DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've veered from the movie in the cardinal way of having Andy not leave Miranda or Runway in Paris.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To xvnot15[at]hotmail.com
Miranda Priestly had spent the previous two decades assiduously cultivating the demanding and intimidating persona that was the Editor in Chief of Runway magazine. She demanded perfection from herself and all those who worked for her, and never, ever, settled for less. This focused, single-minded dedication and complete intolerance for mistakes or shortcomings had justly earned her a number of less than flattering sobriquets, Ice Queen, Dragon Lady, and Demon Bitch from Hell among them.
However, in the two months since her return from Paris Fashion Week, and the advent of her third divorce, those who worked for her had decided that the she wasn't just a visitor from the underworld, nope, she was in fact, the Devil incarnate, and the Runway offices were the 9th circle of Hell itself.
She was now officially impossible to please, no matter how hard everyone worked to produce the perfect and the unachievable. Every single run through had had to be done at least twice and most of them three and even four times before she would send them off with a withering condemnation and the clear understanding that they had only succeeded because of the pressing matter of print deadlines.
Every day the Book was returned with its weight nearly doubled by the number of post-its with Miranda's scathing notations slashed across them. The font was never right, the colour combinations garish, the layout repetitive, the accessories excessive, the editorial puerile and the entire art department incompetent. Three layouts had been trashed completely and the entire theme of the May issue dismissed as trite, infantile and beneath inclusion even in Just Seventeen, never mind Runway. The fact that Miranda was the one who had conceived the idea in the first place was, of course, never even thought about, let alone mentioned by the hapless inhabitants of Inferno Central.
On the 5th floor of the Elias Clark building, Human Resources were considering mass suicide as they scrambled to replace the massive haemorrhage of personnel that had either been fired by Miranda directly, or who had quit of their own accord, seeking their redemption in the most expeditious way possible.
Unsurprisingly, considering they were the ones who spent the most time with Miranda, the sharpest edge of the editor's temper was continually being honed in her interactions with her assistants. The two young women were quite used to the mass of hectic errands, the landslide of lightening fast instructions, the miniscule clues to Miranda's every whim, the complete lack of any indication of appreciation and even the fairly regular slicing comments and dismissive gestures, all these were their daily bread.
But now, oh now it was a whole new arena, an arena much like the Coliseum of old, and Miranda was the lion to Emily and Andy's Christians. No stream of instructions, no command or demand was given now without a predictive scathing comment on the likelihood of their being carried out correctly coupled with a thorough history of every failure by each girl to date.
In addition to the unkind comments, Miranda had started speaking more and more quietly as her mood worsened through the days and weeks. At times she was so quiet it was only the visual clue of her lips moving that alerted them that she was in fact speaking, and both assistants were straining to accommodate this newest torture technique as best they could.
Andy's response was to ensure she was always as close to Miranda as possible in order to best catch her words, that and her ability to lip-read, a skill acquired when she was a Girl Scout, were standing her in good stead. She did sometimes wonder if getting close enough to someone just to hear how useless and incompetent she was supposed to be, was actually worth the effort. But then she would catch something in Miranda's look, a fleeting glimpse of pain, confusion or worst of all, a heart stopping defeat would ghost over the older woman's features. When she saw this, she was immediately back in that Paris hotel room, back with the fragile woman and not the adamantine icon. And remembering the lost look, the uncertainty and the red- rimmed eyes that were dammed against the onslaught of tears, she would dismiss her own hurt and concentrate on the request made of her back then, that what she could do for Miranda was, her job.
Emily on the other hand, was developing a very active tic in her left eye as she struggled to decide which was the lesser of two evils, trying to figure out what Miranda had said and getting it wrong, or asking Miranda to repeat herself and being killed on the spot. She had even dropped the use of her favourite mantra, because she realised only the Grand High Llama of masochists could claim to love her job as she was now experiencing it. She was getting progressively desperate for ways to cope with the situation. Nigel had even caught her Googling hearing aids while she waited for the Book one evening.
No doubt about it, things were bad, and there was no end in sight. It appeared that working for Miranda Priestly had permanently become the 'get out of purgatory free' card for anyone brave enough to stay with the magazine.
Andy had become adept at juggling dozens of bags of clothing samples and trays of coffee and moving at a respectable pace at the same time. Today she dashed through the late afternoon New York traffic at break neck speed, almost as if the hounds of hell were snapping at her heels. The irony of the situation was that far from fleeing from hell, she was in fact headed back to the very heart of Hades, currently located on the 18th floor of the Elias Clarke building.
