DISCLAIMER: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. References to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: *I borrowed Stan Oppenheimer & Geoffrey Barnhardt from Telanu's "Truth & Measure" *The twins playing LaCrosse is a detail I borrowed from Beachbum3668's "Jigsaw"
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Miranda entered her office and stopped short. Nothing was out of order. The clothing racks were ready for the meeting at 1:30, but something was different. Miranda looked to the desk and obvious things, like furniture, as she stood inside the doorway. Emily approached and stopped just short of running into Miranda. She had been sent on a delivery to the art department and was sure she was going to be scolded for taking too long. In her hurry she almost ran into the back of Miranda Priestly, thus bringing on the fate she sought so much to avoid.
"Someone was in my office." Miranda's tone was icy and low. Emily was reminded of a dangerous crouching tiger: tail twitching, ears laid back, and eyes scanning the horizon.
Emily's eyes went wide. "What?"
"Move the 3 o'clock up to 2:30. That's all."
Dismissed: Emily breathed now. For the present she had dodged a bullet and she shrugged her shoulders. Miranda stared around her office until she stepped in and closed the door. Emily sat at her desk puzzled by the exchange and called people. "What's taking Andrea so long?!" She muttered.
The only scent in Miranda's office was her own perfume. Otherwise her office remained neutral. Entering her office from the short lunch meeting with Irv, Miranda smelled a sweet flowery smell in her office. At first she detected no one and nothing changed, however upon closer inspection she saw that on the windowsill of her office were scattered cardinal red rose-petals and amongst the pile was a small card with fancy hand written lettering.
"It is at the edge of the petal that love awaits." --William Carlos Williams
Miranda called out to Andrea upon entering her office in the morning. Another surprise awaited her and she wanted some precious moments alone to ponder the meaning of it. "I'm not to be disturbed until five minutes before the 10 o'clock meeting. That's all."
"Close the door." Miranda turned in her chair to face the windowsill and stare out at the world beyond. Yesterday was the color of desire and the card spoke of love waiting at the edges. Today the petals had all been swept away and replaced with new fiery red petals in the shape of a heartthe color of passion. The hand-lettered card simply said, "I wait for you at the edges."
"An admirer!" Miranda thought to herself. "Clearly an admirer. Someone close enough to have access to someone in this office. Someone who knows someone who knows when I will be in the office." Miranda puzzled a moment. It had been years since she had been available. It had been years since she had been pursued. In fact Miranda could not remember when a suitor had dared to reach out to her. Sure there had been admirers, but they had never been so daringly romantic that they would have risked the wrath of the Dragonlady in order to try. Miranda had cultivated an unreachable status, and yet, as of late she had come to see that it was regrettable to not have someone to share a secret smile with.
Miranda reached out and took a petal between the pad of her thumb and first finger. Gently she stroked her thumb across the petal feeling its softness. Looking out the window with her back turned on the closed door, Miranda allowed herself the privilege of a small smile.
Miranda dejectedly returned to her office after a long afternoon rejecting a bevy of models for various reasons. She was frustrated with the total incompetence surrounding her. She wanted to fire someone, but she had dismissed them all already and they had appropriately scurried away except for Nigel and Andreawhom she wouldn't fire if the building were caving in around them. Nigel made some suggestions for the next shoot and left. Andrea waited for her instructions and even hazarded a smile at Miranda. A sharp look over her glasses was all Miranda gave her before sending her to Calvin Klein on a fool's errand.
Miranda flopped down in her chair beyond frustrated. Timelines were fast approaching and she had rejected all the ideas and models that had come her way of late. It frustrated her. Turning to face the windowsill she was prepared to scowl at the skyline, only to be surprised this time by a mixture of admiration and desire in a simple swirl of pink and cardinal red. The card this time said, "From the edge I marvel at you and allow myself to hope for more."
Miranda's features softened as she took in the carefully arranged swirl of petals and the meticulously written card. Mirada reached out grabbing the card and ran her fingertips over the letters as if reading the grooves on the paper like the lines of a palm in her hand. The ridges indicated serious intent, but revealed nothing else of their sender. Miranda was frustrated anew, but this time there was a flutter of excitement in her chest.
Pink roses indicated admiration and the suitor had expressed marveling which was a way of saying admiration. Cardinal red roses indicated desire and the sender had expressed the hope of more, which was another way of saying desire. Miranda was pleasantly puzzled by the last three days of admiration, which were not noticed by any of her staff. Miranda wondered if that was because of ignorance or knowledge. The admirer was waiting on the edge of what? On the edge of Miranda's life? So it was someone she knew. Was it someone close enough to suspect here in the office, or was one of them acting as ambassador?
"Emily." Her scared assistant appears at the door ready to jump at Miranda's slightest command. "Move up tomorrow's run through to 10:30. That's all."
Miranda needed to know that Emily was busy, Andrea had already been sent for Starbucks so she could face the window and enjoy her morning's gift appropriately and start her day. Miranda suppressed the rising hint of a smile and scolded herself. "A few days' attention and here you are smiling like a school girl."
A black and white candid of Miranda herself lay on the windowsill this morning. It was from some unknown photographer's collection and had caught Miranda at a candid moment when her make-up was understated and she was dressed considerably more casual than normal. It was fairly recent, within the last couple of years, and Miranda smiled that her admirer was not hung up on a younger version of herself and did not seem to need the trappings of a formal gown to admire her. While she was the premier fashion icon as the unchallenged head of Runway, she was glad that for once it was not all that someone saw of her.
This intrigued her about the secret admirer and about herself as she sat there contemplating it. At this point what was important to her? Who was Miranda when she was not Miranda Priestly, Fashion Icon? Had she sealed the two identities together so long ago that there was nothing left on the inside? And yet the flutter of her heart as she examined today's offering signaled that no, indeed the woman of Miranda had survived locked safe within.
`Miranda' the woman locked within the icon had been a woman fueled by passion. Laughter, love notes, and lust had swirled her brain in days past only to be failed by lovers and family until she withered and closed in on herself. She no longer wished for roses or sweet nothings. Trivialities did not fit into the life of an icon. Miranda had allowed her love of beauty to eclipse her personal passions and to swell until it covered all of her pain. Fashion, colors, art and the female form all occupied her heart instead and fueled her ambitions until the passionate woman within her was locked away safe and the icon had fully emerged.
Examining her windowsill Miranda felt an unusual flutter in her chest as the passions of `Miranda' the woman awakened once more. On three sides of the picture were the flower petals matching the triple forces of admiration, desire and passion that the card indicated were compelling the secret admirer towards her. Each pile of petals was carefully arranged in an almost perfect heart. Had they been exactly the same and perfectly shaped hearts, then their perfect imperfections would not have pulled on the hidden heartstrings within Miranda. Miranda cherished another day of attention and sucked in a slow breath of air as she held the card to her chest.
"Compelled on all sides I move toward you. Admiration spurs me on from behind and on either side desire and passion guide me toward you."
Friday was an utter disappointment. Andrea did not have the coffee when Miranda arrived. The development meeting lacked quality, creativity, and spark. Runway had a dark future if only Nigel and Miranda were showing up for work each day. Irv would have something to hold over them if the magazine's declined. Miranda had Emily call Roy to meet her out front. She did not say when she was coming back or where she was going.
Flabbergasted Emily set out to re-schedule at least the next two hours of Miranda's morning and she barked orders at a day dream filled Andrea.
Miranda had arrived at the office today to an empty windowsill and other basic details left out of whack. But the empty windowsill was the final detail completely threw her. She chastised herself about foolish hopes and giggling school girls, but it didn't help the pangs of disappointment in her heart. This was the first day that she had come in to a completely empty windowsill. All week the windowsill had remained covered in the previous day's display until the new one suddenly appeared. This morning it had all been swept away like so much nothingness. Miranda did her best not to feel like someone had tired of their game with her and simply wiped it away like a cruel joke.
