DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have taken liberties with some of the supporting character histories, names and characterizations so that they serve my own purposes, some of them (like Miranda's ex-husband) are names used in other fan-fictions so I tip my hat to whoever may have used it first. Thank you to bearblue for her awesome beta work and encouragement!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To raiderlff[at]gmail.com

It's the Only Life You've Got… Arc I
…so you better just live it

By raiderL


Chapter Seven

"Sachs." Andy's boss leaned on the doorframe of his office and attempted to get the attention of his best junior reporter. No answer. Having not seen her walk past his office to leave he knew she was still nearby so tried again in a slightly louder voice. "Sachs."

Mildly irritated, Greg headed over to the girl's cube. Andy sat at her desk, staring blankly past the screensaver on the flat screen monitor, a pen idly twirling between her fingers.

With an evil grin he barked. "Sachs!"

Andy started and the pen flew up and landed somewhere in the back corner of her desk.

"Jesus fuck, Greg! Why do you have to yell?!"

Greg laughed, it was a rare thing to catch the young woman being anything, but hard at work. "Well if you'd get your head out of your ass and stop thinking about whatever tail's been chasing you I wouldn't have to." Andy had made no effort to hide that she was gay and conversely her co-workers had made no effort to care one way or the other.

"How do you know I wasn't daydreaming about winning the lottery and buying this rag out?" She smirked as he snorted.

"I dunno, maybe it's that single red rose in the fancy vase sitting next to your screen; the skyscraper heels you were wearing yesterday that screamed, 'date'; the fact that your head's been so far in the clouds that you wore two different shoes today?"

Andy rolled her chair back so fast she nearly toppled over; Doc Marten's left and right. She whipped her head back up and glared at him.

"Heh, made you look, which proves my point. Although, come to think about it, it could have been that chauffeured Mercedes that someone told me you climbed into last night. It might be twenty years since I courted my wife, but I know the signs."

Andy suddenly sobered, someone noticed her getting into the car and felt like they had to talk about it? She looked at her boss with new eyes; he very rarely engaged in small talk so why was he now? "Is there a point to this conversation boss?"

"There's always a point kid; people talk. Watch your back. Oh, and I just sent you my suggestion for edits on your last article. I want them in fifteen." With that he gave a little salute and sauntered back to his office leaving a discomfited Andrea with many things to think about.

"Do you think she's ill, Nigel?!" Emily's sharp staccato preceded her into Nigel's office startling the editor enough that he bumped his forehead into the loop he was bent over. He opted to continue to look at the contact sheets, making notations with a wax pencil.

"Excuse me? Who?"

"Oh please, I'm not a blinking idiot, there's only one person worth taking up our precious time discussing and she's not been acting like herself!"

Nigel internally sighed, obviously the woman wasn't going away, and straightened then sat back on the high stool next to the light table.

"Okay, what is going on with Miranda?" He had a really good idea things were progressing nicely for the editor but couldn't very well comment on it.

"Haven't you noticed she hasn't been herself lately?" When the man continued to only look at her blankly she continued, exasperated. "She's been distracted, has placed several phone calls on her own and actually said 'Thank you' when the new girl placed the coffee next to her this morning!"

"So you naturally assumed she was ill." Nigel smirked.

"You are NOT helping! It's either that or she's…" Emily stopped.

Nigel waited a moment and then prompted her with a "Yes?" when nothing more was forthcoming; but he could see the wheels turning.

"Bloody hell! She's seeing someone isn't she?"

"Why would you presume that I would know anything of our illustrious leader's personal life Emily?"

"Niiiigeeeeellllll. You do know something. Spill."

"Oh come on now Emily, you of all people know that if I were to even suspect something, that speaking out of turn where Miranda's personal life is concerned would be suicidal on a good day."

"I'm not just anyone. I need to know what I'm dealing with here."

"No, you just need to do your job and let whatever happens, happen."

"See, you do know something!"

Nigel smiled at her and waved her away. "Go on, run along now."



The Brit moved efficiently from her desk and waited expectantly in front of her boss.

"I need the samples from that new designer to be delivered within the hour; move the run through up from 2:30 to 2:00; Patricia is at day-care and will need to be picked up by four; cancel my Saturday appointments, reschedule them for the following week or find some other way to deal with them and tell accounting that if I don't have the preliminary fiscal year reports for each of the other Elias-Clarke publications on my desk by tomorrow morning that we will be considering outsourcing the entire department. That's all."

Bollocks! I know you never ask her anything but…

Miranda continued to review the layout on her desk. "Why are you still here?"

"Saturday you were to meet with that designer…"

"Certainly by now you know better than to bore me with the details. Have you not worked for me long enough now to know what I find to be acceptable?"

"Do you mean I should go in your place?!"

Miranda internally smirked at the uncharacteristic squeak that came from the flummoxed redhead. "Unless you are able to arrive at another method to accomplish the goal then I think the answer is self-evident." The silver head raised and blue eyes skewered her assistant and she added mildly. "If you don't think you can handle it."

"Oh! No! I mean, I would be…" The Brit floundered for another second and then pulled herself together. "Consider it done." She nodded once and then twirled and practically flew out of the room leaving a highly amused editor in her wake.

The chime of an incoming email drew her attention with a tiny spike of adrenalin. She had arranged for a little surprise to arrive at Andrea's place of employ and had yet to hear from the girl.

She was not disappointed now. From A. Sachs to M. Priestly with the subject line "Anonymous flower delivery"


Miranda swallowed once and felt herself grow warm and swiftly moved the email into her personal folder. It wouldn't do for one of her assistants to happen upon it. She turned her chair towards the window and contemplated her response.

Emily was at her desk watching her boss uncharacteristically stare into space while swinging her chair gently side to side. As she had exited the office she heard the email notification and connected that whoever was courting the fashion queen was behind it. She had spent a few moments trying to figure out the mystery suitor's identity, but then remembered Nigel's admonishment. It was none of her business and she had more than enough on her plate. She thought about the executive's request that she attend the viewing in place of herself on Saturday and marveled at the wonder of it even as she was left scratching her head at the mystery. It was not lost on her that she was being given an incredible opportunity and she resolved to do the best job possible. She did not want to let Miranda down. The phone rang and broke her musing, and as she transferred it to the editor, she noted that her voice had startled the normally implacable woman.

It was two hours later that Miranda was finally able to type her response; she was poised to hit send but questioned whether or not it would be wise. It had crossed her mind that Andrea's email may be less secure than her own. So she instead pulled out her phone and opened a new text message. She fumbled through the keys as this was an activity she only undertook on occasion with her children and then she usually kept her responses to one or two words. Several minutes and more than a few frustrating missed keystrokes later (the editor refused to resort to that hideous shorthand that so many used when texting) she had transcribed her response; she tapped her phone on her chin for a moment before finally pressing the send button. No help for it now.

Andy heard the ringtones that indicated she had new text messages and was surprised to see both were from Miranda.

Andy nearly dropped her phone and when she read the second she gaped.

Adrenalin coursed through her body as the reality of it all came crashing in, Miranda was truly serious. About her. If she was telling someone that meant it was not something she was apt to just dismiss after getting off on her once. She pondered the "no contact" directive and would abide, but not without the last word.

Miranda smiled when her phone chimed several minutes after sending the text; of course she knew that Andrea would not be able to resist at least one more communication.

Miranda had a sudden vision of marching over to Andrea's office and dragging the young temptress into a vacant conference room to have her right there. It took several intense minutes of anticipation and arousal warring with her work ethic before she was able to rein it in successfully. The challenge had been made now all she had to do was make it through two more days. Give me strength.

"Emily." Both assistant's heads shot up as Miranda's voice carried into the space between their desks. "Have new girl bring me a Starbucks, if she's not back in under twelve minutes, fire her." Miranda smiled as she heard a scrambling from the outer office and the distant sound of the back stairs door slam shut. Hmm, there may yet be hope there. "Get Patrick on the line and push the run through up yet another half hour. I want everyone in here in fifteen minutes. That's all."


Chapter Eight

Friday at six o'clock saw Andy at home instead of rushing around with last details. Her boss had kicked her out around four, telling her to not come back until Monday and to make sure that by then her head was adequately arranged back where it belonged.

The prior two nights had been a flurry of cleaning, shopping, rearranging furniture and, since Andy had never taken the time to hang artwork, arranging the final small touches that made it her home. All that had remained to be done was to pick up the groceries that needed to be fresh that day and since that did not take long she found herself with plenty of time now to prepare herself.

A full blown panic attack was nipping at her heels when her downstairs door buzzed at 6:30; knowing it was too early for the editor she was relieved to hear Lily's voice at the other end of the intercom and promptly let the woman in.

Lily, who as yet had to be informed of recent events in Andy's life crossed the threshold into a small entry way and stopped in her tracks. Her friend was one step away from melt-down.

"Andy, hey, I was coming back from one of the galleries a few blocks away and took a chance you might've got off work early. I was going to ask if you wanted to do something but I can see from the looks of things that you've got other plans. And from your hyper state," Andy hadn't stopped pacing around the apartment after she hung up Lily's coat. "I'd say that it's a big something and she's coming over." She grinned and snagged Andy's hand as she paced by, tugging her so she plopped down on the couch next to her. "Dish girl, who is she and why haven't I heard about her yet?"

Andy looked at her friend and willed her nerves to settle; this could be a little tricky as Lily had blamed Miranda for her break up with Nate for the longest time. That it had partially been the truth may now cause the ensuing conversation to be unpleasant.

