DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is a gift for my friend Gun. She hasn't been feeling so great these past few days and I always like to do my best to cheer her up. That's sort of my job. Last year I wrote her a story about Irv and Bernie to brighten her mood...so I thought I'd give it another shot. I wrote five pages of this story in 2012 and never touched it again. Well, for her I pulled it out yesterday and added a BUNCH. I hope this works. I love you, G.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To brithna[at]gmail.com
The Twilight Zone
AROUND 4:00AM Way too damn early.
The phone had just begun to ring when Shelby bolted upright like a gun had just gone off in the bedroom. Blindly, she answered it, not needing to check the display. Only one person dared to wake her up this early in the morning.
"Andy, what's up?" Shelby asked as she reached out in the darkness to grab her ever-present pad and pen.
"I know it's early," Andy sighed, "I'm sorry." She sounded as if she'd just woken up herself, which was Miranda's fault most likely. "I need you at my apartment by six-thirty. Bring coffee. I've got to finish Miranda's expense reports before we leave, so I need you to pack my bags and tie up all the loose ends. There's just no point in going into the office before we leave for the Bahamas since everything I need is right here. So, six-thirty? Coffee? Packing?"
"Got it, boss. I'll even spring for pastries." And juice, a copy of The Times, The Mirror, USA Today and The Post. Shelby knew the drill. Andy had trained her well.
"Great. See you soon, Shelby."
Shelby threw her pad and pen down and looked over her shoulder. Jocelyn hadn't even cracked an eyelid. No surprise there; they'd been plenty busy last night. After all, it's not every day that you get the chance to celebrate the first anniversary of your marriage. A candlelight dinner and lots of sex took up the entire evening and half the morning too.
"Huh? What's wrong?" Jocelyn mumbled, bushing her hair out of her face as she rolled over.
"Nothing's wrong. It was Andy. She wants me to be at her place by six-thirty."
"Which means six-fifteen," Jocelyn yawned and held out her arms. "Remember when I told you she was turning into Miranda and you said, "No way babe! Not a chance!" Well, I think you owe me an apology."
"I still don't agree. Good morning, by the way." Shelby sank into Jocelyn's shoulder and pulled the covers over them. A few more minutes wouldn't hurt.
"'Let me have coffee before I decide if it's a good one or not. And, heyI really don't care if you disagree. I'm still right." Jocelyn brushed Shelby's blonde curls back and kissed her forehead. "You have no idea what Andy used to be like. She's changed. A lot."
"So you've told me. And, heyyou're not supposed to be a grouch today, remember. It's the first day of the second year of our marriage, you goof." Shelby rolled her eyes. "But Jo, seriously, it's not so terrible. You know Andy's a heck of a lot nicer boss than Miranda ever could be."
Jocelyn huffed at the mention of her grouchiness but didn't say a word in argument about it. She wasn't a morning person; Shelby knew that, but there wasn't a chance in hell that she was going to let her wife get away with that kind of bullshit today. Day 366 was going to be a good oneeven if Shelby had to beat it into her.
"I know, I know," Jocelyn finally said, after wallowing in her grouchiness for another second. "I still can't get over that you call Andy your boss, though, when Miranda's actually your boss. You're Miranda's second assistant. You realize how weird that whole arrangement is, don't you?"
"How could I not? You remind me of it all the time." Really. And okay, yeah, it was strange and something no one talked about. Well, except for Jocelyn. She couldn't seem to shut up about it. "Just think about it like this, if Miranda was my boss, we'd never spend this much time together! So, shut up already!" Shelby playfully nudged Jocelyn's cheek then kissed her.
It was true. Andy might rule the office with an iron fist that even scared the shit out of Nigel, but at least she let Shelby have a goddamn life. Oddly enough, even Mirandawho pretended to never think of her staff's personal lifeactually cared just enough to ask Shelby and Jocelyn if working and living together was a "negotiable undertaking."
"If we've got to get up, we've got to get up now before I fall back to sleep." Jocelyn shook her gently.
"Agh, okay." Shelby made a weak attempt to disengage herself from Jocelyn's side but was finally given a helpfulshove right out of the bed. "Hey!"
"Well, you seemed to be having a bit of trouble, babe." Jocelyn snickered as Shelby threw a pillow in her direction. "Hey!"
"All's fair, honey. All's fair." Shelby flipped her off and headed toward the bathroom to take a quick shower.
4:30AM Still way too damn early.
"Well, fuck." Jocelyn whined as she turned on the lamp by the bed and sat up. "This day sucks already." For real. It might be her 366th day of marriage...or however Shelby had said it, but damn-it she was tired. Spending a full day working for Miranda Priestly, then a full night doing unimaginable things with Mrs. Shelby Frazier, was a bit much for her system. Two cups of coffee were not going to cut it and hopefully somewhere between New York and the Bahamas, there would be time to sleep. But that was doubtful. It was doubtful too that Jocelyn could manage to not be a royal bitch at some point in the day. And, yes, there would be hell to pay, but sometimes she just couldn't help it.
Scrubbing her face with her hands to gain enough strength to start the day, Jocelyn stumbled out of bed, paying no attention to the disastrous state of the bedroom as she slipped on a robe and headed to the kitchen.
With coffee in hand a few minutes later, Jocelyn sat down at the table with her iPad and began to check her emails and schedule; the sooner she memorized her day, the better. She was not as fortunate as Andy and did not warrant her own assistant. Must be nice.
Honestly, Jocelyn knew Shelby wasn't just Andy's assistant, but it was fun to pick on her about it. And Jocelyn knew she was lucky. They both were. How often does it happen that Miranda Priestly pulls a move to steal an assistant?
It turns out that the whole thing was really Andy's idea. All she had to do was ask and Miranda picked up the phone, called Ralph Lauren's office and with a better offer in hand, and Shelby was Runway property before the end of the day. Simply because Andy asked Miranda to do it.
As usual, when you work in this business you make friends with anyone you can to make life even the slightest bit easier for yourself, and reputations tend to follow. Through a hundred rapid-fire phone conversations and a million emails, Andy felt like Shelby could handle the job after Emily was promoted. Since Miranda seemed inclined to go with whatever Andy wanted, poor Ralph lost the best assistant he'd ever had and didn't go within a mile of Miranda for a solid month.
In hindsight, even though Jocelyn was thrilled that Shelby had been given such an opportunity, she couldn't help but wish she had been able to see more of the "before" Andy. It would help her understand.
A few years had come and gone since that disastrous trip to Paris, but Andy still wasn't the same. And neither was Miranda.
After leaving Miranda to watch her walk away with her mouth hanging open, Andy didn't have the money for a plane ticket back home, and was forced to suck it up and catch a ride back with the rest of the Runway crew a few days later. Jocelyn remembered thinking she was hopelessly stuck inside an episode of The Twilight Zone the entire way home. She also remembered downing an entire bottle of wine once she was in the safety of her own apartment afterwords.
