. She wasn't blind to the fact that her assistants bent over backwards to carry out their jobs.

"At first it was just a crush. Not hero worship like Emily, but like a teacher-student kind of crush. I was in awe of you, feared you, and learned so much at the same time."

Miranda was stunned. She knew her former first assistant, Emily, had indeed suffered from almost malign hero worship. Andrea? A crush? Unbelievable.

"Then, it didn't go away. It grew. I started seeing glimpses of the woman behind the Devil persona. I noticed small flaws that made you human, in a way accessible. Well, in my mind, that is. Of course, you're out of my league and always will be. Nothing I can do about that."

"It grew?" Of all that Andrea had just said, it was that part Miranda could not fathom.

"Yes. When I came into your hotel room and you were sitting there in that grey silk robe, your hair messy, no makeup, and so sad because of your husband's stunt of filing for divorce when you were away, I knew it was love. I had fallen in love with my much older boss, who barely knew I existed. How trite was that?" Andrea laughed. An unhappy sound. "When you still decided to go to that dinner after all, I went out with Christian Thompson. I slept with him. He's a fabulous lover."

"Is he now?" Frost laced Miranda's voice and she glared at Andrea. She hated Thompson. Had hated him for more than two years now.

"Yes. He is. I couldn't feel a thing. I felt bad for him, so I faked it. I wasn't very good at faking it, since I normally like sex. He didn't notice. Kept calling me 'baby.’" Andrea shuddered. "I ran to find you, to warn you, that he and your French counterpart were plotting with Irv Ravitz to push you out. Of course, you already knew and had everything planned. It was sort of indicative of just how little I meant to you. Workwise, in private. I couldn't handle it. I felt my existence had lost all its moorings. Nate, my boyfriend, had broken up with me already before Paris. You would never actually see me, let alone care. I'd had a one-night stand with a sleaze ball…you see? I was not in a good place."

"And…and now?" Miranda felt too warm. The dress felt too tight around her chest. She couldn't breathe properly.

"Regarding you? Nothing's changed," Andy whispered. "Absolutely nothing. I have a job that I love. I have a handful of true friends. But when it comes to how I feel? Still the same." She courageously met Miranda's eyes with her own. Such beautiful, expressive, chocolate-amber eyes.

"Andrea."

"Oh, you say my name in a way that nobody else does," Andrea moaned.

"Andrea."

Suddenly propelled by an overwhelming tenderness, Miranda moved closer and took Andrea's hand in hers. She gently turned it over, placing it palm first against her cheek.

Andy couldn't breathe. Miranda's skin was so soft against her hand. Her throat still hurt from trying to hold back the violent sobs that fought to break free. Andy had planned to tell Miranda in as detached a manner as possible, to lessen the impact on both of them. Of course that was doomed to fail. The only way she could be detached around Miranda was if she were dead.

Now Andy cupped Miranda's cheek gently, entranced by how she felt, and completely floored by the fact that not only was she allowed to touch—but that it was on Miranda's initiative. If there was anything Andy knew for sure, it was that Miranda never did anything she didn't want to. She stepped right over people rather than trying to be nice and walk around. If she placed your hand on her cheek, she wanted it there.

"Miranda?"

"Yes?" Impossibly soft, Miranda's voice flooded every part of Andy.

"You're holding my hand."

"You're very perceptive."

"Against your cheek."

"Nothing slides past you."

"Why?" Andy whispered.

Miranda turned her head and pressed her lips against Andy's palm.

"Oh!" Andy's palm burned. "Either you're not prepared to answer that or…"

"Mm. Or I can't resist you." Miranda's lips moved against Andy's skin, sending shivers through her.

This was going to become her downfall, Andy just knew it. Sweat broke on her upper lip and between her breasts, and moisture flooded between her legs. She couldn't remember being this turned on by such an innocent touch, ever. Then again, there was nothing innocent in Miranda's eyes above their hands. Then Andy felt the tip of Miranda's tongue against her palm.