"Lils." The African American woman sat up straighter and paid attention, Andy only ever used that variation of her name if it was serious and/or she was afraid of her reaction. "First of all, the reason I haven't told you about all of this was because it's only developed since Saturday and we've been playing phone tag all week. I really wanted to have this conversation in person." Andy jumped back up and started pacing again. "Uh," She ran a hand through her hair and tried to figure out the best place to start; a part of her noticed that at least she was distracted from her panic of the upcoming rendezvous/date.

"Jesus, Andy, you're acting like I'm going to roll up a newspaper and beat you with it. We're cool, remember? Nothing's going to come between us again, okay?"

Andy stopped and stared at her friend intently. "Nothing? Okay, I have met someone, or, more accurately, met someone again that I knew in the past in a completely different context. We ran into one another at Nigel's party the other night."

"So, Doug met her then? Damn, I wish I would have been able to make that."

"Well," She let it go unsaid that it was probably better that Lily wasn't there. "… at the party it was pretty apparent to both of us that there was a lot left unsaid from when we last saw one another, particularly with regards to the fact that we both could not stop thinking about the other and that there was this powerful mutual attraction. We ended up going to dinner on Tuesday and that went so well that she's coming here tonight and my cooking skills will definitely not be the center of attention if you get what I mean."

"Oh my god! Is it that hot Brazilian chick from Runway? I mean it's someone from when you worked at the magazine, right? It was Nigel's party after all."

"You mean Emily's Serena?! Oh hell no, Emily would find a way to track me down and make my life a living hell. There is some serious domestic bliss between those two. You are right though, it is someone from Runway."

Lily looked at her quizzically for a moment and then with dawning horror "Andy, please, please tell me that who I'm thinking ain't what you're gonna be doin'!"

Andy just sat there with a dreamy smile. "Oh Lils, you have no idea."

"Miranda Fucking Priestly?! Are you out of your freakin' mind?"

Andy placed her hands over her ears and scowled, she'd never heard her friend hit a note quite like that one before. "Lily, Lils. Listen to me. Yes, Miranda Fucking Priestly, who, when she's not in her Dragon Lady persona is a completely different person. I can't even begin to describe it; she's…"

Lily cut her off. "Oh Andy, this is so much worse, you're in love with her!"

"Lily, wait."

"Jesus Andy, how long has this been going on? Is that really why you and Nate broke up? Did you and the Ice Queen get it on?"

Andy had no patience for where this was going and exploded. "Godammit Lily! That's enough!"

Lily stopped mid-rant and stared at her friend.

"I am only going to say this once. What you've seen is what it's been. Yes I've had feelings for the woman for a long time, but I didn't know what to call it then and it's taken me a long time to really admit to myself what I truly feel for her, but nothing ever happened while I worked for her. I look back now and can see that she's why I finally came out to myself. And now we have a chance to have something that, while it may not be conventional, has the potential to be really amazing."

"Andy, can't you see she's probably just using you? That woman only thinks about herself; she's going to chew you up and spit you out."

"Lily, no, she's not and she won't. She is a warm, generous, incredibly sexy woman who is giving me a very special gift." She decided that now was not a good time to go into the doubts she had about the other woman's ability to not run scared.

Lily just sat there shaking her head.

Andy softened her voice. "Look, I know it's a lot to take in, but I'm a big girl, I know my heart and my heart is choosing Miranda." She glanced at the clock, 7:05. "Lily, she's going to be here in about an hour and fifteen minutes and I still need to get ready. I don't have time to process any more with you. Are we okay?"

"Damn it, Andy." She shook her head and looked at her friend. "You never can take the easy road can you?"

Andy just laughed; she didn't know the half of it.

"It's going to take me a while to adjust to all this; it's a lot to take in you know? I mean the woman was hell on earth when you worked for her, that's all I know of her."

"I know Lils, but it's really important to me that you try."

They sat in silence for a few minutes. Before Lily stood up. "I know you need to get ready, so I'm going to go." She gave her best friend a hug. "Just be careful alright? Don't let her push you around."

Andy gave her one of her megawatt smiles, "I won't, like I told you, she's completely different from her work persona. We actually talk and listen to one another; it's cool. She's cool and you'll get to meet her at some point; when you're ready, alright?"

"Yeah, Andy, alright. Have fun tonight, I hope it goes the way you want."

As Andy closed and locked the door she realized that the nerves she was experiencing before Lily arrived had completely disappeared, replaced by a confidence that left her feeling like she could do anything. She knew exactly the clothes to match.

At precisely 8:20 the downstairs buzzer rang, Andy hit the door release and straightened her blouse over the black La Perla camisole she had worn to the party although this time, without the bra.

Miranda had put down a challenge to the younger woman and she thought she understood; as long as Andy behaved in a manner true to herself, the other woman would be accepting.

Andy looked around her apartment. The living room was lit with only a small table lamp in the corner and several candles burned on the coffee table and on the gas fireplace mantle. The seating area surrounded the coffee table on three sides and was comprised of the sofa she had purchased after her first raise and two used, stuffed armchairs that, while they had seen better days, were comfortable. She had left the light over the range in the kitchen on, its soft glow barely perceptible.

A bottle of Pinot Gris sat in a chiller on the coffee table, an empty glass and her own, half full, sitting next to it. Understanding that the other woman would probably not have eaten since lunch, she had arranged a few protein-laden hors d'oeuvres, strawberries and grapes on a small plate to be easily consumed.

Not wanting to go too overboard, Andy had arranged several candles in her bedroom, but had left them unlit opting instead for the soft light on her bedside stand. The Stickley Harvey Ellis queen-sized bedframe that she had purchased with the money her parents had given her as a housewarming gift was adorned by a new down comforter with a soft cotton cover in a deep burgundy. The color nicely offset the cream colored walls and lent an inviting warmth to the room, while tying in to one of the colors of the barely worn oriental rug that partially covered the wood floor; found on one of her garbage picking runs on the Upper East Side.

A light knock brought her out of her reverie and she opened the door.

Miranda paced the elevator as it made its slow trek upwards. She detested small spaces and the contraption was adding to the anticipation that had been building since she awoke that morning and not in a pleasant way. It lurched to a stop and she sent a prayer to the cosmos that it had arrived at its destination and had not in fact gotten stuck between floors. Her relief was palpable when the thick metal door sluggishly pulled open to reveal a dimly lit hall with overly worn carpet.

Adjusting her dove gray Donna Karan overcoat she strode towards the front of the building where Andy's apartment door beckoned. Three long days and even longer nights had passed since she had seen the girl and her desire had only strengthened in intensity. She only hoped that she would be able to conduct herself with some measure of civility.

The editor knocked lightly and was gratified that she did not have long to wait for the door opened after only seconds. A revelation stood on the other side and the older woman felt as if all the air from the room had been sucked out leaving a perfect vacuum. Andrea Sachs had definitely dressed for success.


Chapter Nine

The two women stood immobile, eyes feasting, for several seconds until Andy's inner hostess kicked in. "Miranda." She all but whispered the name as she stepped aside to allow room for the other woman to pass. Her eyes drank in every detail of the sophisticated woman before her, including the sway of sexy hips. "Here, let me take your coat." Miranda set a small bag and her purse onto the floor and shrugged out of the coat with Andy's help. While Andy arranged it on a hanger and placed it into a small hall closet the fashion executive ventured into the living room taking in the eclectic but pleasing arrangement of the space.

"You have a very good eye Andrea and the space suits you. It's warm and comfortable" She turned and looked over the young reporter's outfit; pitching her voice an octave lower. "And very inviting."

Andrea made her way over to the other woman, "I could say the same about you, that dress is, well, wow would be a good word for it." The silver haired woman still wore what she had worked in all day; a dress from the Chanel fall line featuring material woven in a small pattern of gray, black and a light lilac. It was tailored to fit her form and the skirt flared out slightly from the waist to just above her knee. The sleeves gained in volume until they puffed out at the wrist, capped by a three inch cuff of lilac and purple stripes. A chrome zipper rode from the top of the high collar all the way down to the middle of the chest and was left barely zipped, revealing just the hint of lace cupping the swells of flesh that moved nearly hypnotically with each breath.

Andy cleared her suddenly dry throat. "Have a seat, would you like some wine?"

The older woman was having her own moment as she took in the outfit that Andy sported; a near replica from that of Nigel's party. Only this time, instead of the Chanel jacket there was a filmy merlot colored blouse, unbuttoned, that draped invitingly over the camisole. The camisole itself was made of black silk and covered little of Andrea's assets.

Miranda licked her lips and nearly purred. "Yes, thank you." She continued the perusal of her former assistant, the leather mini, the black stockings held up by a black garter the snaps of which slipped just below the skirt's hemline every time the younger woman moved. Andrea was a vision and she was going to be hers; the editor raised her glass in a slight salute and sipped, pleasantly surprised by the flavor.

Andy leaned over and scooped up one of several tiny sandwich-like creations and held it up for Miranda's perusal. "I wasn't sure if you would have had time to eat anything since lunch; tell me Miranda" as she moved the bite towards the editor's mouth, "are you hungry?" She then held her bottom lip with her teeth and looked up through her lashes.

Blue-gray eyes, shading more to blue now, were mesmerized by the dark brown orbs and the woman unconsciously parted her lips. Taking that as a yes, the younger woman gently held the treat to her lips and Miranda had to lean forward slightly to bite down. A burst of flavor elicited a slight moan that Andy felt all the way down to her toes. She grabbed a red grape as she scooted closer to the other woman and gently rolled it against the silver-haired woman's lips before delicately pushing it in, allowing her finger to be sucked gently before moving away and reaching for another. The process was repeated until the small platter was empty save for some of the fruit.

