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 four previous stories that I wrote, titled: Bodyguard & Bodyguard II & Bodyguard III & Bodyguard IV. You might want to read at least them, but it is not strictly needed to understand this story. Thank you to my readers and fans. No really. I probably would not write if you were not reading, or at least I would not write as much as I do. Seriously.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Bodyguard V This Hour Of Need
By The Raven
Miranda Priestly practically spat the word into her phone. The vehemence of her tone made everyone in the office stop and cringe. Miranda did not care. She did not care about anything right now.
"There has been an incident at the Dalton School. No details just yet, but the situation appears to be quite dire."
Miranda hung up on the caller, knowing that they would not be able to provide anymore information to her. It was Roy, her driver. He had apparently heard it on the news and was now rushing to pick her up. Miranda felt paralysed with shock.
It had all seemed so simple this morning, packing her daughters up and sending them to school, performing her morning routine. Going to work. And now this...
Miranda's mind screamed at her and without a pause and uncaring of who was around her she dialled.
Andrea answered, her voice tight.
She knew. Of course she knew.
"I need you."
Miranda said, holding back a hysterical sob as she said the words.
"You have me."
Andrea answered at once.
"Go to the school and don't piss the cops off too much. I will be there as soon as I can. I love you."
Andrea broke off the phone call and Miranda let her shoulders slump a little. Andrea would somehow make it right. Miranda had faith. Andrea knew what to do, she would be there for Miranda.
Glancing up she saw a concerned looking Emily standing by her desk, poised to anything that she asked.
"I am leaving. It is a personal matter. Cancel and reschedule my appointments for the rest of the day. When you have done that, come to Dalton School."
Miranda added as an afterthought, already packing up her things and barely pausing when Emily thrust her coat and purse at her as she stormed out of the office.
Andy was already on her way to the supply room by the time she had closed her phone. Word had come in about five minutes ago about the situation at the Dalton School and when Miranda had called, Andy had already been taking action.
They had been home from Paris for about two weeks now, and things had been going swimmingly. Now this. This madness. Impossible.
"I want a data mine and surveillance started. Five agents desk side. If a mosquito so much as farts in the vicinity of that school, I want to know immediately."
Andy said sharply as she threw open supply boxes.
"Three to come with me with a van, fully stocked. Three to be in a van at my six, fully stocked."
Andy picked up a supply kit. It would contain everything she needed to mount an urban assault in most situations. She then added two care packs, child size. Grabbing her personal kit, she was ready. She practically ran to her car and gently threw the things into the back seat.
"Meet me there."
She said to the agents who were rushing around to get ready.
Miranda was waiting and Andy would be damned if she was going to be late. Her lover hated tardiness, after all. Touching her ear, Andy called Miranda, knowing her lover was probably pulling her hair out by now.
Andy tried not to flinch at the desperate edge in Miranda's voice.
"I am on my way, Miranda."
Andy said as she broke some laws and sped towards her destination.
Miranda said. The word made something in Andy's chest seize painfully.
She fought back her emotions. Now was not the time to go to pieces, now was the time for her to be as professional as possible. Emotions could come later, when they were more useful. Not while driving like a madwoman through traffic that seemed hell bent on driving her insane.
Roy had gotten Miranda to the Dalton School in record time. He was not a stupid man. He had worked for her a long time and was well aware of what her wrath could do. Miranda also knew that he was incredibly concerned. Not that she would ever tell him that she knew.
The car had barely stopped when Miranda got out of it. The school was surrounded by police cars. Here and there were gaggles of concerned parents and much to Miranda's distaste, reporters were also to be seen. Ignoring it all, Miranda marched up the yellow tape that the police had erected and glared at the officer who was guarding the perimeter.
"My daughters go to this school. I demand to know what is going on."
The man, to his credit, flinched at her tone. It was after all, her most deadly.
"Sorry, I can't give you any information. If you would go wait with the others someone will speak to you as soon as possible."
Miranda narrowed her eyes at the man, not feeling at all mollified by his words. Just as she was about to tear him a new orifice, she heard a voice call behind her.
Turning, she saw Andrea moving towards her. Miranda felt weak kneed at the sight of her lover and it was all she could do to not throw herself into Andrea's arms.
Andrea pulled something from her pocket and showed it to the policeman, whose eyes widened. He immediately let her into the perimeter and Andrea turned to Miranda.
"I will be back in a minute. Wait here and don't let anyone remove you."
Andrea's voice was so sure and so calm, and Miranda felt herself responding to it at once.
She nodded to her lover and decided that they would only remove her by force, if it came to that. Captivated now by Andrea, she watched as her lover walked up to the officer in charge and sought and got his attention at once.
There was some animated discussion and the man inspected her identification carefully before visibly quailing in front of her. Despite the dire situation Miranda felt a certain degree of satisfaction at the sight. She sometimes forgot how powerful Andrea could be in a situation like this. It was exciting to watch.
Less than a minute later, Andrea turned away from the man and walked back towards Miranda, her face a neutral mask. When she arrived Miranda found herself almost desperate for information, for anything.
"Let's go talk in the car."
Andrea suggested and pulled Miranda gently to get her moving.
A few moments later Miranda was seated beside Andrea and mustered all her patience to not demand answers of her lover. She had sworn to herself a long time ago, that no matter what, she would never unleash her vitriol on this beautiful woman.
"There are ten men. Armed. They are demanding a ransom. No shots have been fired and so far everyone is ok, uninjured and as safe as they can be. Hostage negotiators are arriving as we speak and so are SWAT teams, of course."
Miranda's eyes widened in shock and she opened her mouth to ask questions. Andrea cut her off.
"I have five agents working at headquarters and six are coming here right now. Though I will cooperate with the police, I don't work for them. Miranda, you have my word. I will make this ok. Now, help me get ready?"
Miranda's mind stuttered to a half and she just nodded. Questions could wait, for now. Miranda had no doubt that Andrea had given her all the information she possessed on this matter. Now she needed to help her lover as much as possible and save her questions for when there was time to ask them.
Andrea started up the car and drove them down the block, stopping beside a nondescript van just out of sight of the main gaggle of police, reporters and parents. Andrea got out of the car and then reached into the back seat, pulling at some heavy gear and urging Miranda out of the car as she did.
"Here, take the keys and use the car if you have to. Keep your phone on. For now, just come into the van so we can brief you"
With the words Andy opened the back of the van and handed a waiting agent her gear before she helped Miranda up into the cramped but not too small space. Under other circumstances, Miranda would have been thrilled to have been made part of Andrea's work in this way, but right now she felt only a sense of malaise.
However, her trust in Andrea was undaunted...
Andy said as soon as she had settled Miranda in a seat slightly away from the action. Andy was pretty sure Emily would be joining them soon, which was fine, The van was designed to accommodate up to six people with ease, ten in a pinch.
"Unit 2 is in position. No contact on any police channels with the hostiles. We are monitoring all communication and data mining is already in action with some results."
Andy snatched the piece of paper she was offered even as she shrugged out of her jacket and started to unbutton her shirt. She needed to change her clothes. Her agents were in various stages of being ready as well. Time was of an essence after all.
"Give them to me."
Miranda's voice interrupted her thoughts and without hesitation she handed her jacket, jewellery and shirt to Miranda, standing in her bra and furiously focusing on the paper in her hand. It contained the names of the pupils and staff in the school, or the information that was available on the detail anyway.
It was probably quite accurate.
Andy demanded as she kicked off her boots and let her pants drop to the floor of the van, stepping out of them, setting her weapons harness aside for the moment.
A sheaf of papers was thrust at her and Andy stilled, focusing all of her attention on the material in her hands, oblivious to everything else. She needed to memorize this, as if and when she was in the building, she would not have time to reference them, only a encrypted two way radio link to agents on the outside.
She barely noticed as Miranda gathered her clothes from the floor and when Andy was done, she handed the papers back to her agent. It was time to get dressed. Quickly she stripped naked and opened her personal kit, removing a tank top and a pair of shorts made of the same material.
It would support, allow freedom of movement, and wick away her sweat. It would also be comfortable, and that was what really mattered. Socks, technical, padded, then pants. Custom cargo pants, actually. With their gusseted crotch, pockets, and padding for her knees and shins, they would be optimal.
Andy then belted on her weapons harness and slid her auxiliary weapons into place. A knitted turtleneck top came next. Again with padding at crucial places, gussets and venting to allow for maximum comfort. As she tucked her sweater into her pants and stood up to test the adjustment of her clothes she glanced at Miranda.
Her lover was in a state of shocked curiosity, somehow managing to look regal despite the situation and despite the fact that she had a neatly arranged pile of Andy's clothes on her lap.
"You can put those in the locker over there."
Andy said quietly, reaching out to touch Miranda's arm.
Only Miranda's blue, blue eyes betrayed how terrified she was at the moment. Something clenched again in Andy's chest. She would make this right, she would. Failure was not an option...
Miranda rose to her feet and carefully arranged Andrea's clothes into the indicated locker. Part of her mind was still processing that her lover had just stripped naked in front of four people, herself included and no one had batted an eyelash.
It probably helped that the three other agents, two women and a man, had been doing pretty much the same thing at the same time. Each one working in tandem so that the many blinking lights in the vehicle were not left unattended. It was still extraordinary and now, dressed as she was, Andrea looked deadly.
As deadly as Miranda had ever seen her look.
The beautiful long hair that Miranda was so enraptured with was expertly gathered, tied up and slipped into a watch cap. Andrea's clothes were of the darkest shade of charcoal Miranda had ever seen. Privately amidst her own worries, she wondered if she could include this sort of urban warrior look into a photo spread in Runway magazine.
She also wondered if she could get Andrea to pose for her.
Andrea was lacing on a pair of boots with dully gleaming steel toes and as Miranda watched, Andrea tucked the laces in and stood. What Andrea put on next made Miranda feel feint.
It was a bullet proof vest.
Oh my god.
This was really happening.
Fear gripped Miranda and she felt herself sit down heavily as the blur of activity went on around her. She remained silent though, knowing instinctively that she must not interrupt these preparations, she must not. As if sensing her thoughts, Andrea touched her arm.
"It will be ok, Miranda. I promise you."
Her voice was soft and gentle and totally bellied her appearance.
Miranda believed Andrea.
Even when she clipped a sawn off shotgun and a compact assault rifle to her equipment. Even when she seemed to fill her pockets with deadly things, and equipment that Miranda could not identify.
When Andrea wrapped a belt of shotgun shells around her waist, Miranda had pretty much decided that she would make this a fashion spread in Runway. It was sure to sell a few magazines.
"I believe you."
Miranda said quietly, earning a smile from her lover.
Andrea said in a clipped tone.
Miranda flinched slightly. Andrea sounded deadly as well.
Miranda's cell phone rang and the occupants of the can stood still for a moment while she answered.
"Emily. Come to the van on the corner."
Miranda said, giving her assistant the exact location. Andy was impressed despite herself
Miranda would have had to be observant to have seen exactly where they were. Andy mused that her lover was nothing if not intensely observant.
