Tired, Miranda boarded the flight home. She curled into the bed and fell asleep as soon as they hit cruising altitude. 6 hours later she woke to her alarm. She quickly showered and dressed. She'd have enough time to make it home and work on the book for a couple of hours before the girls arrived home once they landed. As she entered the cabin Nigel waved her over to the table laden with food and drinks.

"We were having brunch." He pushed a plate of fruit towards her as the flight attendant appeared with a latte.

"Brunch? It's nearly 4." Miranda sipped at her coffee. A sigh escaped her lips. Perfect.

"Well, it's actually," He paused and looked at his watch, "10 in New York now."

"Of course." Miranda covered her mouth as a yawn broke out.

"Late night?" Nigel asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

"I believe it was a late night for all of us." Miranda turned her attention to the food.

"Well, I know Nicholas and I were up late but you seemed to have disappeared with Six long before the night ended."

"You and Nicholas?" Miranda raised an eyebrow.

"Oh stop. It was nothing like that. We chatted with René and watched them throw out that Erik von Whatever."

"Hmm, if you say so."

"I do. Besides you're distracting me. What did you and Six get up to?"

"We danced in the garden before retiring."

"Retiring? Is that what…"

"I wouldn't finish that sentence if I was you," Miranda warned.

Nigel rolled his eyes. "Fine. I don't need the details."

"Good because that was never going to happen. Where is Nicholas?" Miranda looked around.

"Oh, there's a small bed in the front of the plane. He let me take the sofa." Nigel nodded his chin towards the sofa behind them.

"Mmm." They both fell silent as they ate. After their plates were removed Miranda reached for her tablet and turned her mind towards work.

"Morning." Nicholas greeted the two of them as he walked into the main cabin. "Miranda, mind if I grab a quick shower in the back?" He asked as he strolled past the table. Miranda waved her hand and turned her attention back to her tablet.

"Brash fellow isn't he?" Nigel asked, watching Nicholas enter the back bedroom.

"Hmm?" she looked up and then turned towards the back. "Yes, quite. No wonder the two of you

should hit it off so well."

"Maybe." Nigel cocked his head to the side.

"Thinking of seeing him again?"

"What? Oh yes. I" Nigel watched as Miranda began to smirk. "No, not like that. I think I know someone he'd be perfect for."

"Why not you?"

"No. No." He shook his head. "No. I've given up dating after that last fiasco."

"That was years ago."

"Yes, and I'm still not talking about it."

Miranda felt a bit of guilt surface. "I am…"

"No." Nigel interrupted her. "We talked about this before. You didn't know and I'm over it."

"Apparently not if you aren't even dating."

"I don't think you have any room to talk. It took you five years."

"Well, yes but then"

"Miranda, let it go." Nigel took off his glasses and polished them.

"Yes, well." Miranda swallowed and reached over to pat his hand when he returned it to the table. She turned back to the tablet but discretely watched Nigel. He settled back into his chair.

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Five years ago when she gave his dream job away she had also broken up James and Nigel. They had been quietly seeing each other for over a year. James chose not to tell Nigel, just as Miranda chose. He had been blindsided by them both and then Andréa left. God, she wouldn't change the outcome but if she could go back, she would have changed how she achieved her goal. She refocused. There were another 30 minutes before they started their descent. If she worked hard she'd have the book edited before the girls arrived home. She'd like to spend the evening with them without any distractions.

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"Mom!"

"Mom, we're home!"

Miranda walked to the landing on the third floor. "Yes, I can hear that. Please stop yelling."

Mrs. Hudson came out to the second-floor landing and looked up towards Miranda. "Dinner will be ready in 15 minutes." She walked back into the kitchen.

"Girls put your things away and get ready for dinner." Miranda walked back into her study and finished the last of her notes. She shook her head. Mrs. Hudson ran the house that's for sure.

Moments later Cassidy stuck her head in through the doorway.

"How was the party?"

Miranda hit save and looked up. "That was quick. Did you put your things away or just dump them on your floor?"

"The bed and I will clean it up after dinner. So?"

Miranda walked to the door and let her fingers brush Cassidy's hair out of her eyes. "Come on. The boss has spoken. Dinner should be ready. Call your sister please?"

"Caro!" Cassidy yelled out. Miranda shook her head.

"Thank you for making me temporarily deaf. If I wanted to yell I wouldn't have asked you."

"Sorry mom." Cassidy grinned, not sorry at all before she ran down the stairs to the kitchen.