Andy shifted so she sat back on the deep couch and crossed her legs, one thigh high boot planted firmly on the floor, the other swinging gently. She traced a light pattern on the back of the other woman's hand as they each sipped from their wine.

Finally her patience was at its end; she uncrossed her legs and tugged at the hand she had been petting. "Come here, straddle me."

The older woman stood, never breaking eye contact, and kicked off her four inch Christian Lou's. She placed one knee on the outside of her soon to be lover's thigh and repeated with the other before sliding forward until both knees hit the back cushion; she settled her body down, skirt fluttering loosely so her firm ass rested on the younger woman's thighs, the edge of leather from Andrea's boot-tops creating a very distracting sensation.

Andy felt the slight weight of the other woman settle on her and she brought her hands around so that they lightly caressed the woman, shoulder to butt. She reached up to run long fingers through the mesmerizing silver and with no warning pulled her down into a kiss fueled by the seemingly endless days of denial. Andy's eyes fluttered shut and she reveled in the exploration of that exquisite mouth, so often in the past the bearer of pain, now only sweet, absolute surrender. Their tongues rolled and caressed, lips nibbled and sucked; hard, fast, soft, slow and push/pull harmony not unlike a ballet.

Miranda had also found good use for her hands, sifting through the thick cascade of brown waves as if her fingers were memorizing every silky strand. Their kiss continued to build, continued to explore new ways of continuing the dance. Andy found that if she sucked and bit gently at the older woman's lower lip that her entire body would shudder and she would roll her hips downward, creating a wonderful friction. More.

Andy's hands sought to help those hips with their movement and she gripped the mesmerizing ass through the dress. This only satisfied her for a moment and she internally clenched, growing wetter if that was even possible, when she realized that the older woman had followed her directive to wear something far more accessible than her last garment. She made eye contact with the editor as she pulled back from their kiss, greeted by the normally clear eyes made slightly unfocused from her growing arousal.

"Oh Miranda, what you do to me." Andy moaned and raised her head to feast on the soft skin behind the woman's ear while moving her hands to the edge of the hem of the cooperative dress. Slowly, mimicking the movement of her tongue as it travelled down the slope of the elegant column of white, she moved her hands along the stocking clad thighs until she met the edge of silk. Finding the snaps of the garter she fingered them idly then ran her hands over the elastic, following the paths on either side where they hugged the soft skin of the firm globes. Once again, no panties impeded her exploration and Andy felt within her the curiosity that was sparked the other night suddenly erupt into a jet blue flame; she urgently needed to know what else lay beneath and pushed the skirt upwards until her eyes feasted on glistening silver curls unfettered by any material.

That vision finally loosed the inexplicable beast within her and a noise erupted from her throat that sounded at once like a growl and a moan; in one fluid movement she lifted the dress up and over Miranda's head, holding her arms back for a moment before releasing the material she pushed her head forward and licked each hardened nipple once, through the lace of her bra, with the flat of her tongue. The older woman gasped and shuddered and Andy's sense of smell detected the effect she was having. As her hands made the return trip over the compactly exquisite body above her, she unhinged the clasps of the nearly non-existent lingerie; leaving the older woman completely exposed, save for garter and stockings, to Andrea's unwavering stare.

The older woman was now leaning forward, grasping at Andy's shoulders and trying to position herself to bring her aching center into contact with some part, any part of Andy's anatomy that could quench the fire raging through ever nerve ending in her body. But Andy was not ready for that just yet, oh no, she had promised. She stilled all movement by gripping pale, trembling thighs and pushing outwards, effectively opening the usually so controlled and proper editor up wider while at the same time holding her in place. She tilted her head up and stared hard.

Miranda whimpered and panted out a single word. "Please."

Andy smirked as she held firm, enjoying the power she felt over the other woman's pleasure. "Please what, baby?"

A part of Miranda's brain railed at an endearment so pedestrian even as her body betrayed its response.

Andy parted her own legs wider, forcing the other woman into a full spread, but stopping at just the edge of what looked like it would cause pain. Her right hand left its hold on the silk clad thigh accompanied by a single command. "Don't move."

She reached between the juncture of the incredibly toned thighs, muscles that should soon be reaching their limit to hold weight, and dragged a finger through the moisture found there. Unable to help herself she slid one finger abruptly into the heat of the hyper aroused core and just as suddenly removed it. She raised her eyes beneath long lashes and affected her most innocent look and then raised that finger to her lips where the tip of her tongue ventured out to take a single swipe. Oh, she tastes like nothing I've ever tasted before, clean and sharp. It was a heady feeling to finally know and she wanted to share so she returned to the copious moisture and gathered more, tantalizing the completely gone woman who could now only squirm and moan; still attempting to gain closer contact, anything to alleviate the throbbing ache and stem the flow of liquid that utterly betrayed the effect this devastating creature had on her. Instead her tormentor removed the stimulus and raising the soaked digit to the older woman's lips she tugged at the kiss swollen bottom lip and pushed into the warm cavity of her mouth delighting as she felt the other woman suck and pull and wrap her tongue removing every trace.

The older woman released her tormentor's finger and begged yet again. "Please!"

This time Andrea deemed it was time to heed the call and she moved her hand to barely cup the dripping heated core of the most exquisite woman she had ever seen. "Please what, Miranda?"

It was nearly a cry, the woman was so beyond the need for release that she didn't even hesitate and in a voice so hoarse and desperate that Andy barely recognized save for its raspy intensity, begged. "Please fuck me, goddammit! Just fuck me!"

Andy wasted no more time and plunged two fingers in at the same time as she gripped her ass and brought her down hard, impaling her. She moved the woman up and down adding a third finger as she felt the other woman loosen further. "Fuck yes! Don't stop." Unable to resist the incredibly firm breasts perfectly positioned in front of her lips she sucked a nipple deep into her mouth, creating a firm suctioning that made the older woman gasp and moan even louder. When she released it, she was met with a cry of dismay until she enveloped the other and repeated the process.

Andy increased the tempo and the older woman adjusted, riding her hard, slamming into each thrust; a torrent of "aaahs" kept pace and increased in intensity until finally Andy touched her thumb to Miranda's clit and released her from her torment. Miranda orgasmed in a crescendo of cries and then, much to the younger woman's surprise, fell forward and bit her shoulder muscle just below the neck as she continued to spasm in ecstasy sending Andy over the edge with her; "Miranda!" sharp and loud from her lips.

They remained in that position for several moments, Andy's fingers still buried deep within as Miranda's limp form draped completely over Andy's still seated position on the couch. Ever mindful of the beautiful woman's comfort, she gently pulled out and then rolled until the older woman was on her back, enveloped by the sofa's many cushions. Long minutes passed as both women took deep ragged breaths, hearts hammering wildly. Andy kissed and licked at the sweaty flesh beneath her, nibbling occasionally. "Miranda you are a wonder." When the older woman failed to respond it prompted the younger woman to look up. The editor's eyes were closed and breathing was still slightly erratic, but she could tell there was something more going on, she had yet to open her eyes and her jaw seemed somewhat tense.

"Miranda, hey, look at me." Andy positioned herself so she was the one now on her knees, but both were centered between the older woman's. She leaned over and supporting herself on her elbows, brushed some of the sweat dampened hair from the editor's face.

Miranda was in hiding. Well as much of hiding as one could get while nearly completely naked and spread out beneath another human being after having just completely lost all control of herself. Warmth suffused her face as she recalled just how wantonly she behaved and she closed her eyes once again and raised a shaky hand to massage her forehead.

Andy watched emotions flit across the older woman's face, growing concerned that she may somehow have hurt the other woman; but then she saw a tinge of red spread across pale cheeks and understood. Can't have any of that.

"Miranda, baby, you felt so good around my fingers. So wet." Still fully dressed she removed her blouse and tossed it in the general location of one of the armchairs not caring if it made it. Then the younger woman settled in, lowered her voice to a lilting whisper and punctuated her words with a slow building friction, "So very wet." as she slid her leather clad hips against the still moist core. "So open for me, I know you loved it, you sucked me so deep inside."

She trailed her tongue down the woman's neck, continuing over her collarbone and along the gentle slope of a breast barely affected by age. She took the nipple in her mouth pulling lightly at it with her teeth and then licking lightly while her hand slid across the toned abs and began to play in once again copious moisture. "And I loved it; how your beautiful body rocked against me, used me to gain your pleasure." She slid two fingers into the editor whose eyes had snapped open and were now riveted on Andy's own. "Oh god Miranda, can you feel me in you again? I can't get enough of you." She sucked hard at the woman's nipples, alternating sides while she lazily pumped her fingers. "I can hear how wet you are. I can smell you."

The fashion editor's embarrassment dissipated with each word uttered by the younger woman, replaced again by a ravenous hunger that was nowhere near slaked. She marveled at the wonder of her responsiveness and at the skill of the woman above her to make her so. She watched, as each time the younger woman slid inside her, the firm breasts barely hidden beneath the black La Perla, flexed and swayed invitingly. She realized that she had an intense need to both see and feel what was so tantalizingly offered. But when she reached up to slide the spaghetti straps down over smooth white shoulders Andy resisted. The wonderful filling of her center was removed leaving her bereft at the emptiness. Then her wrists were grabbed and forced down to her sides, one hand sticky; she could feel the pruned skin of Andy's finger pads from having been in the wetness of her for so long. This realization created another cascade of pleasure and the resulting ripple sent a trickle of her juices sliding down the crease of her thigh and onto the throw beneath her. She moaned.