Then she became angry. Roy, her unsuspecting driver, did as he was told. He drove from one building to another without stopping at any of them and with neither of them getting out of the car. She did not answer her phone, nor had she brought one of her assistants with her. He was confused, but he was paid to drive and to keep his mouth shut. Miranda's anger eventually drove her back to the office where she vowed to interrogate each member of her staff until they all cracked. She wanted to know who this secret admirer was, because Miranda Priestly was not a woman to be trifled with. Miranda Priestly was not one for school girl giggles or an office romance. She was not a woman who rode the elevator in breathless anticipation of what the day would bring. Miranda was angry because with each day of this nonsense she approached closer and closer to the edge of the cliff that was hinting at such thingsand she was drawn to it like never before in her life.
Emily, her chosen target, was down in accessories dealing with some issue. This was a disappointment to Miranda. She paused as she threw down her coat and purse. "Send her to me." Was all that Miranda said, but it caused Andrea to visibly shudder. A shudder that made Miranda's heart swell just a little bit. Had you asked her whether it was because she had that kind of power over the woman, or because the beauty of Andrea's physical response had taken her breath awayshe would have fired you rather than answer.
Continuing past Andrea, Miranda stepped into her office and closed the door. This gave her some much needed privacy and made it more intimidating for Emily's entrance. Satisfied that her plan was set in motion Miranda approached her desk. Halfway across the office she stopped with a gasp and a hand to her chest. On the windowsill was a small but elegant crystal vase and a small note card. "Soon."
After a light rapping sound at the door Miranda turned and leaned imperiously against her desk. Emily balked, her face clearly uncertain as she decided whether to enter the room or just run away. In her hand was a note card and a cardinal red rose. "Well?" Miranda said letting the word hang there heavily.
Emily took in a breath and looked down at the card in her hand. Cards. "This is for you." She approached with hasty steps handing Miranda the rose and one card. Then Emily retreated folding her hands behind her back.
Miranda narrowed her eyes at her assistant. She looked at the card in her hand and again there was only one word printed on it. "Desire." Miranda stifled a laugh and looked at her assistant again who shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. Miranda turned and walked behind her desk to the windowsill where she placed the card down and the rose in the vase. "Emily." Miranda calls without turning back to face the room.
"Yes. Yes. Miranda."
"The other card." Her voice was flat, but the command was clear.
"What?" Emily croaked out and then clapped her hand over her mouth.
Miranda gave her god-save-you but you-are-stupid look. "In your hand."
Miranda turned. Emily had lost her power of speech so she rushed forward to give Miranda the card instead of telling her. Miranda took the card from Emily's slightly shaky hand. Miranda regarded her questioningly and then looked down at the card unsure if she was done with her or not. The card said, "Give to Miranda." In the same script as before and with no other identifying features.
"That's all." Miranda said as the edge of her mouth quirked into a smile.
Andrea returned from her errand of getting the twins' Lacrosse equipment and she was loaded down with heavy bags. As soon as Miranda heard her voice she called for her. "Andrea."
Flushed and worried Andrea appeared before Miranda. About to scold her for bringing the equipment to the office Miranda glared up at Andrea. She stopped before she could even get a word out. Andrea was clearly flushed from her exertions and frustrations, but she had in her hand a pink rose and two cards. At Miranda's silence Andrea stepped forward holding out the rose and the card. "Both cards." She glared at Andrea. From her back Andrea brought forward the second card. As Miranda expected the first card read, "Admiration" and the second one simply commanded, "Give to Miranda."
Miranda fell silent as she looked at the cards. Andrea began muttering about calling Roy back and taking the Lacrosse equipment for the girls to the house. Miranda murmured something that was neither an affirmation nor a dismissal and Andrea slipped out of the room. Miranda looked up confused to see the retreating form of her assistant, but really had nothing further to trouble her with than her presence so she let her go.
Nigel approached Miranda's desk confidently. His knowledge of Miranda enabled him to discern the subtle changes in this Miranda. "Passion?" He intoned from the far side of Miranda's desk. She looked up at his still standing and still smirking figure.
"Pardon?" Miranda throatily asked in return giving him quite the glare.
"You have a secret admirer, Miranda. Do tell." Nigel's words pushed, but he extended his rose and cards as well. "Or is it a regular admirer? Inquiring minds want to know, Miranda."
She glared at him but he shrugged indifference. "No matter then."
Almost to the door her voice caught him, "Do you know who it is?"
With his back to Miranda, Nigel smiled. Turning to face her he said, "I have a guess." His eyes took her in and she saw the glimmer there. If she wasn't so intrigued she would harshly castigate him, but as it was she was she continued the game.
Miranda wanted to ask him, but feared it would give away too much. When she returned from driving around she was determined to lean on her staff until they broke to find out the identity of this admirer. However she realized that the mouse was back in play and the polite, the sporting thing, would be to let this mouse see the game through. Miranda knew she would always win in the end.
Taking over a dwindling magazine at a young age took a lot of nerve. It required unfailing self-confidence and an obsessive commitment to a vision. Success and youth propelled Miranda through those times. It didn't hurt that everything was new and fresh. Exacting from day one, Miranda evolved into the Dragonlady. To be sure she was hard to please, impatient, and demanding, but in those early days there was still quite a bit of the woman, Miranda, visible.
The morning sunlight shone into the office through a small bar at the bottom of the blinds. They had been pulled down and the darkness of the room immediately drew Miranda's attention. Crossing over to the windowsill Miranda gasped as she took in a mint condition copy of her first Runway magazine as editor-in-chief. A flood of memories flashed over her as she thought back to when she took over the helm of Runway. Miranda picked it up and sat in her chair without ordering Emily or Andrea to do anything and without pulling up the blinds or checking her email. She simply sat facing the window and stared down at the magazine in her lap.
Cough. Cough. Miranda looked up startled and then angry.
"You're ten o'clock is on his way up." Emily alerted Miranda.
"Which of us should take notes?" Andrea timidly asked. "Ow." She added as she was promptly elbowed on either side by Nigel and Emily.
Miranda was silent. The days of the past slipped far from her memory once again as she took in Nigel, Emily and Andrea. Miranda smiled to think that Andrea had the prettier eyes and her understated make-up really makes them shine. Unable to help herself, Andrea steps forward looking at the magazine that Miranda unconsciously put on the desk. "Is that That's a copy of your first issue of Runway. Uh. Isn't it?" Miranda ignored the flicker of pleasure that she felt about Andrea and her knowledge and she simply blinked silently at her. "Oh." Andrea stepped back wounded like a puppy.
Emily gasped at the demonstration of Andrea's superior knowledge and Nigel smirked at her jealousy. Miranda's hawk eyes and ears took in everything and Miranda enjoyed Emily's jealousy of Andrea. She held up the issue in question and raised her eyes to Nigel. "Nigel. Get this issue from the archive."
As the day drew to a close Miranda sat reflecting before taking her leave for the day. Andrea cautiously approached and Miranda regarded her quietly. `She's certainly come a long way. Soon she'll be ready for more challenges. I'll need to talk to Nigel.' Andrea coughed a little to draw Miranda out of her musings. "Yes," she says in her best Dragonlady fire-blasting tone.
"It's. Uh. It's been a year. A year and a half actually." Andrea stuttered out. When Miranda remained silent. Andrea tried again. "I've worked at Runway for a year and a half actually"
Miranda snorted a little and closed the folder on her desk. "And?" Miranda looked at Andrea, but the effect was lost because Andrea was focused on her own shoes. Miranda waited like a cat at the top of a gopher hole until Andrea looked up and visibly cringed.
"There's a job at Rolling Stone "
"A year for me and you work anywhere is that it?"
"What happened to your serious writing? Hmm."
Miranda's jaw dropped as she saw that Andrea was truly struggling with this decision. A thousand responses to Miranda's question danced behind Andrea's eyes. It was a curious thing to watch. Andrea seemed to want to talk to her about something, and yet was holding back.
"I've learned from you. I've learned that there's a lot more to publishing than I thought. And it's close by." The last part was sighed out as a whisper and seemed to be a part of some larger conversation that Andrea was having in her own head.
Miranda tilted her head in question, but surprised herself by saying, "You've come a long way, Andrea. I'll be sad to see you go. Rolling Stone will be proud to have you." Miranda nodded dismissing Andrea. Thanking her lucky stars for a somewhat positive response Andrea turned and left the office. Miranda sat once again trapped in her thoughts. `What the hell did I just say to her? I'm losing it, surely.'