Miranda was also beautiful and scared.
"See to it that they are kept informed."
Andy said to the two agents that were staying in the van until they were needed, if they were needed.
Came the reply and Andy double checked her preparations before sliding gloves on her hands and picking up the two kid kits.
"What are those?"
Miranda asked, of course.
"Kid kits. We have adult ones as well. Basically a coverall, a watch cap, safety glasses, gloves and rubber soled slippers. The fact is that it can be very hard to rescue someone who is wearing the wrong things, or if there are obstacles in the way."
Andy said simply, before she leaned down and kissed Miranda, hard, on the mouth.
"I love you."
Andy said and stood up straight once more.
Miranda blinked at her and nodded. Her expression slightly dazed looking.
"I love you, Andrea."
The words warmed Andy's heart and she smiled.
"Time to go."
The agent who was going with her nodded and the two auxiliary agents nodded a moment later in silent communication.
"Unit two is ready to go."
Came the confirmation that Andy did not need, but required anyway.
Without any further ado, Andy opened the door and hopped out, her agent right at her heels. Ignoring a very shocked looking Emily, Andy turned into the alley right next to the school and sucked in a deep breath.
It had begun.
No sooner had Andrea left when Emily arrived. Miranda was perversely glad to see her assistant. At least she would have another person to help her should her talents, contacts, money, influence, power, be needed.
Right now, what she needed was her children. And her lover.
Who had just dressed in black, strapped weapons to her body, kissed her, and disappeared. Miranda almost felt like a damsel who had watched her knight ride off to war. Almost.
"Emily, sit. Get your notebook out, and have your phone ready. I will fill you in as soon as possible."
The young woman, true to her training did just that.
Miranda looked around the van. It had a multitude of equipment in it, and two of Andrea's agents. Deadly looking women who were dressed similarly to Andrea, minus the bullet proof vest and the heavy weapons, that is. Miranda supposed that for sitting in a van it was not necessary to be so well armed, after all.
"What is going on?"
Miranda demanded, deciding that she would be silent no longer.
What she loved the most was in the Dalton School, or on the way into it. She wanted to know, and she would know.
"They have breached the walls undetected. Unit 2 is poised. Right now we don't have any further operational details, Ms. Priestly. I can however give you some briefs if you would like to know more about the situation inside the school."
The woman who spoke was obviously one of Andrea's more experienced agents. Her bearing was almost identical to that of Andrea and of Maria, the woman who was second in command at Andrea's company.
It made Miranda wonder why Andrea had chosen the male agent to go with her. Maybe she would ask.
Miranda said and held out her hand.
"What is your name?"
Miranda asked suddenly.
"I am Louise Smith."
The woman said at once, flashing some white teeth at Miranda before turning to the other woman in the van and introducing her as well.
"This is Susan Walker. The man who went with Andy is called David Summer."
Miranda nodded, committing the names to memory. She had no doubt that every agent in Andrea's employ knew exactly who she was, exactly who Emily was and exactly why they were here.
Andrea was just that thorough.
Miranda looked down at the paper in her hand. It had numbers on it. Hostages, hostiles, and possible unknowns. It also had a rating on it. The number eight.
"What does this number mean?"
Miranda asked suddenly, a feeling of dread creeping into her gut.
"It is a rating on a scale of ten, of difficulty."
Louise said simply, her green eyes compassionate as she spoke
"Why are you not with her then?"
Miranda demanded, incensed at the idea that Andrea was out there with only one person as support. No doubt competent support, but still.
"Andy will call us if she needs us. The agents here are all of a high rank, Ms. Priestly. We know what we are doing."
Miranda bit her tongue and looked down once more at the paper, the number eight seeming to torment her from the glaring whiteness of it.
Getting into the school grounds had been simple enough. It helped that Andy and her agent knew where all the cameras were. It also helped that they were in a blind spot with regards to the police, but for how much longer? Who knew.
Glancing at her agent, Andy pointed at a supply. It was small, heavily chained and padlocked, and probably alarmed as well. Still, it was a good entry point, as the hostiles in the building would not be holding people near the utilities of the building. Too few seats, no toilets, no phones, no view.
That did not mean that it might not be guarded, though. An obstacle to cross when they came to it...
Andy adjusted the polarized ballistic glasses that were on her face and while her agent covered her, she crept to the door and pulled out her lock picking kit. Quick hands made short work of the padlock. Now the alarm system. It was probably a pressure pad on the inside of the door rim, when the door opened, a button was released.
Andy eyed the pad next to the door. Entering a code would probably disable the alarm, but that might also alert someone who might be watching. Andy touched her ear, muttering into her throat microphone.
"Specs for the alarm system re: access and supply doors. You have three minutes."
Andy slid her lock picking kit away and looked up the side of the building. Of course, she could always climb the building, but someone might notice, and there was no way for her to get people out through windows. The door would have to be opened one way or another.
"The alarm trigger is at the top, opposite the hinges. Three inches down."
Andy tapped the microphone to acknowledge the transmission and pulled out a flexible piece of metal. Malleable metal would be more accurate. She needed to wedge it between the door and the frame. To add a complication the door had a plate running all along its outer edge, obviously to thwart just this sort of thing.
By the time she had successfully wedged the metal in, Andy was sweating, but that hardly mattered. She glanced at her agent and he slipped over to her.
She waited while he picked the lock with expert hands and eased the door open. Then, they quickly worked together to secure the button of the alarm system down and jamming the lock so it would open with a twist of a knife, if they exited from this part of the building.
"Team 1 is inside. Advise Team 2 of entry possible entry point should the need arise."
The door closed silently behind them and now they were in the building itself. So far so good. There was no sign of any sentries, and there were no cameras in this part of the building. Yet.
Miranda jumped slightly when Emily's phone vibrated. Office calls were being rerouted to her phone, though Miranda had instructed her to not hesitate to hit ignore if the call did not merit immediate attention. Unfortunately Miranda could not let all the calls go unanswered, but she could avoid most of them.
"It's your ex-husband, the newest one."
Emily said softly after answering the phone.
"Get rid of him. I will only speak to the father of my children at this time."
Miranda hissed, refocusing her attention to the agents who were working so intently in front of them.
As if sensing her perusal, Louise turned to her and scrutinised Emily for a second. Miranda nodded slightly. Emily could be counted on to be loyal and discreet. There was no question of that in Miranda's mind.
"They have entered the building. Out second team is poised in the grounds of the school, waiting should there be a need for them. We are have isolated the frequency the hostiles are using and are attempting to tap into it. We are also ready to jam cameras as needed."
Louise said precisely, nodding slightly before she turned her attention back to the myriad of equipment that festooned the insides of the van.
Miranda could feel Emily practically bursting with questions beside her. Perhaps she should answer some of them. After all, it might help later if she needed to rely on Emily to do something for her without question.
Emily's phone rang again.
Without being told, Miranda knew it was Caroline and Cassidy's father. He was on a business trip overseas, but Miranda had contacted him on the way to the school.
"Miranda, what is going on?"
Covering a sigh, Miranda spent a few minutes explain the situation to him, doing her best to remain patient and to be as discreet as possible. She knew that the agents in the van would banish her and Emily to Andrea's car if they got in the way.
"I'll let you know as soon as I know more."
Miranda said and hung up, handing Emily her phone back.
Louise said in a louder voice suddenly, and then there was a flurry of activity as her hands raced over a keyboard in front of her.
What did it mean?
Miranda only had to think about it for a moment before it dawned on her. Andrea had encountered one or more of the hostiles in the building.
David, her agent was flattened against the opposite wall of the corridor they were standing in. They had reached the end of the supply and utility area of the school without much trouble. A single easy to open door had been the place where they had entered the main corridors of the school.
After that, it had only taken a few minutes for them to find their first possible hostile. Andy felt adrenalin flood her system as they waited in silence for the footsteps to pass, or whatever they were going to do.
It was likely that whatever patrolling was going on in the school, that the guards were checking in regularly. This would complicate having to intercept a hostile at this point. It could easily blow their cover and expose them, and that would in turn endanger the hostages.
The choice was taken out of their hands when the man turned the corner and walked into the area where they were hiding.
Andy leapt, sliding her garrotte around the man's neck while David snatched the man's hands and kneed him in the stomach. Without a word they viciously dragged him down the corridor.
"I will ask you questions. If I am not happy with answers, I will break fingers. You understand?"
Andy said while David searched the man, emptying his pockets and sweeping the contents into a plastic bag, before he tied his feet, and knees together with plastic ties and air plane tape. Air plane tape being duct tape on steroids.
The man looked at Andy and she could see fear in his eyes. Good.
"What are your responses to indicate that all is well?"
Andy asked softly while David stood guard.
The man foolishly said.
Andy smiled cruelly, before she nodded at David, who leaned down and held a knife to the man's throat.
"If you make a single noise, he will kill you."
Andy said softly before smashing the man's right index finger with the heel of her boot.
The man moaned softly but did not scream.
Andy said as she riffled through the plastic bag, pulling out a sweaty bandana, which she bunched into a ball.
"Ten four, ok, roger."
The man offered.
Andy yanked back on his hair, pried open his mouth shoved the bandana in and then broke his thumb. He moaned in agony.
"I'll break two next time."
The man was defeated. Whatever agenda was going on, it was unlikely he was more than paid muscle and he had not been paid to endure this.
After receiving the correct responses, Andy carefully gagged the man and his hands and elbows were tied behind his back. Andy took a small mercy and taped his fingers as well, no sense in him fainting from pain and suffocating or something. Not that Andy actually cared right now, but she would later.
"You get that?"
Andy murmured into her throat microphone.
"Yes. We will issue responses as needed."
It was time to move. Time was at an essence and they had little to spare after all.
The flurry of activity had not ceased in the van and Miranda was left to watch as the two agents worked like a well oiled machine to do whatever it is that they needed to do.
Miranda felt like she was going to be sick. Her Andrea was in the school, dealing with a hostile. Miranda was out here, doing nothing except taking up space.
"Is there anything I can do?"
Miranda asked when there seemed to be a lull in the activity.
Louise looked at her sharply, a speculative look on her face.
"Can you send your assistant to spy on what the cops are doing?"
"We can put a wire on her. We are monitoring their frequencies but having someone on the ground over there might actually help."
Miranda said and turned to Emily.
"Have the office calls redirected to my phone and leave yours free in case I need to contact you. I trust you can do this, Emily."
Miranda looked into the eyes of her young assistant.
The British woman said with determination.
Miranda said quietly and in minutes her assistant was wired and walking towards the main gaggle of police. Miranda felt a surge of pride fill her chest as she watched Emily go. She really was an exceptional assistant...
"And what can I do?"
Miranda said when she turned around to look at Louise again.
"Nothing right now. I think Andy will be happy to see you when she gets back, though."
Louise said gently, obviously understanding that Miranda felt like a fifth wheel.
"Can you tell me what is going on?"