In her current rush to get back with Miranda's coffee and the fruits of her dozen or more errands, she hit the revolving door so fast she spun into the foyer like a mini cyclone, and sprinted for the elevators. With a final burst of speed she lunged between the already closing doors slamming her shoulder into the far wall of the car, just managing to keep the tray of piping hot coffees level and only dropping 2 of the 8 bags she carried.
"Very nice Six, quite athletic really, what do you do for an encore, a cartwheel?" Nigel smirked at her as he picked up the two fallen bags.
"Hmmm, that was so funny I forgot to laugh Nigel." The harried brunette struggled to straighten up as best she could, and held out her left hand shoving three more bags into the older man's arms.
"Just for that, you can take these into Miranda, the black bag should get you a really interesting response. The Miriam Haskell necklace and broach collection is all turquoise not carnelian, and I do mean all of the collection. Apparently, Ms Haskell never worked with carnelian, she hated it because it reminded her too much of the colour of blood, and as Mr Fialkoff prides himself on staying true to the original designer, he never uses carnelian either."
Nigel's face paled and his eyes grew large as he gaped at Andy in disbelief and outright terror.
"Tell me you're kidding. Please just tell me you're punishing me for my bitchiness and...." he trailed into silence as Andy shook her head looking every bit as grim as Nigel felt.
"Shit. How the hell did this happen? She's going to... the whole 4 page spread is... all the backdrops... the whole edition is...we're due to shoot next week!" He shook his head, "Shit!"
"Yes, I agree, shit! And we're the ones who are going to end up shovelling it." She set her remaining bags down and began fixing her flustered appearance. "And this happened Nigel, because our new, three weeks into the job, accessories Editor either doesn't know how to do her job, or more likely was too damned petrified to tell Miranda she couldn't have the colour she wanted for the Haskell spread. Mr Fialkoff assures me that he was very clear when she was making the arrangements, that the only original collection currently available was Haskell's 1932 Studies in Turquoise grouping. What the hell was the woman thinking?!"
Andy had spat this out through gritted teeth and then picked up the bags at her feet as she prepared to enter the Dragon's den, certain that she and Nigel would be the next fair maidens to be burnt to a crisp by the flames of the Beast of Runway.
"I've already called and told Francesca that she should notify her next of kin, because Miranda isn't just going to fire her, she's going to dismember her and probably you, me and Emily into the bargain!"
With that grim prediction still ringing in the air, the elevator doors opened and Andy and Nigel froze in their tracks at the sight of Miranda marching straight for the elevator at high speed and with fire in her eyes. The two hapless employees looked at each other, their thoughts a perfect mirrored terror, "She knows already! Shit!"
Without a word spoken, Miranda yanked Nigel through the doors, grabbed the bags and tray of coffees out of Andy's hands and literally threw them at the floundering man just before the elevator doors slid shut hiding the now drenched, coffee coloured and hopping up and down in pain fashion director from view.
Inside the descending car Andy stared wide eyed with terror as she started to stutter out, "M...Mi...Mir...Miranda, I kn...know it w...wi...will..."
Miranda raised her finger stopping the young woman's frantic spluttering. Glaring her intent to have silence, she put on her sunglasses and turned to face the doors. Arriving on the ground floor but barely waiting for the doors to fully open, the fashion diva swept into the lobby with a decidedly wobbly Andy following in her wake.
Roy was waiting with the town car and the back door held open, as Miranda slid into the back seat she hissed out two words.
And then she slammed the door closed, wrenching it from the man's hands without preamble. The bewildered driver looked at Andy with questioning eyes.
"I don't know Roy, I don't know what's happened, but whatever it is, it's bad." The man nodded his head and followed Andy to the other side of the car, opening her door for her at the same time as his own.
Andy slid in and across the seat so that she was as close to Miranda as she could be without actually touching the older woman. She had an inkling that if Miranda spoke at all, it was likely to be almost sub-vocal given her current mood and being beside the editor meant she wouldn't be able to get much from trying to read her lips. She watched in her peripheral vision as Miranda removed her glasses and set them in her lap as she leaned her head back and closed her eyes. As unobtrusively as possible Andy pulled her pad and pen from her bag and waited.