At least Andy thought it sounded like her name, it could have been simply a long "aaaaaahhhh," but it didn't matter, she was positioned in such a way as to take full advantage of the mouth-watering sight below her. Still holding the editor's wrists in place Andy slithered her body lower until her mouth was poised over the quivering flesh. She inhaled deeply and beamed up at the woman who had stilled considerably and was watching Andy with what seemed trepidation. "Miranda" she exhaled and the puff of breath caused the other woman to squirm.

Miranda was deeply conflicted about what Andrea was about to do as she never had been one for oral sex. Her husbands had always expected it to be performed but, with the exception of her second husband, whose technique left much to be desired, were hesitant to return the favor. So she stopped asking, knowing that it was probably just too much to expect as obviously that part of her anatomy was not something to be desired up close and personally. So here she was now, much to her horror and arousal, watching as this young woman approached her like she was the finest dessert offered at a five star restaurant.

"Miranda, I'm going to fuck you with my tongue, would you like that?"

A long moan that seemed to originate from the very center of her being was all the response offered and Andy, victory in hand, flattened her tongue and swept boldly from the opening of the editor's core all the way up to her clit.

Andy was lost in the taste and smell and reaction to her pleasurable assault, this woman was amazing and she could feel her own wetness increase. Needing some contact for her aching clit Andy shifted so she was straddling one of the older woman's legs and pressed into her knee. "Ooooohh." Andy moaned, sending sound waves through the older woman's clit that she felt vibrated all the way to her brain.

"Andrea, oh god, Andy!" Miranda gripped the soft fleece blanket below her hands as Andy's continued their hold of her wrists and arched her back higher, forcing her painfully erect clit into her partner's mouth. She was rewarded with a sucking motion that continued for a period of what could have been seconds, minutes or hours. Tongue and teeth nipping, sucking, laving attention on the little bundle and the sensitive folds surrounding it. Miranda was nearing her second release of the evening when all of the sudden; nothing. She desperately whispered, "Andrea, please don't stop."

Voice hoarse the brunette directed. "Keep your hands where they are, I'm going to release you, but don't move." Andy's hands then joined the activity, spreading her lips, and providing the stimulation she so desired. Fingers that lightly pushed, prodded and spread while a questing tongue sought out the well of moisture, driving in as deeply as possible, pulling out, swirling around and plunging back in. A rhythm was joined as the two women slid together, Andy's skirt pushed up by the stocking clad knee, her wetness ruining the black silk in her quest for more contact.

Andy's eyes traveled up the delicious landscape of the silver-haired goddess's body completely given over to the sensations wrapping in and around her and she felt tears gather at the beauty. She plunged her tongue in one final time and rubbed the nub just so, tearing a strangled cry from her lover that pushed her over the edge as well. She collapsed on top of the editor's lower body and circled her arms around and behind her hips, pulling her closer to her while she rested her cheek on a still quivering thigh. Unable to help herself she rolled forward slightly and swiped her tongue through the matted curls. Another series of trembles greeted her as she lightly sucked at the bundle of nerves that had immediately stiffened, and after several seconds of her tongue licking at its base she had the woman crying out again as she reached yet another peak.

Weak hands pushed at her forehead; "Please, no." Her voice faltered and Andy watched as she wet her lips with her tongue. "No more, I can't take it."

Miranda barely recognized herself as she returned from an endorphin laden bliss state so profound she wondered if she would ever find her normal self or if normal for her had been forever changed. All traces of embarrassment and self-doubt had been seared away in the bright sun of Andrea's obviously whole-hearted enjoyment of her. And, she gazed down at the stunning beauty now resting again against her thigh, she's not even undressed yet! Unacceptable. But she would need a few minutes before she was in any shape to do anything about it so she contented herself with gently running her hand through her conqueror's thick hair; a light hum of contentment on her lips.

They lay together in a tangle for an indeterminate time, caught in a quiet lassitude. Miranda stirred first, needing to use the restroom in a quite urgent way. She gently guided the brunette's head away from her stomach and slid her legs around so she could stand. She gazed down at the younger woman whose eyes were heavy with a longing that, despite their activities, seemed only to intensify. "I'll be right back."

Miranda made her way on shaky legs to a doorway that she assumed led to the bath. While taking care of her screaming bladder she noticed the ruined state of her stockings and shook her head yet again at her wantonness. Instead of slamming herself with recriminations she flashed back to an image of Andrea in ecstasy as she rode her knee and noted that arousal was once again rising. Deciding they were a total loss she unclipped the hose and removed the garter belt, hanging it over the doorknob and then removed the silk, balling them up and tossing them into the small wastebasket. She moved to the sink to wash her hands but stopped all movement with a gasp as she caught sight of herself in the mirror, stunned at the vision she presented.

Gone was the icily controlled façade that the fashion editor and newly minted CEO presented to the world. In her place was a woman with glowing eyes and high color, hair askew and still slightly damp from her exertions. She noted a couple of tiny bruises on the side of her breast, close to her nipple; that nipple hardened as she remembered the younger woman's enthusiastic worshipping that sent tingles throughout her body even now. Her makeup was still remarkably intact, except for her lipstick, so she left it alone and attempted to order her hair; she shrugged after several seconds of only marginal success, it would have to do. Looking around she spied a thin silken robe hanging from the back of the door and decided that she didn't want to waltz around the apartment naked so donned it, but opted to leave it open, the draft creating a luscious wanton feeling that she was beginning to think would be permanently imprinted upon her.

She peeked briefly into the bedroom on her way back out to Andrea and noted the comfort of it. Everything about the younger woman's space spoke of warmth and welcoming reflecting back perfectly some of what, Miranda thought, were Andrea's best qualities. The editor realized she felt at home after only being there, she glanced at the clock on the cable box, a little over two hours. But then she was beginning to truly understand that as long as Andrea was present in her life that she would be happy anywhere. Happy? Her guarded self hit the brakes, confounded.

But still, it could not be denied, a minor miracle had entered into Miranda's life and at this moment, if she had to classify it and despite the guarded reserve still wrapping it, this felt suspiciously like happy.

She returned to the living area and paused to stare at the vision before her lounging peacefully, still in the same place as when she left although the young woman was now on her back and her leather encased legs were draped at the knee over the side of the couch. This brought her skirt up to a nearly impossible height and the older woman spied that she was not the only one who had chosen to eschew an extra layer of fabric below the garter. Her brain nearly disconnected at the shadowy reveal but then she shook herself; she had yet to touch the younger woman and Miranda resolved to not relinquish her power this time. It was Andy's turn and Miranda wanted to play.

Puzzling over what to do first she decided that those leather boots, luscious as they were, needed to go. Moving towards the end of the couch she lightly pushed Andy's dangling legs apart and slid between them until the arm of the sofa was snug against her groin. Hmmm, that could come in handy, she mused. Miranda trailed her hands slowly up the leather searching for the zipper, when she reached the top of the boot she slid her fingers between skin and silk and leather and her eyes dilated with the tactile sensation. She tugged lightly at the zip eliciting a slight moan and the older woman looked up into dark eyes watching her intently. She resumed her task and found that she had to use both hands as the leather was so very soft and didn't want to yield its hold on the shapely legs. Progress was slow and punctuated by several gasps from the woman below her as the increasingly aroused editor caressed every inch of revealed silk-clad skin until the boot relinquished. Triumphant the older woman tossed the boot carelessly to the side more intent upon the now cooling skin of the seemingly endless silk clad leg. Massaging and nipping, every touch from fingers mapping the landscape below or of teeth and tongue that pulled at fabric and left dampness in their wake, elicited strangled moans. As she repeated the process with the other leg the editor marveled at the wonder of creating so much pleasure for another human being.

After tossing the second boot Miranda leaned further over the end of the couch and reached for the snaps of the garters. She was startled when a hand gripped her own and held it in place for a moment and then her young lover directed. "Miranda, I need you now." The hand then pushed her upwards towards the juncture of the long legs until she could just feel the moisture and heat.

But that was not how the older woman intended to proceed; she wanted the younger woman hot and messy and begging to be fucked so she pulled her hand away and said in her most authoritative voice. "Patience Andrea. You must learn patience." The young woman whimpered once but acquiesced and the editor rewarded her with that shark-like grin. "I'll make it worth your while. You'll see."

And so she returned to her task with renewed languor, relishing the momentary victory. She returned to the snap of the garters and expertly released both legs in a matter of seconds. This did not fail to elicit another groan from the squirming woman below her.

Slowly, oh so slowly she rolled the black silk, repeating her earlier stimulation of fingers, tongue and teeth only now it was bare skin that was nipped and licked and smoothed. When at last the thin material was removed the older woman marveled at the perfect foot and toes revealed and could not resist nibbling at the ankle. Sensing the increase in respiration she noted the location for further exploration at a later date; her quarry was growing more restless.

Indeed, when at last the other stocking was removed Andrea seemed no longer content to wait for her pleasure and removed her legs from her tormentors grasp, swinging them around so that she was now in a sitting position on the couch. "Come here Miranda."

The older woman obeyed but only because it suited her. "Andrea, I need to see you." She reached for the hem of the La Perla camisole, the younger woman more than cooperative. She pushed the material up, revealing a toned abdomen and a slightly rounded belly that sloped invitingly down into the black leather skirt that still hugged at those wonderful hips. Grasping the hem with both hands she pulled the material up and over Andrea's head but instead of removing it she used the sudden quiescence of the younger woman's arms to push them down behind her back, the silken material entangled and preventing movement.

"Miranda! What?!" Her words were swallowed by a kiss that pushed hard at her lips. And the younger woman found herself forced back into the cushions with even less leverage.

