DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story connects to two previous stories that I wrote, titled Bodyguard & Bodyguard II. It might make more sense to read them first and then this one. But I have tried to make this an independent story that can be read by itself. Of course, I blame Cheyne, what kind of weirdness would it be if I did not? The inspiration for this story comes from a) How Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway played their parts in the movie, and b) from the my readers...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Bodyguard III
By The Raven


"But it's your birthday!"

Miranda Priestly tried not to sound like she was whining, but just this once, she really felt like it. So what if she sounded like a petulant child? This was just the sort of occasion where petulance was in order.

"I know."

Andrea replied, unruffled by Miranda's tone.

It seemed that her bodyguard-cum-lover, was going to need some persuading to comply with Miranda's wishes. As if she had ever been easy to talk into anything in the time that the two had known each other, been lovers. (Which amounted to the same length of time actually.)

"I wanted to do something special for you."

Miranda finally said in a huff, looking at Andrea over her glasses as the two of them had a rare breakfast together at Miranda's townhouse. Despite having handed off a great deal of responsibility to her employees, Andrea was almost as busy as Miranda, most days. Other days she was even more busy. It occasionally irked Miranda that they seemed to have so little time together, but the reality was, that they spent most if not all of their free time together.

It was more than enough. It had to be, for now anyway...

"Every time I am with you, it is special to me, for me, Miranda. My birthday is just a day. I've always worked on my birthday except when I was a child."

Andrea said quietly as she sipped at her coffee, the movement of her hand as it held the delicate cup fascinating Miranda. The two of them had barely slept the night before, and Miranda could not stop her mind from flashing back to some very erotically charmed moments. Arousal flared in her body, just as strong, no, stronger, than it had the first time. It seemed their passion for each other was unabated.

Squirming only slightly, Miranda opted for a different tactic.


Miranda never said please. However, Andrea was not just anyone.

Dark eyes glanced up at her in veiled surprise and an elegant eyebrow rose on that beautiful face.

"I'll try."

The other woman finally said.

Miranda was smart enough to realise that it was as far as she would get for now. However, it would not stop her from making plans. She still had two whole days to talk Andrea around, and Miranda always got what she wanted.

As she finished her coffee, she ignored the unhelpful voice in her head that gleefully reminded her that Andrea was one of the few people on the planet, it seemed, who dared to challenge her.

This time, Miranda would get what she wanted; no matter what...

Andy could not help but smile when she thought back on the morning conversation that she and Miranda had shared. She would do her best to free up the day of her birthday. It seemed to mean something to Miranda, and Andy certainly planned on doing something for Miranda when it was her turn to have a birthday. However, to Andy, her own birthday was just a day, sad as it may have been.

Perhaps if she were home, if her parents were still around...

Shaking her head to clear the nostalgia, Andy reminded herself that Miranda was home to her. But, it was not the time to deal with this right now, she had work to do, work that she could not ignore simply to indulge herself in her thoughts.

Opening the mail that was stacked on her desk, Andy fired up her computer and set it to check her messages and her email. It seemed everyone wanted an answer or some advice for something, nowadays. Sometimes she longed to be back in the field, but in the field, she would not have the time she had now. Time that was very important for her to have.

Still slightly distracted by her thoughts, Andy did not notice what she was holding until she glanced down and saw it. Dropping it like it was on fire she rose from her chair and hit the silent alarm button that was discreetly affixed to her desk.

In a heartbeat, her office was stormed by her first in command who was quickly followed by a small legion of assistants.

"What is it?"

Andy looked at the woman who had asked the question, before she indicated her desk, on which a huge tarantula was crawling around.

"How did this get past security?"

Andy asked in a dangerously quiet voice, her focus on the box that the arachnid had been in. It might contain a message, but first she wanted to get it to her labs for analysis.

Her second in comment had an equally hard look on her face as she turned to the assistants standing behind her.

"Get me whoever was staffing security when the mail came in, and get me the security logs. Immediately."

The other employees scattered like spooked cats, leaving only Andy and her most trusted employee together in the room.

"I suppose we should try to catch it, before it lays eggs or mutates, or something."

Andy eventually said after the two of them had watched the creature explore her desk for a period of time. The humour broke the tension in the room and the other woman nodded with a slight smile, before reaching over to pick the spider up and gently slide it into the water glass that sat empty on Andy's desk.

Andy handed her a coaster to cover it in with and said.

"We need to get it, and the box analysed. After that, give the spider to the local zoo, or something."

The other woman nodded, reaching over to snag the box with freshly gloved hands and then disappearing just as three people entered the room, one of them carrying a thick binder and a CD.

Nodding, Andy dismissed the third person and turned her attention on the two remaining once her office door had been closed. The two, hardworking, qualified, trusted, looked distinctly nervous under her scrutiny.

"I just had delivery of a spider. Granted, it was not venomous, but what I want to know, is how it got past you into the building."

Andy slid the CD into her computer, pulling up video logs of the security area when the mail had been delivered, waiting for an answer.

"I am not sure, Andy. We checked, scanned, and had the electronic nose sniff everything that was delivered."

The female of the two spoke up as Andy watched the screen, conforming that indeed, procedure had been followed. The two had not been sleeping on the job. Then Andy realised something. The box had not been in the delivery.

"Thank you. You may go."

Andy said with a slight smile, indicating to the two that she was satisfied with their answer and that the issue no longer concerned them.

Almost laughing when she received a twin set of relieved smiles in return just before the pair turned and left her office, Andy turned her attention back to the computer screen.

It was afternoon when Miranda came back to her office and found that she had missed a call on her private cell phone. Instead a message blinked demandingly on the display, seeming to admonish her for her absence. Realising that it was probably a message from Andrea, Miranda snatched up the phone and toggled the screen.

"Miranda, I am sorry. I have to cancel for tonight. I will call you later and try to give you some details. - A"


Miranda thought, quickly calling Andrea's private number, which promptly sent her to voicemail. Miranda ignored that, instead calling Andrea's office. She wanted answers now, not later. They had planned to go to the Opera together. Such a late minute cancellation was just outrageous!

A professional sounding feminine voice answered Andrea's phone.

"Ms. Priestly. Hello. Andy said you might call..."

Miranda pulled the phone away from her ear and glared at it for a moment. Leave it to Andrea to anticipate her actions. At this point Miranda did not know wether to be pleased, or infuriated.

"I need to speak to Andrea, immediately."

Miranda said to the woman who was patiently waiting on the other end of the line.

"I am sorry, Ms. Priestly, but Andy is indisposed right now. May I take a message?"

Suddenly incensed, Miranda felt her blood pressure raise.

"No, you may not. However, you will tell me what is going on."

Miranda's voice brooked no refusal. She would know, and she would know now, or there would be hell to pay.