There was a fight And if it hadn't been for an almost empty first-class and an empty restroom the size of a phone booth, the entire plane would have been treated to one hell of a show.
As for Jocelyn, she was getting ready to close her eyes and get some much needed sleep when she spotted Andy, out of the corner of her eye, march into the first-class section.
A FEW YEARS AGO
"We need to talk," Andy said, leaning over the empty seat next to Miranda, practically getting right in her face.
"I doubt that, Andrea." Jocelyn could barely make out Miranda's voice since her heart was hammering in her ears. "You've said everything you needed to. You're arrogant. Not to mention childish. Watching you tuck tail and run said quite enough."
"No." Andy sat down next to Miranda and Jocelyn finally took a breath of stale cabin air. "No, I didn't say everything I needed to say, but I'm going to now."
"There's no need. I don't want to hear it."
Andy leaned in even closer and Jocelyn feared for the girl's safety, not to mention sanity. Miranda was libel to throw her out the nearest emergency exit door. Which happened to be right beside Jocelyn.
"I don't care if you don't want to hear it. Unless you want to crawl right over the seat, you're pretty much stuck here."
"I should throw you out of this plane, Andrea Sachs. You've got some nerve."
"You can't be serious," Miranda hissed back.
"I am. I'm very serious. If you're that pissed off, then just go ahead and do what you want to. Throw me off the plane! It'd be better than having you blacklist me. Which I'm sure you're going to do."
"Oh? You're sure?"
"Yeah, isn't that what you do when people break the system and fuck with your idea of how the world works?"
Knowing that nobody cursed within several miles of Miranda, Jocelyn ran her eyes over the mechanics of the emergency exit door handle. Regrettably, it looked pretty easy to operate.
"You're out of line," Miranda said, sternly. "And for your information, up until this very moment, I had no intention of blacklisting you. Now, I think I've changed my mind!"
"Well good for you! How about you change your mind about this too: You don't know me, Miranda. I'm nothing like you and I never will be."
"Are you sure?"
"We're not doing this here."
Jocelyn wondered if there was a possibility of getting sucked out of the plane when the door opened to toss out the lowest of the low, but to hell with that idea because they didn't head toward the emergency exit after all.
They headed toward the restroom.
Two seconds later Miranda and Andy disappeared behind the curtain and Jocelyn heard one of the doors shut. How two people fit in there, Jocelyn would never know. It had to be uncomfortable for any reason.
The shouting started right away and Jocelyn buried her face in her hands before turning around to survey her surroundings. Since Nigel was wading through business-class, gossiping and occasionally working on new ideas with fellow cohorts, there were only two other passengers left in first-class, non-Runway passengers thank God and they were asleep. Jocelyn's attention was swiftly brought back to the problem at hand when the words "selfish bitch" rang out loud and clear. Ironically enough, they came from Miranda's mouth.
The shouting continued and the words that followed consisted of: immature, utter disappointment, tyrant, absolute and complete idiot, and a few more insults that Jocelyn couldn't quite make out. All of this, except for the word 'tyrant', came from them both. Andy was the dumbest girl Jocelyn had ever met, but she had to admit, the girl had balls.
And then, just when things had quieted down and Jocelyn was starting to think they might be exiting the restroom soon, there was a "You're fucking stupid if you don't come back!" from Miranda and a "If I come back, we're getting a coffeemaker!" from Andy...
BACK TO PRESENT DAY
"Hey!" Shelby called out from the shower.
Jocelyn shook her head and took a huge swallow of her lukewarm coffee. "Coming!" She yelled back and kicked it into gear.
"Here's your coffee." Jocelyn set a fresh cup of coffee on the counter. "Need anything else?"
"Just a kiss, then you need to get your ass in the shower."
For a moment, Jocelyn just stood there staring at her wife who was in nothing but a towel, waiting for her to move out of the way. Did they really have to be in such a rush this morning? Did Andy really need help? Couldn't it wait? Making the decision that everything else could in fact wait, Jocelyn stepped forward. "I think I might need help in the shower. You know I can hardly do anything for myself these days. Come here."
"No way," Shelby shook a finger at her and laughed. "Not this morning. Tonight. I'll make it up to you, I swear."
Again, Jocelyn huffed. Nothing was working out in her favor today and the day had barely started. "Yes, ma'am," she huffed again and might have shut the shower door a little too hard.
"Stop pouting!" Shelby called out over the sound of the water. Jocelyn completely ignored her and started washing her hair.
"You know what?" Shelby asked after a while, starting her usual morning ramble that never allowed Jocelyn the chance to enjoy the silence she craved before her second cup of coffee.
"What?" Jocelyn said, trying her best to sound a little less bitchy.
"We were talking about Andy earlier, right? Well, I was thinking of something."
"Yeah." Shelby paused for a minute to brush her teeth then continued. "Yeah, check this out. Andy's started talking."
"Non-work shit, silly. About Miranda."
"What?" Jocelyn forgot about the conditioner in her hair and ripped the shower door open. "What?" She asked again. "And that's not non-work shit, Shelby."
"You heard me! And Christ, close the door. You're getting the floor wet!" Shelby gave her thatdon'tmake me have to clean up after youlook, and Jocelyn shut the door in a hurry.
"So, care to elaborate?"
"It's nothing huge. Just little things, and you know how she never says a word that isn't dealing with business."
It was true. Andy used to be so different. She used to talk to anyone that would listen. She used to smile. She used to laugh. Now Andy was all business, all the time. There were no exceptions. Even at parties she was 100% zeroed in on work, on Miranda. In fact, that's why Shelby was Andy's assistant. Andy didn't have time for personal things so Shelby was there not only to do her bidding where Miranda was concerned, but she was there to help Andy with Andy related things. Things such as dry cleaning, mail, scheduling the miniscule personal life Andy managed to have. That is why no one talked about Shelby's true job title. It was beyond comprehension. But it was also exactly how Miranda wanted it.
"Well, honey, what do you make of it?" Jocelyn was forced to ask because contrary to Shelby's beliefs, Jocelyn could not read her mind.
"I don't know." Shelby said, sounding as if she was lost in thought. "Sometimes I just wonder "
"If something's going on?"
Who didn't wonder about that? Miranda and Andy were downright scary at times. So in sync, so in-tune with what the other would say or do. And the rumors? Well, there weren't any. But Jocelyn knew deep down that the only reason there weren't any rumors was that nobody had the balls to breathe a word about what everyone already knew: if there wasn't something going onthere damn well should be. And apparently, Shelby had finally caught on.
"Maybe. Except that I'm certain that nothing is. But I can't help but think that something should be."
All this catching up made Jocelyn think of that plane ride back home from Paris again.