Miranda asked eventually, feeling a heaviness in her chest as she spoke. What she loved was in that damned school.
"Andy and David have subdued a hostile and are moving on. The second Unit is ready to move and we are also ready, should the need arise."
"And if it does?"
Miranda asked imperiously.
"We will power down the van and go in."
Louise said simply.
"You can wait in the van. We will leave you a receiver so you can hear what is going on. Other agents will come to the van and take over in short order. You will not be out of the loop for long, Ms. Priestly."
"Call me Miranda."
Miranda said absently as she absorbed the information.
She found it a little unbelievable that Andrea had ensured her inclusion to this level.
"Andy knows you, Miranda. She knows your children are in the school. That is why she went in. Of course we are keeping you informed."
Miranda looked up in surprise but saw nothing but a somewhat blank and professional expression on the agents face.
"How long will it be, do you think?"
Miranda asked, needing to know.
"Not long. It can't. Soon someone is going to look for the missing hostile no matter what we do, and soon the police are going to try something as well."
Miranda considered this information carefully.
It frightened her. But somehow, she knew that Andrea would make it ok. She had promised, after all...
They had reached the nexus of the situation. The cameras had actually been easy to avoid. A school like Dalton was not exactly concerned about delinquents in their hallways. The security here operated mainly to keep vandals out, and the pupils safe from ordinary dangers.
This situation was no ordinary danger...
Andy kept guard as David slid a miniature endoscope under the door and studied the tiny display of a monitor. When he was done, he handed the instruments to Andy and she in turn took in the situation.
The room had five hostiles and adults in it. The children were obviously someplace else, these were the teachers, based on their clothing, that is. They moved away from the door and down the hallway. The children were probably in the gym. Where the cleaners and janitors were, was another problem.
Andy quickly radioed Unit 2, they would need to come and deal with the teachers. The strike would need to be coordinated. Then she needed her two agents from the van that Miranda was in.
It was the first time since this had begun that she allowed herself to think about her lover. Andy hoped that she was doing alright. All things considered. Andy also remembered her promise to the woman she loved. She would keep it, somehow.
Silently, she and David moved down the hallway, making their way to the gym. It was the best guess they had. The room with the teachers had held what could only be muscle. The leader of this madness was probably with the children, so as to ensure that he had maximum leverage.
Andy froze, her foot in the air and David, true to his superb training stilled as well.
Wonderful, the school was booby trapped, as had been expected. But what did the traps set off? An alarm? Explosives? Tear gas? More importantly, was the gym booby trapped? Did the hostiles have booby traps on them?
The suddenly flurry of activity made Miranda's heart stop. The two agents were pulling on bullet proof vests, strapping on weapons and powering down their stations.
"You can stay here. Agents will arrive soon to take over. Right now the van only receiving and sending to our headquarters."
It was Louise who spoke as she tucked her hair into a watch cap and handed Miranda a tiny receiver.
"You can listen with this. Don't lose it."
With that, the two agents hopped out of the van and closed the door behind them, leaving Miranda alone in the screaming silence with only her thoughts as company.
Glancing at the ear piece, she quickly figured out how to put it into her ear.
"Booby traps. Alert. Unknown consequences. Unit 2 will deal with the teachers. Five hostiles apparent."
It was Andrea's voice, though its tone was very low.
"We read you, Boss. Stand by for more."
A foreign voice said quickly.
Miranda felt like she was going to be sick. Booby traps? What on earth was going on in the school.
"Boss, the wire reports that the police are going to be mounting an assault very soon. Still rumour and gossip. Official channels and phone taps say nothing."
Miranda realised that the voice was talking about Emily.
"Got it. We are almost at the gym. The rest of Unit 1, we rendezvous there ASAP."
"ETA is two minutes, Boss. Unit 2 is in position."
That was Louise's voice.
Miranda took some comfort in the sureness of it and in the impression that the woman and her fellow agent had left her with while they had been in the van.
The radios fell silent for a moment and Miranda took a deep breath as fear raced through her body out of control.
"Unit 1 is complete."
An male voice, probably David's, reported.
This was good. They now had four, instead of just two. Andrea would be ok, she would make this ok. She had promised and Miranda trusted her. Miranda had faith...
When they reached the gym, the foursome stopped and crept forward. The chances of booby traps, surveillance, and problems had just magnified a thousand fold. Also, the presence of hundreds of children and an unknown number of hostiles presented huge problems as well.
If something went wrong, that is.
Andy was determined that nothing would go wrong. Glancing down at her watch, she saw that the countdown to the times assault was nearing completion. They had to hit precisely at the same time, or innocents would die.
So far, the booby traps had been easy enough to avoid. Basically they would only catch the unwary, the panicked, or the stupid. Thankfully the gym had its own exit into the outside, so they would not have to guide frightened children through the tangle when things were said and done.
"Stairs. Floor. Frame. Door."
Andy said, pointing at each agent an then herself. It would be their respective duty to ensure that the locations were booby trap free, or that any problems were disabled.
Andy waited while her agents cleared their areas and then moved to the door. She would bet serious money that it was booby trapped and alarmed. Time to check.
The first one was obvious. A wire around the handle. Undoubtedly it was a dummy. If she touched it, it would set something else off. Fabulous. Time to figure out what it might be hiding.
Andy slipped her endoscope under the door very carefully.
The room was filled with children, and around the walls, were six hostiles. On the floor amidst the children, there was one. There were no janitors or other auxiliary staff in evidence. Thankfully the locker rooms while adjoining the gym, were not in the gym itself. Neither was equipment rooms. It was a small mercy.
A very small one.
The back of the door had an alarm and C4 attached to it. That in of itself did not matter, unless it had a remote detonator, that is. Andy looked at the door intently, trying to see where the trigger for the mechanism was.
Andy said, and instantly her agents came to her side.
She said, wanting a confirmation of what she had decided. It was too important not to have a backup opinion and then a backup to that opinion.
The radio had fallen into silence as Andrea and her team worked on booby traps on the gym door. Or that was what Miranda assumed was happening anyway. Then, just as she was starting to worry even more there was a flurry of noise.
Oh my God.
Miranda stood up and felt her whole body shake as she listened.
More gunfire, some shouting, all in coded language now. Miranda did not understand, but assumed it was strategic so that any hostiles could not follow the action. Miranda was surprised that she knew this much, but just as Andrea tolerated Miranda talking about fashion with the patience of Job. Miranda listened when her lover talked about her work.
"Unit 1, clear!"
A voice said loudly.
"Unit 2, clear!"
"Boss, cops are reacting to the gunfire."
Miranda felt her blood freeze in her body.
No. Oh my God. No.
"Boss is hit. Opening gym doors to let the kids out. Call NYPD and tell them to receive them."
Andrea was hit?
Miranda jumped as the van door was opened and two agents hurried in.
"What is going on?"
Miranda asked immediately, only distantly realising that one of the agents was Andrea's second in command, Maria.
Andy lurched to her feet. She had taken a round directly into her vest and it felt like someone had hit her, with a car. Still, there was a job to do, and she had promised Miranda her children, bullet or no bullet.
"Contact Emily, have her relay to Miranda that I am ok. She is listening to this connection."
Andy gasped as she scanned the children for Cassidy and Caroline. Spotting them almost as once.
Pulling off her watch cap, Andy shook out her hair and gestured to the two girls. They immediately rose and ran to her, throwing themselves around her body and clinging to her desperately. Andy tried her best not to wince as she put her hat back on and dropped the two care kits onto the floor.
"Girls, put these on."
Andy said in a voice that she hoped was suitably soothing but authoritative. She wanted them to be easily identified, and protected, should something happen that separated them. Also, they were not out of this yet.
The girls did as they were told and stuffed their own shoes into their backpacks.
"We still have our phones."
One of the twins, Andy was pretty sure it was Cassidy, said.
"Good. Guess my lessons on how to hide stuff, worked huh? Are you two ok?"
Andy said as she watched the stream of children start to pour out of the gym.
"Yeah. I mean we don't have mom's last name, so they did not know. You know?"
Andy nodded. Without doubt, whoever these hostiles had been, they would have had a list of names to look out for. Thankfully the girls did know how to keep a low profile if needed. Andy supposed it was having such a famous mother that did it.
"I said. What is going on?"
Miranda got in Maria's face, not caring if she offended the woman, or was thrown out of the van.
The receiver in Miranda's ear crackled to life again.
"I have the children. We are moving out."
It was Andrea's voice.
Miranda was so relieved that she could only sit down heavily. Just then, Emily opened the van door and climbed in.
"What are you doing here?"
Miranda asked stupidly.
"I was told the wire was no longer needed. I was also told to come here and tell you that Andrea is ok."
The British woman seemed to be holding together pretty well. Miranda rose on shaky feet and enfolded Emily into an awkward hug.
She whispered. A heartbeat passed and Miranda felt hesitant arms wrap around her and gave her a squeeze before they stepped apart.
Just then, the door was yanked open and Miranda turned again and saw something that she would remember for the rest of her life. Cassidy and Caroline climbed into the van, their faces bright with excitement. Then Andrea was helped into the van.
She looked pale and drawn, but remarkably alive.
Three agents followed and now the van started to feel cramped. Miranda did not care, she pulled her daughters to her and hugged them fiercely. It was unbelievable.
"Time to go. Office. Set up a police liaison if needed. Unit 2, good job, go home after equipment dump and clean."
Andrea said in the same low voice that Miranda had heard over the receiver in her ear, which she removed as an afterthought right now.
"I need to have some X-rays. Maria. You are in charge."
Andrea then turned to Miranda.
"Please go wait in the car."
Normally Miranda would object but she reasoned that the agents wanted to get undressed and that they would rather not do it in front of her children.
With a simple not, Miranda guided her children out of the van and into the car, slipping into the backseat with them for the time being as she waited for Andrea to reemerge.
It occurred to her that she needed to call her ex-husband. Rummaging in her bag, she felt something and pulled it out. It was Andrea's jewellery. Miranda had shoved it into her bag what seemed like hours ago.
The beautiful watch and gold hoops. So simple, so elegant, so priceless; so Andrea. Miranda closed her fist around them and hugged her daughters close as she let a tear escape her eye and waited for the love of her life to arrive.
"Andy. Get to the hospital."
It was Louise's voice. Andy blinked and nodded. God, her chest hurt.
Throwing her personal things into a backpack, she watched as her agents prepared to wrap up the day and bring the van home. Maria was due to leave for the West Coast within the week. The thought both unnerved Andy and pleased her.
She would miss her second in command, but expanding the business and offering such a qualified agent this opportunity was too good to pass up. Maria would do an exemplary job and at least three of the agents who had worked with Andy today were going with her.
Not Louise, though.
She had been groomed to take over the second in command position and today had been her final test. Louise was as ready as she ever would be. Could be. Andy was a demanding boss, after all.
Reaching down to gather her personal kit, Andy felt hands stop her and looked up into Louise's eyes.
"You took a bullet for me today. Let me help you."
It was not a request. Andy sighed and nodded.