"I can't do that Ms. Priestly..."

The calm voice said, but Miranda was having none of it.

"Yes you can, and you will."

Miranda said in a dangerous register, not allowing the other woman to finish her statement.

"Not on the phone, I can't, Ms. Priestly. However, you like, I can come and meet you with a car and perhaps sate some of your curiosity?"

The woman continued, as if Miranda had not interrupted her.

A car? How bizarre...

"Very well. Ten minutes. That's all."

Miranda said into the phone, realising that this was probably as far as she would get with the woman on the phone. Perhaps in person she would have more leverage. Miranda was pretty sure that the voice belonged to Andrea's second in command. The woman was someone Miranda normally liked, but right now, she seemed to stand in the way of Miranda getting to Andrea, and for that, Miranda despised her. It was illogical, but Miranda did not care.


Miranda said.

Immediately, her assistant appeared at the doorway of her office.

"I will be leaving in ten minutes. Reschedule my appointments for this evening,and make sure the girls have a babysitter lined up in case I am out late. I will call you later for The Book."

Miranda dismissed the shocked younger woman without a second thought. Emily would handle the situation well and Miranda was not concerned.

Quickly gathering her things, Miranda headed to the lobby of the building, estimating that she had maybe three minutes before the car arrived.

In the elevator, Miranda called her driver, dismissing him for the evening. Whatever driving she needed for the rest of the day would be done via other means. Right now, Miranda was only concerned with finding out what was going on with Andrea.

Andy Sachs was not amused.

Further investigating had revealed that her spider had been delivered by Fed Ex, of all things, and though the package had been checked, the nature of its contents, a spider, had not set off any alarms anyplace.

Perhaps she should add movement to the list of parameters for the scanners to check.

After checking with all her agents, she decided that the spider had nothing to do with any fieldwork going on, rather it was personal. This could get dangerous, or be simply annoying.

In any case, she wanted to put some space between herself and Miranda and her children, for fear of drawing them into some unforeseen ugliness. At least until she had a better idea of what was going on.

Miranda would be furious, when she checked her messages. Andy had seen her second in command take the expected phone call. It was a mark of the woman's competence that she was completely unruffled by the experience. If nothing else, Miranda would give her some good practise with how to deal with high maintenance, high end clients who seemed to have unlimited resources and power at their disposal.

Idly watching her right hand man, as it were, get her coat and leave, Andy deduced that she was going to pick up Miranda. Discreetly of course.

Andy decided that she needed to get out, to see if she could lure her stalker into the open. Anyway, all the resources available to her in the office, were also available to her out of the office, so it really did not matter where she was.

Also, she ached to see Miranda, so needed to remove herself from the temptation of the other woman possibly talking her way into the office and finding Andy here. At least in her car, she would be somewhat safer from Miranda's wrath, maybe.

With a resigned sigh, Andy picked up the needed equipment to allow her to live out of her car for a few days if needed. It would also let her confront many situations that could arise. It seemed almost absurd that suddenly she was her own bodyguard.

A few minutes later, Andy roared out of the garage onto the streets of Manhattan and started to turn things over in her head as she drove.

Who was taunting her and why? Where would this lead? Where could it lead?

It was rare that Andy caused anyone to go to jail. If the client wanted to prosecute, that was up to them, same with the police. Andy's job was to protect the targeted person, not enforce the law. So it was unlikely to be a recently released prisoner.

However, the very nature of her work, and the work of her company, and her employees, meant that Andy often stood in the way of people and their desires. Regardless of how convoluted, sick or simply ridiculous, those desires were.

That was something that could make a person very angry...

Miranda did not wait for the driver of the car to get out and open the door for her, rather, she opened the passenger side door and slid into the front seat. There was no way she was going to have this conversation while sitting in the backseat of a car. It was too easy to ignore someone who was not sitting beside you, this was something that Miranda knew.

"Ms. Priestly."

The beautiful, yet deadly looking woman said, by way of greeting.

"Hansen. This is becoming an annoying habit. You bringing me bad news about Andrea."

Miranda said somewhat sharply, trying her best to be civil. After all, she needed the messenger, no need to shoot her. Yet.

"Give me your phones, your PDA, anything electronic."

Hansen said in a voice that told Miranda that she had better obey, or she risked the other woman's wrath. Also, it seemed like an important request.

Quickly digging out the items in question, she was surprised when the glove compartment in front of her opened.

"Put them in there."

Came the sharp command.

Miranda complied and for long moments there was silence as they idled at a red light. Then, the compartment opened again and a green light flashed in its interior.

"Your equipment does not have viruses, malware, listening devices and is uncorrupted."

Hansen said in a gentler tone of voice.

Miranda was startled as she repacked the items into her purse.

"Of course it does not. Now tell me what is going on."

Miranda said, neither her voice or face betraying her anxiety, at least not for the moment.

"Andy has been targeted. We are unsure by who. Thus, she has needed to go underground for a little while to resolve the matter."

Hansen said in an almost clinical tone of voice, but Miranda did see that the other woman had a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel. Obviously whatever was going on was serious.

"Take me to her."

Miranda ordered, in a quiet but deadly voice.

"I am sorry, Ms. Priestly, but I cannot. Andy is worried that you and your children may become targets by association."

Miranda felt her self control start to waver.

"Call me Miranda. And I repeat. Take me to her, or at least get me on the phone with her. Now."

It was totally unacceptable for Andrea to take on this sort of thing by herself. Miranda needed to see her, had to see her.

Hansen was silent as they drove, neither agreeing to, or declining her request. Miranda focused on her surroundings, wondering where they were going.

"This is the best I can do for now, Miranda."

Hansen said as they pulled up to a bank of payphones. Miranda was perplexed, but got out of the car and when the other woman indicated that she should walk ahead to the phones, Miranda relented with a sigh.

No sooner had she arrived at the phones, when one of them rang.

"Answer it."

Hansen suggested, while looking around the area, no doubt trying to spot or anticipate trouble, should it arise.

Snatching up the phone, Miranda held her breath and waited.


Came Andrea's voice over the phone. It almost made Miranda feel lightheaded with relief.


Miranda said, trying to project what she felt into the word. Fury, confusion, love, hope, sadness.

"You need to go about your routine, Miranda, and keep Hansen close. Try not to be too mean to her. I will try go see you soon. I love you."

Andrea said in a rush.

"I love you too."

Miranda managed to say before the connection fell silent.

"Damn it!"

Miranda said as she slammed the phone into the cradle and turned to Hansen, fury boiling in her blood.

Hansen shrugged minutely as she scanned the street once more. It was then that Miranda became aware of the amount of attention they were garnering, by virtue of clothing, because of the car. By being women.

"Time to go."

Hansen suggested, with a hint of steel in her voice, quickly ushering Miranda into the car and then they were off again.