Andrea's clothes now hug her body. Her shirt today followed the graceful curve of her breast until it smoothed over her ribcage and the skirt picked up at her slender waist. She surely has come a long way. The line of her leg was always perfectly accentuated in her heels or with boots the slit of her skirt drew the eye to the hint of flesh hidden behind. Miranda shook her head as she realized that the train of her thoughts was stuck on the idea of Andrea. Her reflections turned on herself then as she contemplated think twice about an assistant who is leaving her employ anyway. She should be of no consequence.
`Old Home Week' Miranda thought as she picked up the old news clipping. It was about her first year at Runway. They sung her praises because she showed remarkable progress. `Apparently my admirer wants me to know that they know a little bit about who I was then.' Miranda re-read the article thinking of how hard that first year was and how hard she had to become. Wistfully Miranda held the clipping and looked out the window realizing that the first issue and this editorial were milestones in the personal life of Miranda, and not the iconic business driven figure of the Dragonlady. Indeed these gifts showed an understanding of her as a woman, and not as an icon.
Last week was `I love you Now' week Miranda reflected. The picture of her in the last year showed an interest in Miranda as she was now, and a desire to ignite a passion with someone that the admirer showed genuine affection for. This week's gifts seemed to show a tender understanding of the woman within the shell of the icon. Miranda tucked the newsclipping into the issue of Runway magazine and stashed it inside her desk.
"Have you contacted HR yet?"
"What? Did you finally fire her?"
Surprised at the giddiness in Emily's voice Miranda focused her full attention on her. "Rolling Stone." Before she could stop herself, Miranda leveled a glare at Emily that dared her to say one more thing about Andrea Sachs. She softly chuckled as she heard Emily's exasperation and clicking heels.
So many photographers' photos stayed dormant in hard drives or abandoned on proof sheets. A hundred celebrities on the red carpet could easily amount to easily a thousand photos of different poses and combinations. After all only a few photos for each event were needed and most photos would never be seen beyond the photographer's own critical eye. Being a fashion icon and not a scandalous celebrity like Paris Hilton, Miranda was occasionally left out of a photo spread and when that happened she made sure to take note of who was responsible. It didn't happen very often that La Priestly was overlooked, but on the occasions that it didit always ended in tears.
Today the windowsill today was full proof sheets with a photo magnifier on top of the stack. Miranda looked around the room disappointed and confused. Surely no one put work on her windowsill. And yet there was nothing else in the office that could be from her secret admirer either. So she approached the photos curiously. Miranda had come to look forward to this and to be disappointed now, would really be quite unfortunate for anyone in a 5-mile radius.
Sitting down she snatched the magnifier in one hand and the stack of proof sheets in her other. "Maybe it's one of the photographers." Miranda murmured as she looked at the proof sheets. Sixteen photos on each of four pages were of Miranda at the last red carpet party a month ago. True enough everyone was drooling over her and she knew it, but these photos show that someone had a special eye on her. She was standing alone, or she had been cropped in such a way that the picture focuses solely on her. She had no idea that she had apparently posed for nearly 100 shots by the time her short appearance at the party had ended. These shots had not made it to any of the publications. Yet, others from the evening did. Miranda really couldn't help but feel a rosy glow all the same that her admirer had liked the plunging neckline of her mauve toned empire waist evening gown. Miranda herself had been fascinated by this particular dress and could not stop fussing with the embroidered flowers just where her hands came to her sides.
The photographer had been able to capture the hidden glow that she had that night. Miranda wondered who beside herself could have even seen it, but draws a blank. No one even knew what she was up to at the time of the party. For someone to capture that hidden feeling they would have had to be paying very close attention indeed. Miranda thought back on the evening. Emily, Nigel, and Andrea were all there but she dismissed them out of hand. Emily was too busy tripping on her overdone sense of admiration to notice the subtleties. Nigel was too, not interested quite frankly. Andrea, well, she had not been around Miranda that long and so it seemed unlikely for her to have picked up on any secret moods.
Emily, Nigel, Andreathe names kept running through her mind. It was uncomfortable for her to leave a puzzle unsolved and so her mind turned over the only likely pieces of the puzzle as if merely repeating them would give her the answers she wanted. Emily, Emily, Emilyas a secret admirerMiranda narrows her eyes. Capable assistant perhaps, although she'd never tell her, but not suitor. Nigel, oh, Nigelhe would be unlikely as a suitor or as the go between. Even with Andrea he had lead her to a solution instead of solving the problem for her. Excellent second in command, but delivery boy of romantic nonsensehighly unlikely. Andrea. Miranda savored her name in her mind. The woman preferred Andy, but it did not feel as nice on the tongue as Andrea and it did not echo in the brain.
Andrea. Miranda thought again and felt a surge through her body. The woman within her was stretching, coming alive. Her passions and desires awakening strangely to the idea of a suitor and to the possibility of it being her assistant with the mesmerizing hazel eyes that gazed at her over a genuine smile despite the troubles of the day. Miranda bit her lip as she realized that she valued her soon to be departing assistant. She shook her head trying to make the ideas settle down into some semblance of order instead of this incomprehensible chaos.
The card today said, "Each success lights up life like a match. A lifetime of matches guides the way to happiness. Your beauty, success, and strength inspire desire, passion, and admiration." Miranda drummed her fingertips on her desk and pushed the magnifier around pointlessly for a moment before making herself busy once again.
Being speechless was utterly foreign to Miranda Priestly. Silence was a weapon that she wielded with infinite confidence, but it was not for a lack of words. Words abounded in plentiful numbers in a never-ending stream of expressed anger, annoyance, commands, and comments. Miranda's hand went to her chest as if she had truly been delivered a physical blow. Her heart and lungs were working fine, even if they were pumping furiously fast. Speechless felt like dehydration on her tongue and her mouth opened and closed repeatedly as if trying to pump in words from the air itself.
Wordlessly Miranda settled into her office chair with a whoosh of air as it compresses under her. The cold leather startled her a little and she called out to Andrea. "Andrea. Get me " Miranda found herself at a loss of words to create an activity, which she neither wanted nor actually needs. Never had manufacturing a command failed her. Miranda shook her head slightly hoping to throw off this mental fit she was having. She looked up annoyed to see Andrea's sweet little face. "A glass of water."
Andrea turned to go and her nickname suddenly bounced around in Miranda's head. `Andy, Andy, Andy.' Then Miranda asked herself what the hell was wrong. She looked again at the card in her hand today: a simple ivory card with her new favorite fontSecret Admirer Handwriting. It was really quite lovely. Miranda glanced up as Andrea walked in and realized she was always smiling at her despite her mood. `Andy' she was about to say and as she opened her mouth no words came once again. Miranda clamped her mouth shut tight and nodded quickly at her. Andrea tilted her head to the side in question so Miranda turned to look out the window. She heard Andrea's steps exit the room.
"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves; just as in the experiment we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen, for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle could be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of those matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion." Like Water For Chocolate
Friday and fourteen days into this secret admirer experience and Miranda could hardly contain herself on the elevator ride up to her office. She knew not to get her hopes up, indeed last Friday her admirer made her wait on purpose which caused everyone in the building to suffer. Today might be no different, maybe this admirer knew the effect he or she was having and enjoyed the slow torture of the previous week.
Hopes up or not this morning was not going well. Miranda sighed as she entered the reception area handing her coat and bag to Emily and seeing Irv Ravitz waiting for her. Miranda's blood boiled as she saw him standing looking out the window over her windowsill. If she had a hatchet in her hand she would have buried it in the back of his head. "Andrea."
In her lowest voice Miranda ordered Andrea to "interrupt in fifteen minutes and tell me there is a crisis down in the art department." Miranda looked Andrea over to be sure that she was heard and understood. Then she turned and looked again toward Irv Ravitz.
All day there was a constant flow through Miranda's office and more than once she disappointedly looked at the empty windowsill. Perhaps today was just too dangerous with the constant activity in her office. Miranda acknowledged that leaving a secret gift in her office took a certain amount of daring, especially when she hadn't left the office once. As she reflected Miranda also realized that she was glad there was nothing in evidence when Irv was in her office. She would not like that man to have any knowledge of her whatsoever, but personal, possibly romantic knowledge? Never.
