DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story follows cannon up to the point of Paris; Andrea does NOT leave in Paris. After returning from Paris and to help each other out with bills Andrea and Doug have moved into a new apartment together. Also it's extremely AU. And many thanks go to my beta's Peet and pure_ecstasy6 for their wonderful job they did of editing. Just fair warning that I tossed out 99.9% of certain lore and came up with my own lore for this story.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To michi6877[at]yahoo.com
Divas and Hooves
As they got ready for their respective days Doug noticed that Andy seemed rather flushed and off somehow. But before he could call her out on it she said her goodbyes and was out the door. Something told him to go check her room, so he did and found that her bed was unmade and that there was a body shaped sweat soaked spot in the middle of the rumpled bedclothes. Andy was usually fastidious about keeping her room immaculate, so the general state of mess was unusual. However once a year and lasting a month, Andy's distraction was to be expected. There was also a very intriguing scent that filled the air, one in which he was extremely familiar with.
He sighed deeply then made his way to her dresser and lifted the lid of an ornately carved wooden box and lifted out an intricate choker with a large gemstone in the middle and long finely carved bone beads on both sides of the gem. The choker was constructed of platinum strips on both sides holding the piece together. The same feeling that told him to check her room told him that he needed to take the choker to work with him. So he placed it carefully in his jacket pocket, left her room, grabbed his travel mug of coffee and headed for his office.
Emily noticed through out the morning that Andy was rather fidgety, flushed and every once in a while Andy would dab at her sweaty forehead with a hankie, which was so unlike her. There were also times when it appeared she was seeing Andy through a haze like the heat waves radiating off of hot asphalt. She thought maybe Andy was coming down with something and nearly groaned at the thought. If that was the case then Miranda would send Emily out on errands. She was not looking forward to that given the temperature and icy conditions. What didn't surprise her in the least, was the hungry way Andy eyed the white haired editor.
Since the Paris debacle happened, Andy and she had mended fences, the clothes that Andy brought back definitely helped in that arena. Emily didn't even mind the fact that now she shared her first assistant's position with Andy. Miranda even had them sharing the duties of delivering the Book they alternated weeks. During Emily's week the group of friends Nigel, Doug, Emily, Serena and Andy would get together after Emily dropped off the Book. Thankfully or not, depending on one's point of view this was Emily's week of delivering the Book. Emily's week was the only time that all the friends would get together. During Andy's week, Andy would deliver the Book and stay to go over it with Miranda. Andy always found time during her weeks to chat with the twins as well.
Emily put her head in her hands and groaned out. "I do hope you're not coming down with something Andy."
"Thankfully no, I'm not." Andrea answered as she once again dabbed her forehead.
"Are you sure about that?" Emily eyed her suspiciously "because from the looks of it you're coming down with something bad."
"I'm a hundred percent sure, Em." Just then Serena entered the outer office. "Go on and enjoy your lunch." Andrea shooed Emily out of their office.
"Back in twenty." She said as she grabbed her purse and headed for the cafeteria with Serena.
An hour later Emily noticed that the heated looks Andrea kept sending Miranda's way, were becoming more frequent and lingering longer.
"Andrea!" Emily hissed to get her attention.
"What?" Andrea answered as Emily noticed it took a lot for Andrea to pull her sweltering gaze away from Miranda and onto Emily. The look on Andrea's face could only be described as pure unadulterated lust.
"Keep this up and she's going to catch on and possibly fire you!" Emily said softly.
Miranda's ears perked up at hearing her love's name being hissed, even as she spoke with Nigel about the proofs. Miranda nearly snorted at the thought of ever possibly firing Andréa. Miranda had already noticed Andréa's heated stares and was rather enjoying them. It was good to know that her attraction to Andréa wasn't one sided.
"Not to worry Em, it's past time for some action." And with that said Andrea stood from her desk and sauntered into Miranda's office. With a look of alarm, Emily grabbed her phone and speed dialed Doug's number, she knew if anyone had any idea what was going on with Andrea he would.
Miranda clenched her thighs together when she heard Andrea. Both Nigel and Miranda looked up to watch Andréa stroll seductively into her office. Nigel was shocked beyond words at Andy, but even he could tell she wasn't seeing him. She only had eyes for the silver haired woman. While Miranda strived to keep her icy mask in place her eyes gave her away, a fact that Andrea noticed, making walk even more seductive.
"Is there something I may help you with Andréa? Or has your incompetence risen to an all new high?" Miranda attempted to keep her voice cool, but a smoky timber still crept in.
Andrea grinned mischievously. "Oh there's a multitude of ways you could help me ." She sauntered closer to the desk. "And there's even more ways I could help you." Andrea purred.
Nigel looked up as he heard footsteps enter the outer office and saw his boyfriend in a heated discussion with Emily before turning toward Miranda's office. Andrea had her pencil skirt hiked up, with one knee and both hands on Miranda's desk, her gaze hotter then before. Miranda herself was having difficulty holding still at the sight of so much leg. She also noticed a delicious aroma - could that be Andréa's skin.
"Andrea Saveen Sachs!" An unfamiliar male voice bellowed as a stocky young man rushed into Miranda's office. "Get down from there, Saveen." The voice was quiet but contained a firm authority.
Miranda heard Nigel breath out, "Thank God, Doug."
Miranda turned her gaze to this Doug as he gently pulled Andréa from her desk. Andréa did not like being removed from the desk and struggled in his grasp.
He suddenly barked at Andrea in some unknown melodious language as he tightened his hold on her. She spat back at him in the same language struggling even more. They both tossed their heads and stomped their feet in a fashion that Miranda could only describe as very horse-like. The only word that Miranda, Nigel and Emily understood was Saveen. As the argument between Andrea and Doug became even more heated Andrea pointed at Miranda. Whatever she said was obviously a demand. Doug answered with a shake of his head, a denial that Andrea did not take well.
Suddenly Doug turned to Nigel. "Hun, would you mind coming here and holding her arm at her side?" He then turned to Emily. "And Em would you mind getting her other side?"
Neither of them answered verbally but grabbed Andrea's arms. "Hold tight and don't let her go!" As he said that another haze seemed to engulf Andrea. Doug pulled the choker from his pocket. Andrea's struggles increased when she saw the jewelry. Nigel and Emily were having a devil of a time holding the tall woman.
Miranda stood up from her desk and came around it. "Is this truly necessary?"
"It's the best for Andy." Doug responded as he brought the choker around Andrea's neck sanpping the two ends together. As the choker settled in place, Andrea sagged, all the fight leaving her body.
Taking her face in his hands, Doug asked "Better now?"
"Much, thank you Dougie. I hadn't realized it was so close."
"I figured as much." He kissed her forehead. "You got it from here?"
"Yeah, I do. At least I do if I still have a job."