"Mm. Oh, God." Breathing harder, faster, Andy was not sure she could keep from pulling Miranda closer. When Miranda slid her lips to her wrist, Andy whimpered, only to gasp loudly when sharp teeth nipped at her sensitive skin.

"As you said. You're so young. I'm twice your age." Miranda startled Andy by suddenly standing up, tugging at her to follow. "Turn around."

Equal parts intrigued and mystified, Andy complied. Miranda pushed her long hair aside and forward over her shoulder. With cool fingers, Miranda began pull down Andy's zipper.

"Who is the designer? I'm quite appalled, but I can't pinpoint it."

"David's young cousin, Theresa. She's only seventeen, but talented."

"Quite. We'll talk about her tomorrow."

Tomorrow? Andy moaned as Miranda's nails gently raked along her spine. The dress was lined, so Andy wasn't wearing a slip. As the dress pooled around her feet, Miranda nudged her to the side, and scooped the dress up, hanging it over her office chair. Turning around, she faced Andy, and for the first time ever, Andy saw Miranda blush. A lovely pink spread from her neckline all the way to her hairline.

"You're stunning. So very beautiful." Miranda stepped close and turned her back. "Unzip me."

Miranda wanted Andy to undress her? "Jesus," Andy muttered, her fingers trembling as she located the cleverly hidden zipper. Slowly, and judging from Miranda's low growl, maybe too slowly, she pulled it down, revealing a strapless black La Perla demi-bra and matching silk panties. Her perfect pale skin glimmered under a thin layer of perspiration in some places. It added to her appeal. Nothing could possibly be sexier than a half-naked Miranda, damp and aroused. Andy wondered how it could be that she herself wasn't fainting from sensory overload. If anyone had told her before tonight this would happen, she would've thought them certifiable, but all she cared about was that she loved Miranda, and Miranda had instigated this intimacy. No matter what it led to, she wasn't going to pass on this. If this was a onetime thing only, this would have to sustain her in the future, even if it broke her heart.

"You still cold?" Miranda asked huskily.

"You're kidding right? No."

"Then come." Miranda took Andy's hand and walked up the next flight of stairs. She opened the door to what turned out to be her bedroom. She stopped next to the bed, and when she turned to face Andy, there was something vulnerable and very young-looking in her eyes. "You can tell me to stop at any time. I want you so much, Andrea, but I'm not your boss anymore. I couldn't bear it if you regretted anything between us from now on." Even Miranda's hand trembled as she raised their joined hands and kissed Andy's knuckles.

"That sounds kind of like…like…" It felt presumptuous to speak of love, but that was what it sounded like to Andy.

"Andrea. It is what it sounds like. I've become increasingly unhappy and feeling empty, and when I saw you tonight, I knew. Or rather, when you spoke to me, I began to recognize what I've been missing." Miranda stood closer, their bodies almost touching. "I thought I resented the fact that you left me, rather than me firing you, like I normally do with second assistants. That was a very superficial way to look at it." Miranda ran the back of her free hand along Andy's ribs. "Can this be love? I think it is."

"Oh, God." Andy couldn't take it anymore. She pressed up against Miranda and kissed her. Without hesitation she brought her lips against the mouth that had hurt her so many times, professionally and emotionally, but now yielded to hers. It was such an incredible, soft, soft feeling. Miranda tasted of wine and coffee and something that was uniquely Miranda. Deepening the kiss, Andy moaned into Miranda's mouth as their tongues met.

Andy reluctantly let go in order to breathe, gasping over and over for air. "You…I've never kissed another woman before."

"Likewise."

"I thought I was straight."

"So did I." Miranda smiled, a real smile. "Clearly we're not entirely straight."

"That's fine with me."

"Since it's you, Andrea, I'm 'fine' too." Cupping Andy's breasts, Miranda's breath hitched. "Oh, my."

"I know. Too big in your world."