"Enough of the talking." The editor trailed her lips down across the now trembling jaw, murmuring softly as she nibbled. "Always talking Andrea, please," she stopped at the juncture of neck and collarbone and spent a moment laving the skin with the flat of her tongue dancing that tongue towards an impossibly hard nipple. She sucked in a steadying breath and murmured, "Bore someone else with your questions." Then bit down lightly on the protruding nub sucking powerfully, creating a pinching sensation that sent Andy's hips skyward. "Aaahh!!!"

But Miranda was ready, having positioned herself snugly between the girl's legs, hands pressed lightly to the shifting muscles of those wonderfully toned thighs so she need only press harder when escape was attempted. "Oh, no. You are going to sit there and take it, do you hear me?" The assault continued for long minutes, Miranda licking and nibbling back and forth between nipples, hands trailing up and down thighs and ribs and even toned calves as she pulled one of the younger woman's legs up so her foot rested on the sofa cushion.

"Andrea." Miranda pulled back a few inches staring intently into the lust-drunk brown eyes. "I'm going to move a bit, will you stay put for me darling?"

Andy shivered with the endearment and exhaled. "Yes, Miranda."

The older woman nodded once and grabbed one of the cushions, threw it down at her feet and then dropped unceremoniously to her knees all the while trying not to think about the fact that she had never done this before. Surely this could not be any more difficult than what she did with men.

She then dragged the other woman forward and shoved that leather mini up revealing the full scope of the beauty beneath her. Reminiscent of her dream, the dark curls were soaked with copious moisture; hands slid up the supple skin to stop just below the juncture, pushing the thighs ever wider. What her dream did not prepare her for was the mix of aromas; she breathed in deeply, finding instead of an unpleasantness to be endured, a scent that twittered along all of her senses; her mouth watered and her sex clenched. Without further preamble she leaned in and drove her tongue straight into the source of her Andrea's need prompting a loud keening sob that nearly caused the silver haired woman to orgasm. Mmm, this is Andrea; my Andrea, a feast in every sense!

She pumped in and out and then flattened her tongue and swept up and down covering every millimeter of sensitive flesh as she replaced her tongue with two fingers, pushing harder and faster with each building groan of pleasure.

When she knew that the girl was close she backed off just enough to keep her from cumming. Sweeping her tongue everywhere but where it was most needed the older woman noted a shiver and additional moisture as she unintentionally grazed the nether opening. Returning her attentions to the erect nub she allowed the knuckles of the hand not fucking the girl to press against the puckered flesh content for the time being to only provide extra friction and sensation without penetration. That extra stimulus brought a new wave of trembling in the body below her and with a few more thrusts and swipes of her tongue Miranda felt the entirety of Andrea's sex spasm as the younger woman tumbled into her bliss with a loud entreaty to the heavens.


Chapter Ten

Miranda awakened with a slow awareness of her surroundings. The bed was not her own but it was comfortable; she was lying on her back, which was unusual; she wasn't on her usual side of the bed and a brunette head was nestled up next to her left side which, while the woman was breathtaking and almost unbearably lovely in sleep, effectively pinned the older woman's left arm between them; she could feel the pins and needles as she carefully tried to wriggle her fingers.

Loathe to move the sleeping beauty, the silver haired editor remained quietly in place studying the way the light coming in from the partially closed curtains highlighted the curve of the younger woman's bare back and shoulder. She shivered slightly as she realized that the duvet was nowhere to be seen, probably kicked off at some point in their enthusiasm; indeed, it was amazing that Andrea wasn't covered in goose bumps as only the sheet covered her and even then only midway up the perfect smooth skin of her back.

Something within the older woman shifted and unsettling emotions deepened and became more frighteningly real. She knew that she had felt love for this young woman, but to this point she had allowed herself to believe that the depth of it was something she could control. She was realizing that she could control nothing about this at all and grew uncertain. She thought again of those things about herself that were unknown to Andrea, that if, although given the intensity of this relationship it was really only a matter of when, revealed would probably mean the end of this wonderful, unexpected joy.

A draping of intense melancholy shifted her inward focus, if she couldn't have this then she wanted to forever keep this scene alive, this perfect morning, and set about committing the entire scene to memory. She remembered then that she had her sketchbook in her overnight bag, and her resolve to remain wavered. She didn't want to wake the other woman but…She stretched slowly and the motion caused her young lover to shift slightly, allowing her to disengage and sit up. She turned to look back, ensuring that the woman had not awakened, Andrea's breathing seemed to have only deepened; the miracle of her life slept on, unaware of the waking world around her. She wasn't even aware that the pure enjoyment of the moment had curbed her negative thoughts considerably.

Oh my god. Her thigh muscles complained vociferously as they flexed to stand. It seemed that nearly every muscle in her body had some sort of complaint and she groaned. I'm going to have to add hours to my workout routine if I am to have any hope of keeping this up. She thought back to the activities engaged in to the early hours and smiled, a full, beaming smile. Oh yes, most definitely indeed did she want to keep it up.

A brief stop in the bathroom found the older woman once again regarding herself in the mirror. She had removed her makeup before retiring some point in the early hours of the morning. She spared a few moments of worry that in the harsh light of day the younger woman would finally recognize the true ordinariness of her finely lined face and regret her involvement with someone obviously so past her prime, now that the initial prize had been won. The deep sadness of a few moments earlier returned to seep into her heart, but this time before it could grow roots the woman pulled upon her formidable will, shaking herself free. It's too late now, what's done is done and it is a beautiful morning following a night I wouldn't trade for all the material goods in my possession. That knowledge momentarily settled the building battle within and she went in search of where she left her bag.

Upon entering the living area she had to stop a sudden bark of laughter at her couture which lay mangled and dangling from one of the stuffed arm chairs, unable to find it in herself to care. Andrea's boots were strewn across the floor and she spied the La Perla where it had settled next to the coffee table, no doubt forever ruined; the editor shivered, remembering the sound of tearing silk accompanying the younger woman's peaking cries.

She found her bag and fished out her sketch pad and a slim leather pencil case then turned towards the kitchen, hopeful that some form of acceptable coffee would be found.

She was pleasantly surprised to find an espresso machine, not terribly expensive but enough so to contain a built-in grinder, loaded with fragrant dark beans. She decided upon an Americano mindful that the noise steaming milk would create might wake her slumbering lover. She had spied one of those in-sink hot water taps that would provide just the perfect temperature.

Giant mug in hand Miranda headed back to the bedroom. She stopped in the doorway and took in the lay of the room, looking for the perfect vantage point. A cozy, slightly shabby, overstuffed chair tucked into the corner next to one of the windows looked like it would do quite nicely and she settled in. She savored her coffee for several minutes, studying the shadows, lines and forms that comprised the younger woman before finally taking several pencils and beginning.

Andrea awakened slowly, stretching languorously, aware that there were a number of sore spots on her body and that the woman responsible was no longer next to her. She had yet to open her eyes but could smell coffee and heard something that sounded like scratching or paper or something moving with paper? Confused she cracked open an eye and found herself ensnared in the intense gaze of her lover. Miranda. Wow, Miranda Priestly is my lover! A smile that could stretch across the Hudson animated her face. "Good morning beautiful."

Watching Andrea Sachs return to the land of wakefulness was a revelation; just one more in a sea of revelations since renewing her association with the younger woman. Her fascination was such that any lingering worries of the impossibly beautiful woman seeing her sans-makeup evaporated like dew with the rising sun. There was an unconscious sensuality exuded with each stretch and Miranda felt herself being drawn in yet again to a deep well of carnal lust that seemed to have been loosed within her.

Setting the sketch pad and coffee aside she stood and fluidly untied the sash to the silky robe, unselfconsciously letting it slide from her body. She stalked almost like a panther to the bed and kneeled at the edge. "Andrea" She whispered.

The reporter watched as the breathtakingly beautiful figure settled on the mattress next to her, stretched out like a giant cat and it erased all questions she may have had about what the other woman was doing with pad and pencil. She had to pee like a racehorse, but that could be delayed for a few more minutes because watching the reality of her former boss, the woman about who she had dreamt so extensively, stretched out in her naked glory next to her in her bed was too wonderful to rush for a mere biological function.

She brushed her hand through the silver hair that was backlit from the sun, now nearly at its winter zenith, as it flowed through the curtains. Mesmerized by the tones of gold and silver and white as they sifted together she was unaware of the other woman's growing arousal until her gaze locked onto blue sapphires that blazed out from the shadowy planes of her uniquely beautiful face.

The remembered ecstasy of the night before cascaded through Andy like a waterfall, fully waking her to both the world and her desire. Desire that she knew would never cease, for it wasn't just about her beauty, or her manner, drive, intelligence, caring, warmth, strength or any other deconstruction, rather it was something inherent in the soul of this woman and it would drive her to know her and love her until the end of her days.

"Miranda, I need you. Please."

Miranda rolled over onto her back, more than ready to offer the girl her tattered soul if she should want it. If it meant experiencing that fierce need and intense focus she would gladly do anything at all, save give up her children, to have it. "Andrea, yes darling, yes."

Andy dove into a kiss laced with the flavor of coffee and moaned. Coffee and Miranda were intrinsically linked in Andy's world and the two mixed with the promise of sex nearly short circuited her brain. Resolved to continue her efforts while remaining in position to receive more of those kisses, Andy lay down fully beside her and ran her hand down the entire length of her reach, then back again. Up and back, stopping that time to slip through the now slippery arousal of the older woman, then up again, repeating it over and over, except for the variation in her stimulus of Miranda's fully aroused bundle of nerves. When she sensed the change in the breathing she slid two fingers in to the hilt and slid her thumb over the engorged nub the rhythm of her thrusts sending the fashion editor into the heavens yet again.