With that all of them turned to Miranda icy mask in place.
Miranda quirked an eyebrow. "Of course you still have a job, which all of you need to get back to," glancing pointedly at Nigel and Emily. "That's all."
With that Emily, Andrea and Doug turned and left the office. As Nigel moved around to the other side of Miranda's desk, he looked up and mouthed to Doug "drinks?" Doug nodded in agreement.
Later that night Nigel, Serena, Doug and Andrea sat at their favorite table at their favorite bar waiting for Emily to finish dropping off the Book. Nigel, Serena and Doug were discussing their day together while Andrea sat there quietly nursing her drink. Nigel and Doug studiously avoided talking about what happened in Miranda's office, when Emily suddenly slid into the empty seat next to Serena. After she put her bag down on the table she quickly downed the drink sitting there waiting for her. She signaled for a refill then turned abruptly to Andrea and waited.
Staring pointedly at Andy she spat, "Now what the Bloody Hell was that?" She didn't need to elaborate since everyone at the table knew what she was talking about.
"Um ." Andrea darted a look at Doug before downing the rest of her drink in one swallow. A silent conversation began between Doug and Andy. Then they broke out in their mysterious language.
Emily broke in. "Didn't your Mums' teach you it's rude to speak in an unknown language in front of others?" She huffed taking another sip of her drink.
"I actually find it very beautiful to hear." Serena said.
"I've got to agree with Serena, Em. I could sit here all night and listen to them speak it." Nigel added.
Emily growled. "I also think it's beautiful. But that wasn't my point." She glared at Andrea. "Well?"
Andrea sighed deeply and looked to Doug one last time, he nodded encouraging her to continue. She took a deep breath and began.
"Um that was me um, going into " She blew her breath out then said rapidly. "That was me going into heat today."
Nigel, Serena and Emily all stared at her dumbfounded. Then Nigel and Serena burst out laughing and Emily scowled at Andrea.
"Do be serious, Andrea." She snapped.
Andrea rolled her eyes and sighed while Doug smacked Nigel and told him to stop laughing. They didn't have long to wait for Serena's laughter to turn to quiet giggles.
"Are you three ready to hear me now?" Andrea watched as all three nodded their heads. "I am deadly serious. Once a year for a whole month I go into heat and while I'm in heat I have absolutely no control over my hormonal urges. So I need this to help me." She fingered the choker. "And when it's time for Doug, he'll need His choker."
All three friends looked confused. Doug sighed and explained his half of the story.
"For us males going into heat is called rutting. It's basically the same once a year for a whole month. For me it's easier, since I'm already with you Nige. I already have a partner to breed with, not so with Andy. She's In Love with Miranda, so what you saw this afternoon is only a mild reaction of what she would do to get Miranda to breed with her without the choker."
"You guys are serious?" Nigel asked. Both of them nod their heads.
"How is that humanly possible?" It was Emily's turn to ask.
Doug signaled to the waitress for another round of drinks for the whole table. "We have something to show you once your done with the coming round of drinks."
The waitress brought the new round and Andy paid for it. Doug and Andy gulped their drinks down with the other three drinking theirs as fast as they could. As they finished, Doug made a quick phone call and nodded at Andy.
Shortly after they stepped out of the bar a mini-van taxi pulled up, Emily and Serena took the very back seat, Nigel and Doug took the middle seat and Andy sat up front next to the driver. In a quiet voice she gave the address to the driver, she was so quiet none of her Runway co-workers could hear her. Twenty minutes later they pulled up to a secluded part of Central Park. After paying the driver everybody got out and followed their friends into a small glade.
"You guys might wanna stand back and give us some room." Andy said as she began to strip off her clothes while Doug silently joined her in stripping.
All three stepped back, but it was Nigel who said. "I know for a fact neither of you drank enough to be stripping to your skivvies in Central Park."
Doug and Andy looked at each other and rolled their eyes as they stepped out of even their underwear.
"Bloody Bullocks! That is way more then I ever wanted to see!" Emily exclaimed holding a hand up in front of her eyes.
Andy sighed. "If you take your hand down you won't see it for long."
"Bloody Hell!" But Emily did as Andy suggested. And before any of the three could blink a haze slightly more thick than this morning's hazes engulfed Andy and Doug.
Jaws dropped and their eyes practically sprang out of heads at the sight of what stood in front of them.
From the waist up it was Doug and Andy, but from the waist down were the bodies of large horses. Doug's lower body was solid black and Andy's looked to be roan with black socks on her hind legs. But Andy wasn't bare chested it looked like she was wearing a large green halter top. As the three friends stood gaping , Doug and Andy began tracing mystic symbols in the air , chanting something in their language. At the end of the invocation there was a subtle flash of light that expanded out passing through the other three and moving out in all directions.
"What " Nigel gulped. "What was that?"
"Just a spell that will keep others from seeing us in our true form. And since we've invited you to see our true form that spell will no longer work on you." Andy answered seriously as one of her fore legs pawed the ground.
"And yes we are Centaurs. And you should also know that we're actually ten years older then the ages on our birth certificates. For the first ten years of our lives we're trained as Centaurs, learning to control our transformation. Then we become part of the system. We age more slowly than humans, so by the time we integrated into the system we looked like the other five years old." Doug continued the explanation. "Also it takes energy to maintain our human form, therefore as soon as we get done with our daily activities we come here transform and take a run." At this Andy began to prance in place. "And as you can see Saveen has a lot of energy to burn off. Saveen is Andy's Centaurian name and mine is Chev."
Serena tilted her head. "What do you mean your Centaurian name?"
"Well technically we have two first names, our human names are Andrea and Doug; our Centaurian names are Saveen and Chev." Saveen said as she pranced a few steps away from the entire group. "Hey do you guys want a ride? I can tell you it is like nothing you've ever ridden before."
"Who will ride whom?" Emily asked eagerly.
"I'll take you and Serena, Chev can take Nigel. Since Nigel is his mate it's only right. One of you will ride in front for the first part of our runs then we'll stop so you can switch places." Saveen answered as Chev walked up to Nigel picked him up, twisted and set him down on his back. Saveen laid down on the ground to allow both women to climb on, Emily in the front and Serena behind her. "Okay, Em, Nige, both of you wrap your arms around our torsos, Serena wrap your arms around Em's waist. And don't worry neither of us will allow any of you to fall." Saveen said as she stood up with her passengers then quickly put her hair up in a messy bun using a small stick she broke off one of the trees.
Both of them lined up together and with a look took off, using their hands they kept the branches of the trees from hitting their passengers. And as they ate up the ground , their friends were surprised to find that what Saveen had told them was an understatement. It wasn't anything like riding a horse. It was as if they were flying over the ground and the three were thrilled. It remained a smooth ride even when the centaurs decided to leap over obstacles instead of running around them.