A few moments later, she let Louise help her from the van, and carry her stuff. Might as well start to build a relationship with the woman, after all. It would be needed in order for them to work together at the top.
Miranda got out of the car, her silver hair shining in the light of the setting sun. The sight warmed Andy's heart and she did not protest as Miranda led her to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for her. She eased in painfully and leaned back, closing her eyes.
"I'll call you later."
Louise said, closing the door gently.
Andy looked up and watched as her agent and Miranda exchanged a few words, but she was too tired to lip read. Too tired and sore. She would just ask Miranda about it later.
Looking into the rearview mirror, she saw that the twins were pretty much asleep, cuddled up together in their coveralls. It had been worth it, the pain was worth it. Not only for Miranda's children, but for the rest of the children. Andy made a mental note to arrange a meeting with the school's governing body later on in the week after some dust had settled.
The Dalton School needed to upgrade its security procedures and Andy was confident that her company and agents would be able to consult and help with the matter.
Andy fell asleep without realising it.
By the time Miranda slid into the drivers seat of Andrea's car, her lover was asleep. So were the twins in the backseat. Or they would be soon. Right now, the priority was getting Andrea to a hospital. Miranda wondered if her lover had a specific option in mind. Never mind. Miranda decided to take her to the hospital that she would go to if she needed care. Whatever else could be sorted out later.
Looking at her lover, Miranda could see pain and exhaustion written on her features. Andrea looked dwarfed almost, by the grey sweats that she was wearing. Her hair was in disarray and she looked younger than she was. Something ached in Miranda's heart as she pulled away from the curb. Hospital first. Everything else, later.
The ride to the hospital was uneventful and soon Miranda was pulling up to the emergency room, sliding the car into a legal parking space. Andrea would not be pleased to find it ticketed or even towed.
Miranda said gently, touching her lover's face softly.
Rich brown eyes fluttered open and focused on Miranda.
Andrea blinked and nodded, opening the car door and moving her legs to step out. Miranda did not miss the wince of pain that escaped.
Leaping from the car, Miranda hurried around to help her lover. It was obvious that Andrea was in considerable pain now and sitting in the car had not helped at all.
Just then, Miranda saw her own car pull up and Emily stepped out of it, rushing towards Miranda notebook in hand.
"Emily. Good. You can dismiss Roy for the evening, but tell him to keep his phone on just in case. When you have done that, wake the girls and bring them into the private waiting area of the emergency room."
Her assistant nodded and took the keys that Miranda offered her.
Miranda then turned and walked her lover to the door of the emergency room, half expecting chaos. What she got was immediate attention.
"Ms. Priestly. I am Doctor Ainsley. Please come this way."
A very distinguished looking female doctor said, immediately lending her support to help Andrea along the way.
This had not been expected.
"Your assistant called."
The doctor said, correctly reading Miranda's surprise.
"So did a colleague of Ms. Sachs here. She wanted me to let you know what she would arrive as soon as possible."
Miranda was not surprised that Andrea's people knew where their boss was and that someone would be coming soon. She had however, forgotten just for a second, how incredibly efficient Emily could be. An understandable lapse considering how distracted she had been.
By now, Andrea had perked up and was walking mostly under her own power and soon she was gingerly climbing onto a bed, sitting on the edge with a weary look on her face.
"Now then. What exactly is going on?"
The doctor asked.
Andrea sighed and tried to shrug, wincing when she did.
"I was shot in the chest. My vest stopped the bullet."
She finally said, her voice low.
The Dr. Ainsley's eyes widened.
"Let's take a look then. Do you want Ms. Priestly to leave?"
Miranda felt cold fury pour into her veins at the words, even though she understood them to be perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. Even if she and Andrea were spouses, of opposite sexes.
"No. I want her to stay. And, I want you to ensure that she and her children have access to me at all times. I will be very displeased if anything except full compliance occurs."
Something deadly laced Andrea's words, even though she spoke then at a perfectly reasonable tone.
The doctor seemed to sense the underlying meaning as well, but instead of quailing, she smiled warmly.
"I will see to it myself. Not to worry. Now. Let's have your shirt off."
Andy lifted the edge of her sweatshirt at the words and by God, it hurt. This would not work. Suddenly, Miranda's gentle hands were touching her, easing the shirt off of her body and over her head with only the minimum of pain. She wore nothing under it.
Miranda gasped. Andy looked down at her body and fervently hoped that she did not have any cracked or broken ribs. That would suck. Her chest was lividly bruised. The centre of the bruise was focused just to the left of her sternum below her left breast.
The only mercy, aside from the fact that her vest had held up and she was not mortally injured, was that the main focus of the bullet had not actually hit her breast. Still, the bruising was livid, angry and it hurt like fuck. Andy felt her mood plunge as she scowled at her body.
Thankfully she had been able to shoot the fucker who had shot her in the elbow, before she had been forced to her knees from being winded. He would probably not be doing much with his arm again anytime soon. Privately Andy hoped that it would been amputating, but that was just her sour mood talking.
She was only human after all.
As Andy felt herself sinking into a black mood, a soft hand on her back distracted her. Miranda. Looking over at her lover, Andy felt her mood lift at once. Miranda smiled, and her knowing eyes sparkled. Andy sighed, letting the tension leave her shoulders and tapping her hand on the bed. Miranda took the hint and covered Andy's hand with her own.
"Well. Nothing is broken from I can see. We'll take an X-Ray to be sure of course. Other than that, cold packs, hot packs. Liniment, painkillers, and maybe muscle relaxants. Also. You really need to rest for a few days before you do anything physical."
Doctor Ainsley said, offering Andy a paper hospital gown. Andy scowled. As if she would put it on unless she had to.
"I mean it, Ms. Sachs. You have to rest. After a few days you can start doing things, but until the soreness and bruising have left, you have to work within the limits of your body. You might have torn muscles between your ribs and those can be very nasty things."
Reluctantly, Andy nodded and then let Miranda help her back into her sweatshirt.
"Thank you, Doctor."
She said, her voice sounding tired even to her own ears.
"I'll go arrange for the X-Rays and write a few prescriptions. You should not be alone tonight."
The doctor said, looking pointedly at Miranda.
"She won't be."
It made Andy smother a smile, and she could see a twinkle in Dr. Ainsley's eyes. No wonder Miranda had come to this hospital. This was probably the only hospital that knew how to deal with her.
While Andrea was brought to radiology, Miranda went to the private waiting area where her daughters were. She wanted to see them and now that she knew Andrea was probably alright, felt safe to leave her lover for a few minutes.
When she arrived, she noticed that in addition to her daughters, and Emily, Louise was also present. Though not dressed as immaculately as she was earlier in the day, she had changed out of her swat gear into some jeans and a button down shirt under a leather jacket.
Yes. Miranda thought that she really should see about getting a spread in Runway about the sort of women that Louse and Andrea were.
Miranda said, offering the woman her hand which was quickly accepted.
"Hi Miranda. I hear Andy is alright?"
Louise seemed to be quite sure of her facts, but there was a question in her statement.
"Yes. They are doing some tests now to make sure, but she will be fine."
Miranda said this as reassuringly as she could in part to benefit her daughters who were now clinging to her legs.
"That is good to hear."
Something flickered in Louise's eyes.
"Emily. The girls are probably hungry and I imagine you are as well. Please take them and get something to eat. Bring us coffee when you come back."
Miranda said, a thread of steel in her voice as she stroked her daughters heads gently.
The girls looked up eagerly at the mention of food and then rushed towards Emily. Soon Miranda was alone with Louise and she would get answers to her questions, even if she had to pry them from Louise.
Miranda asked without preamble.
Louise ran a hand through her hair and took a deep breath.
"Andy went in first. I was right behind her. The shot she took would have hit me in the head if Andy had dodged and she knew it."
Miranda's eyes widened at the words.
Without thought, she pulled the younger woman into am embrace, not caring that she was Miranda Priestly, or that Louise was a highly trained professional. They were both human.
Louise hugged her back without hesitation for a few moments, before she stepped back and gave Miranda a shaky smile.
"You will be her second in command when Maria leaves."
Miranda said, coming to a sudden realisation.
Louise said softly.
"She chose well."
Louise said, her brow furrowing a little.
"No. Andrea. I am sure Maria knows Andrea well enough that whatever choice she made, it is as if Andrea had chosen you herself."
Of this Miranda was actually certain.
Louise's eyes sparkled with amusement and Miranda noted, relief.
"Yes. You're right. Thank you."
The words seemed to tumble from Louise's mouth without any reserve at all. It made Miranda realise something.
She had made a friend today.
By the time Miranda pulled up to her townhouse, having driven the twins and Andy there after overruling all opposition, Andy was dead on her feet. Thankfully the tests at the hospital had shown that the damage to her body was temporary and with rest she would be fine.
Right now, she desperately needed the rest. Emily had been dispatched to retrieve Andrea's prescriptions, much to Andy's consternation. Andy had sent Louise to accompany the young woman, knowing that Emily would appreciate the company and that Louise wanted to do something, anything, for Andy.
Right now, however, Andy needed to be horizontal. She would not however, consent to going to bed without a bath and without food. Otherwise she would wake up in even more misery than she already knew she would be in.
It had been worth it though, the children were safe. Not only Miranda's children, but all of those children. Not to mention the teachers and other adults in the building. Louise already had instructions to contact the school about consulting on their security. Andy had no doubt they would accept a contract and all would go well.
"Come along, Andrea. Let's get you inside."
Miranda's gentle voice jolted Andy out of her thoughts and with a pained smile she stepped out of the car.
"My stuff, from the trunk."
She mumbled. Just in case the car was jacked. At least the thief would not get his hands on weapons and personal items.
Thankfully Miranda seemed to understand her and soon the four of them were safely inside the townhouse, standing in the hallway in blessed silence. For the first time all day, Andy finally felt like she could relax.
Small arms encircled her waist and Andy looked down at the twin girls hugging her. Slowly, she ran her hands through soft red hair and just sighed contentedly.
Miranda said suddenly, obviously moved by the scene.
Andy smiled tiredly and nodded. The girls seemed to come alive then and they looked up at her.
"You are so cool."
They said in eerie unison before they rushed to hug their mother as well.
"I'm also hungry."
Andy said, allowing good humour to colour her voice.
The twins said in unison and ran to the kitchen. Andy did not blame them, chances were that whatever they had gotten from the cafeteria in the hospital had been awful at best.
Andy had been surprised to find Miranda alone with Louise when she had finally been discharged with her list of instructions. She had been happy though. It boded well if her second in command got along with her lover. Andy herself had made an effort to get to know and get along with the closest colleagues that Miranda had.
"Are you alright?"
Miranda asked next to Andy's ear it seemed.
"Yes. Just hungry. I also need to take a bath, or I won't be able to move tomorrow."
Andy said quietly, letting herself lean on Miranda as they walked into the kitchen.
"You're speaking from experience."
Miranda stated flatly.