After that whole coffeemaker declaration, a long period, to Jocelyn at least, of silence went by. For a second, she'd begun to think Miranda and Andy had successfully stuffed one another into the tiny toilet of that tiny restroom, but finally they emerged.
Miranda had come out first, completely red in the face and Jocelyn had been shocked when she never scanned the area for lingering eyes. If she had, Miranda would have fired her.
Andy came out of the bathroom a few seconds later, looking curiously triumphant. But, unlike Miranda, Andy did scan for lingering eyes and she found Jocelyn's. As Andy walked down the aisle, apparently ready to ignore her, Jocelyn lost her mind and reached out.
In a whisper she'd asked, "So, what are you going to do?"
Andy had cryptically replied, "Stay. I'm going to stay and wait. That's the only choice I have, Jocelyn. Work and wait until she figures out what she Well, never mind."
Until now, Jocelyn had never been 100% sure of what Andy had meant. But this morning, Jocelyn had a pretty good idea. And really, deep down, Jocelyn had known. Even then, she knew.
"What makes you so sure something's not going on, Shelby?"
"I just know, honey. Like I knew you'd agree when I asked you out the first time."
"Hm." Point well made. "Get me a towel, please."
"Sometimes," Shelby continued on as Jocelyn got out of the shower and dried off, "I wonder if Andy's waiting on Miranda to make a move. It would have to be Miranda. Think about it; Andy would want to be sure, wouldn't she? That Miranda wanted something like that? And knowing Miranda as well as she does "
Jocelyn met Shelby's gaze in the mirror, "If Andy made the first move, Miranda would run for the hills. But one of them has to make a move eventually."
"So you think I'm right?"
"Probably." Shelby was right but there was no reason to willingly feed the woman's curiosity. That would only lead to trouble.
"You're going to owe me money."
Jocelyn groaned. So much for not feeding Shelby's curiosity. Damn-it. Realizing that holding her wife in check was a wasted effort, she had no choice but to play along now. "But not yet I don't," Jocelyn pointed out then placed her bet. "I'll give you two-hundred dollars if Miranda gives in while we're on this trip. It's been a long time since all that happened and if she hasn't made a move yet, she might never. And if she doesn't while we're away, then the bet is off."
"Deal", Shelby grinned. "I'll get my money. You wait and see."
6:15AM The bet is on.
Shelby arrived at Andy's apartment at six-fifteen, not six-thirty, carrying with her the coffee, juice, pastries and all those newspapers Andy enjoyed breezing through every morning.
"Hey." Andy held the door open for her and took the papers. "Thanks for the papers. I love your memory."
"You trained me well."
"Yeah, I guess I did." Andy shut the door and they both headed into the kitchen. The table was littered with paperwork and Andy's laptop. "I've got to finish those reports. Irv wants them into accounting before nine."
"Before nine! Since when? I thought they weren't due until we got back."
Andy toasted Shelby with her center of the sun hot latte, "Correct," she said, after taking a sip, "but you know how he relishes the chance to throw curve balls. Miranda called me freaking out in her own little way last night. She's on the verge of losing it with him. I told her to take a pill and go back to sleep before she ruined my first night getting home at a decent hour in months."
"You didn't really say that, did you?"
Andy smiled and nodded. "I sure as hell did," she said. "I get tired of that crap, Shelby. Anyway, it's fun to mess with her. It's like poking a dragon that ran out of fire eons ago. People don't realize Miranda is mostly all bark and no bite.
This was definitely news to Shelby but it also gave her something to work with.
"Well I'm sure she loved that," she said as she put down her coffee and headed to Andy's bedroom, leaving the door wide open so they could talk.
"Love isn't the word for it," Andy said. "She told me to shut up, then hung up on me."
Oh, boy. Lovers quarrel? "Sounds like Miranda," Shelby replied. Actually, how would Shelby know? But she could imagine it, that's for sure.
"Right. Hey, everything I need packed is in the middle. And don't worry about what I'm wearing today. I've got that set out already, along with the shoes."
"Good. You want the flip-flops?" Shelby asked as she started tearing through Andy's closet, throwing everything in the middle onto the bed. She might not have had time to finish, but at least Andy had picked out everything she needed. This wouldn't take long.
"Yes! Major yes. I need a break and I've planned this shoot down to the smallest detail because I'm not leaving until I play with the dolphins! Besides, I haven't had a vacation in a year."
All this sounded great to Shelby. And a little weird too. Both Andy and Shelby had never gone on a shoot together. Someone always needed to stay at the office but not this time. Miranda up and decided three days ago that she wanted Andy to have Shelby around to do whatever, so here she was, going to the Bahamas. Weirder still was that an extra day had been built into the trip and not a damn thing was scheduled for it. "Well good. I packed mine too."
"Hey." Andy appeared in the doorway chewing on the end of a pencil. "So...happy anniversary. How did last night go? I'm sorry I called you this morning. I forgot about Well, you know." Andy blushed and turned right around, causing Shelby to roll her eyes. Andy never discussed relationships or anything even remotely related to relationships. Not even Shelby's.
"It was good," she said. "Dinner was great. Thanks for getting us that reservation."
"No problem." Andy called out from the kitchen, already back to that expense report.
Well fuck that, Shelby decided. Fuck that and Irv and his precious expense report. This needed investigating and now that Shelby's interest had been piqued, like over the top piqued, she simply couldn't stop herself. Jo was officially going to kill her, and owe her two-hundred dollars at the same time.
A hurried twenty minutes later, Shelby did a final check of Andy's bags and lugged them into the living room. "Okay, boss. All done. What's next?"
"Oh. Uh, get the emails taken care of and the schedule. Hopefully nothing horrible happens between now and takeoff. We can't afford to be late."
"I'm on it." Shelby took a seat at the kitchen table and pulled out her laptop, willing to let a few minutes go by before they picked up, or she picked up where they had left off. Ten long minutes went by before Shelby got down to the real business of the day. "So the schedule looks fine. I've shifted a few things around for next week when we get back, that way the first day won't be too crazy."
"Can I ask you a question?" Shelby asked, trying to make her voice sound as innocent as possible. Really, this was shameless but she wasn't going to give up now.
"Yeah Yeah." Andy mumbled, hardly paying attention, so focused on her work.
"You're not dating anyone, are you?"
"No. Why?" Andy looked up, her eyes suddenly full of sadness.
"I was just wondering. I never hear you mention anyone and Jocelyn said you used to have a boyfriend a long time ago."
"Yeah. Yeah, I did."
Shelby swallowed hard as Andy regarded her with suspicion now. She had to move fast before Andy shut down.
"So what was it like for you? Trying to manage both? The relationship And Miranda?"
"I It was " Andy cleared her throat and brushed her hair back. "It was hard," she continued. "Hard. Which is why he left. I sort of sucked at it. Obviously. But then again, it would have ended anyway. Even if the demands of Runway hadn't been more than he could deal with, it would have ended."