Miranda rolled her eyes and followed. As she entered, Caroline joined her at the doorway.

"Hi mom," She leaned over and pecked her on the cheek, "how was the ball?"

"My, you both are quite inquisitive today. How was your weekend?" Miranda sat as Mrs. Hudson served dinner.

"There's cake on the counter for dessert. I'm off the meet the girls for bingo."

"Good luck," Caroline offered.

"Say hi to Meryl for me. I still have her book. Tell her I'll drop it by Rebecca's tomorrow after school." Cassidy said as Mrs. Hudson waved goodbye.

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Miranda smiled. The girls were a group from Mrs. Hudson's church. Sunday's they met for bingo and bridge on Wednesday's at the community center. Meryl was the only other housekeeper in the group.

"So the ball?" asked Caroline again.

"It was a ball." Miranda moved her peas to the side of the plate. She didn't care if they were fresh or not, she disliked them just the same.

"Yes, but you've never been to a ball before." Cassidy chimed in.

"The MET is a ball. I've been to the MET every year since I joined Runway."

"That's like," Cassidy wrinkled her nose, "work. This was like with Royalty."

Miranda smirked. "It was very beautiful." She told them about the castle and the dining room. She described the guards' uniforms and the dancing. She hopped over any drama. She also left out any of the personal moments.

"So you love her?" Caroline asked as soon as Miranda stopped talking.

"What?"

"You are in love with her," Caroline repeated this time as a statement.

"Does she love you?" Cassidy asked

"Girls, it's," Miranda struggled for words, "a bit early for…"

"You do," Cassidy cut her off. "It shows when you talk about her. You have heart eyes."

"I most certainly do not," Miranda argued.

"You do," Caroline patted her hand. "It's okay. I'm looking forward to meeting her in a few weeks. The 8th right?"

"I thought it was the 7th?" Cassidy tilted her head towards Caroline.

"God, no. For the millionth time, I have a study group on Mondays."

They both stood and cleared their plates.

"I'm sorry okay. You have like a billion study groups." Cassidy rolled her eyes.

"I have two; Monday's and Friday's." Caroline opened the dishwasher.

"Who studies on a Friday?"

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The girls continued to bicker as they loaded the dishwasher before turning to Miranda. "We're going to take the cake upstairs okay?" Cassidy asked as she grabbed both cakes and Caroline grabbed 2 forks.

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Miranda just waved them off. Heart eyes? That's ridiculous. Miranda sat a while longer at the table, still a bit shocked. Finally, she cleared her dishes and wandered off towards her study. She sat down at her desk and then realized that she had finished the day's work so she could spend time with the girls. She started to stand again before reconsidering. Heart eyes? Maybe by tomorrow they'd have forgotten that horrid description. For god's sake, she wasn't a teenager. She opened her work email. She would work on August's layout; after all, there was always more work.

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The weeks went by quickly, as they always did. Miranda worked. The girls studied and April arrived. Miranda smiled as she read her last email from Andréa. She was in the air and would be arriving in just a few hours. Miranda leaned back in her chair. According to the email, Andréa had left two days later then she had planned so by the time she landed and was taken to the hotel she wouldn't have time to see Miranda. Monday Andréa had a meeting but she had booked a table at Sparks, which suited Miranda just fine as their steaks were delicious and they weren't far from the office.

Miranda closed down her laptop and went to bed. She was looking forward to tomorrow.

Miranda felt in fine form. The run through had gone well. The current layout was ready a full week ahead of schedule. Even Monday's staff meeting had gone off without a hitch. A perfect day was rare and so as she headed to meet Andréa for dinner she felt light. In fact, she thought as her driver took her the 7 or so blocks to the restaurant, she hadn't felt this relaxed in years. Miranda smiled at the thought.

As she breezed into the restaurant, Miranda spied Andréa already seated. The host led her to the table and Andréa stood to greet her.

"Miranda." Andréa leaned towards her and kissed her cheek. Miranda did the same.

"Darling."

The host faded away.

How was the trip?" Miranda waved the waiter over and indicated she'd like the same glass of red wine already on the table.

"Exhausting." Andréa smiled and sipped at her wine. "Bea was so excited and then the boredom set in. Even in a private plane, 9 hours in one place is too long for a four-year-old."

"Is it only you and your daughter?"

"Oh, no, Brigitte and Lars are with me. Plus my security arrived the day before."

The waiter reappeared to take their order.

"Your security? I didn't see them here."

