DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SERIES: This is the first in the Lock Series.
By quiethearted (QH Fletcher)
Miranda Priestly stared viciously into the mirror in her private restroom. She narrowed her eyes and glared at the luxuriously curled forelock that rested on her brow. Grabbing a brush from a drawer she dragged it furiously through the offending lock forcing it back into place with the rest of her bangs. Satisfied at last, she tossed the brush on the counter and stepped out of the restroom taking a seat behind her desk. Slipping on her glasses, she gathered some random papers and tried to appear busy. It was time for a test.
"Andréa." Miranda's soft voice floated out of her office.
Grabbing her pad, Andy rushed into her boss' office.
"Yes, Miranda?" The girl stood waiting for instructions.
As if on cue the forelock began to drift down and curl seductively. Gritting her teeth, Miranda snapped, "Never mind. Send me Emily."
Andy jumped, startled. Her attention had been focused on that single lock of white hair that seemed to sway like it wanted to attract her attention. Rushing from the office, she clenched the notepad in her hands and tried to ignore the way her fingers tingled from the desire to touch that seductive piece of hair. It was all she could do not to reach out, brush it from Miranda's forehead and tuck it back among the rest of the glistening strands.
"Miranda wants you, Em," she informed her coworker.
"What have you done now?" The Brit hissed as she made her way around her desk and towards the editor's door.
"Nothing." Andy rolled her eyes. Some days she had a sadistic urge to hide the redhead's cheese cubes until she swore to be nicer. But then she wouldn't be Emily, Andy thought. Sitting at her desk, she busied herself with emails.
Emily stopped in front of Miranda's desk, pen poised.
"Yes, Miranda. What can I do for you?"
Miranda had turned her chair to face the window, the recalcitrant lock held tight in her fist.
"Emily, you are to go the nearest drugstore and purchase a can of Aqua Net hairspray, the Extra Hold formula."
"Aqua Net?" Emily gasped.
"I believe I spoke in English," Miranda's voice dripped icicles. "Why are you still here?"
Emily spun on her heel and raced out. Andy looked up as the other girl grabbed her bag.
"She's wants me to buy hair shellac. This is not going to be a good day," the redhead threw over her shoulder as she ran for the elevator.
Fifteen minutes later she hurried back in with a small shopping bag and went directly into Miranda's office. The chair was still facing the window so she set the bag on the desk.
"Here's the item you requested, Miranda."
When she was sure Emily had left, Miranda spun around. Hand still grasping the rebellious lock, she grabbed the bag with her free hand and stalked to the bathroom.
"You will behave," she hissed. Grabbing the brush she savagely dragged it through her bangs. Pulling out the hairspray, she made short work of the cap. One hand covering her eyes, she released a noxious cloud as she saturated her bangs. I've probably just widened the hole in the ozone by ten feet and advanced global warming a decade. "My grandmother swore by this brand of hairspray. She said it could glue a piano to the ceiling, so it should glue you in place. You will not embarrass me further. This girl is not for us, so you need to cease and desist at once. Andrea is young and naive. She does not need the likes of you attempting to entice her," the fashionista muttered at her bang as she wrangled it into submission. She could feel a tickling at the front of her scalp as if the lock was struggling in vain to escape its sprayed-on prison. "Struggle all you want. I win," she gloated.
Eyes blazing with unholy glee, Miranda returned to her desk and began to catch up on the work that had gotten behind. Several hours passed peacefully. The Casanova forelock appeared to have admitted defeat. It lay passive, glued amongst its fellows. The editor was at a loss as to why it was behaving this way. Her hair had always been her crowning glory, the iconic style reflecting her moods perfectly with never a strand out of place. That single lock had always performed its duty impeccably, gracing her forehead in such a way as to augment whatever she was feeling; be it disdain, irritation, or accomplishment. On the rare occasions its owner felt truly seductive it would slip down teasingly to attract the eyes and fingers of Miranda's intended victim. That is, it did until the night of the charity ball. Descending the stairs, her eyes had settled on Andréa in that lovely black dress and her forelock had gone into full seduction mode without her consent. Since then, she had gone through every hair product she could think of, to no avail. Her hair wanted Andréa Sachs, wanted the girl's fingers tangled in its silken length, and Miranda had little choice in the matter. So she had brought in the nuclear assault of hairsprays. Her thoughts were interrupted by a soft voice.
"Miranda, everyone is here for the run-through."
The demonic strand of hair snapped loose and stood straight out from Miranda's forehead, aimed right at Andy who felt her own fingers tingle in response.
"Bloody hell!" roared Miranda, throwing her chair back into the wall and stalking toward the restroom. Her patience was completely gone and her temper had shot straight to nuclear winter. She did not bother to shut the door as she stared at the offensive strands in the mirror. "My wanking hair has a bleeding hard-on!"