Shelby fought hard to keep her eyebrow from raising high on her forehead. It wouldn't do to signal that she'd just caught on to the fact that Andy had said "demands of Runway" instead of "demands of Miranda."
"Jo told me he was a cook."
"He is. He went to Boston afterward but I couldn't tell you where he is today."
"Wow. So you guys didn't keep in touch?" This was new information so Shelby wanted as much of it as she could get.
"Andy, I " Shelby waved a hand in the air, "well it's none of my business. I apologize. It's just that you don't talk about anything personal. Which I mean, hello, that's your thing But if you ever needed to talk to someone, I'm around if you need me."
Andy raised an eyebrow but didn't seem angry. "I know, Shelby. I just don't make a habit of sharing."
"I've noticed. Jo says Tell me if I need to shut up?"
"No, it's fine, go ahead. I'm almost done with this since it looks like Miranda kept better records last quarter. Maybe she's trainable after all." Andy smirked and started typing again.
"Good. That's good. Irv will be happy at least. Anyway, Jo told me about when you first started"
"God, I was a disaster back then," Andy interrupted. "I didn't even know what I was doing 90% of the time."
"Yeah, well she wasn't talking about that," Shelby said, trying yet again to sound as innocent as possible. "Only that you looked happier. I don't know how to explain it, but she said you talked more. Smiled more. Something along those lines."
Andy looked back up from her laptop and seemed to be replaying certain events in her mind. "Hm," Andy shrugged. "I guess I was. I, well, I'm busier now. Focused. People talk about me, don't they?"
Ah, damn. Well, Shelby really couldn't have thought that this conversation could happen without mention of the office gossip, right? This left Shelby with no other choice than to be honest.
"I figured." Andy didn't look surprised.
"But it's not bad. Just that you're different now."
"A few years ago. Paris..."
"Hm " Andy paused and looked as if she was contemplating whether to go on or shut the topic down all together. "Sorry," Andy said. "I'm wondering how far to get into this with you."
"We can get back to work. Like I said, I want you to know that I'm around if you need me."
"I know, I know." Andy nodded and smiled. "Shelby, I don't have many friends. Nigel is it, and even he and I don't talk much beyond work anymore." She chuckled and rolled her eyes. "I think he's afraid of me."
"He might be," Shelby laughed.
"Has Jocelyn told you anything about what happened? That I quit?" Andy turned her attention back to her laptop after this, no doubt sending off that report to Irv. Or maybe it was simply to avoid looking Shelby in the eye?
"Yes. She's told me a little." But not everything. Shelby could always tell when Jo was leaving something out. "I hope you don't mind."
"I don't." Andy closed her laptop. "Like so many other things, it was bound to happen. The truth is, I did quit. But I changed my mind."
"Do you regret it?"
"No. No I don't," she said firmly. "I don't regret it in the least." Andy started packing up her laptop and gathering paperwork. Shelby decided to follow suit since, at some point, this conversation would have to end so Andy could get ready. "It's been worth it."
Shelby looked up from her bag, "Worth it?"
"Yeah. I've gotta change. Have a seat in here; I'll leave the bathroom door cracked." Shelby jumped up and followed, not about to miss this chance for the world. While she got comfortable on the edge of the bed, Andy headed off into the bathroom where her outfit was hanging. "So, like I was saying, it's been worth it. There are some things in life that are worth the wait. I found what I wanted to wait for, Shelby." Then she stuck her head out of the bathroom door. "I'm getting tired of waiting, though. Very tired."
"Oh? I mean What are you"
"What am I waiting for?" Andy finished for her.
"I guess I'm waiting on someone to get tired of waiting too." Shelby heard her fiddling around with a hanger. "It's pathetic, really. What should I do with my hair?" Andy called out before opening the door wide.
"Up. Definitely wear your hair up."
After Andy finished getting ready, it seemed that all talk of waiting and personal junk were over, but by the time they were in a cab headed to airport, Andy opened up again. And in a surprising way.
"Hey, Shelby?" Andy asked as she sipped on her second cup of coffee. "How did you and Jocelyn get together? If you don't mind me asking?"
Shelby smiled, blushed, and laughed. What a storyand what a stubborn Jocelyn.
"Well, I'll start by saying she was one stubborn lady. I had to talk her into it."
"What?" Andy raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, you wouldn't guess that now, but I had to talk her into it. Or trick her, actually. By the end, she didn't even realize what in the hell happened."
"Okay," Andy turned in her seat and even the cab driver glanced at Shelby through the rear-view mirror. "I gotta hear this."
"Alright, here goes." Shelby smiled, loving the fact that she had such a captive audience. "Jo spends a ton of time out of the office, right?"
"Right. Which baffles me. I hate being out of the office."
"Who doesn't, but she's weird. Hates four walls," Shelby waved a dramatic hand in the air. "And claims to get her better ideas outsidewhich is bullshit. But whatever. Anyway, remember when Ralph was having so much trouble with all that stuff for the Olympics?"
Andy cringed. "That was a disaster. The hat. And God, that scarf was terrible," she said.
Shelby nodded, but honestly she'd loved the scarf that year. "It sure was. Miranda sent Jo over to help and she kept coming around for meetings. Let's just say Jo's pretty hard to not notice." Shelby blushed. Yeah, Jo was definitely hard for her to not notice back then. Shelby had always been attracted to tall redheads. Especially clueless, tall redheads. And Jocelyn was definitely clueless about a lot of things. Finally, Shelby snapped out of it and continued. "Ahem, so anyway. I stopped her one day in the hall and asked her to lunch. Of course, she looked down her nose at me because hello, I'm the lowly assistant."
Andy laughed at that. "Don't even, Shelby."
"Oh, you know how it is! She said no, but I kept after her until she gave in." Shelby smiled brightly, still proud of her accomplishment. "I was determined."
"Good going." Andy toasted her with her now half empty coffee cup. Shelby made a mental note to get her another one when they got in the airport and one for Miranda too, of course.
"When we went to eat, she was quiet the entire time. It was like pulling teeth but I finally managed to find out that one: she wasn't seeing anybody and two: she lived three blocks away from my apartment. Hell, she even told me what building she lived in without even realizing it. A month later, I kissed her after I dragged her out to dinner one night."
"Holy shit!" Andy cried out and doubled over laughing. So did the cab driver.
"Yeah, holy shit. She freaked, but I just kissed her again. She was mine for sure after that. Although she told me no less than twenty times that she wasn't gay, couldn't be gay and didn't want to be gay, but," Shelby grinned again, "I got her."
"You get a toaster?" The cab driver asked, which only made Andy laugh harder.
"No," Shelby half pouted then held up her left hand. "But I did get a big fat diamond ring six months later."
"Yep. And we got married six months after that. What can I say? I'm good!"
"Definitely," Andy toasted her again then said, "Damn, I'm out," as she looked into her cup with that same sad face she always got whenever coffee or her beloved Fiji water were out of reach.