They lay entangled, bodies touching from nearly head to toe, eyes sharing more than they had yet to speak. Andy watched as the lashes fluttered lightly over the impossibly blue eyes until finally the lids shuttered and soon the other woman's body was limp with sleep.

When Andy returned from the bathroom and a short trip to the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on the older woman still hadn't moved from her prior position. Her eyes were once again open but heavy and they stared blankly into the space before her.

Andy settled back on the bed next to her, head propped up in her hand. "What are you thinking beautiful woman?"

Miranda turned and regarded her for several seconds, unsure if she should be so weak as to voice her fears. She closed her eyes for a moment as the other woman lightly traced the contours of her face; she realized that she could smell herself on Andrea's fingers. Oh help me but I'm aroused again! "That I am amazed that you actually believe I am beautiful. I can feel you believe yourself to be sincere." She shook her head and her expression was somewhat incredulous. "Even with all of my flaws revealed you still find me beautiful. How is that so?"

The younger woman shrugged. "I guess I just see you, the real you, the one that very few people in this world get to see – the one that lies beneath 'The Dragon'." Miranda suddenly shivered.

Andrea scooted closer and brought the comforter over them. "Are you cold?"

"Hmm, I think I felt a sudden draft." More like a sudden truth, she doesn't know you at all; are you going to tell her how wonderful her lover really is? Hmm? Miranda shivered again and then tilted her head into the other woman's shoulder so her face was hidden and then spoke with a flat tone. "Thank you for the covers."

Andrea could tell there was something more but didn't press. They had only just met a week ago and had been intimate for less than 24 hours. I have no right to ask for every thought that goes through her head. In spite of an intense desire to understand and know everything there was to know about the woman who had so captured her heart and soul.

It was now late afternoon and they lay snuggled into one another, still in bed. They had gotten up earlier and had coffee and a light brunch but it wasn't long before the unstoppable force of their passion was once again driving them to mutual pleasure.

They were idly talking about inconsequential things when Miranda realized she knew very little about the younger woman; that she was so interested was surprising to her, she usually could not be bothered with the details of another person's life. "Tell me something about yourself Andrea, I would like to know about your life; what's your family like?"

Andrea talked about what it was like growing up in a city like Cincinnati, Catholic schooling and then the suburb her family was from, a very "white-bread" environment. "I always knew that I wasn't going to stay there, as did Lily, my best friend. She was from one of the only black families in our entire suburb back then."

Miranda's curiosity was piqued. "What was that like? When I was younger all I heard about the United States was that there were race riots everywhere, and that in the Midwestern part of the country that blacks, often had a somewhat difficult time of it." She noted the questioning look on the younger woman's face. "What?"

Andy was truly surprised. "You're not from the U.S.? Where did you grow up?"

Miranda sniffed. "Why am I not surprised that you didn't know that I started out in England? Honestly Andrea, did you not do your homework?"

Andy narrowed her eyes at the older woman smirking back at her and then pounced, rolling the other woman beneath her and then running questing fingers along the soft middle, behind the knees and anywhere else, seeking the woman's ticklish spots. "Oh no, we will not be having any of the Dragon Lady in bed with us this afternoon!" A surprisingly loud shriek and then laugh erupted when Andy hit the spot behind her knee prompting Andy to giggle in delight as she gentled her assault. "Don't you know by now that I am totally fascinated with Miranda the woman, not the icon."

Miranda looked up with shining eyes. "You are a very sweet woman."

Andy waggled her eyebrows. "I'm definitely sweet on you!"

Miranda groaned in response, "I am doomed to endure endless hokey Midwestern charm am I not?"

Andy chose to return to the conversation at hand. "I'm amazed that you don't have any type of accent, and contrary to what you may think about my supposed ill-preparedness when it comes to courting you, I happen to know that the fact you're British is not something that has been written about, unless it was earlier in your career." She grinned and added cheekily. "I didn't go back to the microfiche files."

Which earned her a firm smack across her ass. "Hey!"

"That will teach you to make jokes about my age young lady." The firm tone was counterfeited by the editor's smile, despite any discomfort she may have about disclosure of any details about her earlier life, she was enjoying the play.

Andy stopped suddenly, aware that she had just had a very sexual response to the editor's firm hand and tone. Whoa Sachs, what the hell?! She swallowed and rolled off the woman below, taking a seated position; she leaned forward and wrapped arms around bended knees and rested her head on her arms. Fighting to regain her equilibrium and light tone she asked. "Will you tell me about your family?"

Miranda sat up fully, facing her lover, noting the slightly red face and nearly strangled tone. Her eyes narrowed and she queried in a soft but firm voice. "What just happened here?"

The brunette looked away, but not before the older woman could see that her face was now nearly crimson; the girl was clearly embarrassed. Why? She looked for other clues, noting that it was not just embarrassment evidenced on her young lover's body, but arousal too. Ah. A quick replay of the conversation had it all making sense.


"I don't want to talk about it Miranda." Andy whispered as she turned so her forehead rested on her arms, hiding her face. God this is so embarrassing!

"Andrea." Miranda tried to figure out the best way to approach it. She was never one to talk about sex; ever. No help for it then. Even though she would probably never get to tell her, she loved this girl and wasn't going to let her suffer for this. "I read an article a few years ago in Vanity Fair about human sexual response; that it's probably one of the least understandable parts of our humanity, and the most fickle." She tried to think of the most non-threatening way to put it. "Essentially we are capable of being surprised by ourselves until the day we leave this earth and sometimes that surprise may come in the form of stimulation that may be out of what we have been taught to think of as the norm."

Andy turned her head and watched as Miranda haltingly searched for words. That should be impossible; Miranda is always confident and sure! The older woman reached out and slowly ran a soothing hand over the long expanse of skin of Andy's back; it relaxed her and she returned her focus to the dulcet tones.

"The point, Andrea, is that as long as our sexual response does not create harm for another, there is nothing wrong with it. Not with feeling it, not with wanting it, not with even doing it." Miranda actually flushed as she visualized the "doing it" part. She was going to leave it there, but she wanted to set a precedence for how she approached this relationship; no more hiding. Her inner voice had a good chuckle at that. Right Miriam, no more hiding! She hushed it ruthlessly and turned back to the topic at hand.

"I have to admit, it gave me a…" She paused for a moment, watching the brunette as she listened intently, and struggled with how to say it. "… it gave me a thrill when I felt my hand slap your bare skin. On many levels."

Andy made full eye contact the woman who continued to surprise and amaze her. She had been kind of pissed at first that the editor wouldn't respect her wishes and just let it be, but as she watched her struggle to find just the right words, and as she shared her feelings, she was "gone" on the woman all over again.


The older woman looked up, noting that her lover seemed to have returned to herself, remnants of her discomfiture all but gone. She had now unfolded from her "cocooned" state and moved to kneel close to the older woman. Miranda felt relief that the younger woman was feeling better and that she was no longer required to talk about it, at least carry the conversation alone. "Mmmmhmm?"

"Thank you." The brunette gathered the silver-haired woman into her arms and they stayed wrapped together. "This is an entirely new experience for me you know. I've never felt comfortable with the men in my life to discuss how I feel about sex and the women I've slept with, well, they weren't relationships so there was no discussion." She kissed the top of the silver head. "You are so brave; so thank you for not laughing at me and helping me to feel okay about this."

Miranda squeezed the woman she was wrapped around and pressed a kiss to her breastbone. "I think I may have had about all I can take of this topic right now, but I want to definitely revisit it, once we've each had some time to think about it. And Andrea…" She pulled back enough to make eye contact with the younger woman. "Remember when I said to you at the club that I was willing to do anything for you? I really meant it. Anything for you or to you. Okay?" Miranda smiled as Andrea's already alert nipples hardened even further. "You don't have to say a word, darling, I think we have an understanding."

They leisurely kissed for several minutes and then Andrea's stomach growled. They looked over at the bedside clock and then at the growing darkness outside.

"Do you have to go home? What about The Book? Are you hungry?"

Miranda laughed, relieved that the younger woman had returned to her enthusiastic self. "No; tomorrow; and yes."

They had actually decided to get out of bed, shower and put clothes on – Miranda in a pair of Andy's yoga pants, the only pants she had that wouldn't require them to be rolled up, and a faded, long sleeved, dark purple tee with her college alma mater's logo on it. They were seated at the dining table which wasn't in an actual dining room, but an alcove space in front of a bay like window that separated the living room and the kitchen area.

Andy looked across the table and smiled at the relaxed look of the usually perfectly coiffed woman; her hair had been blown dry after their shower but not really styled so it was doing little flips and was wavier than usual.

"Why are you smiling?" The editor was still somewhat self-conscious about not wearing makeup around the younger woman.

"Because you are absolutely beautiful right now." Andy's smile grew, if that were possible.

They continued with their meal, Andy relating her trip home for Thanksgiving and the difficulties with her father.

"I understand the need to protect one's children, but..." The older woman paused for a few moments, gathering her thoughts. "…I find that to allow a dogmatic tradition to have more influence than the personal experience with that child, and the realities involved in them finding their happiness, to be a great failing of so many today. It's short sighted and inhumane." She shrugged and smirked. "But then I find most religions to be inhumane."

Andy laughed, "I definitely agree with you there; nothing like growing up in the Catholic religion with all that guilt." She chewed for a moment on the last bite of her salad. "We're you raised in a particular religion? We never did get to finish the conversation about your family or even what drew you to the United States." Andy took a drink of her pinot noir and cut back into her rib-eye. She had pan-seared a couple of steaks while Miranda had made a salad; the domestic scene had warmed her to her core.