"Just the right size for me." Deftly, Miranda unhooked the front clasp and let Andy's bra fall to the floor. Licking her lips slowly, she stared at them hungrily. "Oh, yes, they'll do just 'fine.’"

Miranda was torn between feeling like she was in some alternate reality and counting her blessings, and then there was a part of her that was quite intimidated, which she didn't want to recognize.

Andrea stood so proudly before her, her full breasts with their taut nipples beckoning her. It was true, she had never before felt this way about a woman, and she'd had more than a few offers from some stunningly beautiful women. It had to be Andrea. Of course. The impossible girl she had deemed "smart and fat" out of frustration and not a little malice not long after she was hired. Yes, Andrea was smart, but no one in her right mind would ever call this woman fat. A small, truth telling voice suggested that even if Andrea had been larger physically, it might just happen that Miranda Priestly would find her alluring all the same.

Shocking.

Miranda guided Andrea back toward the bed. "We’d better lie down, darling. My legs are trembling."

"They are?" Then Andrea's full lips described a perfect 'o'. "Oh. You called me ‘darling.’"

"I did." Miranda watched Andrea slowly crawl onto the tall four-poster bed. An indulgence on Miranda's part when Stephen had moved out. Not that he had spent much time in the marital bed toward the end, but she didn't want to sleep on a piece of furniture where he'd spent even one night. Now Andrea would put her mark on this bed. Miranda wanted to keep this bed for a long, long time. Even forever? Yes.

Miranda followed Andrea, unwilling to stop touching her. Andrea's moans and whimpers guided her hands and it soon became clear that her breasts were as sensitive as they looked. The very first time Miranda closed her lips around a plump, rock hard nipple, she knew she would want to do that a lot. Testing what worked for Andrea, she nibbled, sucked, chewed, licked, scraped her teeth, and flicked her tongue rapidly over the nipple. When Andrea nearly started to weep, Miranda shifted to its twin and didn't stop until Andrea claimed it started to hurt. Moving on to her next target, Miranda settled between Andrea's legs, startled at first at the degree of moisture coating the inside of her thighs. The adorable panties were drenched and had to go. She tugged them down and off in one fluent motion. Andrea squirmed under her.

"You ready to continue?" Miranda looked closely at Andrea as she waited for her reply.

"Would you…I would love if you were naked too." Blushing, Andrea smiled tremulously.

"Very well." The La Perla panties were ruined anyway. Once fully naked, Miranda continued to explore Andrea. She pushed her legs further apart and found her glistening folds and the trimmed curls to be quite aesthetically pleasing. Curious, Miranda dipped her fingertips between them, which in turn sent more moisture oozing from its origin.

"God, I'm so wet. You're making me so…so horny. I can't…I'm going to come very soon." Andrea sounded apologetic.

"I'm going to like watching that," Miranda purred as she cautiously tasted the moisture on her fingertips. Not bad. Fresh. A little salty. She pushed two fingers gently into Andrea while straddling her left leg. "Bend your leg. Like so. Yes." Now so turned on herself she was sweating profusely, Miranda rubbed herself against Andy's thigh, coating it with her own moisture.

Andy groaned when Miranda's hot wetness spread over her thigh. At the same time, her fingers penetrated Andy, and this unbelievable act was almost enough in itself. Miranda. Miranda Priestly, the woman she loved, but never, ever thought she'd actually talk to again, let alone kiss or make love with, had fingers buried to the knuckles inside Andy.

Andy found she had to look up into Miranda's eyes to make sure that the woman she loved, the once tousled and sad woman from Paris, was present. And she was. Sweaty, tousled, makeup smudged, and with affection and happiness shining from her eyes, it was her.

It was all it took. Arching, Andy cried out, bucking at Miranda's hands as the orgasm tore through her body. It started between her legs, spread to her belly and down her thighs. "Miranda!"