"No worries. Here we are, look." Shelby pointed out of the window at the airport. "I'll get you another."
"Oh, good." Andy said, sounding relieved. "And get one for Miranda too, Shelby."
"Yes, Andy. One for Miranda, too."
9:42AM Entering The Twilight Zone again.
So Miranda was in a bad mood. The plane hadn't been ready on time and considering it was a private jetwhich should obviously cater to Miranda's every wishthat pissed her off even more. Now everybody, except for Jocelyn's wife, was a little on edge. In fact, Shelby was practically bouncing off the walls. There was no telling what kind of information she'd been able to pry out of Andy this morning. They'd yet to discuss it and Jocelyn prayed to God that Shelby wouldn't bring it up while they were still in the air. The very last thing she needed was for Miranda to overhear her loud ass mouth because when sharing juicy secrets, Shelby never could do it quietly.
Jocelyn's mood was another story entirely and she was decidedly not bouncing off of any walls. In fact, she was on verge of vomiting even though she was in the nicest of private jets, in a seat that was actually a small couch and had no fear of flying whatsoever.
To be honest, even though that whole "Florals for Spring" ordeal had been years ago, it was always in the back of Jocelyn's mind. Especially when it came to things like this.
This shoot was important. Well, weren't they all? But really, this one was big. Bigger than big since it had Jocelyn's fingerprints all over it. And that only meant one thing: she could not fuck this up.
Mix all that together with Shelby bouncing up and down, deep in detective work and doing whatever Andy said all at the same time, and it was difficult to focus. And there was still Miranda of course, pissed off or something else. Shelby couldn't quite put her finger on it but there was something else going on underneath all that attitude this morning.
She seemed distracted, agitated even. And Miranda was never agitated. She was either full-blown pissed off or just well, her. Maybe all this junk about the delays earlier this morning had been a coverup from the start? Maybe her mood had nothing to do with Runway at all? That sort of thing wasn't really hard to imagine since Jocelyn had witnessed Miranda use this tactic plenty of times before. And hell, Jocelyn was guilty of doing the same which was probably why she was so good at recognizing it. Like when she'd first met Shelby.
Helping Ralph fix his latest fuck-up on the Olympics thing wasn't really that hard at all and the hat really hadn't been that hideous and neither were the pants, but Jocelyn had been one step away from recommending that he burn the whole mess anyway. She'd been desperate to use anything as a distraction against the stupid little girl who wouldn't stop asking her to lunch. And, Jesus, did that turn out to be the biggest epic fail ever, because about a year later, Jocelyn found herself in Massachusetts getting married and still wasn't quite sure how it happened. But even so, the fact remains that she put up one hell of a fight, or tried to. Obviously, she'd lost. Maybe Miranda was losing too? And maybe Miranda was headed straight for her shit.
Andy and Shelby were toward the front of the plane sitting in a small yet luxurious booth with their work spread out for miles. Nigel and a couple of people were sitting around gossiping, laughing and drinking already even though it was barely ten in the morningprobably trying to ease the tension of all the pre-flight idiocy. Miranda wasor had beensitting in another booth opposite Andy and Shelby but with no work. She hadn't done a thing since takeoff besides stare out the window. Except now she was headed yeah. Straight for the back of this nice little private jet. Straight for Jocelyn. With two cups of coffee in her hand. Apparently, Jocelyn was about to be put right back into an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Realizing that she had her own shit spread out all over the place, Jocelyn quickly tried to gather it up and at least appear somewhat put together. There was barely time to move everything before Miranda was right there in front of her, holding out one of the cups.
"I thought you could use this," Miranda said, with one of the best poker faces Jocelyn had ever seen.
Not to be outdone, Jocelyn played along as best she could in these exceedingly bizarre circumstances. "Yes. Thank you, Miranda. Really." Jocelyn took the cup and motioned for Miranda to go ahead and sit down since it was obvious she wasn't able to ask on her own. She was nervous and rightly so, because it didn't take a genius to see that everybody in the planeincluding Andy and Shelbywere watching them right now. When does Miranda bring anybody coffee? When does Miranda voluntarily sit down with a minion to chat? When does that happen? Never.
Silently, Miranda sat down next to her and Jocelyn barely breathed. All the while everybody did a pretty good job of trying to ignore what was happening now. Except for Shelby and Andy. They totally sucked at it and probably weren't even trying, both of them constantly staring then looking away and whispering to each other. At least Andy didn't look whatever. Jocelyn really couldn't tell how Andy looked which was no surprise. Andy was hard to read. Or at least she was for Jocelyn. Miranda on the other hand well, Jocelyn was quickly figuring out that she just might understand her a heck of a lot better than she ever thought possible.
A few more minutes went by and they were already done with the coffee. This didn't seem to be going anywhere fast and she needed a breather desperately to try and think of what to do or say, but it wasn't as if she could go outside for a leisurely walk.
Instead of contemplating suicide via the emergency exit, Jocelyn took Miranda's coffee cup and hers and headed over to the small bar area where all the liquor and a very nice coffeemaker were...wait.
This little state-of-the-art coffeemaker was just like the one that appeared shortly after their return from Paris a couple of years ago. After all, that was the stipulation, wasn't it? Andy would come back if there was a coffeemaker. So there was a coffeemaker. But only for three weeks.
The events of that third week replayed quickly in Jocelyn's head as the very blonde and very gay flight-attendant refilled the cups and added some milk. By the time the last little replay finished, she could barely think at all. "Jesus Christ," she muttered to herself as she passed Nigel and his gaggle of gossipers who should have been working instead of talking. How had she not noticed before? Or maybe she had and just refused to believe that Miranda Priestly had actually bought a
It was too late to stop the words from coming out of her mouth and before she even handed Miranda her coffee, Jocelyn just flat out asked her, "You bought the Starbucks for her, didn't you?"
Miranda's eyes jerked up and went wide. "Sit down, Jocelyn. Sit. Down."
So Jocelyn sat and handed over the coffee. Neither of them spoke for a while which only gave her time to realize what she'd just said and start to look around for the emergency exit. And damn-it if Shelby and Andy weren't deep in whispers and staringagain.
"Whatever made you think that?" Miranda eventually asked her while she scanned the crowd for obvious eavesdroppers and Jocelyn did the same.
There was little else to do but be candid, if that's what you could call this. More than likely it would be the last conversation Jocelyn ever had with anybodyperiodso why not be candid? "The coffeemaker disappeared three weeks after we came back, Miranda. And then, the Starbucks..." That's all Jocelyn said, hoping it would click with Miranda that she'd heard nearly all of her and Andy's fight that day.
Miranda looked at her then with an eyebrow raised high. "Just how much did you hear that day?"
"Most of it," Jocelyn's voice remained low and steady. "I'm sorry but you two weren't exactly quiet. It really couldn't be helped. But I don't think anyone else heard anything. If that means anything."