Consciously Miranda decided to leave her office. "Andrea."
"I'll be leaving for an hour to get something for the girls. I'm going to come back and work until the book is ready. I'd like dinner from the Lenox Room." Feeling cheeky she turned a blazing look at Andrea, "Surprise me." Then she turned and yanked her own coat and bag out of the closet in some blind need to jump start her mission.
Her daughters liked just about any token of affection that Miranda came home with and so she decided her pointless errand could benefit them as well. `Sprinkles' cupcakes were something she had encountered on a trip to Los Angeles earlier in the year and she had promised to bring some home for her girls, only to get distracted from the mission entirely. A line out the door signaled the novelty of this little cupcake shop and Miranda decided she was most certainly out of her mind as she had her driver wait at the curb in the red zone while she actually stood in line. It was a novelty of real life experience that she had not bothered with in a very long time and it gave her the chance to look down on everyone around her in total anonymity. She rather enjoyed it, but was glad that it was a short-lived experience.
Two cupcakes later Miranda returned to Runway. Upon entering her office she almost dropped the damn things because in her absence her admirer had been busy indeed. Darkness had settled in behind her office windows and beyond you could see the lights of nearby offices and if you were close and looked down you could see the lights of the constant traffic that was the lifeblood of the city. Miranda barely noticed these details as she stared at the new display in front of her.
Scattered on the windowsill were hundreds of small matches that were all the same: plain wood with a red tip. One black wood match with a purple tip was on the card at the center.
"Miranda, you are the match that kindles my emotions."
One red rose. One red rose each day of the week. Each time after lunch. Miranda took them home each day to see what would happen. No card with the rose, just the same each day on the windowsill. Miranda had even tried to vary her lunch times so that it would be more difficult for her admirer, but she could not seem to shake them. Each day when she returned from lunch there it was.
By Thursday she was excited by the continued attention, it was nearing the end of the third week, but she was tired of the mystery and wanted to know who was sending them. She wanted her prize for playing along so well. Miranda Priestly was not a woman of patience. So she decided to have lunch in her office. If she didn't leave then her admirer would have to alter his/her plan. At the thought of his/her plan Miranda's brain kicked into overdrive. She had deliberately left it open in her thinking to indicate that she didn't know who it could be, but realizing that it could be a female admirer for the first time hit Miranda and she noted that the butterflies in her stomach were a new sensation that she wasn't sure she enjoyed anymore than feeling like a school girl.
It was uncomfortable. She didn't feel like she was in control of her feelings in these moments where she let herself look forward to these gifts, or in her fluttering stomach at the thought that it could be a woman pursuing her. That was indeed something new and strangely exhilarating. Throughout the day she looked closely at her staff causing Emily to hyperventilate and Andrea to give her a strangely calm smile. Andrea knew to fear her, and yet she had stood up to her the day that Miranda had hired her. She was cautious, but she was not a shrinking violet either. This piqued Miranda's curiosity.
Emily as a suitor was ludicrous. Her world-view did not include this kind of romantic pursuit even if she saw a way to make professional gains with Miranda. The gifts had a certain confidence and selection that Miranda did not think Emily was capable of.
Nigel, well, Nigel wasn't interested in her surely. However who would he help in this endeavor if he was the link? Nigel was aloof from most of the staff. His position as second in command meant that he was kept at a safe distance. Serena would have come to Emily for help. No, Nigel wasn't the link, but he seemed to have a guess as to who the person was. "If this continues," Miranda thought, "I will lean on him first. He seems to be enjoying this game with his smirks "
Andrea was the next closest to her and imagining her rushing to arrange a gift in her office was a vivid image in Miranda's mind. The ease with which her mind conjured up this vivid image surprised her. Indeed the image of a flushed, breathless Andrea made Miranda flush a little herself. Emily and Nigel just didn't fit the bill for that kind of covert operation. Andrea would pay attention to details. She would look for the positives and research back to the beginning of Miranda's career. Andrea would be able to link the gifts each day of the week and settle them into a larger pattern for the week or weeks. Miranda had no proof though. She had not been able to catch Andrea and there had been no tell-tale signs that Andrea looked at her with anything other than respect and a little bit of fear. Yet, she knew Andrea watched her, knew Andrea formed her own opinions and would stand up for them if she felt the need to.
In order to get hired Andrea had stood up to Miranda, which had caught her attention even in her horrible little outfit. In the aftermath of the attempted coup of Runway she had stated that she wasn't like Miranda and had held her ground. After that there had been changes in Andrea. She had been more formal, more precise and crisp in her words. Her efforts to anticipate Miranda's every need had been redoubled, but something behind her eyes had changed. For months Miranda had watched the young woman, who was the beacon of a perfect assistant, keep her personal self completely cut off while at work.
Only in recent months had that shifted. There was a glimmer once again in her eyes as she approached Miranda and her voice was not that faded shell of professionalism that she had sunk into. Miranda decided that she did not yet know who her secret admirer was, but that if it was Andrea, she would like very much for this game to continue. Miranda could not commit her brain to thinking it was Andrea, because she was leaving in a matter of days after all. Miranda snorted, `Rolling Stone, indeed.'
As lunch ended the models, her department chairs and the clothing racks poured into Miranda's office. They were not scheduled until sometime later, but had thought that Miranda would be out at lunch and they could set up. Miranda was hemmed in by the sudden bustle of activity. "Emily."
"Dishes." Miranda gestured over her desk at the lunch dishes. "Starbucks. That's all." Miranda swept from behind her desk and interrogated her department heads about this set up. Emily rushed forward in the bustle and cleared the dishes away.
It was not until they all leftsome in tearsdragging the clothing racks with them that Miranda had a chance to breathe let alone sit down. It was with a smug smile that she noticed that indeed her admirer had risen to the challenge. On her windowsill amidst the melee was placed a single beautiful red rose.
On Friday there was no rose when Miranda returned from lunch. There was a photograph of pink roses, so many of them that you could hardly tell where each rose left off but off-center and slightly raised was a single red rose set apart from the others. On the back in the same crisp script that Miranda now cherished was a quote.
"The men where you live," said the Little Prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same gardenand they do not find in it what they are looking for."
"They do not find it." I replied.
"And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose "
--Antoine De St. Exupery
Miranda was up early Monday morning and impatient with her driver. He took no notice of this as she was always impatient, but he did realize that it was fully an hour earlier than usual for her to go to work. Predictable was one thing that Miranda Priestly had never been accused of, so unless she started showing up for work in sweats and fuzzy bunny slippers he figured that silence really was golden. It was not until the elevator doors slid open that Miranda realized her nearly happy anxiety and its cause. Her heart beat faster as she neared her office in anticipation of what she would find there.
`Simple and understated' must be this week's theme Miranda absently thought once she reached the windowsill. Then she realized all the other gifts had only been extravagant in their attention to personal detail. Of course they were well thought out and unique, but it wasn't as if the person was trying to buy her affections with jewelry or clothes or anything fancy. Instead the gifts had praised Miranda in small personal ways and showed an awareness of her as a woman, both at the beginning of her career and now behind the successful fashion icon.
A folded piece of card stock had a quote written on it in her admirer's handwriting saying only, "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.Albert Szent Gyorgi." Miranda breathed deeply thinking of what this quote could mean in this context. Perhaps it was personal. Her admirer saw her in a way that no one else had ever seen her. That person had seen through the tough exterior to the woman trapped within, perhaps?
Miranda looked to the rest of the display. On smaller cards were written the names of several designers, photographers, and former assistants whom Miranda had helped move forward in their careers and public notice. Miranda smiled as she contemplated each one, each name, each story. Miranda had seen something in each and every one of them and she had used her Dragonlady persona to propel them forward. Yet, no one knew that it was the woman in her that had made the discovery. It was Miranda who had thought what nobody had thought.
Long ago Miranda found that she could analyze something for hours and so she sat in her chair to look out the window and called out, "Emily."
Silence. Then shuffled feet. "Er. Miranda?"
"What, Emily?" Miranda turned around. She almost gaped at Andrea. "Where's Emily?" She asked sharply.