Andy answered and moved to sit down on one of the chairs arranged around the breakfast table. It felt good to be off her feet even if her chest hurt like she had been kicked by a herd of oxen.
Miranda prepared the bath in her private bathroom while Andrea talked with her children downstairs, answering their many questions with a patience that totally belied her condition. Miranda had realised a long time ago that her lover was truly a remarkable woman.
With the bath filling, Miranda turned to Andrea's things. Her clothes were stuffed into a backpack and what she called her personal kit lay open at Miranda's feet. Andrea had told Miranda that she was welcome to do what she pleased with the stuff, but to ensure nothing dangerous was left anyplace where curious little fingers would find it.
With that in mind, Miranda carried the bags to her bed and started to sort through them. Into one pile, she put dry cleaning, into another, things that could be washed at home.
A third pile contained personal effects. Wallet, phone,keys and Andrea's weapons harness. Miranda still had Andrea's jewellery in her purse. That left a fourth pile. It was mostly things like radios, extra ammunition for Andy's handgun, safety glasses and the like. A bullet proof vest still in its packaging was also in that pile.
These things Miranda slipped into the backpack and then in turn slipped those things into the duffel that had contained her personal kit. Picking the dark sweater from the pile of washing to stuff into a laundry bag, Miranda realised that this was the sweater Andrea had worn today.
She held it up, looking for evidence of the events of the day. There was none, aside from the smell of sweat and gunpowder. Miranda hugged the sweater to herself and let a small sob escape her. What would have she done if Andrea had been killed. She could not stand the idea.
Looking up, Miranda saw Andrea standing by the door of the bedroom, looking at Miranda with her deep brown eyes. She looked utterly exhausted.
"The girls are going to watch a movie."
Andrea supplied, moving stiffly towards Miranda and taking the sweater from her fingers before she stuffed it into the laundry bag that had fallen from Miranda's hand earlier.
Gently, Andrea wrapped her arms around Miranda, resting her head on Miranda's shoulder and sighed deeply.
"I am alive and in one piece, Miranda. Just remember, I will always come back to you."
The words made Miranda sob in earnest. She kissed the side of Andrea's neck gently, revelling in the earthy scent of her lover, in her strong pulse, in her warmth.
"I love you."
Miranda whispered softly into a delicate ear.
"I love you too, Miranda"
Was Andrea's reply.
"Come along, darling. Time for your bath."
Miranda said after a few more moments passed, wiping away her tears. Andrea was clearly only barely awake now. It was time to take care of her. Miranda pondered the fact that she actually had her very own hero.
Andrea was her hero, in more ways than one.
The hot water surrounding her battered body felt wonderful. Miranda had not only drawn a bath for her and filled it with wonderful oils, she had also lit candles around the bathroom and turned off the lights, leaving nothing but a soothing glow to soothe Andy with.
"Be right back."
Miranda had said about ten minutes ago and now Andy felt like she was going to fall asleep in the tub. Despite how good it felt, she knew she had to start getting out. She might drown herself otherwise.
Andy had no sooner completed that thought when Miranda knocked on the bathroom door and reappeared.
"The girls have gone to bed. They said to say goodnight to you."
Miranda said in a soft voice.
Andy nodded and shifted.
"I am starting to fall asleep. I need to shower and get to bed before I drown."
Miranda smiled softly.
"You need any help?"
She asked. Andy was touched.
"I'd like you to stay."
Andy said, easing herself up in the bath and releasing the plug with her heel.
A few minutes later she was showering herself off, letting the slightly cooler water of the shower revive her a little. With Miranda watching her, it seemed somehow very intimate. They had shared showers many times before this, but obviously the occasion was different now.
By the time she had managed to comb her hair and brush her teeth, Andy could barely stand anymore. Instead she let herself be guided to Miranda's bed and slid under the covers gratefully. In an instant, she felt herself fall into a semi-sleep.
After a minute, or an hour, or a lifetime, Andy woke up with the feel of the bed shifting. She looked over at Miranda, blinking sleep from her eyes and feeling suddenly more alert than she had all evening, she smiled.
Andy murmured softly.
Miranda answered her smile.
"Louise and Emily stopped by and left your prescriptions. Louise wanted me to tell you that everything is fine."
Miranda said quietly.
"Fine. You know, that is code for just barely under control. But I suppose things will calm down in a few days. The PD does get very uptight when we usurp them. It does not happen so often, but we do have a reputation."
Andy heard herself say.
Was the only response Miranda offered.
Andy stared at her for a while. Miranda was beautiful. Unique. Andy wanted her suddenly with an unrivalled hunger.
"I want you."
Miranda's eyes widened at the words and something flickered in her eyes.
She said, her voice laced with desire and with censure.
"Make love to me."
The words seemed to break Miranda's resolve and a moment later Andy felt those coveted lips meet her own. It seemed like it had been a year since they last kissed...
As if she could ever resist Andrea?
Miranda knew that despite her injuries, her fatigue and her day, Andrea needed her. Wanted to feel alive. It was the least that Miranda could do for her. It of course helped that Miranda herself felt this way. Never mind the insatiable desire that they shared, always ready and boiling just beneath the surface.
Mindful of the terrible injury to Andrea's torso, Miranda gently leaned over and kissed Andrea's body, running her fingers along smooth skin as her lover sighed with pleasure.
"I won't break, Miranda."
Andrea said suddenly.
With that reply, Miranda eased the blankets back from Andrea and let her eyes devour the body that she loved so much.
The deep purple bruise on Andrea's chest did not take away from her beauty. However, it was something Miranda was going to have to work around. Despite of what she had just said, Miranda knew that Andrea's body would not tolerate any weight on it right now.
Miranda slid lower on the bed, gently easing herself between Andrea's legs, parting them and kissing beautifully toned thighs. Andrea trembled, her hands grasping at Miranda's hair and face. Desire surged in Miranda when the scent of Andrea's arousal reached her.
Carefully, Miranda trailed her mouth down Andrea's flat abdomen before ghosting her lips through the coarse brown hair that graced the juncture of Andrea's thighs.
Deciding that teasing was out of the question, Miranda quickly slid her mouth lower, running her tongue through slick folds as Andrea moved beneath her, undulating every so slightly under Miranda's mouth. It was exquisite. Miranda felt tears prick at her eyelids as she caressed the sensitive flesh with her lips, tongue, nose, mouth.
Andrea's thighs tightened around her and Miranda sighed in pleasure as she felt her lover's climax start to arrive. In moments it was there and Andrea simply grasped Miranda's head and moaned, pushing herself into Miranda's mouth and holding onto Miranda's head with a viselike grip.
The softly spoken words snapped Miranda back to reality, and she wiped her mouth and moved up the bed leaning down to kiss the mouth that she adored. Andrea looked almost blissful now. All hurt forgotten for just a little while. Miranda realised how necessary this had been for her lover.
Miranda was so wrapped up in her own thoughts for a moment that she almost startled when she heard the words leave Andrea's mouth.
She asked, even though she had heard the words perfectly well.
"Please. I want to feel you, but I can't use my body as I need to right now. I want you. To taste you. I want to see you."
How could Miranda resist that?
Carefully, so carefully, she eased one thigh over Andrea's head. Strong arms immediately wrapped themselves around her thighs and Miranda had just enough time to grab the headboard of her bed when those arms pulled her down.
When Andrea's tongue slid into her, Miranda almost jumped out of her skin. Nothing could possibly feel that good. Nothing. Miranda moved, mindful of smothering her lover. Andrea pulled on her again and then Miranda lost her mind...
Andy was out of her mind with desire as she made love to Miranda. That beautiful, beautiful body moving above her, flushed with arousal, was almost more than her senses could take.
Whatever ache she had in her body, was completely obliterated by this. Strong thighs moved under her hands as Miranda slowly came unravelled. Andy slid her tongue into Miranda again, feeling the shaking in her lover's legs when she did so. Fantastic.
For long moments Andy worked Miranda into a frenzy, Andy could feel wetness drop down her face and onto the pillow below her head as her hands slipped on sweaty skin. Miranda moaned, crying out in pleasure when Andy moved her mouth. Drank from her. Was sated by her.
Then Miranda came, hard. The cry that was torn from her body burned Andy's body and made every hair stand on end. Andy drew it out, wanting it all. Needing it all.
She would have it all.
Finally, Miranda stilled, gasping as she clung to the headboard and tried not to smother Andy. Not that Andy cared at this point, but it might be a little bit of an anti-climax if it actually happened. Miranda seemed to realise this as well and in short order she moved away from Andy and slid down in the bed beside her.
It was Andy who mustered the energy to pull the covers back over them and to switch off the light. She hoped that she would not be needing her pills during the night. Maybe tomorrow. Right now though, she was pretty sure that between a hot bath and Miranda, she was about as relaxed as she was going to get.
Andy said quietly as she gently touched Miranda's face.
Came the throaty reply.
Andy had just enough energy to feel smug. But that too was fading fast. She needed sleep and so did Miranda.
Miranda whispered into the dark and Andy smiled.
Andy was not sure if Miranda had actually heard her reply, but it did not matter. It was a good night, after all.
Moments passed and soon Andy felt the tug of sleep, her eyelids drooping and shutting as she snuggled as best she could against Miranda. Just before she fell asleep, Andy thought that as long as she had this, she could face a hail of bullets if needed.
Love sure was grand.
As she tiptoed around her bedroom, Miranda paused once more to look at her lover who was still deep asleep. Thankfully. Sleep was the best way for Andrea's body to heal and it was also the best way for the injured woman to escape her pain.
Miranda hoped that Andrea would sleep late.
Miranda also wished that she could take the day off, but it was not possible. Not with publication this close and with her being forced to take time off yesterday. The wolves were always barely over the horizon, and Miranda knew if she paused for too long they might catch her.
Thankfully however, it was Friday, so she would have time on the weekend to be home. Miranda had already decided that she would convince Andrea to stay the whole weekend. Miranda could not bear the idea of Andrea being alone in her loft apartment while injured.
Also, Miranda just wanted to spend time with Andrea, and as her children would be home this weekend, she could not really spend that time at Andrea's home. The twins had been to Andrea's home on a few occasions, but it was set up for basically one adult who might have a guest. Hard for sleep overs, in any case.
Done with her morning preparations, Miranda moved to the side of the bed and leaned over, kissing Andrea gently on the cheek. Dark brown eyes fluttered open and focused on her almost instantly, despite everything.
Andrea said, her voice rough with sleep.
"I have to go to work. I left word with my housekeeper to make you some lunch later, and I want you to let her. Also, Emily will stop by and bring you anything you need."
"I'll try to make it a short day."
Miranda added, her fingers stroking through Andrea's lush hair.
"Ok. Ask Emily to bring Lou. I need to talk to her. I also need to get some stuff from my place if I am going to be here for a few days."
Miranda felt something light up inside of her.
"Call me later and tell me what you need, I will go get it for you."
Overjoyed at being able to offer this little thing to her lover, Miranda leaned down once more and brushed a kiss across Andrea's lips.