"It does not."
Then, like Jocelyn had been holding Miranda at gunpoint this entire time, she spit out the truth. "Alright. I did. The space beside the cafeteria was empty and it made perfect sense, of course."
"Oh, yeah?" Jocelyn looked over at her, then away. "Because putting a Starbucks chain in the Elias-Clarke building is something anyone would want to do, on any given day."
"I suppose that's true," Miranda said flatly, obviously trying to make light of the biggest news flash ever.
Full of stupidity, bravery and more stupidity, Jocelyn didn't let it drop. "You bought her a Starbucks."
"Why are you repeating yourself, Jocelyn?"
"Because I've just got too, I guess. Well, did she like it? Or did you even tell her?"
"Of course I told her. I had no choice. That stupid little coffeemaker broke And, well, it is in her name."
Oh, so that's why. Because dear Gawd it would have been too damn hard to just go out and buy another one, wouldn't it!? Jesus, she could never let Shelby know about this or she'd have Jocelyn buying her one toojust for the hell of it. Only Jocelyn couldn't afford it. Not that that would stop her wife. When Shelby wanted somethingshe got it. The ring on her finger was proof enough, yet she'd never even hinted that she wanted to get married in the first place! Somehow Jocelyn just happened to blindly walk herself right into Tiffany's and right outwith a ring that cost half a year's salary almost. So yeah, okay, Shelby might be able to weasel a Starbucks chain out of Jocelyn after all! Damn-it...
Well, one thing was for sure. If Miranda was going to sit right here and actually admit to thisthen she could admit to everything else too. And then, Jocelyn would be the one getting two-hundred dollars.
To get the ball rolling again, Jocelyn asked, "You can't make it without her, can you?"
"Can you make it without Shelby?" Miranda asked as she looked straight at the back of Andy's head.
"No," Jocelyn said, looking right at Shelby who was doing nothing but staring right back at her. "But at least she knows that, Miranda."
"I forgot to congratulate you. Your anniversary," Miranda said, almost changing the subject completely.
"Things are still going well? Working together in a way?"
"Yes," Jocelyn answered her, feeling more confident since it appeared that Miranda was going to at least pretend to be un-phased by this conversation. "It's going alright. We're together more than we thought we'd be, honestly."
"Good," Miranda said slowly. "I am far from qualified to say what makes a marriage last, but that was never my intention. To have work interfere. "
"Yes. It might have been Andrea's idea; for Shelby to join Runway, but I never wanted it to come between you. I suppose, in some way, I wanted to see it for myself. That two people two extraordinarily busy people could actually survive together."
Because Miranda had never seen it before, Jocelyn knew that. It was no secret that she'd never been able to live in harmony with another adult for every long and there were two ex-husbands and couple of long forgotten boyfriends to show for it. And guess what? Jocelyn had never been able to pull it off either and consequently, she had an ex-husband and a string of long forgotten boyfriends to show for it too. But then there was persistent little Shelby and Jocelyn was forced to try. And she made it work. They made it work.
"We make it work, Miranda."
"I can see that."
And now for the brutal truth. "I never wanted to try before her. I never really cared enough."
"Well," Miranda smiled at her which was a miracle. "You certainly seem to care now."
"I really do. I know you do too."
There was nothing but a sigh from Miranda after that and Jocelyn wasn't sure what else there was to say besides "Get it the fuck over with already" but she wasn't brave or stupid enough for that.
"She's tired of waiting on me, I think," Miranda confessed.
And now for more brutal truth. "She might be." Jocelyn said as she gave Shelby a harsh look to make her stop staring again.
"Lately, I've begun to wonder why she even stays. She does not have to. Andrea could have left a long time ago."
"What do you mean?"
"The Starbucks. Surely you realize how well it does, Jocelyn. And as I said, it is in her name. It is hers."
Jocelyn was even more stunned than before because for some reason she'd missed the full meaning of that bit of information when Miranda had said it the first time. But now that she had really heard it... "Wow."
"Indeed. Why do you think I hired Shelby at Andrea's request?"
With a puzzled look on her face, Jocelyn just shrugged.
"She was drowning, Jocelyn. No, there is really nothing for her to do when it comes to running it. She has two managers for that. But you know her well enough by now. Her hands are in everything. "
"I still can't believe this. And no one else knows, do they?" Jocelyn shook her head.
"She couldn't either. And no, so far as I know, no one else is aware except for my lawyer. Our lawyer...whatever."
"I mean... I just..."
"I know, Jocelyn. I am well aware that I am clearly insane."
"Uh, yeah. Sorry...but, yeah. You go and buy her a Starbucks instead of just telling her how you feel?"
"As I said, the coffeemaker broke."
"What did she say?"
A shockingly playful smile crossed Miranda's face and then she said, "Oh, she had many things to say on the subject, but I'd rather not get into that. I will tell you the look on her face was priceless, though."
"Of course. I apologize."
"There's no need. But truly, I have no idea why I am afraid."
"Because it's new. It's different. Or I guess it is. It was for me. I didn't know what to do with myself really," Jocelyn laughed suddenly. "Shelby was just some tiny little assistant that refused to leave me alone and then I married her. I really don't know how it happened."
"I suppose it's a good thing Ralph still can't get himself together on that dreadful Olympics costume business. Isn't it? That hat Hideous."
"Sure is," Jocelyn grinned then got serious when she saw Andy turned in her seat, staring at them again. "I think you should talk to her. Today."
Miranda took a deep breath. "You're right, and I don't think I can wait any longer."
"Then don't." Jocelyn said, not realizing that Miranda meant to go and have that chat right fucking now. Right here on the plane.
"I won't." Miranda got up to leave but before she took a step, she turned to Jocelyn again. "Jocelyn, you should relax about this shoot. I would not have approved all your ideas for it if I had not found them worthy. Keep this up and you might find yourself with a promotion soon."
And with that, Miranda made her way straight toward Andy.
10:37AM Seriously can't believe this is happening.
Shelby was barely able to sit still much less sit upright. Part of her wanted to jump and down with absolute glee and part of her just wanted to vomit. This was nerve-wrecking. How long should it take for two people to get their shit together?
"I'm dying, Jo." Shelby whined. "Seriously, I'm dying."
"Oh, will you calm down!" Jocelyn, whispered in her ear. "You act like this is about you or something."
"Well, hello, I can't help it!"
"Keep your voice down, Shelby. I mean it."
Shelby rolled her eyes and sat up straight to deliver a glare. "Don't tell me what to do!" She tried to whisper and pretty much failed because two people nearby turned and stared.
"See? Keep your mouth shut. Please. I am begging you."
"You know what, Jo? Leave me alone if you can't sympathize. You have no idea what I've been though in the past few hours and I do not need you to turn into a total bitch."