Andrea looked shocked, but floundered for words to reply. "Uh. You. She had to go by Calvin Klein this morning before coming in."
At receiving a flesh melting glare from Miranda she added timidly, "You. Eh. You're an hour early, Miranda." Andrea shrugged and looked at her hopefully.
"Eh. That's all."
Miranda pursed her lips together. Why was Andy here an hour early then? If it was so unusual? Hmm. Miranda looked back at the card in her hand and turned to face the window again. "Why did I hire Andrea? The smart, fat girl. Seeing what everybody thinking something no one has Oh my." Miranda put the card back on the windowsill and decidedly turned to face her desk. But she couldn't help it, she had to order someone around and only Andrea was there.
"Irv Ravitz is a disgusting toad." Miranda said to herself in the elevator. He called her early in the morning to re-schedule her day and come to a meeting with him about the budget. He had received new figures from accounting and wanted to go over them with her. "As if I should have to justify anything to him. He doesn't know the first thing about the success of Runway. I have kept the number one spot for the entirety of my tenure as Editor-In-Chief!"
The elevator opened and Miranda flounced out in a huff. Three steps away from the door she was able to re-assert her Dragonlady façade and head into the outer office area. Throwing her coat and bag on Emily's desk she turned to Andrea and said, "Starbucks." Then she stalked to her office and closed the door. Emily and Andrea exchanged somewhat fearful looks, but have no suggestions to offer each other. Andrea scurried out as Emily puts Miranda's coat and bag in the closet.
Miranda paced back and forth in her office for several minutes. "I need to do something about Irv Ravitz." She pursed her lips together. "He's in my way and becoming more and more bothersome by the minute." Miranda was in no mood whatsoever to think about anything but planning her revenge. She settled in on the couch in her office to brainstorm. Her mood was sufficiently festered enough that she won't dare approach the windowsill yet. If the windowsill was empty then Miranda would be well and truly lost. If the windowsill was full, well she would not want her present mood to poison that happiness.
The opening door startled Miranda. "Miranda? Uh. Where? Oh. Miranda. Here's your coffee." Andrea slowly peeked her head into the office. Usually her glacial pace would be incredibly irksome but for some reason it strikes Miranda as endearing. The sudden slow down of time allowed Miranda to notice how her turquoise blouse contrasted with her skin tone making her radiant. Her eyes shone and Miranda found her throat suddenly dry. Andrea was cautious to be sure, but she was brave enough to open the closed door of the Dragonlady. `Andrea has really come a long way,' Miranda thought. `She anticipates my needs, messes up less than Emily does, and she seems to care despite her fears. So why is Andrea leaving?'
"Uh. Are. Are you okay?" Andrea fluttered out.
Miranda realized that she was staring at her in contemplation. Instead of setting the coffee down and running in fear Andrea stepped closer and asked if she was all right. "Yes. Of course." Miranda stood and reached for her coffee so that her eyes would no longer linger on Andrea's boot clad legs or the lace of a garter that Miranda could see peeking from the slit of her skirt. Standing Miranda hoped to avert her eyes and not have her face at the level of Andrea's cleavage. Miranda's fingers brushed against Andrea's and caused her to blush instantly. Miranda choked back her initial reply and simply said, "That's all."
After Andrea shut the door again Miranda smiled to herself. Andrea reacted instantly to Miranda's touch. She wasn't quite sure why she did it. She never touched anyone, and yet, she couldn't argue with the warm fuzzy feeling that had gone down her own spine at the small contact. Miranda turned to the windowsill at last and her heart fluttered a tiny bit.
Again there was a simple tent card with a quote. "The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.Jaques Benigne Bossuel."
And again there are cards around it with beautiful handwriting.
"Reason: How you say my name."
"Reason: A certain gleam in your eye."
"Reason: Your hair blown by the wind."
"Reason: When you touch your fingers to your lips in thought."
"Reason: Those Bill Blass pants."
A heart shaped stone sat atop a new card on Wednesday. Very simple, very sophisticated. The stone was a sparkling iridescent drusy crystal. It was neither fancy or expensive, but it was unusual and naturally beautiful. It was not red like the colors of passion and desire, but it was what a gemologist would call rainbow. Regardless it took Miranda's breath away. To be crass it was a rock, but it was chosen with great thought and courage. Miranda realized that it would be hard to give `pretty things' to the Dragonlady.
Miranda sat down with the drusy in her hand and spun once in her chair before she realized it. Then she made herself stop at once. She looked longingly out the window trying to really imagine who would give this to her. Indeed she tried to comprehend the people in her life wanting to do this for her. Miranda reached for the card on the windowsill and as she stood she tucked her leg under her in the chair like she used to when she was an assistant.
Emily. Nigel. Andrea. Those were the three closest to her. Miranda knew that she has not done anything really nice for any of them in a long time, if ever. Deep in thought Miranda gasped as she read the card nearly dropping her heart shaped drusy. To keep it safe she placed it on her desk very near her laptop as she willed her heart to slow down.
"The heart is wild. It spins through nebulae that burn like Mercury. And it is not vanquished by the darkness it traverses. Loveor even its possibilityrequires that we live fantastically." Earl Jackson
Miranda was fired up in the morning. On her way in she saw Irv Ravitz, but thankfully did not have to speak to him. Last night she was able to form a plan for counteracting him, and seeing him this morning made her excited and anxious to set the plan in motion. Setting her coat and bag on Emily's desk she turned to Andrea, "Starbucks."
Emily hung the coats, Andrea rushed out, and Miranda didn't notice either of them as she headed into her office and dialed Stan Oppenheimer to set her plan for Irv in motion. A second round of Starbucks, a long phone call with Stan, and another one with Geoffrey Barnhardt took up the morning in a fever of caffeine, intrigue, and excitement. It was only after her initial plan was set in motion that she allowed herself a moment to relax. In that moment she realized that she had not even taken the time to look for a new gift on the windowsill.
After a successful albeit stressful morning she was pleased to see her admirer did not disappoint. A small glass bottle shaped like a wine carafe was in the center of the windowsill filled with tiny origami stars mostly in the reds of desire and passion but mixed in were some of the admiration pink shade. Scattered loosely around the windowsill were several individual stars of the same colors. Leaning against the carafe was a card.
"Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may. I wish I might. Have the wish I wish tonight."
"A nursery rhyme? Hmmm." Miranda mused over her latest card. "I guess I have to wonder what my admirer wishes for Yes. That makes the rhyme appropriate indeed." Miranda sat facing the windowsill and absently plays with the tiny origami stars scattered there.
"I haven't given you many clues
Mostly small mementos
I wanted you to see
A flicker of possibility
I am ready for you to know
Take a chance for love to grow
Empire State Building
Sam, will show you to the front of the line
You'll know me when you see this design."
Today there was a small envelope within an envelope like one of Miranda's own formal invitations. With the information card was an express pass and a ticket to the 102nd observatory for the Empire State Building. Miranda sat down to ponder this: a month of gift giving, very little clues, and now a challenge to meet in person. Miranda had to admit she was intrigued, and without any real reason she did feel a flicker of possibility. To meet? To end the game? Perhaps it was over anyway? Miranda wondered what would happen if she didn't go. Would the admirer start a new round of gifts?
What did the design mean? Would the admirer be holding a sign like a limo driver looking for someone at the airport? So many questions indeed. Miranda shook her head. I should go and tell this admirer off for distracting me and reducing me to these school girl fantasies. Really, what did they think would happen? I'm the Dragonlady. And yet, Miranda knew without a doubt after a month of this she would be there by 8:15 to find this Sam and solve the mystery.
All day long Miranda was snippy. She was especially short with Andrea whose last day was today. Miranda had almost forgotten, but as she noticed her returning items to their places and Emily treating her like a total snitshe remembered. Miranda ruthlessly sent her to get Starbucks four times and to Calvin Klein's at least twice.
The extra sixteen floors beyond the 86th floor observatory only served to thoroughly rattle Miranda. She had been on pins and needles all day long trying to talk herself in and out of going to meet this admirer. Mainly she felt it was foolish to get her hopes up based on a month of anonymous gift giving, but as she considered the gifts she realized that they had all been preparing her for taking a chance and believing in a possibility that she would never have given a chance to.