Miranda sighed silently. She always got what she wanted, and before the day was done, she would see Andrea, would hold her, would kiss her. She did not care what or who stood in her way...

It had taken hours of driving, thinking, walking around, checking, but finally there had been a break in Andy's problem. The problem with the type of weirdo who sent spiders in the mail was that they in fact, most of the time, wanted to get caught. A real professional would have simply shot her with a high powered rifle from half a mile away, and disappeared forever after without a trace.

Or something like that...

Andy's problem now centred around what she would do with her spider fancier stalker. In an ideal world, she could hunt him down and slit his throat, and be done with it. However, money and power, and prestige, did not really place her above the law, or at least not above basic morality.

However, if he so much as breathed in the direction of Miranda and the children, Andy would hunt him down. There was no question about it.

Now, however, she needed to draw him out and have a confrontation with him, which would lead to the climax and conclusion of the matter, whatever it may be. So, it was time to plan. It was her birthday in a few days and Miranda had plans for her, and she was not about to miss them.

Also, professionally speaking this was a huge waste of time and resources. The employees she had drafted to help her, were worried, and the rest who knew, were understandably anxious. She was loathe to divide their attentions, so for that reason as well, she needed to conclude this mess. Now it was simply a matter of how.

But first, first, she wanted to see Miranda. It was distracting to know that the other woman had been hounding her second in command all day, and it was only Hansen who had stopped her from tearing the city apart to find her. Miranda was blinded by emotion, and mostly unaware of how dangerous publicity was in Andy's line of work, so it could not be helped.

Maybe when this was all over with, Andy could find a way to explain it a little to her in a way that would not alienate her lover, or make her start feeling paranoid, or like she needed to change her style. Andy's life was clandestine enough as it was, she did not wish it on Miranda or her children.

Shaking her head free from her thoughts, Andy slowed her jog down and came to stop in front of Miranda's townhouse. Though it in theory had exposed her and made her a little more vulnerable, Andy was certain that choosing to jog to Miranda's house was the most discreet way of arriving. Her idiot stalker would not think that she would be so plain and so bold.

However, she could not just walk up to the door, just in case, so it was time to put some of her more unusual and less used skills into practise. Andy moved to the side of the building and disappeared into the shadows, before examining the almost smooth brick, stone and mortar construction of the wall before her. It would be a challenge, but Andy so enjoyed a challenge...

Removing her gloves, Andy quickly reached into her pocket and spread some magnesium chalk onto her hands before she started to manoeuvre up the side of the building, her sticky rubber shoes and her strong fingers finding purchase where none seemed to exist. It was painful, painstaking, and it required patience, but Andy would win in the end.

Ten minutes passed and she found herself perching on the narrow window ledge of one of the upstairs windows. Andy had supervised the installation of the passive security system that the townhouse held, so she knew how to breach it. It of course, helped to have the experience of a cat burglar to guide her. Sometimes her work required that she did the most unusual things, fortunately.

A moment later, she slid up the window and eased her body into the room behind it. Now it was just a matter of finding Miranda and not startling her or the children when she did. Miranda was a mother bear when it came to her kids. Andy knew that Miranda would kill to protect her children, so with that thought in mind, she pulled off her hat and shook out her. She also unzipped her fleece jacket and pulled the sweaty tee shirt away from her body as she looked around.

She really needed a shower...and she needed Miranda. The feeling was overwhelming.

It was getting late. Despite her best efforts, Andrea's second in command, had steadfastly refused to budge to Miranda's demands. The woman had been polite, helpful, efficient, the perfect bodyguard, driver, resource. But, when it came to information about Andrea, she was utterly mute. Eventually Miranda had conceded that she needed to get some work done, so had asked the woman to drop her home and booked her as a driver for tomorrow.

Miranda had also decided to make a contract with the woman. It was only fair and professional, and lord knows, she could afford it. But that was not her reason, her reason was that she did not want anyone else to book Hansen, as Miranda knew that of all the people, Andrea's trusted employee, would be the one who had access to Andrea. That was all that mattered...

After nearly catching up on the paperwork she had neglected for most of the day, Miranda made a decision to got to bed. She would need to be at peak efficiently in order to find Andrea in the morning, or tomorrow anyway. Miranda was convinced that she would be able to wear down the stubborn resistance that faced her. She always got what she wanted, after all.

Rising from her desk, Miranda secured her things, closed the lights and went to tuck her children in. After that, she just wanted a shower and to go to bed. Even if sleep eluded her, perhaps simply resting, would be sufficient for her to feel charged in the morning. Hopefully. It was of course, wistful thinking, but Miranda was not a pessimist.

As she walked to her bedroom, Miranda paused. Something felt, off. Or maybe it felt familiar. If she did not know better, she would swear she could detect Andrea's scent in the air and almost feel her presence in the house. This was of course, impossible. Dismissing her thoughts, Miranda stepped into the bedroom and stopped dead in her tracks.

Sitting in the centre of her bed, was Andrea. She was wearing dark athletic clothes and a grey tee shirt that appeared to be soaked in sweat. She also wore an impish smile on her face. Miranda could only stare, flummoxed. After a pregnant pause, Andrea tilted her head at Miranda ever so slightly, jarring Miranda from her shocked state.

"How did you get here? What are you doing here? Andrea..what? I have been looking for you all day!"

Miranda said in a rush, moving towards her lover with determination.

Not waiting for Andrea's reply, Miranda practically pounced upon her, pushing her down onto the bed, unheeding of anything else. Andrea responded immediately, instantly, her strong arms pulling Miranda close as Miranda leaned down to kiss Andrea.

The clash of mouths was furious, desperate, almost angry, yet full of passion and want and pent up desire. Miranda paid no heed to the sound of cloth ripping as Andrea sought to gain access to her skin. Anything, just so long as the barriers that separated them were gone as soon as possible. Any delay was unacceptable.

With that thought in mind, Miranda pulled and tugged at Andrea's clothing, her hands now at ease with the weapons that Andrea wore, so they too were cast aside. When Andrea opened up under her, her mouth and body inviting Miranda in, Miranda lost focus, and felt her self control slip from her fingers. Andrea had that effect on her. Always had, always would.

Arching under Miranda, Andy forgot everything else that had been crowding her mind all day. The touch, the sensation, the feel, of her lover, was overwhelming. The kiss that drove her mad, hands that demanded to touch her; Andy heard herself moan deep in her chest and Miranda's response was instant.

It was just seconds and they were both naked, entwined. Heat, sweat, slick, taste. A feast for Andy's senses, for her soul. It would never be enough. Andy could not imagine a time when she would not want this, would not need it. It was an unusual thought.