"I love you."
She whispered, already seeing that Andrea was falling asleep again.
"Mmm, 've you, too."
Miranda smiled blissfully at the words spoken on the edge of sleep. However, her time was up and she had to get going.
Moving away from the bed, Miranda walked out of the bedroom and gently closed the door behind her. The twins no doubt were already eating breakfast and Miranda wanted to sit with them for a few minutes. They were not going to school today as the police were still swarming over the campus. Not that Miranda would have let them go anyway.
Miranda said when she walked into the kitchen. Two identical heads turned towards her and a moment later she was engulfed in the tight embraces of her children. It was wonderful.
"I have to go to work in a little bit. Andrea will be staying home today."
"She is badly injured. Make sure she does not do anything physical. This includes playing on the Wii, pillow fights, or even hide and seek. I am trusting you to take care of her while I can't."
Miranda watched as her daughters reacted to her words.
Gone was the indication that they were looking forward to having an adult playmate for the day, and it was replaced by very serious looks. The girls looked very pleased, actually, at being handed such a responsibility.
Miranda was sure they would be good and Andrea and her housekeeper would ensure that things did not get out of hand in a pinch.
Caroline said very seriously after having exchanged a glance with Cassidy.
Miranda decided that she would never get used to the silent communication that the twins seemed to possess. But she did find that it was very useful upon occasion. Now it was time to go, however.
"See you later. I love you both."
Miranda said gently touching her daughters before she gathered herself together and headed for the door.
She simply could not wait to get home. All that she held dear was in this home, and she wanted to be with it.
That was all.
It was close to nine o'clock in the morning when Andy finally dragged herself from Miranda's impossibly comfortable bed. She felt like hell, predictably and decided to take a hot shower before she even attempted to do anything else. So, she blearily stumbled into the bathroom and attended to business somewhat efficiently.
Twenty minutes later and she was back in the bedroom, wondering what to wear when she saw a pile of clothes with a note on them.
All of your clothes are either at the dry cleaners or being washed. Your other things are on the top shelf in the back of my closet behind some shoe boxes.
Wear these, and help yourself to anything. I mean that. Anything.
I love you,
Touched beyond measure and trusting that Miranda had secured her weapons, Andy dressed. She had never seen Miranda wear clothes like these and Andy suspected that Miranda kept a supply of them at hand. Just for the case that Andy would need them. They were even in her size.
Andy was touched. Beyond belief.
Spying her phone and personal effects in a neat pile on one of the bedside tables, Andy wandered over and checked the phone. No messages. She suspected that Maria and Louise were doing their damndest to make sure that Andy was left alone at least for today. It was not really needed, but Andy felt cared for nonetheless.
Slipping the note from Miranda into her billfold, Andy left her things in a pile, only taking her phone and wandered out of the bedroom, already feeling like she had gone ten rounds with a boxing kangaroo. She had barely been up for half an hour. Damn it.
Determined at least for the time being to not take any prescriptions, Andy carefully made her way downstairs. She would ask the twins or the housekeeper for some Ibuprofen. Andy hated prescription medicine, though she suspected she was going to have to give in and take the muscle relaxants or she might actually damage herself.
At the sound of her footsteps, the twins emerged from the kitchen and rushed towards her as she hit the bottom of the stairs. Andy valiantly contained a cringe. Hugging them last night was one thing. Today was entirely different.
They said in unison, but did not in fact hug her, rather she was guided gently to the kitchen and basically sat down.
"Are you ok? Mom said you were hurt."
Andy was somewhat certain that it was Cassidy who had asked the question. Caroline was very intently filling the coffee maker.
"Yes. I was. One of the bad guys from yesterday managed to get a round off before we subdued him. My vest took care of it, but it still hurt."
Andy knew that Miranda was not into shielding her daughters from the ugly facts about the world, so she was not about to lie to them now.
"Oh my God."
Caroline supplied, turning towards Andy in horror.
"I am ok, really. Just really, really sore. Have you got any Ibuprofen?"
By now, Andy could feel her stomach rumble with hunger and wondered if there was something really easy to make for breakfast.
"You mean, like Aleve?"
Andy said, rising from her seat to walk towards the fridge.
"I'll get it."
Cassidy ran off just as Andy got to the fridge and opened it up.
Ah, Bulgarian yogurt. Perfect. Andy pulled out a tub of it and turned around to find Caroline regarding her solemnly.
"I can make whatever you like."
She said softly.
Andy wisely decided to say. She was not going to object.
"You have any nuts?"
Andy asked, sitting down once more.
In a few minutes Andy was eating her bowl of yogurt with a generous sprinkling of walnuts on it and a mug of steaming coffee sat in front of her. Cassidy had by now returned with the pills and a tall glass of water also waited for her.
"Thanks. I am glad I did not have to reach up to get the bowl."
It was true.
"Can we see?"
Caroline asked just as Andy had taken the first sip of her coffee.
Andy said, setting her coffee down and gently pulling up the edge of her sweatshirt and the tee shirt that was under it. The bruising was even uglier today that it had been yesterday. The twins gasped and Andy could see tears form in Caroline's eyes.
Andy said, pulling the girl into a gently embrace and holding her securely.
"In a few weeks, nothing will be left of that. Don't be sad. The most important thing is that you two are alright."
Andy opened her arms and Cassidy quickly sidled in for a hug, she was very careful with Andy just as her sister had been.
Picking up her coffee after the twins had disengaged, Andy wondered what they might do with their day. She already felt tired, so whatever it was, she hoped that it was easy going and involved a lot of sitting down doing nothing much at all.
By the time one o'clock rolled around, Miranda was impatient for Emily to return. She had sent the girl to deliver Louise to Andrea and was eager now to have news of what was going on at her home. Of course, Emily was merely letting Louise in as the twins would not, and Andrea might be asleep or otherwise occupied.
Miranda knew that of course, the real reason she had sent Emily, is that she wanted an update on the situation. No phone calls or messages had arrived from anyone at the house, and while her morning had been hellish, Emily had done an admirable job of fielding overeager press while Miranda caught up on work.
Even Irv had seemed almost sympathetic. Somewhere under his lizard skin there seemed to beat a heart of some kind. Miranda did not care one way or another, but it was nice to not have to deal with his attitude at least for a day. At least.
Miranda looked up when the door to the office opened and Emily breezed in, looking calm and almost relaxed. There was on way she would look that composed if anything was amiss at the house.
The girl barely detoured at her desk to drop off her bag before she quickly entered Miranda's office.
Miranda queried without preamble.
"Louise was waiting when I left the building, Roy drove me back."
Emily supplied before taking a deep breath.
"We arrived at noon and Andrea and the twins appeared to be having lunch. Everyone looked to be in good spirits and Andrea had good colour, though she looked tired."
Miranda nodded at the words, making a note to call the townhouse as soon as she was done with Emily to make sure Andrea took a nap.
"When I left, Louise and Andrea were talking in the small sitting room on the first floor and the girls were taking a walk with the housekeeper."
Miranda said, though she did allow emotion to colour the phrase. Emily's eyes smiled and she turned and quickly left the office.
Picking up her phone, Miranda called her housekeeper, just in case Andrea was asleep. The woman answered on the first ring.
"How are things?"
"Fine. The girls are just doing some schoolwork that was sent over today and Ms. Sachs has gone to rest. She seemed very tired after her guest left. She did eat well at lunch though."
Miranda hung up and felt something unclench in her chest. Everything was fine. Now if only she could tie up her work for the day and go home.
Two hours of rest had done marvels for Andy's disposition, but her body felt stiff as a board. It was time to resort to at least the muscle relaxants that she had been prescribed. Pain was one thing, but being too stiff to move might aggravate old injuries or even injure something else.
Rising from bed, Andy reached for the pills that were sitting on the night stand and sleepily read the labels. Maybe she could go lie down in the rumpus room like space that the girls tended to use for movie watching movies and playing games. That way if the pills put her to sleep, she would at least have company.
Shuffling down the stairs Andy headed to the kitchen and quickly found a glass and downed her pills. She still felt pleasantly sated by her lunch, so she was not overly worried that her stomach was too empty for pills. Andy wanted to take more Ibuprofen, but that would wait until later or she would max out her dosage for the day.
When she entered the rumpus room, the girls turned to look at her with big smiles on their faces which cheered Andy up.
"I thought to come and watch."
She explained quietly, moving to the couch and arranging herself as comfortably as she could on it.
Andy thought it was Caroline who had said the words. Most of the time she could pick which twin was which pretty easily, but this was not most of the time.
"We're about to do Wii boxing."
Andy perked up a little at the words. Maybe she could give the girls some lessons in how to fight by way of a game.
Heaven forbid that they would ever need to hit anyone, but it never hurt to be a little prepared, or a lot, depending on which point of view you subscribed to. They were just children, and Andy knew she was an exception in her personal history with the fighting arts.
Feeling the lassitude of muscle relaxants settle over her, Andy watched as the game powered up and the girls selected their profiles and then squared off. Andy hid a smile when the flurry of arms began and only random lucky hits were scored.
Yep, she could definitely give them lessons. Hopefully they would listen...
When Miranda opened her front door she could feel a palpable relief wash over her. Home at last. She had managed to get a record number of things done and though she had regretfully taken work home with her, at least she was home.
A flurry of noise reached her ear and she recognised the excited babble of her daughters coming from the play room upstairs. She also heard the measured tones of Andrea responding. Curious despite herself, Miranda quickly divested herself of her coat and bag and made her way upstairs quietly.
When she came to the doorway of the play room she paused to look and listen at the scene before her.
"Just remember, whenever you hit, you are opening yourself up to being hit..."
Andrea was saying to Caroline, while Cassidy listened intently.
"So, you need to strategies. Be willing to hit faster, harder and be ready to block, dodge and weave..."
"Let's try now."
While she watched, the two girls faced the screen and adjusted their stances to something that looked very thought out. Andrea had obviously been teaching them that as well.
The game dinged and the twins begun to dance on their toes, arms up and ready. Caroline lunged and was immediately countered by Cassidy, but Caroline's other hand got Cassidy's character with an uppercut to the jaw. It was something to see.
Miranda's eyes were drawn to her lover. She had been standing over the girls before the game has started, but now was resting on the couch, and intense look on her face as she watched. Miranda could almost hear the gears ticking over in her head.
Deciding to announce herself, Miranda intentionally made some noise and entered the room, immediately drawing three sets of eyes to her.
The girls put down their controllers and rushed to greet her, wrapping her in tight hugs.
Miranda murmured, noting the dampness of the clothes that the twins wore. They had been sweating. It made Miranda wonder how long the lesson had been going on.
"Andy has been teaching us now to box. Did you know she could box? It is so cool!"
Cassidy said, her eyes sparkling when she looked up at Miranda.
"Can she now?"
Miranda offered, glancing at her lover who was sitting with a bemused expression on her face.
"Oh yeah! She has been teaching us for an hour how."
Miranda was impressed, and a little concerned for Andrea.