The doors of the elevator opened to the indoor observatory on the 102nd floor and Miranda was glad that it was heated and there were few people this far up. Her nerves were unsettled enough that she was worried about the possibility of a crowd tonight. She looked around immediately for her possible admirer. She wasn't sure if she was supposed to see someone right in front of her holding a sign with that dragon heart design or what. She looked forward and saw a college age couple holding hands as they looked out over the view and occasionally looked at each other in a shared delight. She looked to her right and there was a family complete with a fussy child and Miranda wondered why they hadn't left as it was already approaching 9:30 at night. A couple of other people moved across her field of vision going from one set of binoculars to another. Miranda narrowed her eyes sweeping across the observation deck.
Miranda gulped as she saw the woman to the far left tucked as far as she could be into her field of vision. The brunette hair was halfway gathered up in a loose buncrazy ends poking everywhere in a `just had sex' kind of way Miranda thought was appealing. The length was mostly draped over the woman's bare left shoulder and Miranda thought that it would be heavenly to run her fingers through this hair until she could grab a handful of it. Her eyes swept across the woman's bare back and Miranda's knees went weak when she saw on the woman's right shoulder was the design of two dragons meeting face to face and tail to tail to form a heart while their different wings flared out to the sides.
Miranda's mouth went dry as she realized just how badly she wanted to taste the skin of that tattoo. Miranda sucked in a scared breath of air as she realized that she was completely attracted to this woman, where she had never knowingly been attracted to a woman before. Her fear only escalated as she admitted to herself that she wasn't entirely sure who this woman was. Indecision struck her as she took in the low back of the fashionable black dress that looked familiar to her. It seemed she had seen the dress, seen the woman. Miranda couldn't place it in her paralyzed state of desire and fear.
Under her gaze the woman's skin moved, her shoulders flexed as she flipped her hair off her shoulder and then turned to face Miranda. The woman leaned her back against the railing and took in Miranda. They each devoured the other with their eyes. Miranda's mouth dropped open and her brain shouted, `Andrea Sachs! Why didn't I pay attention to her before?!' Miranda closed her mouth and straightened up to her full height determined to see this through.
Andrea's brown eyes shone with her own excitement as she ran her hand through her hair again. The bodice of the dress covered her tightly and when Miranda caught herself staring at Andrea's breasts underneath she snapped her eyes to Andrea's face. The smoldering look of Andrea's darkened eyes and her sexy smile propelled Miranda forward on shaky legs, before she could decide otherwise.
Lips, hands, bodies pressed together as Miranda and Andrea embraced for the first time. Time, air, and the world around them were meaningless. Eventually Miranda broke the kiss and stared breathlessly at Andrea. Miranda's knees were weak and Andrea pulled her tight to her body holding her up and resting her head on Andrea's shoulder. Miranda felt her own arms close around the bare skin of Andrea's shoulders. Miranda trembled at the thought of holding the woman she had just been love-struck for. Andrea eventually loosened her grip on Miranda and ran one hand up and down her back enjoying their closeness.
"Andrea." Miranda finally pulled back and looked deeply into her eyes.
Andrea smiled mischievously at her, but did not reply. Her eyes searched Miranda's for heavy moments taking Miranda's breath away all over again. When Andrea slowly leaned in Miranda leaned in as well. Their lips brushed lightly a few times and then Andrea lingered in the kisspressing her lips more firmly against Miranda's. Andrea darted her tongue out to tease Miranda's upper lip and bottom lip, but she pulled away each time before Miranda could respond and deepen the kiss. Miranda's hands found their way up from Andrea's back and with one hot on the back of her neck and the other wound in her beautiful hair Miranda pulled Andrea in for a heart-stopping kiss. She pressed her body completely into Andrea's and deepened the kiss immediately thrusting her tongue into Andrea's mouth and then pulling back to suck on her bottom lip. This fueled Andrea's fire and she shifted her legs around Miranda so that her sex was pressed against Miranda's pelvis. Miranda bucked at the thought of how close their bodies were in such a public place and Andrea broke the kiss to pepper her jaw line and then she was licking, biting, sucking and devouring Miranda's throat in open-mouthed kisses.
Breaking the kiss for a moment as their hands each feverishly tried to hold and touch everywhere at the same time, sometimes in awkward collisions, Andrea whispered in Miranda's ear, "Surprise." Miranda moaned and turned quickly catching Andrea in another fevered kiss. "Come on." Andrea said and she grabbed Miranda's hand leading her to the elevator. As luck would have it the family with the unruly child joined them, but Andrea did not let go of Miranda's hand all the way down 102 floors. Miranda for her part did not let her eyes let go of Andrea. It was as if she was seeing her for the first time after so long of seeing her everyday.
Sure she had noticed Andrea: her doe-eyes were hard to miss and after the make-over her body was hard to miss. Her brains, dedication to work, and quickness on the spot were apparent even on the first day. Miranda could even admit as the elevator rocketed to the earth, that she had noticed a certain level of attraction on her own part in the last few months. However, she licked her lips, remembering her first glimpse of Andrea's bare shoulders tonight, the smoldering look of her eyes, and then the feel of their bodies pressed hard together in that fever of kisses. Miranda tore her eyes away from Andrea to regard their reflection in the metal of the elevator. They were a fashionable couple, two of the most beautiful women certainly, and they both had the glow of `fresh sex' about them. Miranda let out a low moan she hoped Andrea did not hear at the thought of how much pleasure they had already shared, how they looked, and what they were heading out into the New York night to enjoy.
The elevator doors opened and Andrea led her out the front doors. Miranda pulled up short, unsure of what should happen next. Andrea returned to her and placed a kiss on her lips. "I have a car tonight. And an apartment." Miranda's hesitance flashed across her face. Andrea slowed her rush and backpedaled. "Or the car could take you home "
Miranda blinked quickly. Take her home, indeed. "Take me." Miranda breathed out meaning it in every way possible right there on the crowded sidewalk outside the Empire State Building. Andrea locked her blazing brown eyes on Miranda's now ocean blue ones.
Miranda pinned Andrea two flights up the stairs. Watching her ass as she followed her up the steps made it a lot harder to control herself than watching her sex filled reflection in the elevator. The building was old and it had a dank odor of the years, but Miranda had to have her hands on Andrea's ass, had to have the taste of her on her mouth again. Andrea flinched at the cold of the wall on her back, and hissed as Miranda shoved her leg between her thighs, but she returned the fevered kiss with her own passion.
Andrea cupped Miranda's breasts through her shirt as she tried to hold on to her self-control. Her head was thrown back against the wall and her knees were weak above Miranda's thigh, and she was whimpering rhythmically as Miranda licked and sucked her neck. "Please. Miranda. Please." Andrea breathed out. Her hips bucked against Miranda's thigh and it took all her strength of mind to bring her hands to Miranda's shoulders and push back. Miranda stopped immediately her face flushed, her hair messed, and her eyes searched Andrea's. "Come on." Andrea turned her to face the stairs and prodded her to go. "Two more flights. Please."
On legs shaky with desire Miranda stepped forward up the stairs knowing that it was Andrea's turn to watch her ass as she stepped. She cursed the fact Andrea lived in a fourth floor walk-up. `No wonder her legs are so toned ' Miranda thought as she reached the top and stopped in the hall. A hand on the small of her back renewed her lusty thoughts of Andrea and she followed her now to the apartment.
It was dark save for some light coming in through the window in the bedroom and a small table lamp in the living room. Andrea did not bother to turn on any lights when she pulled Miranda with her to the bedroom. In the dimness Andrea and Miranda undressed each other making a pile of clothes on the corner chair and the floor. Standing next to the bed they embraced, naked for the first time, capturing each other's lips with kisses as their hands roamed freely over fresh skin.
Miranda turned so that Andrea fell back on the bed and she followed laying over her. Their breasts rubbed against each other as Miranda held herself above Andrea. Miranda was careful not to put her hands on the halo of brown hair that surrounded Andrea's head. She rolled her hips over Andrea. Her thigh rubbed against Andrea's sex while her nipples lightly brushed against Andrea's. Miranda leaned her head down for a teasing kiss as Andrea lifted her head up. Just letting their lips brush Miranda pulled out of reach and Andrea whimpered. After many teasing kisses Andrea let her head fall back to the mattress and let her hands do all the touching for her.