"Hmm," Andréa smiled. "Lars is at the bar," she indicated by lifting her chin. "My team is dispersed throughout the restaurant. Two are at the table behind you and two are in the back. I imagine there are two more at the back door and my driver is nearby."

"My, you are well protected."

Andréa flashed a small grin, "Are you thinking of absconding with me?"

Miranda flashed her own rakish grin. "If I was, I wouldn't be telling you."

Andréa laughed and Miranda felt her smile soften. "I have missed you."

Andréa leaned closer, "And I you. I had hoped to sneak a few hours with you today or invite you back to my hotel tonight but with Bea waiting for me, it will have to wait."

"That's disappointing but not surprising. Dinner tomorrow with all three girls is still on?"

"I'm looking forward to it."

Their food arrived and the two of them fell into small talk and catching up. Nearly two hours had past when the final sips of coffee were gone and delaying could wait no longer.

"I had a lovely time tonight but I really wish I didn't need to return to my suite without you."

"I agree but needs must."

Andréa smiled softly and then bussed Miranda's cheek. "Tomorrow" she whispered before kissing her softly.

"Tomorrow," Miranda repeated before they both separated and climbed into their own cars.

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"She's here!" Cassidy called out from the foyer.

Miranda pushed her self away from her desk and stood. She ran a hand down her slacks to smooth out any wrinkles. It wasn't that she was nervous as much as she wanted the night to go well. The girls already approved, somewhat, at least in theory, maybe. She frowned. That wouldn't do. Andréa was in town for 3 weeks, maybe 4. Miranda had her tonight and then they had planned to spend Friday evening together. The girls were going out to celebrate their 18th at midnight with their friends. She frowned again. They were leaving on Sunday for a week. She stared into space as she mentally reworked her schedule. If tonight went well, maybe Andréa would stay at the townhouse on Friday, with Bea of course. But then she also needed to have Lars and Brigitte with them. She frowned again. She had room. If she stayed on Friday, then maybe she, they, she corrected herself could stay for the party but that still left her leaving on Sunday while Andréa remained. She started to walk down the stairs. Maybe she could convince her to go on vacation with her. Miranda stopped on the landing. Was it too soon? Maybe, but time was not on their side. The vacation villa had two extra rooms. That would work for the nanny and Beatrice. What about her security? Miranda shook her head and cleared her thoughts. She needed to get through dinner first before planning the rest of the week.

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She arrived in the foyer as Caroline finished hanging up Andrea and Beatrice's jacket.

"Hello darling." Miranda greeted her and lightly kissed Andréa. "And Beatrice." Miranda bent down to kiss her cheek also. "Caroline," she pointed to her right, "and Cassidy," she waved her hand towards her left.

"It's lovely to meet you both again. You've grown a lot since the last time we met. This is my daughter Beatrice." Beatrice had tucked herself behind Andréa's leg.

"It's nice to meet you Beatrice." Caroline crouched a little and stuck out her hand. "You're the first Princess I've ever met. Although, between you and me, Cass here comes close."

"Hey!"

Beatrice giggled and then shook Caroline's hand. "You can call me Bea."

"Awesome."

"What about me?" Cassidy interjected.

"What about you?" Caroline answered. She winked at Bea causing her to giggle again.

Cassidy harrumphed in jest and then offered her hand. "I'm Cassidy and I'm the nice sister. Don't listen to Caroline."

Miranda hide her smile behind her hand. "Girls. I believe dinner is ready. Why don't you take Beatrice to the kitchen and we'll be there in a moment."

"Come on Bea." Caroline offered her hand to lead her upstairs. "Let's leave our mother's alone for a moment."

"Yeah," Cassidy chimed in. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." She offered with a wink at

Miranda.

Miranda blushed. "Cassidy!"

Andréa laughed along with Caroline as the girls climbed the stairs. "That went well."

"Well yes, although that girl."

"It's fine," Andréa stepped closer. "Hi," she whispered against Miranda's lips.

"Hi," Miranda repeated before closing the distance and kissing her properly. Too many days apart, she thought, too many days without kissing her. With great reluctance, Miranda pulled back.

"Mom!" Cassidy yelled from the dining room. Miranda shook her head.

"That's our cue I think."

Andréa laughed and together they climbed the stairs. Please let this go well, Miranda silently prayed.