"You? Seriously? You weren't the one sitting here with Miranda Fucking Priestly all by your little lonesome. You weren't the one sitting here learning all about... Well. Never mind."
"Oh, no you don't!" Shelby pinched Jocelyn on the arm and got pinched right back for her trouble. Really, sometimes they acted like two children. "Tell me. Tell me right now."
"I can't. I promised Miranda that I wouldn't tell anyone."
Shelby saw right through her in an instant. "You're lying to me, you brat. She didn't make you promise anything and you know it."
Jocelyn grabbed her hand then and squeezed. "I really can't, Shelby. Not right now. Tonight. I will tell you tonight."
At this, Shelby smirked. "Tonight, huh? You betteror no sex to make up for depriving you this morning."
Just as she thought it might, Jocelyn's mouth dropped open and no words came out.
"Surprised you, huh?"
"I so would." Shelby answered then straightened herself up to get a better look at what was going on toward the front of the plane.
Nothing earth-shattering seemed to be happening, sadly. Well, Shelby guessed that was a good thing. It's not like she really expected them to just fall into each others arms right here in front of everybody. But overall, it looked like things were going okay and ,really, Shelby couldn't have hoped for better.
She couldn't see Andy's face, but Miranda looked relatively calm. Maybe a little flustered but her mouth was still moving so that meant she was at least able to form words. From what little bit Jocelyn had volunteered it was no secret that she was nervous. After all, she'd been waiting to do this for a good long while so who wouldn't be nervous? Shelby sure as hell was and thislike Jocelyn had so kindly pointed outwasn't even about her.
"So what do you think is happening? She asked, unable to just ignore it like Jocelyn would obviously prefer.
Jocelyn sighed, "Who the hell knows, honey. It looks like it's going pretty good."
"I know that!" Shelby whispered. "But I want to know!"
"You are so nosy. Jesus... And keep your voice down!"
"Look who's talking. Stop telling me what to do, Jo"
"It's for your own good."
"About like no sex tonight is going to be for your own good."
"That's fine. I wasn't in the mood anyway!"
"Whatever. Keep your voice down, Jo."
Before Shelby could deliver another volley, she caught sight of Andy's hands moving about wildly and went into a panic and started slapping Jocelyn on the knee. "Not good. Not good. Not. Good!"
"What? What? Jesus, stop hitting me!" Jocelyn said, completely clueless of course.
"Look." Shelby gestured with her head then watched as Jocelyn's face scrunched in worried. So much for pretending not to care.
They both continued to look on as Miranda reached out, after Andy's hands came up a second time, to grab them. While neither Shelby nor Jocelyn could really see much besides their shoulders and heads, it wasn't impossible to imagine that Miranda still held them. And then...Miranda leaned forward.
"Holy fucking shit!" Jocelyn grabbed Shelby's arm and squeezed.
Nigel for sure turned around and looked at them then. Not in the mood to put up with his nosy assand besides, he was interruptingShelby shook off Jocelyn's grip and with a few very special hand-gestures, told Nigel to shut the fuck up and turn the fuck around. He obeyed.
Well, Miranda didn't kiss Andy but it sure as hell looked like it was a near thing. Too bad. Of course, it would have been disastrous for everyone to see, right now at least, but Shelby still would have gotten a real kick out of it. It definitely would have been one for the record books.
But then...shit got real.
"What the hell?" Shelby's voice was practically nothing but a squeak as Andy got up and made her way toward the back of the plane. Toward them. With her head down. Shelby started to hit Jocelyn again and this time, Jocelyn didn't complain.
"Whew," Jocelyn let out a breath when Andy went right past and into the restroom that was behind their seat. "I thought she was coming back here to talk to us."
"I did too! God, I can't take this!" What the hell is Miranda doing?"
"Who the hell knows. She's just sitting there. At least she doesn't look upset."
Just then Nigel walked in front of them and Shelby lost sight of Miranda's face. "Argh, tell him to move, Jo."
"How am I supposed to do that, huh?"
"Just tell him to fucking move already," Shelby whined and hit Jocelyn on the knee.
"Stop hitting me."
"Oh, will you stop... Oh, shit."
They had absolutely no time to do anything but look straight down at the floor because Miranda was headed right for them. Or...the restroom. And, hey, there was only one restroom back here.
"Not again!" Jocelyn lifted her head up and let it thump against the backrest when they heard the door close. "Seriously?"
Shelby glared. "What you meanagain? Jo?"
Jocelyn sighed and let her head fall back again. "I cannot fucking believe this. Not here! Oh, my God. That's it. I'm jumping. I'm seriously jumping."
More confused than ever, Shelby jerked Jocelyn back into her seat because yes, she'd gotten up to apparently go find the emergency exit. "Stop being stupid and tell me what's going on."
For a minute Jocelyn didn't say anything and that was actually fine because Shelby's ears were working hard to listen for whatever might be going on one wall away from them. Cabin walls couldn't be that thick, could they?
As if to answer her question, a very low moan could be heard... And it was definitely Miranda.
"No, no, no, no! Oh, my God!" Shelby bent over in her seat and buried her now burning face in her lap. This could NOT be happening. NOT.
She didn't hear a single peep out of Jocelyn and figured she'd either passed out or had gotten up again to go in search of that emergency exit without Shelby even noticingwhich at this point she wouldn't have minded at all. Jumping out of a plane sounding like a fabulous idea and besides, this whole thing was totally unfair. There Miranda and Andy were, having sexthe sound of another moan and something hitting the wall came though loud and clearin the restroom of an incredibly awesome private jet and Shelby had never been that lucky. Jocelyn was always too afraid of getting caught. And now look. Miranda Priestly, editor of the most prestigious fashion magazine in the world, was having the time of her life! Unfair!
Miraculously, when Shelby finally lifted her head, nobody was paying any attention to the noises coming from the restroom. They couldn't hear a thing through their own gossiping and laughing. And apparently, Jocelyn was at the front of the plane starting an inflight movie on the television that almost covered the entire wall separating them from the cockpit...what the fuck?
There was another moan, louder than the previous two she'd heard. Shelby let out a shaky breath and knew she needed to get away to at least avoid her face from becoming any redder.
She got up and went over to Nigel who was busy flirting with the tall, blonde and obviously very gay flight-attendant over at the bar area. This might not be such a great idea but Jocelyn caught her eye then as she was deep in conversation with someone and nodded, obviously reading Shelby's mind.
"Nigel, Nigel, Nigel." Shelby teased and put an innocent arm around his shoulder.
He turned to her and whispered, "Go away! I'm trying to get this gorgeous man's number."
"But I need your help." She smiled sweetly.
Nigel rolled his eyes. "Scram, kid. I'm busy."
Shelby glared at him and he swallowed. When she wanted to, her glare could be as good as Andy's and even Miranda's on occasion.
"Okay, fine! Fine. What do you want."