Shifting her legs, she slipped a thigh between Miranda's, instantly rewarded by the sensation of wetness and heat that she found there. Reaching down, Andy eased her fingers between Miranda's body and her own leg. Focused as she was on Miranda, she failed to notice that Miranda was mirroring her movements until she felt expect fingers slide into her with deadly accuracy. Unprepared for the sensation, Andy crushed her mouth to Miranda's, moaning her delight and her passion into the kiss.

They became one. At first, slowly. Andy moved her mouth to kiss Miranda's neck, moving her hand and mouth in tandem, feeling Miranda match her rhythm. It was intoxicating, the layered sensations made Andy breathless. And Miranda gave as good as she got.

By now almost paralysed with sensation, Andy could feel her orgasm approaching, like a tidal wave. Wanting to take Miranda with her on her journey, Andy quickened her movements, relishing the sound of Miranda gasping in her ear as the moments gathered into the climax of the moment.

Was it seconds later? Andy found that it no longer mattered as she felt crushing pleasure course through her body and had her own pleasure amplified by the sound of Miranda moaning her pleasure as she came as well. Fire licked through Andy's veins as she was engulfed in pleasure. Exquisite...

Gradually, Andy came back to her senses, resting her head on Miranda's shoulder as her lover had collapsed on top of her. The feelings that were pouring through her system and the emotions and aftershocks that their love making had generated broke Something in Andy.

She felt a tear escape the corner of her eye, it was soon joined by another one. Finding that she did not care, Andy sighed in contentment and gently eased Miranda onto her side. Her lover opened her eyes and looked at her, eyes so blue, and so filled with emotion, that Andy felt herself falling into them, falling in love, again.

"Tell me what is going on, Andrea."

Miranda finally said, reaching out to catch a tear from the side of Andy's face.

They stared at each other for an abbreviated eternity before Andy nodded and cleared her throat.


She said, pulling up the covers on Miranda's bed to cover them and adjusting her body to a more comfortable position, while being careful not to lose contact with Miranda's body.

"I hope you don't think that whatever is going on, is going to stop me from planning for your birthday."

Miranda said before she could stop herself.

She was rewarded by a hearty laugh from her lover. The sound startled her. It was rare that Andrea laughed so freely, and Miranda wanted to hear it again. A frisson of sexual arousal shivered its way up her spine at the thought. However, she desperately wanted to know what was going on, so she clamped down on the feeling. Interrupting Andrea now, was not an option...

"The stalker of one of my ex-clients has decided that he is going to teach me a lesson. I have to draw him out. This is a dangerous person. So I need to stay away from you and the girls until the matter is resolved. He might easily strike at you to get at me."

Andrea finally said after a long pause.

Miranda felt fear tighten her throat at the words.

"I hear you contracted Hansen. She is more than capable, you should have her spend the nights here in the Townhouse. I have two agents shadowing your daughters, on my tab. The look like teenagers, but are very experienced in their niche of expertise. Your daughters will be safe, Miranda."

Of course Andrea would have thought of every eventuality. Still, Miranda was a little surprised that her daughters had bodyguards and that Andrea was suggesting that she have her own bodyguard stay the night at the townhouse.

Miranda had learned a long time ago that Andrea really knew what she was talking about when it came to the work she did, so Miranda made a mental note to call Hansen in as soon as she had the opportunity.

"I know, Andrea. I know, I knew you would make sure we were safe. But what about you?"

Miranda felt emotion choke her throat again at the thought of something happening to Andrea. It was an impossible thought. She slapped it aside before it could take root in her mind and wreck her concentration completely.

"I won't lie, Miranda. This will be tricky, but short of going after the guy like Rambo, my only option is to draw him out into a situation that I have control of. I don't know how long that will take, but I have no intention of missing out on whatever birthday plans you have for me, darling."

Andrea had never used a term of endearment towards her before. Her lover was very conservative and guarded in her emotions, only opening up for Miranda. It was a necessary evil of her profession of course, just as it was for Miranda's.

"Please be safe."

Miranda said quietly, stroking her hands through dark hair that was lush and soft under her touch..

"I have to go."

Andrea finally said after a few more moments had gone by.

"Do you?"

Miranda said, allowing her dissatisfaction to seep into her voice.

"Yes. If he is watching or knows where I am staying, he will figure out soon that I am not where he expects me to be, and will start digging. I don't want to bring you danger, or have him think that I can so easily outwit him. I need his guard down and his arrogance up."

"I also need you to be safe, or I won't be able to function."

Miranda wanted to hold onto Andrea, to stop her from going, but she knew that the other woman would be unshakable in her resolve. Never mind that she had a point.

Andrea sat up, reaching for discarded clothing and Miranda felt something in her chest ache at the sight.

Rising, she went to her dresser, where Andrea kept some of her clothes in case she came to spend the night unprepared, and quickly dug out a clean tee shirt and undergarments for her lover. It seemed like the least she could do, yet it was nothing at all.

Brushing away a tear, she turned and found Andrea standing directly behind her.

"Thank you."

Her lover said quietly, taking the clothes and quickly pulling them on.

"For what?"

Miranda asked, realising that Andrea was not talking about clothes.

"For being who you are, for loving me."

Andrea replied after she had laced on her shoes and tucked her long hair into a dark hat. The transformation was startling, yet mouthwatering. The clothes were skin tight and when Andrea strapped on her weapons, and tucked them under her jacket, Miranda realised that it was the first time she had seen Andrea wear clothes that did not conceal them.

Andrea moved towards her, quickly taking Miranda into her arms and holding her. She smelled of skin, sweat, sex, with a feint overtone of perfume applied long ago. It was the most beautiful thing Miranda had smelled. She did not want to let go and tightened her grip.

"It's time."

Andrea finally said, leaning in to kiss Miranda with all that she was worth and then gently extricating herself from the embrace and moving towards the window of Miranda's bedroom As Miranda watched, Andrea opened the window and levered herself out of it, seeming to cling to the edge of the window sill like a giant spider, or a bird.

"I love you."

Andrea said when she looked back into the window, her face shadowed by the night.

Miranda could only nod and reply in kind.

"I love you, too."

No sooner had the words left her mouth, and Andrea was gone, leaving Miranda clutching the clothes that she left and wondering what was going to happen next. Not knowing was going to be hard, but Miranda knew Andrea would handle the situation.

She quickly went to her bad and dug out her phone, calling Hansen's number and relaying the request that the bodyguard come and stay the nights until this debacle was over. The woman, who had not even been asleep, immediately responded that she would be there in half an hour and with that, Miranda was left with nothing to do except wait.

Moving to her bed, she pulled back the covers and slipped Andrea's still slightly sweaty shirt into the bed, not asking herself what she was doing as she did it. Then, she turned to make herself presentable in the bathroom before she would go make sure that the guestroom was in shape for her visitor.