Disengaging from her children she moved to the sofa and gently sat down next to Andrea.
"How are you feeling?"
Miranda asked without preamble.
"Well, I took some muscle relaxants, so I pretty much feel like I am made of rubber right now. The girls found me some Aleve, so at least I have not had to take the prescription pain killers. I feel ok."
Miranda looked at Andrea's posture while she spoke. She looked better than she had yesterday and did not seem overly tired.
"Well, I don't really know anything about tennis."
Andrea offered, making Miranda smile.
Miranda asked after they spent a few more minutes watching Cassidy and Caroline spar on the large screen.
Something in Andrea's voice made Miranda glance at her sharply.
Though Andrea's face was holding in mostly a bland expression, her eyes told a different story. Miranda's breath caught in her throat and she felt heat radiate through her body.
Miranda said, pitching her voice so that it was barely a murmur. Her reward was a widening of Andrea's eyes and a tiny smile on that wicked mouth that Miranda so wanted to kiss.
"What's for dinner?"
A twin asked suddenly and Miranda was snapped back to reality, or at least to the moment at hand.
The evening had gone well. Food and warm conversation at the dinner table had been fun. Andy had in her own way, tried to answer the endless questions posed to her by the twins. Part of her was very amused and wondered if they would be asking their mother to let them take boxing in real life sometime soon.
Just in case, Andy would recommend a more suitable sport, something more suited to their age and temperaments.
Anyway, now Andy was sitting on the edge of Miranda's bed, looking over some papers that Louise had left. Reports, mainly, of the incident at the school. Each agent had made one, and then there were the legal ones dealing with the police. Thankfully, everything seemed to be in order and the mechanism to consult for the school on security issues had also been engaged.
Not that it actually mattered, but the contract would by proxy pay for the rescue operation, which was a nice perk. However, experience was more valuable than cash. So was loyalty, infinitely more valuable. Overall, Andy was very satisfied. If only her ribs did not hurt like hell.
Miranda's imperious tone made Andy look up.
She was standing over Andy with a bottle of liniment in her hand and an expectant look on her face.
Andy decided that it was best to obey, so she shucked out of her clothes and lay down on the bed, trying to relax herself enough to be comfortable. Her back was also hurting from everything. Andy speculated that it would be many times worse without the Aleve and the muscle relaxants coursing through her system.
A gentle hand touched her and Andy sighed while Miranda oh so carefully rubbed the liniment into her abused flesh. Miranda was being so gentle that it did not hurt and when Andy opened her eyes, she was utterly captivated by the look on Miranda's face.
It made her feel loved.
Andy whispered, feeling those antipodean blue eyes watching her so intently that it made her shiver.
"You know I would do anything for you."
Miranda said softly, her fingers stilling on Andy's chest.
"Yes. I know."
Andy replied simply.
Miranda appeared to be satisfied by her answer and rose to return to the bathroom, undoubtedly to wash her hands.
It was true. Andy knew that Miranda would do anything for her. It was a unique feeling, to have such devotion directed at her. Also, Miranda was an incredibly intense, and complex person. It just added to the overall effect of it.
By the time Miranda returned from the bathroom, Andy had begun to feel the very soothing effect of the liniment and she was snuggled into the covers.
"I will go check on the girls."
Miranda left the bedroom quietly.
When Miranda returned to her bedroom she noted that Andrea was half asleep, which was what Miranda had been hoping. They could make love later. Right now, Andrea needed to sleep.
The twins had been asleep when Miranda had checked on them, obviously tired after Andrea's lessons. Miranda wondered how long it would be before they asked for boxing lessons. Before that happened, she would ask Andrea to introduce them to something more suitable, if the girls were dead set on doing something like that.
Quietly, Miranda switched off the light and slid into the bed, trying her best not to disturb her lover. Andrea merely rolled over and snuggled into her before slipping once more into realm of Morpheus. Miranda smiled. Something about her lover brought out the more demonstrative side of her personality.
Very soon, Miranda joined Andrea in slumber and all was quiet.
It might have been minutes, or hours later when Miranda felt a gentle caress slowly bring her out of a dreamless sleep. Opening her eyes slowly, she blinked against the darkness in the room around her and focused on the sensations that she was experiencing.
Andrea was wide awake, her head propped up on one of her elbows and looking at Miranda with eyes that glittered in the dim light. It seemed that her lover had rested sufficiently.
Without a word, Miranda raised her hand and touched the beloved face, running sensitive fingers along fine features. Andrea sighed in the darkness, moving her head and kissing Miranda's hand. A surge of heat shocked the breath from Miranda's lungs and she gasped.
Andrea leaned closer and kissed Miranda gently, barely brushing their mouths together. The burn became an inferno. Miranda gave into it, grabbing Andrea and pulling her down to kiss her, mindful of sore ribs, but not of much else. Andrea responded immediately, kissing her back with a passion that made Miranda feel lightheaded.
When Miranda felt a hand caress up her thigh to her hip, she bit Andrea's tongue before drawing it into her mouth to soothe it. Andrea growled, her touch becoming rough and insistent. In return, Miranda buried her nails into Andrea's back and arched shamelessly into her lover.
That wicked hand moved again on her leg, brushing along her inner thigh now. Teasing. Tormenting. Torturing. Miranda clamped her legs around it, lest it try to escape and moved her mouth to Andrea's neck. The hissing gasp that her lover emitted made Miranda smile into the soft flesh beneath her mouth.
Miranda rolled over and encouraged Andrea to straddle her, mindful of sore ribs and sensitive muscles. Somehow Andrea managed to do it without the use of her right hand, which was still firmly entrapped between Miranda's thighs. With a wicked smile Miranda nudged her lover higher up and released that naughty hand. For now.
Even in the dim light, the silhouette of Andrea moving above her, was enough for Miranda to feel like she was going to lose her mind. Andrea ran her hands along Miranda's body, pausing at her breasts to lavish them with attention.
Miranda bucked gently under Andrea's weight, feeling her lover's wetness as she did. While Andrea was so blissfully distracted and while Miranda could still think, she carefully insinuated a hand between their bodies, pressing her fingers up into Andrea's hot flesh.
When Andrea's head fell back and her hands went slack on Miranda's breasts, Miranda sat up, carefully cradling Andrea in her lap, finding a comfortable position for them to be in and then Miranda kissed her. The meeting of mouths made Miranda delirious with pleasure and she was glad that her hand seemed to be operating on automatic.
Andrea whispered into the night as they parted and as Miranda moved her hand with intent.
The word made Miranda shiver. She leaned in to kiss the breasts dangling so temptingly in front of her and simultaneously slid a finger into Andrea. The gently undulating movement that Andrea had been doing suddenly changed dramatically.
Andrea said hoarsely against Miranda's mouth.
By now, Andy was feeling like she might go insane if she did not feel more, if she could not feel all. Immediately. Thankfully and obviously, Miranda complied with her desperate request and Andy felt herself filled, the sensation making her body tremble with anticipation.
"Oh my God."
The words escaped Andy's mouth before she could stop them.
Miranda reacted at once, surging up against her, moving her hand. Andy lost her mind. Became sensation itself as her body overloaded with pleasure. When she came, she was caught unawares and unprepared, arching, writhing, moving with the circle of Miranda's arms.
They did not fail to hold her as she lost control and the knowledge made Andy come again. The very fact that she was in effect, protected and held up by someone strong enough to do it, was exquisitely sexy. And that was enough to drive Andy wild...
Moments, minutes, or lifetimes later, Andy finally stilled, leaning against Miranda and gasping for breath. She felt Miranda gently extract her hand and shivered as she was held protectively against her lover. Even her ribs were only a distant memory right now as she panted with her eyes closed, feeling perfectly content with everything. Perfectly loved. It was perfect, this moment.
Andy leaned forward and kissed Miranda, pressing her lover gently back onto the bed. By now, Miranda was almost shaking with pent up sexual tension and Andy was only too happy to help her with that.
Moving her hand lower on Miranda's body, Andy debated with herself on wether she could lie on her front, considering her ribs. Miranda's bed was soft, though. Andy was also well rested. She decided to give it a go and if she could not, well it is not like she could not try something else. After coming to that decision, Andy carefully moved down Miranda's body, kissing and licking, biting and sucking as she went.
Miranda was beautiful.
Andy felt her mind go blank as she focused her attention on Miranda. When Andy's hand slid between Miranda's legs, the sound that Miranda made was enough to make Andy think that she might have a sympathetic orgasm by the time all was said and done.
"You are so fucking sexy, Miranda."
The words were spoken barely above the sound of night, but Miranda heard her, her thighs clenching around Andy's hand and holding it a willing captive.
"Make me come."
The words blew Andy's mind and without another word, she carefully eased Miranda's thighs apart, and even more carefully eased her body between them, moving her mouth to join her hand. Miranda gasped, sitting up in the bed and pushing herself against Andy's mouth, her hands grabbing at Andy's hair.
Turned on now beyond belief, Andy opened her mouth and kissed Miranda, moving her tongue along folds and flesh. Feasting.
The whispered word reached Andy's ears.
Oh my God.
Moving her hand with purpose, with delicious intent, Andy soon had Miranda almost keening with pleasure. Then, in a wave, an erotic tsunami, Miranda came. Andy was sure she would never forget the sound, the taste, the feel of it, burned as it was now into her consciousness.
Fantastic did not even begin to describe it...
The feel of the empty bed around her woke Miranda up. When she spent the night sharing a bed with Andrea, Miranda always knew if her lover was around or not. It was something inherent. Miranda suspected that Andrea shared this propensity.
Turning on the bedside lamp, Miranda glanced around the bedroom. Andrea was not in it and the bathroom was dark. So not in there, either. Curious and not a little concerned, Miranda eased herself from the bed and grabbed her bathrobe before making her way to the landing.
Pausing to listen to the house around her, Miranda determined that the children were asleep and Andrea was someplace on a lower floor, though doing what Miranda could only guess. Also, she was concerned. Andrea was injured, after all. With a determined sigh, Miranda made her way down the stairs, trying not to hurry but making an effort not to tarry either. After all, it could be as simple as Andrea having gotten hungry...
By the time she reached the bottom floor, Miranda knew that Andrea was in the kitchen, so the idea of her lover being hungry was not so far fetched in any case. When she stepped into the kitchen, Miranda focused on Andrea at once. She was sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen, perched on a stool. A cup of what looked like tea was in front of her, as were some papers, but she appeared to be staring off into the distance.
"Are you alright?"
Miranda asked softly, hoping not to startle Andrea.
Andrea turned to look at her and Miranda saw that her lover was quite pale.
"Pain woke me. I decided to get some tea and maybe get some work done."
Something clenched in Miranda at the words.
"Where is your pain?"
Miranda would summon whatever was needed to ease Andrea's pain.
"My back, actually. I think the fact that the pain in my chest has eased a little has allowed me to feel other issues."
"Makes sense, I am sure the muscles back there are tortured as well."