Eventually the ride had to end, once the group was back in their little glade Chev lifted Nigel off and set him on the ground as Saveen reached around and lifted first Serena and and then Emily to the ground.
"Ohhhhhh .I'd forgotten about this part of riding." Emily exhaled as she wobbled about on her sore legs. "But when can we do this again?"
Both of the centaurs laughed at the first part. "Well how about this? On the nights we go out for drinks we'll give you guys rides" Saveen answered.
"That sounds like a plan to me." Nigel replied.
"So what exactly does that choker do for you?" Serena asked.
"And what about your clothes their probably soaked through by now?" Emily added.
"Okay first things first. All of our clothes have a spell of warmth and dryness cast on them so we never have to worry. Now the choker is little bit more complex but I'll do my best to explain what I can." Saveen said as they both headed towards their clothes. Once again the condensing hazes surrounded them and they were back to their human forms. Their friends turned their backs to give them a little privacy as they dressed.
"Okay guys you can turn around again." Andy said as she headed back to the road while Doug once again made a call for a taxi. "Now the choker you noticed how I was occasionally hazing out in the office, Em?"
"Yes, but I thought it was my imagination."
"Well when centaurs go into either heat or are rutting we can't control our transformation. So one major thing the choker does, is it allows us to control our transformations. And I don't know how else to put it, but the choker also helps us keep our hormonal urges in check. Also, if I wear the choker while having sex during heat it will keep me from getting pregnant. And that's as simple as I can explain the choker."
"But Andy, you're in love with Miranda. Should you mate with her you can't get pregnant." Serena pointed out.
Andy coughed turning beet red and looking away from the little group .
"Um, that's one thing that's different for the mares. They can get pregnant by another female, human OR centaurian. Thankfully, us stallions don't have that worry. The closest we can explain it is that it's magic." Doug answered as Andy buried her burning face in her hands.
"So how does that work, Miranda would grow a penis?" Nigel asked. All but Andy choked on their laughter; Andy tilted her head in contemplation.
Doug quickly got his laughter under control. "No, neither female will grow a penis, it just happens magically."
"Oh good, could you imagine Miranda's reaction to growing a penis?" Nigel once again sent his friends into fits of laughter.
"Oh I don't know about that, I think she'd be hot with a capital H, if she grew a penis. As long as she kept her breasts and other female anatomy that is." Andy said as she drooled over the thought.
"Bloody hell!! Andrea you're twisted!"
Nigel snorted, Serena slipped an arm around Emily's waist as Doug grinned. "Nah, she's not, she's just extremely horny. While the choker keeps our hormonal urges in check, it doesn't do a thing to stop our thoughts along those lines."
"By the way, did Nate and what was her name? Oh yeah, did Nate and Lily know about you two?" Serena asked.
"Thank Goddess, NO!!" Both centaurs answered at the same time.
"There was just something off about them, so they had no clue as to our true forms." Doug responded.
"But I thought you loved Nate and you seemed so depressed after you got back from Paris?" Nigel looked at Andy curiously.
Andy shook her head. "No, I was never in love with Nate. He was a good companion until he became a pain in the ass. And I was depressed when I returned from Paris because I realized I was in love with Miranda and thought she'd never return my feelings."
The taxi finally pulled up and again Emily and Serena took the back seat, this time though Andy sat in the middle of Nigel and Doug.
"Well after your little episode this afternoon, you can tell that she's at least interested." Nigel told her.
"True, I did notice that. Now I'll just have to see how far her interest goes." Andy said thoughtfully.
Later that week Miranda called Andy into her office.
"Just how many of those chokers do you have?" Miranda asked.
Andy fingered her choker. "What do you mean?"
"How many do you have? Or do you just change the stone? Since every day you've come in wearing it, it seems to match your outfits."
"Oh I've plenty."
Miranda looked at her speculatively. "That's all."
And that was the only mention of what happened that fateful afternoon.
Nigel snuggled into Doug's side as they watched Andy pace the living room mumbling under her breath. The three of them were waiting for Emily and Serena in Doug and Andy's apartment. Andy had wanted a night in for drinks. As their intercom buzzed Doug got up and buzzed the other couple into the building.
Noticing Andy's pacing, Serena wondered, "What's up with her? It's Saturday night and her week of delivering the Book is over."
"We don't know, we were hoping you guys could help us." Doug shrugged as he sat next to Nigel.
Emily set her drink on the coffee table, stood up and put herself in Andy's path grabbing the brunette's upper arms.
"What's wrong Andy?" She asked in a firm tone.
"You've noticed, haven't you? Please tell me you've noticed." Andy pleaded.
"That she's touching me, not inappropriately, but touching me every chance she gets."
A light dawned in Emily's eyes. "Yes, yes I've definitely noticed that."
"Well there's that, but when we're in the car together she's taken to linking her hand with mine and putting both in her lap!" Andy slipped out of Emily's grasp and started pacing again. "And that's not all! When we went over the Book this week she would sit close to me!"
"Andy hun, she's got to sit close to you to go over the Book with you." Doug interjected after taking a sip of his drink.
"True, she always has, but now she's sitting closely enough to be joined at the hip! And the touching! She's also been smiling warmly at me!" Andy threw up her hands.
"Well, Six this means you have your answer, she's definitely interested." Nigel sipped his drink.
"Yes, I know that! But, even with the help of the choker, it's taking all of my control to keep from jumping on her!"
"Ah, I can see how that'd be a problem." Serena said.
"So, an extra long run tonight?" Doug asked her.
"Absolutely. C'mon guys I really need it tonight."
The week was extremely hectic, they were doing a special spread on priceless jewelry. And it was getting closer to when the jewelry would be needed for the shoot And Miranda was the only one with the combination to the Closet vault.
It was a couple hours past lunch when a large man dressed all in black, his face covered by a mask, barged into the outer office pointing two sub-machine guns. Emily squeaked and Andy growled. Hearing the disturbance in the outer office, Miranda rose from her desk.
"Just what is the meaning of this?" She demanded in her soft, icy voice.
"Nothin' you need worry your purty old head about, once we've gotten what we've come for. Now all three of you in the office!"
Emily and Andy followed his direction, with Andy growling the whole time. Once they were in Miranda's office Andy stepped forward putting herself between Emily, Miranda and the large man. Suddenly they heard gun fire from other parts of the office, the man turned to look out the glass doors and Andy lunged for the man, but he quickly turned back raising the gun.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. I've no problem shooting you." And then his eye was caught by Andy's choker. "Now that's a real purty necklace take it off and toss it to me. We could get a purty penny for that too, along with all the other jewelry we're takin'."
"No." Andy growled out.
He marched up to her and placed one of his guns on her forehead. "Take it off and give it here." He ordered.
"Not in this lifetime!" Andy spat back and pushed her forehead harder into the gun's barrel.