Now if only summoning patience was so easy...

Back at her hotel, Andy showered and changed into some comfortable clothes. She needed to rest in order to be at her prime, but first she needed to think. A message from Hansen told her that the bodyguard was ensconced in Miranda's home. Hansen was as good as she was, so Andy was at ease with that. Actually if Andy was honest, it was a safe thing to sat that Hansen had in many ways superceded her teacher.

Andy needed to get Hansen to leave the nest, though. But that was a concern for another time. Right now, Andy needed to resolve this issue, and do it before her birthday. Or Miranda would be royally pissed, and then they would all suffer.

All of Manhattan, that is...

Firing up her laptop, Andy decided to do some research. Usually the fucking weirdos who stalked celebrities, were prone to boasting about it and were often stupid enough not to hide their tracks or their acts online. As if the internet offered the casual user any privacy at all.

A few clicks and Andy was being bounced around hundreds of proxy servers across the globe. Add to that, for this type of activity, she would boot into the Linux partition of her hard drive. Microsoft tended to bee too chatty, and even with the security and tweaks and hacker-like modifications she had made, Andy was not taking any chances this time.

An hour later, Andy was satisfied with what she had found. It was time to pack up and to get some rest. Tomorrow she would hopefully be able to provoke her nemesis into confronting her, or at least into making a mistake that would let her easily pinpoint his location.

After all, she had a birthday to get to.

When morning came, Miranda was in a very explosive mood. Today had better run smoothly, or heads would roll...

"What is your given name, Hansen?"

Miranda inquired as they drove through early morning traffic.

Dark eyes made contact with hers in the rear view mirror before they fixed once more on the road. The similarity with Andrea ended there though. The two women only had their demeanour in common when it came to appearance. That and dark eyes.


The woman responded before pulling the car over in front of Miranda's building.

"What happens today, Maria?"

Miranda asked quietly.

"I park the car and you go to work. I will see you shortly. And before you ask, yes, I will tell you what I can if Andy contacts me or I learn something new."

Miranda spared the woman a smile before Maria stepped out of the car to open the door for her. Thanking her, Miranda walked quickly into the building. She could feel those watchful eyes on her as she went. But unlike with Andrea, Miranda did not feel the gaze as a caress.

But now it was time to plan a birthday and to run a magazine. She had an unimaginable amount of work to catch up on and it was time to get started.

Knocking on the door of an ex client was not something Andy did often. Sometimes, her former clients would give her references, send her Christmas cards, or otherwise inquire about her well being, but it was rare that they crossed paths again, unless it was in the professional sense.

As the door opened, revealing a strikingly beautiful woman, Andy reflected that this was not really a very professional visit, though it did brush the edges of such a thing.


The woman said, with some surprise.

"Hello there. Sorry to bother you, but I have some new information that you should have."

Andy chose her words carefully. It was true. The woman was being stalked, this time carefully and from afar. It was a reason why she lived behind walls, gates, with dogs and with a private security force. A sad situation. Perhaps this would be rectified soon.

Andy was counting on it. She knew that her pest would be watching his obsession, and when he saw her talking with her, it would likely provoke him into some sort of action. The ex client was safe behind her defences, and anyway, the madman was living a delusion where he loved her, so unless she did something to spurn him, such as marry someone else, or take a lover, he would not target her.

Entering the house, Andy followed the other woman into a spacious living area and accepted the invitation to sit down.

Without a word, she handed over the file she had been carrying.

It revealed that her land-line phones were tapped, some of her mail was being successfully forwarded to a P.O.Box, and that her wireless computer net had been hacked.

"I am going to try to do something about this. In the meantime, you should find a new data security expert, and get the issues resolved. The mail fraud is a matter you will need to take up with the postal service, but I doubt you have much personal stuff sent here. As I remember you are not in the least bit ignorant about how easy it is to interfere with such things."

Andy smiled and accepted the tea she was offered and waited for a response.

"You remember correctly. But thank you for bringing this other stuff to my attention. What are you going to do? You are not my bodyguard anymore..."

The woman sipped her tea and watched Andy over her teacup.

"No, but it is in my professional and in my personal best interests, to make sure you are doing well. As to what I will do, I can't tell you. There is no legal immunity, after all. I would require that you testify against me, if the need came, so better that you don't have any clue about anything after all."

Glancing at her watch, Andy figured she had spent enough time in the residence and that it was time to go.

"I have to go. Sorry to run off so fast, but you know how it is."

Andy said as she stood up and waited for her ex client to walk her to the door.

"With you, yes, I remember. Thank you again for stopping by. I really appreciate it and it as good to see you. You look as beautiful and as deadly as ever."

Andy smiled and nodded, before walking out the door and bristly making her way towards her car. Hopefully her quarry had taken the bait. Hook, line and sinker...

Miranda was on the way to a meeting, working in the back of the car while Maria drove expertly through the traffic, when she heard the bodyguard mutter something under her breath. It was highly unusual for the utterly professional woman to do anything but drive, so Miranda looked up curiously, wondering what was going on.

"Yes. I understand."

Miranda heard the calm voice say and realised that Maria was on the phone.

"What is going on?"

Miranda asked when she saw that the bodyguard had hung up.

Dark eyes met hers in the mirror, and despite the utterly unreadable expression on the other woman's face, Miranda had plenty of practise reading Andrea's equally impassive body language, so she was immediately alarmed.

"Tell me. Immediately."

Miranda set aside her work. She could catch up later. The meeting was an internal one on a location. She would send Nigel instead, if need be. The priority was not such that she could not let go of that detail. Just this once...

"Contact from Andy. The threat has made a move. She believes that you are the target and wants me to keep you in the car."

"Your children are safe."

Maria added immediately, sensing Miranda's next question.

The words were careful, without inflection, but told Miranda everything she needed to know. Andrea believed the danger to be such that only she could protect her.

"Andy wants me to keep you on the move while she deals with the issue. The car provides a moving target and it is equipped to deal with most situations."

Miranda considered the words.

"How do you know my children are safe?"

She asked, feeling the press of panic against her chest.

"Andy said they are. When it comes to you, you can trust that she has every angle, and every option covered. I can have details in half minute, though. If you like."

Maria said plainly, her driving becoming a little more aggressive as she drove almost illegally fast, moving away from Miranda's destination without asking permission.

It was true, when it came to Miranda and Miranda's children, Andrea would ensure that they were safe at any cost...

"No, just do as she says."

Miranda heard herself say, packing up her office and getting ready to put on her seatbelt if the need arose.

They were moving into a warehouse district.

"Why are we here? Don't other people make us safer?"

Miranda asked, feeling a shiver move up her spine.

"Not really. Perhaps if you are on foot and have no other options. Right now, I am predicting what the stalker might think I will do, and doing the opposite. Also, I am trying to find him."