Miranda moaned in pleasure as Andrea's hands cupped her breasts. Her palms hot against her skin, so close, touched everywhere except for her hard nipples. It was Andrea's turn to tease. Miranda moved her leg so that she straddled Andrea and she lowered herself over her legs so that she could lick and suck Andrea's breasts in her mouth. At the first touch of her tongue on Andrea's left nipple, she was rewarded with a moan. As she continued to swirl her tongue and suck at her nipple, she brought her other hand up to palm her right breast and pinch her nipple. The simultaneous attentions had Andrea writhing underneath her and muttering her name over and over.
Miranda brought herself back up Andrea's body and looked down at her. Miranda was fascinated by her own hands on Andrea's breasts and the look on Andrea's face made her more aroused than she had ever been before. Andrea's hands reached for her breasts, but after a few attempts she rested them on Miranda's thighs on either side of her. Wordlessly they each paused enjoying the pleasure they each brought the other. Miranda leaned forward again holding herself over Andrea. Their lips found each other in a feverish kiss that Andrea ended with a quick bite on Miranda's bottom lip. Surprised, Miranda sat up and Andrea took the opportunity to slide her hand over the top of Miranda's thigh along her hip and down into her soaking wet curls. Miranda shuddered at the first clumsy contact of Andrea's fingers with her sex, but Andrea's high moan kept her in the moment.
Leaning back granted Andrea access as Miranda watched her lover's face as she reveled in how wet Miranda was for her. Andrea raised her knees behind Miranda and she leaned back against her open legs. Miranda reached back and ran her hands up and down Andrea's smooth calves as she bucked into Andrea's fingers. Miranda trailed her hands up the inside of Andrea's thighs and Andrea bucked underneath her. It was a powerful force and nearly sent Miranda over the edge. Miranda searched with two fingertips until she found Andrea's dripping wet folds.
Andrea slid her thumb into Miranda just as Miranda slid her fingertips from slit to clit for the first time. They each breathed out the other's name. Their hips were gyrating in a slow rhythm as they separately worked on each other. They were hot and sweaty filling the room with their passion. Dipping up and down several times Miranda found Andrea's opening and entered her with two fingers. Andrea lifted her hips and Miranda a full three inches from the mattress. Miranda brought her free hand up to cup her own breast as she pumped her fingers in and out of Andrea.
Below her Andrea shifted her attentions and slid her hand back up so that her thumb was now circling Miranda's clit. The hot wetness of Miranda against her abdomen made her want to taste her, but she knew she would have to wait. Watching as Miranda kneaded and pinched her nipples made Andrea bite back a scream as she was hit with a wave of pleasure. Miranda drew her fingers out slowly and began circling Andrea's clit. Again they fell into a slow rhythm each trying to hold onto the pleasure for as long as they could.
"Let go." Miranda commanded.
Andrea shuddered beneath her again lifting them both up and her hand stilled against Miranda's sex. Miranda kept circling and circling never speeding up or slowing down, yet somehow staying with her as she bucked and writhed. Once Andrea's bucking slowed down she stilled her fingers on Andrea's very sensitive clit. Miranda waited, just looking at her lover's flushed face and listening to her breathing as it slowly evened out. A few shuddered waves later Andrea began to rub Miranda's clit, however she was not patient this time. She wanted Miranda to see the lights behind her eyes that she had just seen, Andrea wanted to make Miranda come as hard as she had ever come in her life.
Miranda on top of her seemed to agree and she leaned back on Andrea's legs again lifting her hips forward for Andrea. Her free hand went up in the air as if Miranda wanted to grab hold of a rafter and hang on for dear life. Andrea felt like she was close to coming again as she watched Miranda's pleasure. "Let go." She echoed back to Miranda who surprised Andrea by thrusting two fingers into her again. Her sudden thrust coupled with Miranda's orgasm sent Andrea off again and the two shuddered together, each rippling off the other and prolonging the orgasm.
Ultimately Miranda collapsed forward out of breath and weak. Her hands on either side of Andrea's head. "Ow." Andrea said as her hair was pushed into the mattress. With an audible `oommph' Miranda flopped herself to the side of Andrea. The two lay breathless together for a few long moments. "Come here." Andrea said turning to face Miranda and pulling her into a warm embrace. Face to face Andrea held Miranda with her arm and her leg thrown over her. Miranda awkwardly flapped her arm in between them, but seemed happy enough to forget about it. She also put her arm around Andrea, and pushed her leg between Andrea's so that they were a hot mess of togetherness. Miranda kissed Andrea who pulled back and rubbed their noses together in a sweet Eskimo kiss.
Hours later Miranda woke up to find herself stuck to Andrea Sachs like Velcro. As she breathed in Andrea's hair, her scent, her skinshe reveled in the feel of their warm naked bodies so close together. It had been so long since she had been with someone, let alone fallen asleep and been happy to wake up with them. Never, it finally occurs to her had she fallen into bed with a woman. Miranda bit her lip in contemplation, `And, oh, what a fall it was.' Smirking to herself Miranda looked around the room a taking in the sparse furnishings and bare minimum decorating. The clock on the bedside table matched the early morning light trickling in through the window. Miranda was pleased she had no reason to go anywhere but stay here with this gorgeous woman who cared enough to pursue her despite, well, despite everything.
Next to the alarm clock was a picture of Miranda. She tightened her arm around the sleeping beauty as she saw that it was another candid taken of her when she was not in her high glam mode. About three months ago Miranda returned from a trip with her girls and she had come in late in the evening to organize her thoughts for the day. The only person in the office at the time was Andrea and Miranda couldn't care enough to dress up for one assistant. She had thrown on a fairly basic outfit that was still stylish, just nothing special and her make-up had only been re-applied with minimum effort. It had been a long and tiring trip with her girls and the luggage catastrophe had yet to be settled. At nearly 10 o'clock Miranda had come to the office to wind down and settle in.
Thinking of Andrea snapping a photo of her then gave Miranda a warm glow about her heart. She leaned forward and kissed the hair at the back of Andrea's neck. Andrea let out a happy chuckle in her sleep and wiggled under the tickle that Miranda had caused, but she did not wake up. Miranda eased herself away from Andrea a little. The sheet had fallen below both of their arms and Andrea's shoulder was bare in front of her. Miranda ran her hand firmly up Andrea's side and over her shoulder. Then with her fingertip she traced one dragon and its angelic feathery wings and then she followed the heart that the two dragons made before tracing the other dragon with the rougher gothic wings.
Miranda rested her fingers over the curve of Andrea's shoulder and allowed her thumb to absently trace the heart between them. The two dragons came together to form an unmistakably strong heart. Miranda pondered whether the two different dragons represented the hard shell of the Dragonlady and the woman of Miranda within. She bit her lip thinking how much Andrea had to think about this design in order to make it permanent on her body. She wondered whether Andrea had thought about that as wellthe Dragonlady had permanently marked her life one way or the other. Indeed the Dragonlady changed her life in that she can work anywhere after working for her, or maybe that Andrea found a new love in her life of fashion and other things. She was going to Rolling Stone after all and not the Times.
This thought made her laugh. Andrea from Day 1 would probably have been just as disappointed to be starting at Rolling Stone as she was at Runway. Lack of information could lead to some interesting first impressions that go all kinds of wrong. Miranda looked again at the tattoo wondering if there's a different significance. What if Andrea was the more gentle angelic dragon taming the other gothic scary dragon into a heart of love? That would make Miranda the darker gothic dragon Miranda's mouth pulled tight into a thin smile. How very Andrea to permanently mark her as the bad girl! Either way Andrea had a tattoo, a very sexy tattoo that Miranda wondered how she had missed and when she got it. It was obviously healed already.