Miranda had burst from her office five minutes after receiving a call from her soon to be ex-husband, informing Emily she would be gone for the rest of the day and that Roy had better be waiting for her by the time she got downstairs. On instinct Emily had already headed to the coat closet the moment she'd seen Miranda in the doorway and turned back just in time to feel Miranda grab her bag and start moving down the hallway.
Emily remained frozen in front of her desk holding Miranda's coat as she watched her boss quickly recede from view, moving almost faster than she thought was humanly possible in four inch Prada heels. A moment later she was jolted from her paralysis by a shouting sound coming from the direction of the elevators. Looking up, she fell back onto her desk at the apparition of the brown splotched and dripping man that appeared in front of her dropping several slightly damp bags at her feet.
"What the bloody hell happened to you?" the red head asked as she hurried Nigel into the kitchenette and handed him a towel.
"Thanks," came out in muffled tones as Nigel scrubbed his face and then the front of his shirt. Looking at the back of his left hand he saw the red mark where some of Miranda's scalding hot latte had splashed onto unprotected skin and went to the sink to run some cold water over the injury. When his hand was numb he wrapped it in a clean dish towel and sat down heavily in the empty chair behind him, squirming a little at the feel of his damp trousers clinging to his thighs.
Emily, who had brought the bags with her, was carefully checking their contents to make sure nothing had been damaged, as she laid them out on the table. When she got to the black Heskell Studios bag she saw that one of the jewellery boxes had a liberal splash of brown across the lid and carefully opened it to see if any coffee had seeped inside. Seeing the ornate turquoise necklace her eyes snapped to Nigel in horrified question.
"Nigel, this is turquoise!"
"I know. They all are, and Haskell doesn't do any carnelian work. None, nada, zip, zilch."
Emily sat down opposite the damp man and sighed, shaking her head in disbelief.
"Is this why you're covered in what I assume is Miranda's Starbuck's order?" she asked as she fiddled with the offending piece of jewellery.
"No I don't think so, I only found out about the screw up from Andy in the elevator, before we got to this floor and she hadn't told Miranda yet. When the doors opened, Miranda was just...well just there, in all her glorious fury. She pulled me out of the way and then grabbed the coffee and bags from Andy and threw them at me before the doors closed. What the hell happened here?"
Rolling her eyes, Emily snapped, "How the hell would I know, I haven't been able to hear a bloody word the woman has said for the past 4 days! I swear she's not actually saying anything, she's just moving her lips, trying to torture me!"
She looked at Nigel who was blinking in surprise at her vehemence, sighing yet again she continued.
"All I know is that Stephen called and five minutes later she was on a ruddy rampage! She didn't even take her coat and I haven't got a damned clue about where she's gone!"
Nigel reached over and patted her hand, "I'm sure Andy will let us know where she is as soon as she can manage it. I'm guessing that as security hasn't been in touch that Miranda didn't murder her in the elevator."
Emily snorted and quite suddenly gave a slight, almost lady like belch. Blushing so that her cheeks could have blended in with the rich red hair on her head, she hastily covered her mouth as a second tiny burp escaped. Nigel blinked in surprise and looked quizzically at the woman silently asking a question. She blushed even deeper and banged her head onto the table in despair.
"Emily? Did you actually eat something today?"
"What did you eat?"
"About a thousand dollars," the red head mumbled into the table top. Nigel nudged her until she raised her head and looked at him.
"A thousand dollars worth of what?" he asked, concern and confusion lacing his voice.
"A thousand dollars worth of, 'state of the art aural augmentation,' what else?"
Nigel blinked, "Um, right, in English please, it is your native language after all."
Blushing furiously Emily explained her cryptic statement in a truly weary voice.
"I couldn't stand her experiment in 'mime' communication any further, so I bought a hearing aid."
"A hearing aid? As in grandma check your batteries kind of hearing aid?"
Emily nodded and continued, "I knew I couldn't let Miranda actually see it, so I found one that goes in the ear, not behind it. It was about the size of a dime and flesh coloured so you can't see it when it's in. It arrived this morning and I was just about to put it in when Miranda was suddenly there in front of my desk." She made a face before continuing, "I hadn't heard her calling me and she'd come out to see where I was."
"She demanded to know what I had in my hand that was so captivating that I hadn't heard her shouting for me."
Nigel couldn't help the incredulous snort he let loose at Emily's uncanny imitation of her boss' words and tone.
"And what did you do?"