"Andréa! Give it to him, you told me you had plenty of them." Miranda ordered in her coldest tones even though there was a slight tremor in her voice.
Emily leaned over and whispered in Miranda's ear. "She can't Miranda; it's the only one she has, the gemstone changes color to match her outfits."
Miranda looked incredulously at Emily.
"Fine." The man stated and tucked the gun not trained on Andy in his pants. Then reached and pulled off the choker. He was so focused on the jewelry in his hand he missed Andy's eyes flashing red. Screaming he dropped the choker and grabbed his hand.
Emily looked on as the man was cursing and shaking his hand and suddenly noticed the condensed haze surrounding Andy. She quickly grabbed Miranda's arm and tugged her back urging. "Come on we've got to give her room."
Then suddenly there was an irate, armored centaur standing before the man. Miranda's jaw dropped.
"Andréa?!" She whispered.
"No, not Andrea in this form, it's Saveen." Emily whispered back. "I knew she could do this, but I didn't know she could do that!"
Miranda looked to her for elucidation.
"I mean I knew she could change to her true form, but I didn't know she could do the armor thing." They both turned to the scene before them.
The man was still shouting curses and shaking his hand, but Andy suddenly reared back and lashed out with her front hooves knocking the gun out of his hand and hitting him hard on the head. Once Emily saw that the man was knocked unconscious she darted around Andy's bulk and leaned down to pick up the choker for Andy.
"No, Emily don't!" Andy cried.
But it was too late Emily had already picked it up and then just as quickly dropped it, crying out. Miranda quickly made her way to Andy's other side and stooped down, picking up the choker and handing it to Andrea.
Wide eyed Andy took the choker from Miranda and put it on. "Thank you." Again the haze enveloped Andy and she was back in her human form , dressed in her armor.
Andy turned to look at them. "Now you two go back into Miranda's office and call the cops." Both women stumbled back into the office noticing that the armor covered every inch of Andy's centaurian form. The helmet she wore was of ancient Grecian design with a hole in the back to accommodate her hair.
Drawing mystical symbols and chanting she was once again hazing out with her back to the outer office doors. They suddenly heard somebody crash through the outer office doors. The new intruder took the unbelievable sight before him and the fact that his comrade was unconscious. He started firing his AK-47 wildly at the bulky creature in front of him.
With bullets harmlessly ricocheted off her armor, Andy turned and quickly kicked the gun man in the chin. He was out like a light before he even hit the clothing racks along the wall.
Andy hazed yet again into her armored human form turning to face the outer office, she collected all the guns and carefully placed them in Miranda's office. Miranda was on the phone with the police when she and Emily noticed two silver bars strapped to Andy's back. One end of each bar came to an extremely sharp point with intricate carvings on the shaft of the bars
Andy stood holding the obscure weapons at arm's length. Snapping her elbows she extended the bars into thin javelins. With a javelin in each hand, Andy backed up blocking the entrance to Miranda's office.
Andy fully expected more men to come rushing in. Eventually a man did come striding down the hall and into the outer office armed with a large .40 caliber hand gun. He completely ignored the unconscious men on the floor. And his head was uncovered.
"Well, well it appears as if we have a stand off here." Came the man's cultured tones.
"Oh no we don't. You are going to leave this room round up the rest of your men and get the hell out of here. The police are on their way." Andy growled back.
"Ah, see now that's where we have a problem. I'm not leaving until I have that jewelry and it appears that the woman who runs this magazine is the only one with the safe's combination. So I'm going to need you to move and let the woman out so I can get what's mine and leave."
"Over my dead body!"
He took aim at her face. "That can be arranged."
Before anyone could blink Andy flicked her right arm back, tossing her javelin. She pierced the man through his left shoulder and pinning him to the wall. Gripping the javelin with his left hand the gunman tried to bring his weapon back to bear on Andy. With another under hand toss Andy sent the second javelin flying, pinning his right thigh to the wall causing him to scream and drop his weapon. He gripped the javelin's shaft and attempted to pull it out. They could hear a sirens outside the building through the man's screams.
Andy trotted forward and being careful of the shafts she used her hoof to kick the gun closer to her. Bending down she picked it up as she transformed back to her armored human form. Upon entering the inner office the armor melted away from her . Before Andy could transform her human clothing, Miranda got an eyeful of naked Andréa Suddenly clothed in a forest green halter top and a matching sarong that reached her ankles and her feet shod in four inch forest green stilettos. Miranda quirked a brow and Andréa just smirked back at her as she placed the hand gun with the other automatic weapons in the office.
"Emily, Andréa, we need to get our stories straight before the police get up here. We're going to keep it simple. The first man came in, Andréa dispatched him with some fancy martial arts, and the second man came in to meet the same fate. By the time the third man came in Andréa had pulled down, those things," she waved a hand at the javelins pinning the man to the wall. "From the wall of my office and used her track and field experience to do what she did."
"Um, Miranda those are javelins, I would've used my spears but they were too long and bulky to use indoors."
"Fine, javelins." Miranda rolled her eyes. "Now, Emily I want all of this damage taken care of by tomorrow, call Roy, have him waiting for us by the time the policemen complete their work, don't bother delivering the Book, have the art department send it to me via e-file "
While Miranda continued to spout her orders to Emily, Andy went around and picked up all the shredded bits of clothing and smashed shoes and dumped them in her waste basket. Then she dragged and dumped the bodies in a pile close to the doors of the outer office, leaving the third man pinned to the wall.
Soon after Miranda finished her spiel of orders a S.W.A.T. team burst through the outer office doors, guns at the ready. The lead team member took in the sight of the two men in a pile and a third man pinned to the wall. "Stand down this section is clear." Then he took in the assistants sitting at their bullet ridden desks working while Miranda was on the phone to someone.
Andy stood up from her desk and moved into Miranda's office announcing the presence of the policemen. She covered the mouth piece of the phone and said. "Once I'm done with this call, I'll talk to them."
Andy came back out of the office. "She'll be right with you once she's done with her call."
As a couple of the S.W.A.T. members cuffed the two men on the floor, plain-clothes police officers entered the outer office.
"Don't worry ma'am, that's our job they're just here to arrest these men." The man talking suddenly looked taken aback when he spotted the third man pinned to the wall. They quickly turned toward Andy holding their hands out. "I'm Detective Mason and this is Detective Evan, we'll be the ones taking your statements, we've other detectives taking care of the rest of the staff."
"I'm Andrea Sachs, you can call me Andy. I'm sure you can take Emily's and my statements while you wait for Miranda." Andy said as she shook their hands.