"Andy is tailing us, but she was unable to provide much detail just yet."

Miranda looked around in the car, desperately attempting to see Andrea or the threat to her beloved.


Maria suddenly said.

Miranda looked more closely and saw a red car, of all things, coming up behind them, and then suddenly, there was Andrea's car. Sleek and deadly, just like Andrea.

As she watched, the red car was rammed off the road by Andrea and the driver of it rose out of the car.


Maria commanded, reaching around to forcefully pull on Miranda's upper body in order to ensure compliance. A sharp staccato of pings followed and then the thunder of what Miranda now realised was bulletproof glass straining under assault.

"Stay down!"

Maria ordered as she drove around the corner and spun the car around like a stunt driver, pulling out her weapon as she did, the car now idling.

Time ticked by, but no one came around the corner...

Andy felt her heart stop when she realised that the madman had opened fire on the car carrying Miranda. If only she had been a little faster, he would not have made it to Miranda...

Without thought, she threw open the door of her car when he was changing clips, her hand moving like a striking snake, as she pulled out a knife and threw it. It lodged in his forearm, causing him to drop his weapon as he cried out in agony and spun towards her.


He said, fury and insanity causing spittle to fly from his mouth as he advanced on her, pulling out her knife and shifting it to his other hand. Andy considered pulling out her gun and simply shooting him between the eyes, then she thought better of it. It would be much more satisfying to do this the old fashioned way.

Not giving him any time to react, Andy charged him, easily evading the clumsy swing of her knife. A hard stomp on his thigh and he fell backwards, rolling away from her and to his feet, considering her a little more carefully now.

"What, are you afraid, of a girl?"

Andy taunted, feeling her rage settle and an eerie calm fall over her body.

The man charged her, and for his trouble, she planted a furious uppercut into his gut, knocking all the wind out of him before she threw him over her hip to the ground like a sack of potatoes. His madness made him oblivious and he grabbed at her ankles, trying to slash her lower legs with her knife, which was somehow still in his hand.

"Get up, you coward."

Andy growled as she easily evaded his movement and gave him the space to stand up.

As he did, she saw him reach around to his back for something. The glint of the gun gave her a heartbeat of warning and in that time frame, she brought her gun to bear and squeezed the trigger, hitting one shoulder then the next, just for good measure.


Andy heard the impassioned cry, recognising Miranda's voice. The man, despite his injuries, turned and brought up his gun with both hands and with his face purpled with rage and as gunfire sounded, he fell back with most of his head missing, finger slack on the trigger.

Andy shook her head, disgusted, before lowering her gun and checking it before she turned towards Miranda. Hansen was actually in front of her, holding her back, and Andy was sure that the other woman had been left only with the option of imprisoning Miranda in the car, or knocking her unconscious, or Miranda would not be witnessing this.

In spite of her own rage, she had actually tried not to kill him. It was only when he had tried to shoot Miranda, despite gunshot wounds, broken bones and a bad concussion, and a stab wound, that Andy realised that the only way to stop him, was to end his life.

Nothing else would...

If only she had been faster. He had broken into the open as soon as she had left her ex-client's place and it has been a race to keep track of him, and stay on his tail.

Not wanting Miranda to see any of this up close, Andy bent to retrieve her knife, carefully wiping it off, before she sheathed and holstered her weapons and walked towards her lover. Andy could only hope that Miranda was not too shocked by what she had just seen, that she could forgive Andy...

Miranda tried to push past Maria, but found her way firmly blocked by the bodyguard. Though she had managed to force her way this far, it was clear that she was not going to be allowed any closer to the scene she had just witnessed.

Seeing the tail end of the confrontation had almost been more than she could bear. When she had seen the gun pointed at Andrea and then her, she had not even the time to react before it was over. Andrea had moved so fast and decisively.

Miranda had never seen anyone die violently, and she had never seen anyone kill before. Add to that, the fact that she was so closely entwined into the whole situation because she loved Andrea.

It was all very overwhelming...

Finally, Andrea was standing before her, Maria having moved aside to speak on her phone. Obviously all sorts of arrangements had to be made. Miranda could not even begin to imagine the logistics of this sort of situation.

Andrea had an unfathomable look on her face, and there was something dangerous and wild in her eyes. The remnants of the fight and of what she had just done. Miranda shook off her shock and took a step towards Andrea.


Andrea said, her voice a sharp command that Miranda could not help but obey. As much as it hurt.

"I am sorry, Miranda. But the police will want to gather evidence from me. They will also want to speak to you and Hansen. You were not meant to witness any of this. Best laid plans and all that."

Andrea explained, her voice sounding tired and guarded. It was then that Miranda realised that Andrea was worried about Miranda's reaction to the whole situation.


Miranda said, her voice low.

Her beloved lover looked up at the sound of her name.

"I love you."

Miranda said.

Tension seemed to leave Andrea at the words. Miranda knew they would need to discuss this, and Miranda also knew that she needed to process. However, without a doubt, she knew that she loved Andrea, and even this would not shake that. Not even ruffle its leaves...

"I love you, too."

Andrea said before she stepped away from Miranda and walked towards and oncoming police cars. Miranda squared her shoulders. Right now she needed to be strong for Andrea and for herself. Later she would have the luxury of emotion.

Almost on cue, Maria appeared at her elbow, ready to offer her professional voice and obviously to give her statement as well. Miranda took the opportunity to make a quick call to her daughters and to Emily, just to reassure herself that everything was still under control and all were safe. No that there was anything she could do if something was wrong, not right now anyway.

It was going to be a long night...

By the time she was done with the police, had taken care of her paperwork, and was ready to go home, Andy was almost too tired to move. Sitting in her office, she could not help but wonder what she could have done to avoid this situation. She hated the fact that somehow Miranda had been dragged into this mess.


Andy called softly, knowing that her second in command was in the outer office, having deposited Miranda at home hours ago and ensured that Andy's lover was safe and sound for the night.

The tall woman entered Andy's office and sat down easily when Andy waved at the spare chair on the other side of her desk.

"You handled today well. I know it does not seem like it, but considering how little warning you had, and how Miranda can be, short of knocking her unconscious, or handcuffing her to the car, I don't see how you could have done better. I should have done better..."

Andy said, allowing some of her professional veneer to fall away. She had known Hansen for a long time and the situation was intimate.

"Don't be so hard on yourself, Andy. Anyone else would still be chasing heir tail and wondering who the hell was after them. It all worked out and it was a fluke anyway..."

Maria offered with a genuine smile, her own professional mask falling away.

"How do you feel about a promotion?"

Andy asked, putting into motion a thought she had been turning over in her head for a while.

"I am already the highest ranked agent here, Andy. Just what are you talking about?"