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Dinner had gone well, shockingly well. Miranda wasn't sure if it was because they were older or they just liked Andréa more but it was like night and day from the first meal Stephan had shared with them. In the end, Miranda decided it didn't matter. The girls kept a friendly banter going, as far as Miranda could tell, they had really enjoyed spending time with both Andréa and Beatrice, going as far as to invite the two of them to their birthday party over the weekend. Or in Cassidy's words, to breakfast tomorrow, whichever came first. Miranda just rolled her eyes. That was an hour ago. The girls had retired to their rooms for the night. Beatrice had fallen asleep in Andrea's arms and had been laid down in a spare room.

Miranda and Andréa sat in the study softly chatting, their legs gently brushing against each other as they shifted while sipping at their coffees. Miranda felt electricity lick through her body each time.

"I can't," Andréa interrupted Miranda mid-sentence. She set her cup down on the side table.

"Excuse me," Miranda asked in confusion, was the night not going as well as she had thought?

"You're driving me crazy."

Miranda lifted an eyebrow, "Pardon?"

"Like that," Andréa gestured towards Miranda.

"I'm not sure what you're referring to. Are we not having a pleasant evening?"

Miranda was genuinely confused.

Andréa nodded. "we are but…" she paused.

"But," Miranda prompted.

"I," Andréa shook her head. "It's you. Every time we touch, I just want to touch you more. We've been sitting here talking and your legs keep touching mine. I keep stumbling over my thoughts. Then you lick your lips and I forget to breathe."

"Well, why haven't said anything."

"What am I supposed to say? Miranda, I want to press you into the sofa and kiss you desperately until you lose control."

"Yes!" Miranda nearly shouted. Finally, she had been just as desperate but had pushed it aside.

"Miranda, last time I was in this room I was your assistant, touching you was forbidden."

"Well, obviously the rules have changed."

"So, to be clear, I am allowed to touch you."

"Anytime," Miranda paused a moment before ultimately deciding that it was okay, "anywhere. Everyone knows about us and I refuse to hide what you mean…"

Andréa launched herself across the space, cutting off Miranda mid-word, which would normally frustrate Miranda but having Andréa press her lips against hers had stopped any complaints. Miranda felt her heartbeat pulse in time with the throb between her legs as Andréa pressed her into the sofa and devoured her. When they broke for air, Miranda felt her stomach clench painfully as Andrea pushed her own skirt higher and straddled Miranda. Draped across her body, Andréa started to lick and kiss her neck, her lips trailing up and down, creating sparks of lust that overpowered Miranda.

"Bed," Miranda moaned out.

"Too far," Andréa answered before Miranda felt her slacks open and Andréa's fingers slide against her clit. Miranda let her head fall back against the sofa as she bucked into Andréa's hand. Fuck it. She couldn't bring herself to care that she was ruining a pair of her favorite slacks, her underwear would be a total loss and she was being fucked in her home office. All she could concentrate on the way the feel of Andréa's fingers and the sound of harsh breathing between moans. In what seemed like seconds Miranda felt herself catapult into orgasm. Her eyes had fallen shut but opened in time to see Andréa drag her fingers up to her mouth and lick them.

"Stay." Miranda croaked out.

"Hmm," Andréa tilted her head and looked at Miranda.

"Darling," Miranda continued, "Stay tonight."

Andréa smiled. "I'll call Lars and he can do whatever he does."

Miranda smiled back, the tightness that had begun to develop in her chest at the thought of Andréa leaving, finally abating. She hadn't even noticed it developing. She watched Andréa lean away from her reaching for her phone, before righting herself and dialing Lars. Miranda's attention was pulled back to the fact that Andréa was still straddling her, her clothes were as disheveled as Andréa's and Andréa was conducting a serious conversation with the head of her security. Honestly, never in a million years could Miranda imagine such a scenario. Andréa tossed her phone to the side, conversation over it seemed, before leaning in and kissing Miranda's nose, causing to wrinkle.

"I'm all yours."

The words caused a throb in Miranda's heart. "You are", she agreed. "Now come to bed and let me have you." Miranda helped Andréa stand before kissing her sweetly and dragging her up a flight of stairs to her room.

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Morning dawned early and silently Miranda cursed her internal clock. After last night, it was far too early to get up. She lay next to Andrea, their feet intertwined. This, this is what she missed. Strange, that they have only woken together a handful of times but already she craved this intimacy. She couldn't remember feeling like this with her husbands. She turned slightly and watched Andréa sleep. This woman was changing her, or maybe the change started years ago and this was the culmination. It didn't matter in so much as to when the change started, as to that she felt changed and while it was a little frightening it was also exhilarating. She mourned the idea of heading off to work and giving up their time together. Suddenly a thought popped in, why did she have to do anything. She thought about her schedule. There was that dinner she had to attend on Thursday and the twins had their party before they left on vacation. Andrea had a few meetings over the next week. Miranda tried to remember if there was anything else. Okay, she decided, I'll be home by 6 every day and take Fridays off. Nigel can take over anything that can't be moved. With a smile, she leaned in to kiss Andréa awake.