While taking theirs statements, the paramedics were placing the handcuffed men on stretchers therefore transport to the hospital. Another paramedic tended to Emily's burnt hand. Then the two remaining S.W.A.T. members attempted to remove the javelins from the third man. Andy watched them struggle with it for a while, before excusing herself from Detective Mason and going over to the S.W.A.T. men. Brushing them aside, Andy gripped and gently twisted the shaft of the javelin removing it from the wall and the man's leg. She gestured with her head to have the two men hold the pinned man up while she again removed the second javelin with ease.
The two men holding the third man quickly placed him on the last stretcher and let the paramedics begin working on him. Andy then returned to the detective holding the two weapons and finished giving her statement. During the entire interview, the detective warily eyed the blood-coated weapons.
After all three women gave their statements and the police took their leave. Miranda ordered Emily to get Andrea a coat from the closet. After Andrea donned the coat, Miranda called for her coat and bag then turned to Andrea.
"Andréa, I think you and I have much to discuss."
With that Miranda left the office with Andrea in tow. When the elevator arrived Miranda placed her hand on the middle of Andrea's back and ushered her on ahead of her.
Once the friends were settled with drinks in Doug and Andy's apartment, minus Andy of course. Emily waved her bandaged hand at Doug. "Why is it I burned my bloody hand on Andrea's choker yet Miranda could pick it up with no issue?" She demanded of Doug.
Doug's eyes widened. "She could, really?"
"Yes, now why is that?" Came the testy answer.
"That's one of the simplest answers concerning the chokers. Only centaurs and their life mate can touch the choker with immunity - everybody else will get burned."
Andrea slowly awoke to the feel of a warm slender body in her arms. Opening her eyes she recognized the silver hair that her face was buried in. She smiled and stretched as much as she could without waking the woman up in her arms. She was surprised at how small the woman was in her arms, Miranda seemed so much larger when she was awake. It probably had to be because of the larger then life persona she wore at work.
She bent her head and pressed a soft kiss to the neck in front of her, noticing for the first time that while there was a pleasant hum of desire running through her and that she wouldn't mind some morning lovings. There was no rush to wake her lover up and.
Andy felt rested, content and complete as if she were out of heat. Holding the smaller woman in her arms, she reached up to touch the choker and didn't find it. She sat up abruptly and looked down at her lover as her mind flashed back to the night before remembering that Miranda had been kissing along her jaw line saying that she wanted access to Andrea, all of her. When Miranda reached her neck she quickly removed the choker and proceeded to kiss and nibble down her neck.
Andrea squeaked and attempted to get out of the bed, face planting on the floor. She quickly got up and looked around the luxurious room for a phone, she spotted Miranda's cell on the woman's nightstand. Once she had the phone in her hand she dialed and began pacing at the end of the bed while she waited for call to be answered.
"Mom! Mom!" Andrea whispered in a panic.
Miranda slowly rose from the depths of sleep at the whispered words. As she stretched she felt aches in places she never knew she'd had. Miranda rolled on her back and glanced at the young woman pacing at the end of the bed, her mind flashed back to images of the prior night. One in particular come into focus that of Andréa riding her fist. Her body arching and twisting in ecstatic pleasure. Miranda was actually quite surprised at how easily her lover accommodated her fist.. What surprised her even more was how long and thick Andréa's tongue was, she could feel herself getting extremely wet at just the thought of that long, thick muscle. Then her attention was drawn back to the conversation going on at the foot of her bed.
"Well, I was in heat and I ended up making love with a woman I'm deeply head over hooves in love with "
Miranda felt a warmth bloom in her chest as she heard that her love was returned. Then her mind zipped back to what Andréa had said, In Heat? Her jaw dropped as it sunk in.
"Um, she did take off the choker and no it didn't burn her ." Andrea didn't notice that she was now speaking at her normal volume.
Why is that choker of such importance? Miranda thought. Well if you hadn't pounced her before finishing your discussion you might know. How could I control myself after witnessing such bravery? You maintained control while the twins were home and at dinner. Of course I did, I'd never do something like that with them around especially since it was Andréa's first time having supper with us. Miranda quit the internal debate and turned her focus on the conversation she could hear.
"Thanks mom, I know I was surprised when it didn't burn her either .uh, well it was Miranda yes, that Miranda. Like I said mom it surprised me too .I don't know, but I do know she's definitely attracted to me."
"So could it happen the first time?"
Now Andréa was blushing beet red as her steps faltered and she coughed before answering a question the other person asked.
"Uh, eight hours straight, but then I had to let her get some sleep she does have to go to work today."
Andréa now stood in one place.
"Ok, ok, yeah you can tell the family but only tell them who if they can keep their mouths shut No, I don't know what we're gonna do I'll be damned before I let us get outted before we even know what we're gonna do."
"Alright, I love you too, mom."
Andréa took a deep breath and let it out slowly while closing the cell phone. "Well, this is going to be interesting."
"What's going to be interesting, Andréa?" Miranda asked softly her concern written clearly on her face. Andréa jumped in the air, dropped the phone on the floor and clapped a hand to her chest as she spun around to face Miranda.
"Dear Goddess, you scared the hell outta me Miranda!"
"I'm sorry, but what's wrong darling?" Miranda made to get out of the bed.
"No, love you might want to stay in bed for this. It's all in how you want to look at it, to me, nothing is wrong just rather sudden." Andréa fidgeted as she sat on the end of the bed.
"Well, what is it?" The concern on her face deepening.
Andrea sighed. "There's no easy way to say this and I'll totally understand if you want nothing more to do with me."
"I am unable to ever picture such a happenstance." Miranda said firmly, utter conviction lacing her voice.
Andrea took another deep breath let it out slowly then said. "I'm pregnant by you." She looked down at her clasped hands waiting for Miranda's explosion.
Miranda sank back into the pillows shocked beyond belief. "Wha How is that even possible?" She whispered.
"Do you remember that day about three weeks ago, when I was about to climb onto your desk?" Andrea kept her head down.
Miranda nodded and shivered in delight as she remembered just how seductive Andréa had been that afternoon. There's no way she could ever forget that day.
"Well, I was going into heat ..and since I've been in love with you, I was attempting to seduce you into mating with me." Andrea blushed a deep red that traveled from the top of her head and on down her chest.
Miranda smiled genuinely. "If you had done that in any other place than the office, you would have succeeded. But what exactly do you mean by going into heat and what does your choker have to do with it?"
Andrea glanced up and grinned. "Well obviously you know human women have monthly periods." Miranda nodded. "For us centaurians it's different. For one month of the year, mares go into heat and the stallions entering the rut."
"So for a month of the year centaurs will attempt to have sex with whomever?" Miranda asked sadly.
"No, no, no, for those mares and stallions that aren't attached to someone or in love with somebody, they do attempt to seduce anyone who takes their fancy. But for those of us who are attached and/or in love with someone, we attempt seducing that person or persons. And yes there are quite a few centaurs in committed multiple partner relationships and no, I don't mean open relationships, we centaurs are too possessive for such things." Andrea smirked at that.