Maria asked after a moment.

"I want to open a branch on the west coast. You would be responsible for the whole thing. I can think of some agents that would be willing to make the transition with you, so you would not need to do any recruiting or training right away."

Andy felt a calmness settle over her as she spoke.

"I would still be here if you need help or advice or just wanted to talk, but it would be your baby. You up for it?"

Andy said, leaning back in her chair and watching the inscrutable woman before her.


The answer was immediate. As Andy had expected. Maria Hansen was that good. When she was ready, Andy would let Maria buy the branch from her, and they would undoubtedly become sister companies as time went by.

"You have a month to find and train your replacement. Pick well, you know what I am like. I don't want to have to fire anyone, and I don't want anyone quitting on me either."

Andy said as she rose. Maria rose as well and as they walked out of the office together, Andy nudged her friend.

"You'll do me proud. You always do."

Maria nudged her back.

"Thanks. Really. This is a dream come true..."

The words were heartfelt and Andy felt some of the heaviness in her heart fall away. She still needed to go to Miranda and talk to her. Also, tomorrow was her birthday, and Andy wondered just what she should expect.

It all seemed so unpredictable and uncertain right now. She would just have to trust in the love that she and Miranda shared.

Miranda glanced at the clock once more. It was abhorrently late, and still no Andrea. She had tried calling her lover, only to have the call redirected to voice mail after a certain number of rings. It was frustrating.

Picking up her phone once more she dialled another number.

The call was picked up after the first ring.

"Where is she?"

Miranda asked, holding her breath and hoping that Maria would actually tell her, now that the danger was over with.

"She usually goes to the water when she has this sort of mood."

The bodyguard's voice was soft and understanding, and Miranda quickly made note of popular spots Maria mentioned where evidently Andrea liked to go and think. After thanking the other woman, Miranda hung up and quickly called a cab. Normally she would use her driver, but she had sent him home earlier and wanted to be alone with Andrea anyway.

While she got ready for the cab, Miranda mused that she should know where her lover when she was troubled. However, the truth be known, Andrea was normally very even tempered and not very forthcoming about things like this. Andrea was a complicated and mysterious person.

Miranda reflected that she could probably spend a lifetime getting to know her and only scratch the surface...

Finally the cab arrived and after some internal debate, Miranda was headed towards what she considered to be the most likely option of the options she had.

She was in luck. When the cab slowed down, Miranda easily recognised her lover's car and the silhouette of her lover in the distance. After paying the driver and alighting from the car, Miranda looked over at her lover who had become aware of her presence and when they were finally alone, Miranda felt something inside of herself give.

When Andrea smiled, so sweetly, Miranda fell a little more in love and quickly walked towards her, feeling a weight lift from her heart. One that had been there since the start of this whole mess, but which had become a devastating pressure when she had witnessed the events of the afternoon.

Not devastating because of what had happened, but because she was worried that it might effect them, and their love, in a way that Miranda could not predict, or have control of. Miranda was so far gone and so in love with Andrea, that the very idea was more than she could handle.

A moment later, she was engulfed in the strong arms of Andrea and her world aligned itself once more as she pulled on her lover's chin and kissed her. Passionately, her relief, her love, her fear, being transmitted in the touch.

Andrea responded in kind, and in seconds they were panting. It always happened like that, the mutual hunger that they seemed to have for each other ensured it. Miranda would never get enough, could never get enough. The taste, the sensation, the whole of Andrea, was everything that she needed...

"Want to go?"

Andy finally said to Miranda as she felt the chill of the night air start to seep into her clothing. There were better places than this to talk, after all. This was just someplace she came to think when she needed to.

"Yes. Your place?"

Miranda's response was instant. Her children had been scheduled to stay with their father, and though Miranda had debated with the idea of keeping them home, she had decided that normalcy was better. Andy tended to agree...

They alternated between their two homes when they spent time together, and Andy now possessed a key to the townhouse, while she had given Miranda the needed codes, and keys to go to her apartment if there was a need or a desire to. It had been a big step for both of them, seeing as how privacy and independence were such a big deal.


Andy said and moments later they were driving through the New York night, for once, with Andy in the passenger seat. It was not the first time she had allowed Miranda to drive her car, well, this was her back-up car. Her car was ruined and when the police were done with it, she would cannibalise it for parts, crush it, and replace it. But that was a consideration for another day.

Miranda had insisted upon driving, and Andy head learned that it was best to simply let her lover do things for her from time to time. Andy was glad for the small break, actually. Also, it was kind of hot to watch her lover handle the powerful car with such ease. Not everyone nowadays could drive a stick. Of course, Miranda would be competent at a multitude of things, from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Soon they were pulling into Andy's familiar garage and making their way to the elevator. By now, Andy was almost desperate to be home. The simmering arousal in her body and the promise of a hot shower, food, drink and Miranda were making her want to run to her door while carrying Miranda.

Thankfully, they were soon there and as Andy shut her door, she sagged with relief.

"Thank you for coming to find me."

Andy said quietly as she shrugged out of her trench coat and hung it and Miranda's coat up in her hallway, unstrapping her weapons as she went and dropping them and her keys on the counter in the entranceway.

Miranda turned to look at her, an unfathomable look in her eyes.


She said to Andy, smiling.

Then she moved towards the kitchen.

"Come on. If I need a glass of wine, you must be desperate for one."

Miranda said as she proceeded to find a bottle, open it and set it out to breathe.

"You want to talk about it?"

Andy said as she walked towards her stereo system and selected some music to play, before she opened a window to allow the fresh air to circulate in the room. Looking up, she found herself entranced as always, but the vista before her at night.

Transfixed and feeling safe, she was oblivious to the approach of Miranda, until she felt arms encircle her and pull off her suit jacket, before they returned to hold her. Leaning back, Andy sighed with contentment and waited for Miranda to answer her question.

Talk about it?

Miranda mused as she laid her head on Andy's back. No, not really. She was content. If Andrea ever brought things up, or needed to talk, she would listen, but Miranda had come to realise in the course of the past day, that love really did accept all, and forgive all, and understand all. When it was true love.

Sighing softly, Miranda loved her hands to work on the buttons that held Andrea's shirt together, allowing the music and the scent of the other woman to envelop her in a haze of sensual bliss.

A perfect moment...

Her lover leaned back against her and dropped her hands, caressing them up Miranda's thighs, shifting her skirt, as Miranda completed her task and pulled the shirt free and off, discarding it on the floor.

Andrea turned in the circle of her arms, fastening her mouth to Miranda's. The kiss was hungry. Moaning now despite herself, Miranda felt expert hands make short work of the zipper of her skirt, which also fell away, forgotten.