"Yes. Oh, God, yes! Yes!" Miranda pressed down against Andy's thigh, riding it in jerky, convulsive movements until her arms gave in and she fell forward into Andy's embrace. "Andrea…"

To Andy's amazement, tears leaked from Miranda's eyes. She wasn't sobbing, or making any sound other than gasps that slowly calmed.

"Miranda. Sweetie?"

"I'm fine. It's…It's just, I've felt so empty for so long, and now—it's quite overwhelming."

"I know. For me too. I never dreamed you'd ever want me this way. Or in any way."

"But I do." Miranda wiped at her eyes, looking embarrassed. "I do, so very much, want you in every way."

"So not just for tonight?" Andy held her breath, a tiny part of her still  very unsure.

"What? No. No! I thought you realized." Miranda looked startled as she settled next to Andy and pulled a blanket over their cooling bodies.

"Realized what?" Andy hoped she hadn't messed up badly now.

"Andrea. I don't think I could bear to let you go."

"Oh, Miranda." Cupping her cheek, Andy tried to read her expression. If she wasn't mistaken, it was fear mixed with hurt. "That's exactly how I feel. I know we have a lot to talk about and to figure out, I mean, your girls for instance, but we can make it work, somehow. Don't you think? We have to."

"Yes. See, I was right." Miranda smiled tentatively. "You are smart."

"You do enjoy being right," Andy teased, relieved that the topic turned to lighter banter now. A girl could only take so much drama, and she figured sharing her life with Miranda would entail quite enough of that. She didn't care. She was prepared to make quite the allowances for Miranda's demanding personality if she could be in her life, if she could be loved like this.

***

The sun seemed to send silver sparkles through Miranda's hair where she sat at the breakfast table. She was absentmindedly browsing the morning paper, her hand possessively wrapped around her second mug of coffee for the morning. Her makeup impeccable, and dressed in a stunning pale blue leisure suit, she seemed at ease and content this Sunday morning.

Andy tried to not look awestruck, not wanting to seem needy. After two nights and one whole day of making love, talking, and making love some more, over and over with Miranda, she was if possible even more in love with the amazing woman before her. Miranda had opened up about herself, her girls, and her marriages, and asked Andrea about her life, her childhood, and her job.

Andy was not naïve. She knew Miranda's work persona would spill over into their private sphere, and Miranda was a workaholic. She herself was almost as bad some days. All she had to do was to look at Miranda to know she was worth any sacrifice, any attempt.

"Yes, Andrea?" Miranda said in her muted, soft voice. Once it had terrified Andy, but now it sent shivers throughout her system for a completely different reason.

"What?"

"You have been watching me read the newspaper for the entire entertainment section. Something on your mind?" Miranda lifted her gaze, regarding Andy over the edge of her reading glasses.

"Um. No. Well. Yes. Maybe."

"Eloquently put." Miranda winked at her and sipped her coffee. Placing her mug back on the table, she took Andrea's hand in hers. "Can I do something for you?"

"Uh. No. I'm good. I mean, I'm fine."

"Yes, you are." Gracefully Miranda rose and pushed Andy and her chair out from the table. Moving swiftly, she straddled Andy's legs and sat down. "You're very, very fine. I think I can do something for you, if you promise to do something back." She chuckled, a thoroughly charming sound that made Andy love her even more.

"I promise."

"I know we said we'd go for a walk, but," Miranda kissed a hot trail along Andy's neck, "I think we can get just as much exercise if we continue like we started."

"I agree." Andy slid her hands under Miranda's top.

"You're mine, aren't you, Andrea?" The mirth had left Miranda's voice and her normally blue eyes were a dark, thunderous grey. "I need you to say it."

"I'm yours. You're mine. You're stuck with me, Miranda." Andy spoke softly, but with conviction.

"Well. Good." Miranda tipped Andy's head back and kissed her.

Oh, yes. Andy moaned blissfully. No matter what, Miranda was so worth any effort. Any at all.

 

The End