"Each centaur has a choker made for them immediately after they're born, made from the hairs of the mother's and father's tail hair. The decorations that go out from center are clan symbols, telling other centaurs which clan they're from. The center piece is something unique to that centaur. For instance, the center stone of my choker has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. When my sire handed the stone to my mother right after I was born my mother put it to my breast where it flared to life, changing to match my eyes. In this way it became my center piece.
Also, you should know that my clan is matriarchal and my mother is our clan leader. When the time comes my mother will step down and my older sister shall take up the calling. Now there are multiple reasons for the choker, when a clan gets together it shows your status in the clan. And it's an identifier for when multiple clans get together." Andrea took a deep breath.
"But the choker's Main purpose is to help us in our times of heat. One of the things that happen during those times is that we're unable to control our transformations. The choker controls that for us so that we may focus on the things we need to do. Normally I'm a pretty good judge of when I'm going into heat and get the choker on in time. This year I was so focused on you that I was not paying attention. I honestly thought I had a day or two before I went into full heat. Usually we centaurs keep our chokers on 24/7 when we're in heat. Another function of the choker for mares is a type of birth control." Andrea stopped and ran a hand through her hair.
Miranda appeared to be completely and totally enthralled with what Andrea was saying. "Alright, that explains the going into heat and the choker," Miranda tilted her head. "But that does not explain how I," she gestures down her body, "of all people got You pregnant. And why the choker burned both the gunman and Emily's hands."
Andrea ran her hand through her hair once again, looking up and making eye contact with warm blue eyes. "Yeah, um, well since the time when the Goddess began our evolution for reasons that we can only explain as magical, mares are able to be impregnated by either human women and mares, as well as, stallions."
"How do you mean?" Miranda still appeared just as enthralled.
"Stallions can't get pregnant by men or other stallions. And as to why Emily and that man got burned " Andrea ducked her head bashfully. "Only other centaurs and true life mates can touch it without getting burned. And they are like that to keep them from being stolen."
Miranda sat back and absorbed what she had been told with sparking eyes and a brilliant smile. She crawled toward Andrea wrapped one arm around her waist while she laid her head on one strong shoulder and placed her hand gently upon Andrea's lower abdomen.
"So I'm your true life mate and I got you pregnant." Miranda kissed her neck.
Andrea wrapped her arms around the smaller woman. "Yes you are and not surprising at all you managed to get me pregnant the first night we slept together." Andrea then looked at the clock on the nightstand and exclaimed. "Oh shit! Miranda you're late and so am I!"
"Hmm " Miranda hummed and sat back away from Andrea. "Darling, would you get my phone for me?"
Andrea quickly hopped off the bed and snatched the phone from the floor and handed it to Miranda. Looking extremely worried, Miranda reached up and brushed at Andrea's furrowed brow.
"Now, Andréa there's no need to be worried." She said as she hit her second speed dial. "Neither Andréa or I shall be in for the next couple of days. Adjust my schedule accordingly. Inform HR that Andréa is tendering her resignation today and will work her two weeks when she's back in the office. I still want the Book delivered and I want you to come pick it up in the mornings by 8:30 at the latest "
Andrea couldn't contain her grin as her mate spouted orders at the speed of a Gatling gun.
6 months later
Miranda entered the townhouse and set her purse down on the table as she took off and hung up her coat. She could hear the thundering of her daughters' feet as they came racing down the stairs to give her a hug.
"Hello, bobbsies how was your day?"
"It was ok, but it got a lot better as soon as we got home. Andy showed up shortly after we did " Cassidy began.
"And she got a delivery from her da, dad, and sire. She's setting up what they sent to her right now." Caroline finished as each twin grabbed a hand of their mother's and began to drag her up the stairs to the nursery next to the master bedroom on the third floor.
That was one thing that thrilled the girls to no end ,Andrea had three fathers. And what was an added bonus was that the twins got another grandma and three grandpas, the fact that they weren't blood meant nothing to either the twins or Andrea's parents. It also helped that Andrea's parents absolutely doted on them and quite surprising they managed to spoil the girls more than Miranda.
All three of the Priestly females had chokers of their own, the twins were made from the clippings of Miranda's hair that she had her stylist save after a trim. Thankfully with magic it was all the hair that was needed to make the girls' chokers. And for Miranda's all four of Andrea's parents donated their tail hairs. Of course all three had the markers that claimed them as Sachs clan. For Caroline's center piece there was a sterling silver piece of parchment paper with a feather pen in a ink pot. For Cassidy there was sterling silver theater masks and for Miranda's there was a large Sapphire that had an elegantly scripted F in the upper portion and a script R on the bottom part as well as being behind the F. The F stood for family and the R for Runway. And like Andrea they kept their chokers in ornately wooden boxes that Andrea's da carved for them. They only wore them for special occasions.
At the door of the nursery the twins let go of Miranda's hands and stepped back to allow her to enter first. Entering she noticed Andrea sitting at the end of one of the cribs setting up a wooden stand and her eyes widened as she watched Andrea place miniature weapons on the stand; a sword, mace, spear, javelin and bow with a quiver of arrows. Above the stand she saw a miniature shield hanging. The same stand, weapons and shield were at the end of the other crib as well.
"For God's sake! What is the meaning of this?!" Miranda exclaimed.
Andrea turned her head and gave Miranda a megawatt smile then carefully stood up and faced the older woman. "These are our twins first weapons. Da carved the stands, Dad made the shields and Sire made the weapons. Aren't they cute?"
"Cute?! Why not just give them guns?" Miranda demanded aghast.
Andrea scowled at the thought. "Because guns take no skill what so ever, all you do is point and shoot."
"I think the snipers and marksmen would disagree with you." Miranda snipped back.
"They're welcome to; it's still just pointing and shooting." Andrea still scowled and shook her head.
"But that does not explain Why our children need such things!
"Oh that's simple love; our children are going to be trained in the basic centaurian arts of war, like every centaur before them." Andrea smiled then moved to Miranda and snuggled up to the woman as much as her bulk would allow.
"Wonderful our children will be able to carve each other into bits and pieces before they're even five." Miranda whimpered at the thought.
"Trust me, Miranda they aren't going to do that, I'll be teaching them the basics and when they're old enough and skilled enough my uncle Jared will take over their training on the finer art of weapons."
"Dear Goddess, help me." Miranda used one of Andrea's favorite sayings.
"It'll be okay Miranda." Andrea kissed her cheek. "Besides the twins asked me if I could train them as well, I told them they'd have to get your permission."
"Please mom!!" They begged together standing behind the two women.
"I'll think about it." Miranda answered faintly.
Approximately 5 months later .