The world shifted and Miranda felt herself being lifted, with almost negligent ease, all the whole Andrea kissed her. While she kissed Andrea. Passion burned through her body as Miranda realised that Andrea had put her down on the lush leather sofa that graced her main living space.

Moving like water, like wine, down Miranda's body, Andrea knelt and with torturous slowness, begun to roll a stocking down Miranda's leg. Her tongue and mouth burned a trail along the exposed flesh as she went.

Miranda was going to lose control. She could feel desire unlike anything she had ever experienced flare up in her. Almost chocking her.

By now, Andy had removed her second stocking and was moving along the sensitive skin of her lower body. Her mouth and tongue making promises that Miranda knew they could keep. Arching, Miranda grabbed her lover by the hair, pulling her head up from its ministrations. When their eyes met, Miranda was sure she was going to climax just from the look that Andrea gave her.

Her lover smiled in an almost feral way, before she lowered her body once more, dipping her tongue into Miranda's navel before her hands moved to spread Miranda's thighs...

The first touch of Andrea's mouth on her was almost too much. That delicious mouth, that perfect tongue. The sheer amount of pent up energy that Miranda possessed at this moment, was more than she could take. Almost.

Andrea seemed to sense her need and gentled her touch, easing the way, so it would not seem so shocking or too quick.

There was a fine line between pleasure and pain, after all. Miranda sighed and relaxed into the moment, feeling her pleasure mount as Andrea possessed her body like no one else had, and no one else would ever again.

Andy felt drunk with lust. With love.

Oblivious to the hard floor under her knees, focused only on the woman writhing in her arms, she felt her desire rise up in her like a hunger. Like a thirst. It would not be denied, not now, not ever.

Miranda was close, the telltale signs flowed through Andy's body, seeming to brand her soul as they went. Wrapping her arms around Miranda's thighs, Andy opened her mouth wider and moved her tongue deliberately, devastatingly. A moment later, Miranda moaned her passion into the night, half sitting as orgasm overtook her.

The display was intoxicating. Delicious.

Andy gently pulled her face away, laying her head against the thigh of her lover, feeling the tension in her own body ratcheted up to an almost unbearable level. The sheer erotic nature of the moment having swept her away completely.

A tug on her arm caused her to look up.

"Come here."

Miranda commanded in a soft voice, her desire drugged eyes consuming Andy from afar. Andy shivered and rose gracefully from the floor, opening her pants and letting them fall before stepping out of them and moving to Miranda.

Miranda sat up and pulled on her, effectively forcing her to come along, or resist. As if she would ever resist Miranda. As if she could ever resist Miranda. A warm thigh moved to press between her legs and Andy gasped, arching, exposing her neck to Miranda's talented mouth, grinding down against Miranda as they moved as one.

Andy was caught by surprise as a hand moved aside her panties and slipped into her body, causing her to convulse with startled pleasure. The dual sensation of Miranda's mouth on her neck and fingers moving so deliberately in her body, made her keen. Her self control slipped away as she and Miranda moved as one.

Seconds passed as Andy was utterly overpowered by pleasure, by Miranda loving her and then it was upon her, catching her by surprise as she screamed out in pleasure, incoherent with passion and desire.

However, she did not fail to hear Miranda moan into her ear as she did. The knowledge that Miranda was also coming was too much. Andy's body immediately coiled itself together and another orgasm swept over her, almost rendering her unconscious as it did.

She collapsed on Miranda, gasping, feeling Miranda's free arm envelop her. It made her feel safe. Loved. Wanted. It was perfect...

"I love you."

Miranda whispered gently into her ear. The words causing a single tear to find its way down Andy's cheek.

"I love you."

Andy said quietly, snuggling down into her lover's embrace and smiling as she simply lay in silence while the music played softly in serenade of the night.

Miranda woke when the light of dawn crept across Andrea's bedroom, slowly moving along the large bed that she was sharing with her lover.

It was Andrea's birthday.

Time to set plans in motion. Rising slowly, knowing that it would wake Andrea up, but if she moved just right, it would not rouse her lover.

She had plans to execute. Phone calls to make. Things to do.

Pulling on a dressing gown that she snagged from Andrea's closet, she fund her phone and moved to the living area of Andrea's apartment. By now she was both comfortable and familiar with the entire abode, so she moved to the kitchen and with practised ease got the coffee started.

Back in the living area, she opened the curtains that covered the windows and when the skyline bathed in sunlight was revealed, her breath caught.

Amazing how such a simple sight, could be so awe inspiring. Perhaps it was because of the significance of the day, or due to what she had just been through. In any case, she stood and looked at it silently for long moments, before moving to sit down and start getting her plans into motion.

She estimated that she had maybe half an hour before Andrea actually awoke and came looking for her, so it was time to get busy.

The scent of freshly brewing coffee accompanied her efforts.

When Andy opened her eyes, she was momentary perplexed. Miranda was standing near her holding a cup of coffee and a large Cheshire grin graced her face.

Then Andy remembered. It was her birthday...

"Happy Birthday."

Miranda said quietly, leaning down to kiss her before handing her the steaming coffee. Some time ago Miranda had actually brought Andy breakfast in bed, and while Andy had appreciated the gesture, she much preferred kisses and coffee as a wake up call. Often, her stomach was not cooperative immediately upon waking.

Rising from the bed, she stretched out her naked body, aware of the effect that it had on her lover. A mouth made hot with coffee closed around her nipple, making her knees feel molten. She would certain accept this as her birthday surprise...

The thought was interrupted when Miranda urged her to put some clothes on and to come with her. With a smile and with no little arousal, Andy pulled on some sweats and followed her lover into the living area, wondering what she was in for.

Half expecting to find it a riot of balloons and cards and for people to leap out from behind furniture and yell surprise, Andy was mildly relieved to discover that this was not the case. The room was unchanged...

Now she was really curious.

Miranda had by now moved to the kitchen and was indicating that Andy should sit. When Andy did, Miranda handed her some paper and Andy looked at it curiously.

"Plane tickets to Paris?"

She finally said, a note of pleased surprise in her voice. It had been a while since she had been to France.

"Only to start with. And before you protest, I have colluded with Maria. You have the next ten days off."

Miranda said with an enigmatic smile.

"And you also have the next ten days off, I presume?"

Andy finally asked, smiling at her lover.

"Of course. If they can't handle Runway for ten days, they can all expect to be fired. I am sure you share this opinion."

By now, Andy had risen from her seat to move closer to Miranda.

"And something tells me that we are already packed, and a taxi will be arriving soon to pick us up?"

Andy said as she embraced Miranda, inhaling her unique scent and resting her head on her lover's shoulder.

"We have an hour and a half to get ready."

Miranda murmured into Andy's ear, her warm breath tickling Andy's neck.

"Plenty of time."

Andy said, as she turned her head and kissed Miranda...

The End

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