Frowning slightly, Miranda walked to the stove and discovered that the water had just boiled. She would have some tea as well.
"Have you taken anything?"
She asked after she had poured the water.
"No. The pills would knock me out, the muscle relaxants make me woozy and I am not allowed any more Aleve."
"You could have woken me, I would have rubbed your back."
Miranda said softly.
"I know. I was going to do that when I was done here."
Andrea piled her papers together and frowned slightly at them.
The question slipped from Miranda's lips before she could stop it.
"No. It's just boring. We have to make reports for legal reasons and they have to be very legal. I am just checking them before I send them to a lawyer for double checking."
"When you use guns and knives and force on a regular basis, you really do need to make sure you cover your ass, as it were. A sad truth."
Miranda nodded, taking a sip of her coffee. She always managed to forget just a little, that Andrea was in a very physical business.
"Come sit someplace more comfortable."
With the words, Miranda picked up her tea and walked from the kitchen. At the very least if they were awake, they could sit on soft seats and be comfortable.
Following Miranda, Andy found herself charmed by the fact that her lover was barefoot. Though Miranda was a goddess in her own right when she dressed up for any occasion, be it work, or play. When she was at home, and this dressed down, it was somehow thrilling.
Of course, there was less to take off this way.
In any case, Andy knew she would never tire of looking at Miranda. It was surprising that their personalities were such a good fit. Both of them were powerful, wealthy and ambitious. However, Andy earned loyalty and devotion in a very different way than Miranda did.
It was very Ying and Yang, that was for sure. When they reached a door of a study on the bottom floor, Miranda opened the door and waved Andrea in ahead of her. Andy was charmed again. Miranda really could be quite the gentleman, or woman, when she wanted to be. And for Andy, she seemed to want to be.
The study contained a large sofa, some seats and a coffee table. Books lined the walls, and unlike many places that Andy had seen, she knew these books were not just for show. They were read, lovingly, by their owner and her children. Cassidy and Caroline were not only into Harry Potter. Andy had witnessed this herself on more than one occasion.
"Let me rub your back, Andrea. The sofa is more than large enough."
It was an easy decision. The paperwork was really boring. Anyway, it would not hurt Louise to get some early practise in. Maria had warned her about doing too much herself when the handover happened. It was only days away now.
Without further ado, Andy went to the really quite sufficiently large sofa while Miranda closed the door to the study and walked to one of the bookshelves, pulling out a drawer at the bottom of it. Andy realised that Miranda was getting a throw for Andy to lay on.
In a few moments, Andy was ready, using her sweatshirt as a pillow, she relaxed into the sofa and groaned as pain lanced through her back. Damn it. Still, the idea of a massage was heavenly and Andy trusted Miranda to do a more than adequate job. Miranda was good at whatever she applied herself to, after all.
Andy moaned when those talented hands began to search for tight muscles on her back, kneading with purpose. Miranda was carefully straddling Andy's thighs to ensure that she had good access without having to employ awkward positions.
It was heavenly.
This side of Miranda. So gentle and nurturing, was something only very few people in Miranda's life had purview to. Andy felt privileged to witness it. She was sure that most of Miranda's staff and colleagues would not believe it was possible. Not that Andy cared. She rather enjoyed having this side of Miranda for herself and for Miranda's children.
Of course, Andy had found that it had only taken a few minutes and Miranda Priestly had gotten under her skin. Only a few hours, and she was in lust, and a few days, and love had arrived. For someone as guarded and careful as Andy was, it was a surprise.
Andy realised that she had lost track of time as Miranda worked on her back and now those beloved hands were simply caressing her and the aching cramps in her muscles were mostly gone. Had she fallen asleep? Maybe a light meditative doze...
Cool lips descended on the sensitive skin between her shoulder blades. Andy hissed in reaction, feeling her nerves jump pleasantly. Evidently the reaction was the correct one. Miranda slid down Andy's legs and her mouth continued its journey down Andy's back. Clutching at her improvised pillow, Andy could only surrender to the moment.
By the time those wicked lips reached the edge of her sweat pants, Andy was gasping for breath. The things this woman could do to her were nothing short of astounding. A hand tugged at the edge of her sweat pants and Andy raised her hips, allowing Miranda to pull down them down her legs.
There was the barest of pauses when Miranda realised that Andy was not in fact, wearing any undergarments, but she quickly recovered. The now warm lips, continued their journey and Andy found herself forgetting how to breathe as her arousal heightened even more.
Andy moaned, biting the sweatshirt that was now bunched up under her head.
As if Miranda would ever deny Andrea anything that was in her power to give...
Miranda opened her robe and shucked it off her body, feeling like her skin was on fire as she moved her mouth down Andrea's body. There was sweat gathered at the small of her lover's back, Andrea was shaking in anticipation and had been reduced to moans as she writhed under Miranda's ministrations.
It was heart stopping in its beauty and power. Miranda could barely think as she eased one of her hands between Andrea's powerful thighs and when her fingers sank into wetness, Miranda was forced to stop and catch her breath, resting her head on Andrea's body and trying to gather her focus.
The sensory overload was intoxicating and it made Miranda want to go wild. Now was not the time for wild, though. Andrea was injured, after all. With that thought in mind, Miranda eased her fingers further into Andrea's body and was rewarded with a loud moan.
Andrea pushed herself onto Miranda's fingers, arching upwards slightly an gasping her pleasure. It was exquisite to watch. Miranda leaned down and ran her mouth along the sensitive skin on the rise of Andrea's backside, licking and sucking as her fingers worked. She could feel wetness drop out of Andrea onto the throw that was on the sofa under her.
Not that Miranda would have cared at this point if the Book had been under Andrea. The thought mad Miranda bite the skin under her mouth and Andrea cried out with pleasure. Andrea's movements became disjointed for a moment and it made Miranda smile with anticipation and lust.
Gently, she slid her fingers out of Andrea, kissing her back soothingly when Andrea might have complained.
Miranda whispered, sitting up slightly to give Andrea room to manoeuvre.
Andrea did as Miranda asked and in a fine display of flexibility, was soon on her back, her pale skin flushed and chest heaving slightly. Miranda did not wait or tease her lover, rather she slid her fingers back in and now kissed the flat belly under her mouth, feeling fine hairs tickle her chin as she moved lower.
Miranda could tell that Andrea was close. The thought spurned her on and she brought her mouth lower, lower still, until it sank into heavenly wetness. Andrea erupted around her, arching up and shaking with desire and almost dislodging Miranda. Fantastic.
Miranda moved her hand, her mouth, her body. Andrea was by now sitting up and was holding onto Miranda's head, almost thrusting her hips as Miranda feasted. When Miranda pressed her thumb lower still on Andrea's body, moving it along sensitive flesh, Andrea came.
Forcing herself to keep her eyes open, Miranda watched as pale skin flushed red as Andrea's head tipped backwards and her whole body shook with pleasure. The sounds that her lover was making, were enough to bring Miranda to the very edge of madness.
For this, she would do anything. For this woman. For this passion. For this love.
By the time Andy came back to herself she had noticed that Miranda had shifted so she was no longer straddling Andy's legs. Miranda had not moved far though, she was sitting perched on the edge of the sofa, a wild look in her eyes as she watched Andy.
Smiling brilliantly, Andy lifted her hips and hauled up her sweat pants, quickly sitting up and grabbing her sweatshirt as well. No sense in letting a chill get in the way of anything. She did not fail to notice Miranda's eyes tracking her every move. Nor did she miss the hungry look in her lover's eyes. It was always such a thrill to know that she put it there. Miranda was this way for her, and only her.
Rising to her feet, Andy pressed Miranda to sit in the sofa so she could relax. Miranda raised an eyebrow, but quickly complied. Andy sighed in pleasure before she knelt on the floor, easing Miranda's legs apart gently. A hitch in Miranda's breathing was the only reaction that Miranda had, but it was like a shout to Andy's ears.
"I want you. More than I have ever wanted anything in my life."
Andy whispered, running her fingers along Miranda's jaw line. So beautiful, so perfect. Andy wanted to freeze the moment.
Miranda just looked at her, with her blue eyes dark with desire and emotion. She looked untamed. It was intoxicating. Moving her hand lower, she brushed aside Miranda's robe, skimming along flawless skin. Gooseflesh erupted in the wake of her touch and Miranda sighed deeply.
Leaning in, Andy replaced her hand with her mouth, kissing Miranda's collarbones and then down to her breasts. Miranda's hands grabbed at Andy's head and caressed through her hair, almost languid in their movements. Andy could tell however, that Miranda's mood was anything but languid.
Moving down further, Andy opened the robe further, kissing along the flat abdomen under her mouth. Muscles and skin jumped under her touch and Miranda moaned in response, and anticipation. Hands that had been gentle in her hair, tightened almost painfully. It was clear that Miranda would only tolerate a limited amount of teasing right now.
Without further ago, Andy slid lower, brushing her lips and then her nose through the fine hairs, before she slid her tongue and mouth into wetness. Nudging Miranda to open her legs a little wider, Andrea carefully lifted a leg over her shoulder and slid her hands under Miranda's buttocks and lifted Miranda's hips upward.
Her distracted lover reacted beautifully, and in just a moment, Andy managed to slide her tongue into Miranda. A chocked off scream was her reward. One of the hands that had been in Andy's hair vanished, and Andy knew that Miranda was using it to muffle the sounds she was making. Just in case one of the girls happened to wake up and start wandering around.
Andy felt wetness trickle down her own thigh at the thought of Miranda having to muffle herself.
Intensifying her movements, Andy felt Miranda open up to her completely and when Miranda's movements started to become jerky, Andy went for the pièce de résistance. She slid her mouth higher and moved her hands to hold Miranda's hips as she lavished the entire area with her tongue, nose, lips. A muffled cry drove her onwards.
Then, Miranda's orgasm overcame both of them. Andy felt her own body vibrate in sympathy as Miranda's legs tightened around her head and her lover ground herself against Andy's mouth.
Overwhelmed, Andy could only lay her head on Miranda's abdomen when it was all over. Panting, she closed her eyes and just experienced everything. The sheen of sweat that coated Miranda's skin. Her breathing. The taste, the scent, the feel of everything.
Some time passed before either of them stirred and after a few minutes, Andy managed to hoist herself to her feet, offering Miranda a hand off the couch. Miranda stood and Andy immediately wrapped her up in an embrace, resting her head on Miranda's shoulder as they caught their breaths.
"I love you."
Andy said into the perfect shell of Miranda's ear, kissing the space just below it.
Miranda's arms tightened around her, very carefully. At this point Andy did not care if her ribs hurt though, she just wanted to feel her lover, her love. Miranda.
"I love you, Andrea."
The soft reply made Andy's heart smile.
"Let's get some sleep. I have a feeling the twins have lots of plans for us tomorrow."
Miranda suggested after a few more moments passed. Andy smiled and pulled away slightly to look at Miranda.
She said with a laugh and grabbed Miranda's hand as they walked to the door of the study.
Andy could not wait until the morning.
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