Miranda sat at her desk going through some proofs when her cell phone rang with a specific ring tone. She looked up and noticed Nigel coming in to her office with a couple layouts as she answered her phone.
"Yes, Richard?" Suddenly Miranda's voice rose to decibels never before heard in the halls of Runway. "Why didn't you ..never mind. I'm on my way." She quickly hung up and made her way around her desk, calling for her coat and bag in her normal quiet icy tones.
As she made her way past Nigel he quickly asked. "What is it Miranda?"
"Andréa is in labor and it's almost time for her to have the babies." She answered while accepting her coat and bag. Miranda turned to her first assistant. "Lorraine clear my schedule for the rest of the week. Have Roy downstairs five minutes ago. Continue delivering the book and come pick it up by nine am each morning. That's all."
Miranda practically ran to the elevators Nigel keeping up with her. "I'll inform Emily and Serena what's going on and we'll be there as soon as we can."
Miranda quickly stepped into a conveniently open elevator. "Don't forget to inform Douglas." She said as the doors closed.
Nigel ran back to his office tossing the layouts on his art desk and made a bee line for his phone. He quickly told Emily what was going on and told her to tell Serena, hanging up he then called his boyfriend.
As she ran through the lobby of the building Miranda spied Roy already at the curb with the back door open. She ignored all the stares she was receiving and practically dove into the car.
"Home Roy, as fast as humanly possible!" She snapped out.
Luckily it was well before rush hour traffic so Roy was able to get Miranda home in half the usual time. She flew out of the car and up the stairs while fumbling with the lock Richard opened the door for her from the other side.
Miranda dashed past him dropping her bag and coat on the floor as she made her way through the house to the kitchen back door. Andrea's other two fathers blovked the door.
"We're sorry Miranda but its best if you stay in here for the time being." Thomas, Saveen's da said. He was going to say more but was cut off by a loud scream coming from the backyard.
"Get out of my way. I'm going out there to be with my mate." Miranda's eyes flashed red but her voice was all ice.
Both men shivered at the words and the flashing eyes. They quickly stepped aside. Miranda rushed past them, across the deck and down into the back yard. She noticed that Saveen's Aunt Mary was already at Saveen's upper torso, while her Aunt Jessica seemed to be massaging Saveen's distended belly as Saveen's mother Mahala was at her backside caressing her hind quarter and holding her tail up and out of the way.
Once Mary spied Miranda making her way towards them, she smiled and whispered something in Saveen's ear, backing off to begin organizing the items they would need for the births. At the whisper Saveen's head whipped to Miranda, she tried to smile at her mate, but Miranda could see the pain etched in her face. Miranda quickly made it to her side and knelt down, wrapping her arms around the younger woman. Saveen gladly tucked into the silver haired woman's neck as Miranda tightened her hold on the centaur.
"Love you need to go change you're gonna ruin your clothes on this grass and holding my sweaty body." Saveen panted out.
"Don't be ridiculous, Saveen. You and our children are far more important than some clothes that I can easily replace."
Suddenly Saveen screamed again, leaning to the side she grasped the grass tightly in her hands.
"Saveen honey, I need you to start pushing now." Her mother said soothingly.
"I don't think I....can mom." Saveen grunted.
Miranda had moved with Saveen and began to caress Saveen's face murmuring to her. "You can do it, darling. You're the only one to ever make the impossible possible."
"Push Saveen, there's hooves." Coaxed her mother.
"I am, mom!" Screamed Saveen.
"That's it darling, it will be over soon."
"Keep pushing, Saveen."
"Yeah, till I have to do it a second time Miranda." She snapped.
"Trust me, Saveen. The second one will be much easier than the first." Miranda crooned back as she continued to lovingly caress her mate.
"Okay, Saveen one final push and we'll have your foal out." Jessica said softly.
Saveen screamed and reared back pulling herself away from Miranda's hold, her front hooves pawing at the grass.
Miranda moved forward and continued to softly caress Saveen's torso. She screamed again louder this time and her whole torso flushed red with her efforts. Then as suddenly she screamed and slumped down, Miranda caught her before she could fall.
"You have a beautiful filly, you two." Announced Mahala.
"You did it Saveen. I've never been so proud of you." Miranda beamed at her mate then gave her a quick kiss.
While Saveen tried to catch her breath, they turned to where Mahala was wiping the little filly down with a towel that seemed to remove the blood and other fluids and also dry the baby as well. The filly was smaller then Miranda expected. She had a full head of white hair while her horse torso was solid white with black socks on her hind legs.
"Do you want to cut the umbilical cord Miranda?" Mahala asked.
"Yes, I'd be honored to." Miranda whispered as she watched her daughter with fascination.
Mary handed Miranda a ceremonial dagger. Mahala had pinched the cord off close to the filly's human belly she showed Miranda where to cut. Miranda did so, a look of awe on her face.
"Miranda come here." Saveen called out softly.
Miranda did so, kissing Saveen again. "She's beautiful, Saveen."
"Watch love." Saveen said as she turned toward their daughter.
They watched as Mahala helped the filly find her feet. Their daughter shook her human torso as soon as she was standing and nearly falling down. Miranda started to lunge toward her but Saveen caught her, whispering, "Its okay, Mira keep watching."
The filly looked around and spied her Mothers, she slowly wobbled her way to them. As she reached them she almost fell again but both mothers caught her before she did. Saveen carefully picked her daughter up, folded the foals legs under her, kissed the top of her head then passed her to Miranda who held her like she was spun glass. Miranda kissed her head as well and checked her daughter over from head to white tail. Saveen watched her mate and daughter fondly.
Both noticed that their daughter had Saveen's eyes and lips, Miranda's nose and chin.
"Our Tinaya Savanda Priestly-Sachs." Saveen stated then laughed loudly when their daughter reached up and grabbed Miranda's nose.
Saveen suddenly let out a loud groan and leaned off to the side so as not to land on her mate and foal.
Jessica came over swiftly and gestured to Miranda to hand her daughter to her. "So you can help Saveen." She said.
Miranda carefully handed her daughter off and brought Saveen back in her arms as her mate began to pant heavily again.
"Okay Saveen, we need you to start pushing again." Mahala said gently.
The second birth went quicker than the first. Miranda held her tired mate softly caressing her face and murmuring to her of how proud she was and how well Saveen had done. As well as how much she loved her.
Again both parents turned to watch the wiping down process.
"And you have a handsome colt." Mahala announced
Miranda once again cut the umbilical cord. While taking in the colts blue eyes, and chestnut hair. She also noticed his horse body was white with deep roan spots and like his sister he had black socks on his hind legs. She moved back to Saveen's front and both watched as he made his unsteadily way to them. Repeating what they had done for their daughter they greeted their son.
"Our Tristan Tyerue Priestly-Sachs." Saveen said softly.