Miranda tensed. She was very afraid that once the woman before her realized the truth about her that she would decide…well she would ask her to leave. It would be like Paris only so much worse. "That's due in part I'm afraid from my not wanting to think too much about it. Sometimes the past is just better left in the past." She held up her hand to stop whatever the younger woman was about to say. "But I will tell you a little, enough so you will understand." She lost any appetite for the remnants of her meal and pushed away the plate. Looking around her she took in the warm comforting space and breathed it in, afraid that she would only be living this in her memories after the, what she now realized was inevitable, conversation was complete.

After a long inhale she began. "I was the first born to second generation Russian Jews in East London; they named me Miriam Princhek." She ignored Andy's surprised but interested expression, continuing to deliver the facts of her life in a quiet, matter of fact manner. "Both of my parents are deceased and I have a younger sister and brother. My brother, Aaron lives in London and is an accountant. My sister, Ledah, lives in Portugal and is a writer. Both have families."

"My father was a jeweler, moderately successful when he was younger, but he also liked to gamble, horses I think but probably other things, like cards. It was fine when I was very young, but around my eighth or ninth year things started to change; we spent much of our childhood never knowing if, or what we would be eating. Some months it would be a feast, others, cabbage. By the time I was thirteen it was always cabbage. My mother really did try to keep us clothed and clean, but we were always threadbare, looking like rabble from the wrong side of things." She fiddled with the silverware in front of her and when Andy reached across the table to take her hand she pulled back, continuing with her uncharacteristic fidget.

"They always fought then; terrible screaming matches at the conclusion of which my father would storm out and be gone for up to a couple of days; we never knew where he went although often times he would drag himself in looking like he hadn't slept a wit. Every once in a while he would have a black eye and one time he returned with a broken arm." Miranda's frown increased and the sadness was palpable.

"He was kind to us children, but remote; his cool, steel blue eyes, not unlike what I see when I look in the mirror, were never truly looking at me, I remember that he always seemed to be somewhere else." The older woman drifted into silence, ghosts of her past parading on the stage of memory, then took a sip of wine.

"I was fifteen when they had another one of those fights and he did his usual leaving only the two days stretched into five and then ten. The fourteenth day his body turned up in the city dump, a single bullet to his forehead."

A gasp. Andy covered her mouth in horror, tears filling her eyes.

The woman looked up briefly. "It wasn't a suicide."


"My mother was never the same after that; she loved him deeply despite his addiction. She died about ten years ago of colon cancer." Miranda looked over at her lover and pierced her with a hard stare. "I hated the life my parents led, never knowing how they would make it one month to another and I hated my life in that place; teased because our father was a lag who seemed to owe everyone money. I vowed to never be put in that position, to never be without, and to never put any children of my own in such turmoil and stress."

Andy covered her hand and squeezed but Miranda didn't let her linger. She finished the wine in her glass. "So I saved all the money I could, and that was hard because I wanted my younger siblings to at least have it a little better than I. But I'd put some aside, I worked for a seamstress, it's where I first discovered my love for fabric." She grew wistful. "I already had an eye for beauty, would take scraps of paper when I was younger and draw and try to create a world more beautiful than my own. Anyway, I left when I was 17, traveled to Paris and got a job as an apprentice seamstress at a fashion house and that is how I got started."

Andy poured Miranda the rest of the wine. "Why did you choose the name Miranda?"

Miranda chuckled mirthlessly. "Do you know what Miriam means? It means 'bitter'. My entire childhood was represented by that name and I knew to succeed I needed to not only work hard but change the very way I looked at my life. Leaving bitterness behind and moving forward to success. Miranda means "admired one"; when I was eighteen that sounded exactly like what I wanted and I wanted to keep my initials." She shrugged. "There you have it."

"Holy shit, you could write a book!"

"Ah, but that is not where my talents lay and it's already been written after a sort." A building panic rose higher within her; mind split between warring factions, one favoring full disclosure and the other, perpetuation of her own myth. Disclosure was winning, but at the expense of her equanimity. "My sister utilized the storyline to quite astonishing result. Indeed, you may actually have heard of it?" A long pause. "'Unbearable Odds'."

Andy nearly spit the wine she had just sipped back into her glass. "Heard of it? An Oprah bookclub pick and Number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for three months in a row back in 2002? Your sister is Leda Princer?!"

Miranda deadpanned. "I take it you have read it then?"

"More like cried my way through it. It was a very moving and well-written story; your sister is a very talented writer."

"Yes, she is." Miranda picked up her empty plate and took it to the sink. She busied herself with opening another bottle of wine as she elaborated. "Of course the story was heavily fictionalized, but she has made no attempt at hiding what was the fact that gave birth to her characters."

Andy, who had remained seated turned as she heard the low hum of anger that lay beneath the comment. "I take it you weren't happy with it were you?"

The older woman leaned back against the counter, wine glass dangling at her side. She sighed. "I was glad that she was finally able to exorcise certain demons that she had carried for years, writing it was very good for her. However it was very inconvenient for me. It is not widely known that we are sisters and it took quite a lot of money to a very expensive PR firm to keep that particular connection from coming to the public's attention."

The editor watched her young lover process everything. With a suddenness that took her by surprise all of the uncertainty and sadness and futileness of this relationship actually working crashed in. She's a reporter, she's curious; sooner or later she'll ask questions that she won't want answers to. Then she will leave. Once again, I'll be alone. She hardened. "So now you see who you have become involved with Andrea; someone about whom you know next to nothing and so much of what you thought you knew was a lie. Someone who does not hesitate to pay off people to maintain the façade."

"Miranda, that is not true, I do know you. You had reasons to do what you do…"

"Reasons Andrea? Does justification absolve one from their sins? Remember Paris? Was that a mistake you made to leave? You saw at that moment what I was capable of and you ran. So how can you say now, after seeing even more? And that's not even the half of it. If you knew, truly knew what I was capable of you would leave and you would never look back. I'm not a nice person."

"Miranda! I don't believe that for a minute!"

Miranda shook her head and snorted. In a tone so condescending that Andy was reminded of their first meeting, the older woman continued.

"So naïve, so young. You don't know the half of it."

"So tell me!" The younger woman nearly shrieked and chastised herself for sounding like the youngster her lover was accusing her to be, but she was growing increasingly frantic with the direction this was heading. She had been gathering the detritus of their meal and carrying it to the counter so had not picked up the cues that would have told her of the other woman's growing unease and agitation with the conversation; she was caught completely off guard by the conversational turn and the growing hostility from the other woman.

Miranda resisted and remained a solid, silent wall. But inside she was in turmoil. Why am I doing this? She wouldn't even have to know, I barely remember; what is wrong with me? Haven't I already dealt with all this? But Miranda really never had, she had swept that period of her life under the creation of her new one and moved on. It was the only way to deal with something so hurtful; with her being so stupid. She surfaced a bit, Andrea was speaking again. Oh why can't she just leave this alone?

Andy watched as Miranda withdrew. She gave her her space but was growing impatient; the woman was insulting and had said some hurtful things. She was trying to not react but it was growing more difficult with each patronization. "I don't know where you just went, but I'm waiting. You obviously have something you want to say but are afraid."

A snort. "Afraid Andrea? Really! You are being rather presumptuous."

"Oh for fuck's sake Miranda! What is wrong with you? I told you, I do know you. I can see that whatever is on your mind right now is scaring the hell out of you. So just get it over with, tell me!"

"You only see what I want you to see. I always control, am in control of, what I want people to see."

It was Andy's turn to snort. "Really? I don't believe that what we've shared in the last 24 hours was very controlled." She flashed back to Miranda biting her collarbone, shuddering as she moved aside her shirt to display the bruise and pitched her voice low. "Control Miranda? Nothing about us has been controlled, I couldn't stay away from you when I first saw you. And you? Oh no. Control is an illusion Miranda, and life is full of illusions; you can tell yourself anything you want but it doesn't change that you aren't in charge here anymore than I am. We have been careening out of control since the moment we met again so you might as well just give in." The younger woman wound down, leaned against the counter opposite Miranda and in a quiet voice added. "Nothing you have told me so far changes anything Miranda, I still think you are the most amazing woman I know."

Miranda was at a loss. Part of her yearned to give in and accept the acceptance, to trust; but she had never been very good at that, what she was good at was deflection. So that part of herself that just wanted to give in and accept the comfort hung her head and cried while 'The Dragon' forged ahead.

"Obviously you are not only hard of hearing but quite dull-witted. Have you not been paying attention? Tell me Andrea." She exaggerated the syllables even more so it sounded a mockery. "How many times have I been married?"

By this point the girl had fully grasped the game and didn't fall so easily. She responded with a resigned sigh keeping her reply spare, wanting to minimize future scathing comments. "Twice of which I am aware."

"Very good, you are catching on. You are someone who is of the very misinformed position that I marry for love; that is not true. Every one of my three husbands have had a very distinct purpose. From Greg it was the girls and Stephen the continuation of the façade so needed for a woman who wishes to maintain her position."

Andrea's heart suddenly plummeted; she knew the odds were against her that she would ever bring to Miranda one shred of anything besides perhaps ridicule in the social circles she inhabited. And yet, why was Miranda trying so hard? If she truly didn't want anything to do with her, she would have left already. Her eyes never leaving the other woman's as she continued her monologue she looked beyond the harsh words designed…Designed…to drive her away. Miranda had no control and was trying to get it back. She returned to her earlier hypothesis with new vigor. She is afraid I'll reject her, so she is doing it first.