Emily not only blushed, she let out a small despairing groan.
"Come on, spill."
"I... I ... I told her it was a vitamin pill."
Nigel's eyebrow rose, "And she believed you?"
Emily put her head back on the table and mumbled her reply.
"What? What did you say?"
She turned her head and glared at him before repeating herself.
"She did when I swallowed it in front of her."
Nigel's howl of laughter echoed off the walls and Emily thumped her head on the table chanting, "I hate my life, I hate my life."
As the car made its way through the early rush hour traffic, the only sounds Andy was aware of were the near silent hum of the engine, the muffled sounds of the New York streets and her own rapid heartbeat. As she continued to listen however, she became aware of Miranda's breathing, the woman was taking short staccato breaths, almost sipping the air in through her slightly parted lips. Andy wasn't sure how she knew it, but she realised that Miranda was actively trying to keep herself calm. At the same time she realised that this had nothing to do with the Heskell shoot at all, something had happened, something that was testing the older woman's control to its limits. Andy chanced another glance and found herself staring into blue eyes clouded with rapidly swirling emotions, anger, hurt, frustration, fear, sorrow and for just an instant panic. Without thought Andy reached out and covered Miranda's hand with her own, gently squeezing it in sympathy but remaining silent.
Miranda looked down at their joined hands for several seconds and as she did so, her breathing evened out and became calmer and less forced. Giving a barely perceptible squeeze of her own, she removed her hand and placed it in her lap. She looked up at Andy, a bewildered expression on her face before she turned her head forward, and then glancing out the window, she put her glasses back on as the car slowed to a halt. Not a word had yet been uttered by either of them.
Miranda gathered her bag and waited for Roy to come round and open the door, she spoke quietly, but audibly as Andy wrote out her instructions.
"I need you to contact James' mother and arrange for the girls to stay with her for the next two weeks, possibly three. They will need to leave this evening. Contact Cara and tell her that I need her to pack their things and accompany them to Connecticut this evening. Get them on the 7:30 train and see to it there's a car to pick them up in New Haven. Inform James where the girls will be, I don't want him to hear it from his mother first. Contact my PR rep, Leslie and tell her I will see her at 12pm tomorrow morning, my office not my home. Roy will take you back now and return for me at 7pm. I may have to cancel my morning appointments on Monday, make what preparations you can for that eventuality, I will be able to confirm any changes when you deliver the Book this evening." She paused, looked at Andy for a moment and then continued, "That's all."
Roy opened the door and Miranda moved to get out, at the last minute she turned not looking at Andy she whispered as quietly as she had over the previous weeks, "Thank you." And then she was gone and the car door was closed.
Belatedly realising that her jaw was hanging open Andy shut her mouth and fell back against the seat as she watched Miranda cross the sidewalk and enter the building. As Roy pulled into traffic Andy's thoughts were highly fanciful, "Who knew Dragons could be polite?"
The law firm of Walker, Walker, Krandel & Benson had been a top-flight legal practice for some 35 years, and Miranda Priestly had been a client for 25 of those 35 years. The now senior partner, Philip Walker, had been a junior associate in his father's company when the strikingly elegant young woman had marched into his office and demanded to know if he was competent to draw up a decent employment contract.
Young buck that he had been, he was mesmerised by her youthful beauty crowned even then with that startling white hair that would in the near future become and remain her trademark. When he finally broke out of his trance he had assured her he was more than just competent, he was the best, and proceeded to prove that point without delay. It was his contract, drafted with myriad hidden clauses and special provisions that had considerably aided Miranda to move from the position of junior fashion director to the post of Editor in Chief of Runway in less than five years.
He had seen her through all her subsequent contract negotiations, drafting the terms, bonuses, and stock options that had been instrumental in making her the wealthy woman she was today. He had also seen her through a number of personal lawsuits and of course her two previous divorces and custody battles over the girls. So it was unsurprising that Miranda had insisted that he personally handle her latest expedition into the New York Divorce Courts.
The quarter century had seen their relationship become more than that of lawyer and client, it had developed and deepened over the decades and now they considered each other the dearest of friends. They had agreed early on that despite a strong mutual attraction, they both gained far more from their solid friendship than any benefit they could envision from getting romantically entangled.
So when Miranda Priestly barrelled into the law firm's 22nd floor offices, she was not just there to see her lawyer, but to ask for help from her friend, one of the very few people that she felt she could truly trust.