"Help me get everybody drunk."
"What?" His eyes bugged out. "Everybody is already drunk. We had to do something after Miranda put us all in a bad mood."
"Well, they're not drunk enough, okay."
"Shelby, what in the hell are you talking about?"
She sighed, realizing that she was at least going to have to tell him enough to get his ass in gear. "Nigel, do you see Miranda anywhere?"
Nigel whipped his head around and searched. "Uh, no. Restroom probably. Why don't you go check and leave me alone with Mr. Hotness!"
"And do you see Andy anywhere?" Shelby asked, completely ignoring his request to be left alone with Mr. Hotness.
Nigel whipped his head around again then stared at Shelby. His face went white. "Oh, God," he whispered.
"Yes." Shelby whispered right back. "So? Drinks? Movies? Boardgames? Magic tricks? Anything... "
Nigel's answer was to grab the clueless flight-attendant's hand and say, "Gorgeous, we're going to need more alcohol. And quick."
Soon the drinks flowedShelby helped Mr. Hotness whip up some stout and never before heard of concoctionsand the movie volume was turned up so loud that the co-pilot came out to see what was going on. Jocelyn basically told him to go fly the damn plane and mind his own damn business. He turned around and did just that. Meanwhile, not a single soul appeared to notice that two very important people were missing from the group.
As it turns out, there weren't any boardgames to be found, and Mr. Hotness didn't know the first thing about magic tricks, but there was a deck of UNO cards stuck in some cabinet in the tiny kitchen area.
"What are we going to play for?" Shelby asked as they slid into the booth she'd previously occupied with Andy.
"Well you already owe me two-hundred dollars. Are you sure you want to play for money?"
"Bullshit!" Shelby cried.
"Uh, yeah. You owe me. Remember? We made a bet."
"Yeah, and I won that bet, Mrs. Jocelyn Frazier."
"No ma'am, you did not." Jocelyn said as she started to deal out the cards. "You totally didn't. I'm the one that got Miranda to make a move, damn-it. Don't be a sore loser."
"I don't believe you. I'd bet another hundred that Andy's the one that told her first, even if Miranda got up and went to talk to her."
"Nope!" Jocelyn grinned at her and threw down a card.
"Whatever. I don't believe you." Shelby smirked and threw down a card that forced Jocelyn to pick up four more.
"You ass..." Jocelyn mumbled as she picked up the cards.
"All's fair, baby."
"I hate it when you say that."
"Because you know it's true."
"It isn't fair at all. And yes, like it or notthat two-hundred dollars is mine, baby."
"Fine. Then tell me how. Tell me what you said to her. No waiting until tonight."
For a while, Jocelyn was silent and they just played on, systematically forcing each other to pick up so many cards they barely had hands enough to hold them all. After a good streak of throwing down nothing but two's in every color, Jocelyn told her what had gone on.
"Okay...I confronted her about the Starbucks next to the cafeteria."
"What?" Shelby looked at Jocelyn like she was a complete idiot because, hello, what the hell did the Starbucks have to do with anything?
"I never told you the whole thing. About when Andy quit."
"Well, I know that, Jo. You're horrible at lying."
"Hey, I've never lied to you. I just...withheld information."
"Lying. Withholding. Same thing."
"It is. Get on with it, Jo."
"Okay, okay...damn." Jocelyn paused for a moment to look around. Seeing that everyone was still drinking and watching the very loud television, she finally got on with it.
"When Andy quit...she told Miranda she'd only come back if they got a coffeemaker for the office."
"Uh, huh. You're making this crap up."
"I'm not, Shelby."
It was then that Jocelyn's face grew completely serious and Shelby's stomach flipped. She was telling the truth. A stupid coffeemaker? What the hell...
"Well, go on then," Shelby prodded.
"Long story shortit broke three weeks later and Miranda spent God only knows how much money to put in a Starbucks. In the building. For Andy. In fact...it is Andy's."
Shelby nearly fainted in her seat. A Starbucks? No... Really? Holy shit...
"You're for real?"
"Totally for real. She bought it for Andy. It's all hers."
"Jesus Christ! I need a drink."
"No shit. Me too. So anyway...I basically just told her to get it over with. I mean she can buy the girl a Starbucks but can't tell her how she feels? Unacceptable, right? Besides, she was just afraid. Who knows why."
"About like you were?" Shelby raised an eyebrow.
"Yes," Jocelyn said as she laid down the last card before Shelby even realized. "UNO!"
"What the fuck!?" Shelby screamed and everybody, even Mr. Hotness, turned and stared while Jocelyn just grinned.
Shelby threw half the deck across the table. "Oh, my God you're such a bitch."
Jocelyn just kept grinning then stopped a split second later and simply stared at the back of the plane.
Trying desperately to keep her face neutral, Shelby turned around and there were Miranda and Andy, walking to the bar like neither of them had ever thought about having sex on an airplane in their lives. And Lord, just as she was about to turn back around, Miranda motioned for them to come over.
"Oh, hell," Jocelyn muttered under her breath. "I don't know if I can do this."
"Do you want your two-hundred dollars?" Shelby asked as she stood up.
"Nope. Not now, thanks. You can keep it."
"Jo, get up!"
With a huff Jocelyn followed her.
The first words that came out of Miranda's mouth were, "Shelby, would you please tell me why my entire staff appears to be far more than just a little intoxicated?"
"Uh... Uh..." Suddenly Shelby could think of nothing to say. They looked amazingly put together, Miranda and Andy. Yet, there was a definite glow...which was still unfair.
"Answer me, Shelby."
Shelby looked to her wife for help but there was none to be found. Jocelyn just smiled at her, no doubt thrilled that she wasn't the one suffering. "There was...need for a distraction, Miranda." Shelby said as she waved a hand back toward the group.
"A distraction?" Miranda's face turned red and Andy started to laugh, which only made Miranda's face turn redder.
"Uh, yes. The movie was Jocelyn's idea, though." Shelby quickly pointed out because why should she be the only one in trouble.
"Oh, I see. Hm..." Miranda paused and scanned the room again, then her eyes fell back on Shelby. "Shelby, you're fired." Before her words could even register, Miranda turned to Andy and said, "You're fired too." While both Shelby and Andy's mouths hung open, Miranda simply ignored them. "Now why don't you two go sit over there," she motioned to the booth, "and start thinking about getting rid of those two overpriced managers you've got, Andrea. You and Shelby can play at that all by yourselves, don't you think? Darling?"
"Yep, that sounds great actually." Andy smiled and it was smile Shelby had never seen before.
"Good. Now go," Miranda waved them off. "Jocelyn and I are going to get thoroughly intoxicated because I feel like I'm in an incredibly bizarre episode of The Twilight Zone. Don't you, Jocelyn?"
Without any hesitation at all, Jocelyn put a hand on Miranda's shoulder. "I sure do, Miranda. I sure do."
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