"I'm not going anywhere Miranda, regardless of what you tell me."

Miranda was ready to pull her hair out and let out a short exclamation of frustration; she should have left long ago. "You ridiculous girl, everybody leaves!"

But Andy knew she was close now. "Tell me about your first husband Miranda."

Miranda's cold stare entrapped the other woman. "He was very wealthy and very well-connected. I married him for his money and a luxurious place to live while I gained a foothold in the fashion world. When I got what I needed, I left. There. See? I use people Andrea."

But Andrea noted the cut of her eyes away that lasted perhaps only a few half seconds; Miranda was lying. But why? After all of this buildup, why this sudden prevarication?

"Miranda, I would think you would be more adept at deceit by now if the tales of your cold-heartedness are to be believed."

"You impertinent child."

"Why are you trying so hard to make me hate you Miranda?"

Miranda was gripping the counter behind her with a death grip; every prod and insult was met with reason. She was itching for a fight, for a reason to storm out of the apartment and… what? Never see the girl again? The pain she felt in her heart was so acute at the thought that she nearly feared she was having a heart attack. Indeed, her cardiac muscle was racing now, pumping blood without full oxygen due to increasing breaths growing more shallow with each passing second. She started to shake and sweat and had a sudden urge to vomit or shit or flee. She opted for option three.

But Andy was ready for her and placed her body between her and the passage out of the kitchen. The signs were all there, Andy watched as a full blown panic attack seemed to grip the other woman. She was careful not to touch her, knowing from first-hand experience that it wouldn't be welcomed at this exact moment. She softened her voice.

"Miranda, love." Andy cringed at the slip. Too soon, it will just scare her more. "Miranda, please tell me, why are you wanting me to think you are a monster?"

"Because I am a monster!" The other woman was now pacing in the small space between counters and the wall. "Why can't you see it now? You eventually will and then you will leave and it will devastate me! Is that what you want me to say? You want to hear me say it? That you have my heart and that I will be destroyed when you leave? Why are you so fucking cruel?! Just let me leave!" The older woman tried to push past at that, but Andrea was not going to let her, grabbing her instead and wrapping herself the other woman from behind. She held on as if her life depended on it.

"Let me go!" Miranda twisted and tried to get away, but every move she tried was countered; the younger woman wouldn't release her. Finally it was too much and she began to sob. They stood there for some minutes, the older woman crying like it was coming from the depths of her being, the younger holding on and issuing words of comfort.

Once the tears started to abate Miranda, voice hoarse and rough, confessed. "I had been married to my first husband for three months when it started; cruel words, constant demeaning of my character. He increasingly controlled my time, who I could see, when I could even work. Six months in I found out I was pregnant. It shocked me like nothing else could and I knew I couldn't stay with him." She let out another sob. "I also knew there was no way I could have that baby, so I had an abortion and left him the next day while he was at work." The comforting warmth remained at her back and she continued the story. "I took all of the jewelry and items he had given me, along with a stash of money I knew he had tucked away and I bought a plane ticket to New York, knowing I couldn't stay in Paris. I had been befriended by someone at work who had a connection. It wouldn't be drawing or designing, but it was still in the industry."

She pulled away and turned to look at the younger woman who was completely absorbed in her horror for what it meant for Miranda as a young woman, how alone and scared she must have been; her ever expressive face telegraphed the emotion. Miranda, in her state, could not see beyond her own self-loathing and what she thought she saw there was devastating; she hardened again.

"So you see now. I am someone who would abort her first child, because she loathed her husband, because keeping it meant I would never have a career. Tell me Andrea. Do you think me so 'amazing' now?"

Jolted from her sadness and empathy she looked up into two steely ice chips that were staring hard into her. "Whoa. Remember what you asked me earlier today? 'What just happened here?' Well, it's my turn now. Miranda?"

But the older woman only grabbed at her forgotten wine glass and took a large sip and crossed her arms over her chest. "I don't believe it is that difficult a question. I wanted to know, now that the veneer is kicked off, whether or not you will turn tail and run after all, a precedent has been set in that department; hasn't it Andrea?"

Andrea's mind was racing. She thought she had broken through. Where had this entire conversation gone so wrong?! She frantically searched for the right thing to say because she sensed that she was not going to be able to keep the woman here a second time.

"Please, you know how I love to be kept waiting." Miranda slammed the wine glass on the counter.

The sound of the glass hitting the Formica jolted Andrea out of her panic and she reacted purely on instinct.

"Enough!" It wasn't quite a yell, but then neither was it her normal speaking voice. She moved to stand directly in front of the other woman and looked her straight in the eye. "That was a low blow Miranda, but I'm going to ignore it for right now just like I'm going to ignore all of the other insults you've slung my way." The younger woman moved in a little closer, mindful not to touch the other woman just yet, as the anger radiating off of her was palpable.

"So here it is, straight up, no bullshit. I do know you; yes I may not have known your birth name or how you spent the first twenty-odd years of your life, but I know you regardless of your name. You are a successful woman who has built your life from the ground up; enduring heartbreaking events and dealing with them as best you could. Some would call it a fabrication, but I call it a work of art. Nothing you revealed changes who I know you to be at your core: loving, caring, loyal, fierce, creative, intense – the list goes on."

Andy watched as some of the tension began to loosen in the other woman, praying to the universe that somehow this time she would get through. When Miranda looked as if she was going to speak, Andrea dared to reach over and gently grasp the other woman's hands, but let them go when she pulled back. "Please don't interrupt. If you're worried that I'm just a naïve young girl and that I haven't been able to see the bad stuff; believe me, I have. Remember I worked for you for nearly a year, how could I not see some of it? But you are extremely intelligent and to reach the place you now hold you had to channel some of that into being a brilliant tactician, maneuvering others into playing the hand you wanted them to play. The buying people off part? Well, I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me, that I couldn't really see myself doing the same in your position, but I never have been in your position. I've always known my parents were there to never let me starve." Miranda flinched, but persisted in her self-flagellation.

"That's right Andrea, you never would have killed an unborn baby just to get ahead." Miranda persisted, seemingly hell-bent on hammering home how despicable she could be and was.

"Miranda! How old were you? Like nineteen?!"

Vitriol gone, the deflated woman whispered. "Only eighteen."

"Jesus! You were still practically a child yourself!" She softened her voice. One of her close friends in high school had an abortion. She knew what kind of hell it was. "You are talking to me like you are some kind of cold blooded murderer. Tell me, was it something that you were able to do without any struggle at all? Was it like going to the doctor and having a tooth pulled?"

Miranda had moved towards the living area as Andy was speaking and she turned to the younger woman, voice a near sob, she had never before spoken of this period of her life. "It was hard, it tore me up inside!" Miranda once again lost her tightly held control; voice several octaves louder than her usual soft tones. "I was a naïve child, totally alone in a country that wasn't my own, the man I had married was so much older and he lured me in with the safety and comfort his wealth afforded him."

She trembled and Andy drew her into a hug. "And he trapped you and then tried to control you; he abused you."

Miranda sniffed and her voice was teary. "He wanted a trophy and it was one of the worst decisions of my life, marrying him. To let him know I was pregnant would have shackled me to him for years; I never would have gotten away."

"You protected yourself in the only way you knew how at the time." Andrea leaned in and gave the silver haired woman a kiss, brushing away several tears leaking from the corner of her eyes. "I'm not here to judge you. I just want to know you. All of you, just the way you are." They were both silent for several moments. "So I ask you beautiful woman, do you still think I don't know who you are?"

Miranda could feel that her hands were shaking in Andrea's grasp and her bottom lip quiver a little when the younger woman kissed her. She swallowed hard, completely disappointed in herself for allowing her fears get the upper hand. The panic was receding and she was able to step back, for the first time since the whole conversation started, and see with new eyes what she had been doing. Andy allowed her the time and they remained standing, fingers entwined in an almost hug. She looked closely at the other woman, seeing the compassion and love fully surfaced in wide shining eyes. She swallowed a couple of times, ashamed that she had hurt the other woman.

"Andrea, I am truly sorry. You did not deserve that."

"No, I didn't, but I understand that sometimes things get too overwhelming. Is that what happened?"

"I…" The older woman stopped and considered. "I'm not exactly sure but you were essentially right. I was suddenly very frightened that you would…" Her voice trailed off, she had really been kidding herself; the prospect of losing this woman was already too much to bear.

And your modus operandi has always been attack. "Okay, it's okay to be afraid. But Miranda, I need you to try, if you should have another one of those moments, to talk to me. Or not; maybe sit on it a bit and work it through or whatever; please just try not to go off on me, okay?"

She asks for so little and the entire world at the same time. The editor closed her eyes and nodded. "I can't promise it won't happen again, but I do promise to try."

"Thank you." She kissed the editor tenderly, lips slightly parted. She nudged and nibbled at first the upper and then the lower lip asking for the kiss to be deepened. They stood so closely together now that they could feel every contour of where they molded together.

Miranda marveled at and basked in the forgiveness; her hands began to wander down the firm back and into the elastic of the other woman's soft cotton exercise pants, cupping the soft globes.

Andrea moaned into the other woman's mouth, sensation building between them, reveling in the layers that had been peeled away from the enigmatic woman's veneer. Her sex pulsed as fingers began to knead her backside as their kiss grew with intensity. "I need you Miranda, please…"

Grateful that she hadn't, despite her best efforts, completely blown the opportunity to continue to love this beautiful creature Miranda enthusiastically answered the call.

Part 11

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