"I do have a question." Miranda said just as softly. "Why are their hooves so soft isn't that bad sign?"
The other three women chuckled as Saveen answered. "No, Mira it's completely normal as the day goes on their hooves will harden."
"That's good to know." Her gaze was captivated by her son. She chuckled when she noticed that her son had her nose and eyes, as well as her lips but the rest of him was all Saveen.
Jessica brought Tinaya Savanda back to Saveen and placed the now human baby into Saveen's arms. Miranda looked at her daughter in Saveen's arms and did a double take.
"How why " She quietly sputtered out.
"When half-breed foals-" Jessica started.
"Don't call them that!" Miranda snapped.
Mahala came up to her and rubbed her shoulder. "It's okay Miranda, they are half-breeds, but that is not a bad thing to us. It doesn't have the stigma that humans attach to the term. Anyway half-breed foals will transform to their human form when they sleep, plus they have an easier time of holding their human form then pure centaurs. But they still need to be taught to control their transformations just as we had to learn. In the first few years they'll have a hard time controlling their transformations."
Miranda looked aghast for a whole new reason. "So we'll have to hide our children until they can control their transformations?"
"No, their mother can keep them in their human forms with the help of their chokers while out in public." Mary chuckled.
Miranda felt an abrupt change in the little one she was holding and looked down on the human form of her son.
"Here let me wrap him up and you can take them up to their bassinets while Saveen delivers the placenta. Then you can come and help her to bed." Jessica said.
"But won't they just shred the clothes and blankets when they wake up?" Miranda asked.
"No, love, that's why I insisted on having our clan supply all their clothes and blankets. So when they transform their clothes and blankets will melt away like mine do. And don't worry the rest of my clan is very stylish, unlike me before Runway. It is also why we have a centaurian diaper service." Saveen answered her and gave her a soft kiss. "We make beautiful babies, but I don't think I'm ever going to go through this again."
Miranda quirked an eyebrow. "We'll see about that." She said primly.
Then her son was again in her arms all bundled up, Saveen placed their daughter in Miranda's free arm.
"We'll be done soon, Mira." Saveen grunted out.
And with that Miranda stood with the help of Mary and Jessica and headed for the house. Upon entering the kitchen she discovered it was rather full. Saveen's three fathers and Nigel were sitting at the kitchen table while Doug stood behind his boyfriend. Serena held Emily in her arms and leaned against the counter while the twins sat at the island.
The men stood and Emily and Serena snapped to attention as Miranda entered the kitchen. The twins quickly made their way to their mom and their new siblings.
"Oh they're soooo cute!!!" Cassidy proclaimed softly.
"They're so tiny." Caroline cooed.
"What's their names, mom?" They asked at the same time.
"Back up girls so the others can see them too."
With that said the girls backed up as the rest of the group made their way to Miranda and the children.
Miranda lifted her daughter. "This is Tinaya Savanda, she was born first." She lowered her then lifted her son up. "And this is Tristan Tyerue he couldn't wait to come out. I'm going to take them up to their bassinets, then I'm coming back for Saveen and once she's settled you'll be able to visit her for a little while along with the babies."
"Mom could we "
"Carry them up?" The twins asked.
Miranda smiled and placed Tristan carefully in Cassidy's arms. "Be very careful Bobbsy." Then she placed Tinaya carefully in Caroline's arms. "You as well."
"Yes, mom." They answered at the same time. Then the four of them made their way up to the third floor.
When Miranda returned to the kitchen she was alone and carried a pair of comfortable cotton pajamas and a robe over one arm.
"Where's the girls?" Aiden Saveen's dad asked.
"Oh they wanted to stay and watch over the twins while I fetched Saveen." She smiled as she answered him.
Later that evening after all but Andrea's immediate family left and the arrival of presents, flowers and balloons trickled off. The doorbell rang out and Miranda left her study to answer it, Andrea and the new twins were sleeping upstairs after their feeding. It was another large bouquet; Miranda signed for it and brought it up to the informal living room on the second floor. Miranda noticed among the plethora of passionflowers that there was a single beautiful white gardenia*, which she thought was rather interesting. Miranda set the bouquet down in the middle of the coffee table. Andrea's mother and fathers looked up as she did so.
"Who sent them Miranda?" Mahala asked.
Miranda plucked the card from its holder, opened it and scanned the arrogant scrawl.
"It's from my dear friend Cruella and she says she can't wait for her next trip here so she can see the babies."
"That's so sweet. But I think she made a rather interesting choice in flowers." Richard, Andrea's sire said.
"How so?" Miranda looked at him for an explanation.
"Well for us centaurs passionflowers stand for congratulation and blessings upon your new child or children." Mahala answered.
"And the gardenia?"
Mahala shrugged. "It's a pretty addition, but it has no special meaning for us centaurians."
That made Miranda think. "Well, it's still beautiful either way. Come fetch me when Andréa wakes?"
"Of course, Miranda." Aiden said.
5 years later .
Miranda and Andrea were working in Andrea's office on the second floor when there was a sudden stampede of feet on the stairs that made their way down the hall. And in burst both pair of twins breathlessly.
Miranda looked over her glasses at them. "Is there a fire? Is that why you four just had to trample through out the house like that?" Andrea giggled Miranda shot her the look.
"But mommy, it's time!" Tinaya exclaimed.
"And mama said we're big enough now to give Caro and Cass rides!" Tristan added.
Miranda looked at Andrea sternly. "Is that so?"
Andrea smiled and shrugged. "Yep, I was giving larger teenagers rides by the time I was their age."
"Well, just this once I shall have to bow to your knowledge," Miranda shut the Book. "But I want all four of you to be extremely careful." She said as she stood up from her desk.
All four of the kids giggled as they saw that their mom was already wearing jeans, designer at that. And that she was just as ready as them for their nightly run.
And with that the family of six made their way to their secluded spot in Central Park where the younger twins and Andrea stripped then transformed, the centaur twins were significantly larger in their true forms. Andrea picked up Miranda and placed her on her back. Tristan picked up Cassidy and placed her on his back while Tinaya picked up and placed Caroline on her back.
Andrea turned to the twins. "Okay we're gonna take it kinda slow on the first lap so that you can get used to your passengers then if you think you can handle faster we'll go from a gallop to a canter, alright?"
"Yes, mama." The younger twins answered solemnly.
They made their way carefully out of the group of trees, and then slowly worked their way up to a gallop. Half way through their first circuit of the park a large black stallion with Nigel on his back galloped up to them grinning and took his place in the line. Miranda squeezed Andrea's waist tighter then needed sharing her utter happiness with her mate.
*paint - Paint is a Native American term for a pinto colored horse.
*Gardenia - I used this site for the Miranda's meaning of the Gardenia. http://www.flowers-cs.com/meaning_of_flolowers.html
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