Andy hurried around the desk just to make sure that really was Miranda who was cussing and with a decidedly British accent. I didn't know she was a Brit. The girl was a little more concerned that her boss had lost her sanity than she was that the woman had found her nationality. She stared at the editor, who in turn seemed to be staring into the mirror and talking to herself, or rather ranting at herself.
"I have had all of this I can tolerate. I have told you over and over. You simply refuse to listen. I cannot have this."
Timidly, Andy came closer to the door, concerned that Miranda has having some sort of break down.
"Miranda?" She risked speaking.
The forelock seemed about to drift in the girl's direction when Miranda suddenly reached up and slapped it forward. She was practically cross-eyed as she attempted to stare it down.
"You will look at me when I talk to you," she hissed.
Andy watched, wide-eyed, as Miranda paced within the tiny space, two steps away, then two back, pausing each time to shake her finger at the mirror. Oh, damn. She's finally lost it. Who the hell do I call? Unsure what to do, and afraid to draw attention to herself, Andy waited to be noticed.
"I've taken care of you." Miranda raved on, pacing all the while. "I buy you only the best, pay the finest stylists. I made you an icon." She glared into the mirror. "You're famous the world over, emulated by inferior stylists and would-be fashion divas. Do you appreciate it? No. You just keep on doing whatever it is you want with no thought to the consequences. You're worse than a penis. At least they have enough sense to roll over and go to sleep and let a person get on with her work." Ending in front of the mirror, Miranda seemed to stare herself down, eyes blazing blue fire.
Damn, if they'd had her on the prow of the Titanic that iceberg wouldn't have stood a chance, Andy thought. Doesn't say much for her sex life if that's how she feels about it. She clamped down on that thought quick enough. Miranda and Sex were two concepts she did not need to allow to roam around in her mind during the light of day for the sake of her own sanity. Her dreams were an entirely different issue. She fidgeted, still unsure whether she should interrupt or let the meltdown follow its natural course.
Miranda continued to stare into the mirror. Her eyes narrowed as she seemed to fix herself with an even more intense glare, if that were even possible. This one would have melted the skin off lesser mortals even in reflection. Her voice dropped to lethal levels that sent a shiver down her audience's spine.
"Very well. You have left me with no other choice. I will be obeyed."
Grabbing her forelock in one hand, she whipped open the drawer with the other. When her hand re-appeared, she was gripping a pair of scissors. The shears opened and moved purposefully towards the rebellious bang.
"No! Miranda, don't!" Andy rushed the last few steps and grabbed the scissors from her boss. Tossing them back into the drawer, she slammed it shut. "What are you thinking?"
The fashionista turned that fierce blue gaze on her assistant. "It is my hair, Andréa. I will do with it as I please."
Without stopping to consider the consequences, Andy reached trembling fingers up and brushed the silken strands back into place, where they seemed to relax with a silent sigh. "There. It's fixed. It's too beautiful to cut off. Just leave it." Suddenly realizing what she had done; Andy gasped, spun on her heel, and ran for her desk.
Miranda turned back to the mirror, surprised to find her bang lying perfectly in place with a rather contented look about it. Deep in thought, she returned to her own desk and was pleased to find her hair stayed in place the rest of the day. She went about her normal schedule with no further hair difficulties.
Andy inwardly cringed every time Miranda called her name or approached her, convinced that before the day was out the editor would eviscerate her for having the temerity to touch her in that way. She did not relax until she had delivered the book that night and was safely on her way home. Evidently, Miranda was going to let her slide this time, which Andy was eternally grateful for.
The next morning found both assistants in their proper places when Miranda strode in. Tossing her coat and bag on Andy's desk, the fashionista did not progress into her office as was her habit. Instead, she stood in front of her second assistant's desk and appeared to be waiting for something. Andy glanced at Emily, who stared back in equal confusion. Miranda cleared her throat, her irritation obviously growing. Rolling her eyes, she nodded her head, slightly flipping her bang gently; the same bang that was curling seductively over her eyes. Oh. Ohhh. Gingerly Andy reached out and tucked the rebellious lock back into place, where it settled for the rest of the day; which is how the tucking of the bang became a part of Andy's new morning routine. Neither assistant commented on the little ritual as they much preferred to remain employed. Miranda simply remained at Andy's desk until the girl's fingertips brushed the bang into place while Emily tried to occupy herself with anything else and appeared not to notice.
On the fifth day of the new ritual, Emily did notice that Andy would suddenly disappear after Miranda proceeded into her office. After another week of this vanishing act, her curiosity won out and she had Serena standing by to take the phones while she discreetly followed her coworker. Andy made a beeline for the nearest restroom, and when Emily peeked in the door she had to choke back a laugh. Andy stood in front of the mirror with a curling iron, a brush, and a can of Aqua Net; trying to tame her own bangs, which stuck straight out in front. The Brit snickered all the way back to her desk; her mantra running through her head, I love my job, I love my job, I love my job. Some days she really did.
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