As she stalked toward the receptionist, the young girl took one look and the standard phrase of, "The offices are closed for the day," died before they had properly formed inside her head, certainly not one of them made it to her lips. Instinctually the girl rose from her chair, somehow understanding that she was not going to be the one who could assist Miranda and that her best chance for survival lay in finding the right someone who could help the obviously seething woman.
"Philip Walker, now." Was all Miranda said as she raised her eyebrow and began to tap her foot impatiently even as she uttered the third word of her demand.
"Yes ma'am," the receptionist managed to squeak before running full tilt down the hall in search of Mr Walker's personal secretary.
She knew that Mr Walker was not in the office and was not meant to return until after the weekend, but there was no way in the universe that she was going to tell Miranda Priestly that news. Oh no, no, no, she wanted to live to see her 25th birthday, let Mr Walker's P.A. take the heat, after all as far as the young woman was concerned, Helen was dragon enough herself to take on Miranda Priestly. With that thought in mind she skidded to a halt in front of Helen's desk taking great gulps of air as she tried to recover from her sprint.
" Mir Miranda Pries tly re really m mad" she managed to gulp.
Helen Ferris looked scathingly at the dishevelled girl and curled her lip as she calmly walked past her toward the main reception area.
"When you get over your Olympic trials Felicity, be a dear and go to Starbucks will you? A Venti no foam latte, scalding hot, and as quick as you can please." She glanced sternly back over her shoulder, "Scalding Felicity, not tap water hot as you drink yours." And then she continued on her way.
Entering the outer office she took in the sight of a very agitated Miranda viciously shoving her cell phone into her bag. Not phased in the least, the experienced and very capable P.A. walked straight up to the fashion icon, knowing already that her boss would not be heading to the Hamptons tonight.
"Miranda, I'm sorry you've been kept waiting, I'll take you to Mr Walkers office immediately. I'm afraid he isn't here at the moment, he was in court this afternoon and planned to head straight to the Hamptons after they adjourned."
Leading Miranda down the hall she went past her own desk and opened the door into her employer's office before continuing, "I'll contact him immediately and let you know how long it will be before he can get here. I've sent Felicity for your Starbucks, I'll be back in a moment." Without waiting for a response, she closed the door behind her and headed straight for her desk.
Even in her current mood, Miranda couldn't help but let out a tiny sigh at Helen's very obvious competence, nor could she stop the upward twitch of her lips as she recalled the many, many times she had tried to poach the woman from her friend's employ. It had never worked, no matter how outrageous the financial inducement the woman remained staunchly loyal to Philip Walker, much to Miranda's combined chagrin and admiration.
As she took a seat in the comfortable chair on the client side of the large cherry wood desk, the twitch of her lips returned as the thought came to her, that she no longer needed to test Helen's loyalty, she had an excellent assistant of her own now. The twitch transformed into a small but genuine smile as she thought about Andrea and how much she had improved at her job over the past four months. The transformation had begun in the months before Paris and continued after their return. She had never actually doubted the girl's intelligence or general abilities, only her drive and willingness to truly apply herself to doing the job she had been hired to do.
Now she was very impressed to see that despite the challenges her moods and continual scathing comments had provided, Andrea had become almost fiercely competent in every task or challenge presented to her.
What caused Miranda considerable bemusement; was how the young woman had managed to do so without losing any of her natural kindness or good nature. In fact the girl seemed to be able to harness those very attributes in order to motivate others to help her better achieve Miranda's demands. It wasn't that she deliberately exploited those facets of herself in order to gain what she wanted or needed; she wasn't at all mercenary about these things. Nor was her kindness of the 'all puppies and flowers', sickly sweet variety. Miranda had overheard enough telephone conversations in the office where Andy had been both stern and unyielding with whoever was on the line to know that she wasn't a powder puff of sweetness. The girl was, quite simply and genuinely nice, in the best sense of the word.
Thinking of Andrea's kind nature made her reflect on the girl's actions in the car less than a quarter of an hour earlier, Miranda looked down and stroked the hand that Andrea had held. Even as she did so, the mere memory of that soothing touch brought her state of agitation down to a much more manageable level. How did the girl do that? Why did she do it? These were questions that Miranda filed away for later consideration, but she would get the answers.
Helen came back into the office carrying a steaming cup of Starbucks and copies of the Times and the New Yorker. She placed all of these on the desk in front of Miranda before turning to let her know how long she would be waiting.