Miranda was awed that her effect on Andrea had been so permanent that she would carry it with her forever. She traced the tattoo with her fingers again. Then she leaned forward and placed open-mouthed kisses all over Andrea's shoulder. Miranda's hand roamed down over Andrea's body until she reached around and cupped Andrea's breast in her palm. Gently she started squeezing as she continued her kiss-by-kiss claiming of Andrea's skin. When Miranda's fingers eased forward to pinch and roll Andrea's nipple between them, Andrea moaned and arched into her touch. Miranda rolled back so that with some urging a slowly waking Andrea could lay flat on her back.
Miranda let her hand wander over to Andrea's other breast resting her arm across Andrea's stomach and she lowered her mouth taking in the closer nipple between her lips. Holding it just barely Miranda stroked her tongue along the sensitive peak. She let it go and then lowered her head again sucking the nipple into her mouth hard and releasing it to give it a gentle nibble. Her fingers and mouth alternated their pressure and touch in a kaleidoscopic cycle until Andrea's hands caught in her hair pulling her to her mouth where she claimed her with a kiss.
"Morning. Lover." Andrea beamed at Miranda once she had released her for air.
"Lover." Miranda purred. She seemed to be digesting that tasty little word. Miranda smiled back at her.
"I'm so glad you came."
"Indeed." Miranda smirked. Andrea giggled. When Miranda pinched her nipple, Andrea gaspedher mouth and eyes going wide in early morning shock. "What is this tattoo?"
Andrea closed her eyes a moment. "I wanted something special that only I would know about until the time was right. I work for the woman they call the Dragonlady, but I've always thought there was more than that." Andrea looked shyly at Miranda who caressed her cheek in encouragement. "My feelings were something that needed a heart When I saw the drawing I knew it represented so many aspects of what I was going through." Andrea shrugged. "I had to get it."
Andrea drew Miranda in for a kiss that conveyed all of her unspoken desires. She didn't want to ramble about her feelings until she has heard more from Miranda. Of course they were together last night and Miranda stayed for the morning, but still Andrea was still a little afraid that the bubble would burst at any moment. Miranda's body was hot against her own, her blue eyes gazed on her, and her fingertips were still playing on her nipplewell Andrea couldn't argue with those things right now. When Miranda threw her leg between Andrea's she moaned a little and drew her leg up for more pressure against Miranda's.
Feeling the pressure of Andrea's hot core against her leg sent a shiver of desire up Miranda Priestly's spine the likes of which she had only felt once. And that `once' she shivered again, was just last night with this beautiful woman below her. Miranda pulsed her fingertips against Andrea's nipple in one final pinch and then she lowered her hand down Andrea's body. Adjusting her leg, Miranda reached her fingertips to once again explore Andrea's hot core. Last night in the heat of passion she had luckily stumbled into the right kind of touch at the right time. In the early morning glow of their slowly building passion, Miranda was more aware of her lack of expertise.
"Last night." Miranda started and stopped, her fingers felt so good trailing through Andrea's wet curls, but she wanted to do this and do it right. "This is new." Miranda settled on.
Andrea's arm under Miranda curved up so that she was held around her back in a loving squeeze. "Me too." Miranda's fingers froze. Andrea panted out, "Don't worry," and pushed her hips into Miranda's fingers. Mercifully she began to move them again. Miranda could hear Andrea lick her lips before she breathed out, "You feel so good." Miranda still slowly stroked her, but she turned her gaze from down Andrea's body to her eyes. The passion darkening Andrea's eyes turned them almost black and they locked on to Miranda's deep blues.
"Touch me like you touch yourself." Andrea whispered in Miranda's ear and again that shiver of desire coursed through Miranda's body. Lowering her fingers again Miranda searched for entry. She slid two fingers in and Andrea hissed. Miranda pumped them in and out reveling at how her brain knew this so well that she almost felt as if she was touching herself. Miranda curled her fingers as she pumped and then before her muscles closed too tightly around her she pulled out to rub Andrea's clit. Andrea gasped as Miranda's fingers moved and then she moaned when Miranda began to circle her bundle of nerves slowly.
"Miranda." Andrea hissed out. Miranda closed her eyes feeling Andrea's warm body tense and move with desire against her. She closed her own legs tight against the pressure she was feeling. "Miranda." Andrea said louder. Her hips began to thrust and she whimpered. Miranda fought off her own waves of desire as she looked up Andrea's beautiful body and settled on her passionate face. Miranda continued to circle and stay steady. She remembered well the rhythm that worked best on herself and stayed true to it. "Miranda." Andrea's body pulsed and then shook from her core up her body through the strong muscles of her abdomen up to her face and her hands as she reaches for the headboard. Her legs shook and shivered up and she closed them around Miranda's hand.
Miranda paused letting the first shocks of her orgasm fade before leaning in, "Let me in." Andrea's eyes snapped open to lock on Miranda's blues. "I like this best." She moved her hand again and Andrea opened her legs slightly. Miranda lowered two fingers to Andrea's opening and slid them in as she rested her thumb on Andrea's clit. She doesn't move them at all, but she leaned forward catching Andrea's lips in a passionate kiss.
"Oh. My. God." Andrea broke the kissher legs snapped shut hard and her whole body tensed and shook violently.
Miranda waited for her to calm down. "Beautiful." She said and nuzzled her nose against Andrea's cheek.
"What was that?" Andrea finally panted out.
"The first of my gifts to my admirer." Miranda smirked.
After their early morning celebration Miranda and Andrea quickly fell back asleep. It was a long night at the end of a long month. It was a happy exhaustion as they fell asleep in the morning both sure it was not a fluke of the giddiness of the night before. Mutual desire was an excellent place to begin, but so much more would need to be figured out. Miranda had never been attracted to anyone like this before and while it being a woman was pleasantly surprising, she was not bothered in the slightest. The press on the other hand would have a field day.
Miranda liked control and order. Surprises tended to throw a kink in all of her systems and carefully orchestrated plans. She supposed that was part of why Andrea had peppered her with small gifts in order to prepare her for the idea of a romance. Thinking of the possibilities was part and parcel of her job, and the task of keeping the public figure of the Dragonlady within the standards she had set for herself caused Miranda to wake up before Andrea again.
Miranda did not want to get ahead of herself, but she had to ponder what kind of relationship she was embarking on. Andrea surely would not have pursued her out of sport. A permanent tattoo, peaceful sleeping by her side, and a repeated sexual encounter pointed to vaguely serious intentions. However Miranda couldn't stop thinking of Page 6 or her ex-husbands, or her girls. She couldn't help but find herself considering facts such as Andrea's age, what kind of relationship she was ready for, what role she would want to play in Miranda's life both public and private, and how to manage that.
When the news got hold of the fact that she was sleeping with her second assistant Miranda's eyes shot open as a bright light went on over her head. She lay back considering a whole new line of questioning in her mind. In her thought processes Miranda had laid on her back staring up at the slightly cracked ceiling with a certain amount of mortification, dread, and anxiety. Andrea woke and though she could tell Miranda was still there, she was disappointed by Miranda's distance.
Andrea rolled and snuggled up to the side of Miranda. "Hey." She said quietly meeting Miranda's eyes as she looked at her. Andrea was confused by the emotions she found there, but she waited patiently for Miranda to respond.
Capturing Andrea's hand and entwining her fingers Miranda asked. "Why did you leave Runway?" Andrea blinked at Miranda considering. She wanted to know what Miranda felt, but she needed to take the first step in the process of getting those feelings out there.
"I wanted you more." Andrea whispered.
Squeezing her hand Miranda asked again to be sure she really heard what she wanted to hear. "What?"
Taking in a breath of courage Andrea commenced her confession. She looked at their hands and stroked her thumb across the back of Miranda's hand. "I wanted you. I left you all those gifts " Andrea shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "I thought that, well, if this" She dropped Miranda's hand and motioned between their naked bodies. "If this happened, then I shouldn't work for you." Andrea stopped talking as she looked up to Miranda. Her eyes sparkled with something left unsaid, which Miranda called her on by narrowing her eyes.
"And?" Miranda challenged her as she ran her fingers along Andrea's rib cage.
"And. Well. If this didn't work out " Andrea paused, leaned in and gave Miranda a kiss to show she meant no harm. Then she pulled back looked in her eyes intently and with a snarky smile said, "If this didn't work out, I figured I was fired. Or that I would wish I was fired."
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