"Mr Walker had already arrived at his home when I called, so he should be here within the next 20 to 30 minutes. Is there anything else you need while you wait?"
"No, I'll be fine Helen, thank you for the reading material, although I'm not sure if I'll make use of it." Miranda said as she gratefully reached for the hot coffee, taking a sip and sighing in pleasure as the fiery liquid slid down her throat.
Helen moved over to the phone set and placed it within Miranda's reach.
"If you need anything just press the intercom button here," she indicated the correct button, "I'll leave you in peace then Miranda," and without further comment she left the other woman to her thoughts.
Miranda stood and moved to the window, looking onto the busy street below, her anger returning full force as her thoughts turned to its source.
Andy had given Roy his instructions when he dropped her off, not at the Elias Clarke building, but at the Starbucks down the street. She fished her blackberry from her bag and punched the speed dial. The first ring tone hadn't even finished when the call was answered.
"About bloody time! Where in God's name are you? And what have you done with Miranda? Hic." the derisive tones of the upset woman on the other end of the line were suddenly cut off by a quiet, but definite hiccup.
Andy held the phone out in front of her and blinked twice, before putting it back to her ear. "Uhhh, are you okay Em?"
"Ye hic I hic, I bloody, hic...hic...hic wel HIC!" there was a short pause and the sound of a deep breath, "Where are hic...hic you? Mir hic Mira hic hic hic hic."
Andy covered her mouth to muffle her giggles when she realised Emily had a major case of the hiccups. The next thing she heard was Nigel's voice.
"Yeah it's me Nigel. What's up with Em and the hiccups?" she asked as she made her way into the crowded Starbucks and joined the serving line.
"She's trying to recoup a thousand dollars," Nigel dead-panned.
"Trying to recoup a thousand dollars."
"That's what I thought you said. Nigel, what's going on? Is Emily actually okay?"
The genuine concern in Andy's voice prompted Nigel to be more straightforward and explain what had happened after the elevator doors had slid shut between them.
"So there we were, me soaked in coffee and Emily trying to knock herself out on the kitchen table. I was feeling damp and miserable and decided to use Miranda's private bathroom to shower and change my clothes." Nigel paused at the gasp Andy made at that revelation.
"Whaat? I was soaked in coffee and it was Miranda's fault why shouldn't I use her shower? Besides, I figured she wouldn't be back anytime soon."
Andy couldn't help but snort at Nigel's very 'conditional' bravado.
"Anyway when I came back into the break room I saw Emily drinking a glass of water and it suddenly occurred to me that swallowing the hearing aid meant that she'd also swallowed a battery and that was probably a really bad thing. I mentioned it to her and suggested she should maybe go to the ER..." he was interrupted by Andy's concerned interjection.
"My god Nigel! Why is she still there? Call an ambulance right now!"
"Calm down Six! We don't want you ending up with hiccups too. Emily reacted pretty much like you just did, only more, well, more Emilyish."
"Emilyish?? What the he...oh, right, gotcha, Emilyish." Andy warred with herself over grinning at the image of Emily probably hissing and screeching at Nigel as she tried to throttle him in a panic, and frowning in concern for her friend's possibly serious medical condition. As was her nature, the concern won.
"So why isn't she on her way to the ER Nigel?"
"Don't worry Andy, she'll be okay. When I could get her calmed down I asked her if she'd actually put the battery in before she took her unexpected vitamin. She ran to her desk and scrabbled for the box and found the battery was packaged separately. But by that time she'd started hyperventilating and the hiccups followed after that, I'd just got her calmed down and then you called and wound her up all over again."
"Oh thank goodness," Andy relaxed a little as she moved to the front of the line to place her order.
"Right I'll be back in five minutes. Oh, Nigel do you and Em want anything from Starbucks?"
"What do you think Six?" Nigel's voice dripped with sarcasm.
Giggling Andy replied, "Sorry, I didn't think."
"No, you didn't, and if you bring anything hot back Six, I'll never speak to you again."
Smiling at her phone, Andy looked up at the barista and ordered, "A tall coffee Frappuccino with an extra shot please, no whip." She grinned even more when she heard Nigel's chuckle over the phone as she paid for her order.
"Emily would really appreciate it if you stopped at the drug store on the way back."
"Sure, what does she want?"
"Pepto-Bismol... the large size."
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