"Hmm," she hummed as Miranda gently kissed her neck.

"Darling," Miranda whispered in her ear, "will you stay?"

Andréa took a deep breath and stretched before turning her head and meeting Miranda's lips.

"What?", she asked after they broke apart.¨

"Will you stay?"

"Aren't you going to work today?" Andréa rubbed her eyes, fully waking up.

"Yes, but I don't mean today. Rather," Miranda grabbed one of Andréa's hands and kissed her fingertips, "would you stay while you're in New York, here, with me."

Andréa sat up, forcing Miranda to follow suit. "I have people that have to be near me. I mean there is Brigitte and Lars at least."

"There is a downstairs 2 bedroom in-law apartment."

"Oh."

"If it's too fast, I'll understand."

"No, it's not that. I mean it's fast but we don't get to see each other every day and yeah," Andrea paused and ran her hands through her hair, "I," she tilted her head "I'd like to wake up with you." She flashed a smile before dragging Miranda back down into bed. Miranda's last thought for the next hour was oh yes, mornings with Andrea were wonderful.

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Later that evening, after Lars and Amy were installed in the downstairs apartment and Beatrice had gone to bed for the evening, Miranda and Andrea retired to the study again. Coming home at 6 was a great idea but there was still the book. Miranda looked up after slashing an x across the page. God knows what they were freebasing in accessories but that was never going to be printed, she thought and caught Andrea staring at her.

"What?"

"Nothing, I just never thought we'd be sitting like this again."

"Well, you're not my assistant this time."

"No, not this time," Andrea agreed and then smiled a small smile.

"I'm sorry that our time together is marred by work." Miranda started to apologize, realizing this wasn't very romantic.

"I'm not," Andrea answered, throwing Miranda's thoughts off track.

"You're not?"

"No, I had a dream that was this exact scenario."

"You dreamed about sitting quietly in my study?" Miranda could feel her eyebrows arch.

"I've dreamt of us working side by side, having coffee, reading the paper. Miranda, I don't think you fully understand how I feel about you. I've lived on the hope that one day we could just meet. Being with you is beyond hope, it's a dream. But my dream is rooted in reality. I don't expect you to be anyone but you. I'm in love with every side of you."

Miranda just stared, then picked up the book, a stack of post its and her red and black pens. She carried them over and sat next to Andréa. Miranda met her questioning gaze. "Well if you're going to dream of us working side by side, we should do it right and actually sit side by side." Miranda turned her head to hide the blush she could feel heating up her neck.

"And you say that you aren't romantic."

Miranda smiled and continued on the book.

Another hour past and Miranda had done everything that could be done. As she set in the last post it, she turned to look at Andréa who had fallen asleep curled on the couch.

"Darling, wake up. We can go to bed upstairs."

Andréa opened her eyes. "Sorry about that. I think jet lag finally hit me."

Miranda nodded and together they went upstairs. It was late and they were exhausted.

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It was 4 again and Miranda was wide awake, despite not needing to go in until 10 that morning. She had canceled her personal trainer so she could sleep in. She had that dinner tonight. Tomorrow was Friday and then they left on Friday. The week was going too quickly. She pushed on Andréa to wake her.

"Miranda I love you but it's," she opened her eyes and looked at the clock, "4 am." She let out a yawn.

"Come with us on vacation."

"Is this a thing?"

"What?" Miranda confusedly asked.

"To ask questions at 4 am" Andréa yawned again.

"Oh," Miranda was suddenly glad it was dark. "I do my best thinking early."

"So your best thinking led to us going on vacation in 4 days?" She cracked one eye open as she waited for Miranda's response.

"Well, I admit the timing is short."

Andréa yawned again. "Miranda if I say yes, can I go back to sleep."

Miranda smiled and then frowned. "Are you saying yes just so you can sleep?"

"Yes!" Andréa answered "but I mean it too. Send the info to me today and I'll run it by Lars. He'll need to see if there is room for him."

"Oh, the house has 2 spare rooms."

"2 spare rooms?" Andréa cracked her eyes open again, "but this was last minute planning?" She smiled.

"The girls were going to bring friends but decided not to. They can share a room."

"How big this place?"

"4 bedrooms."

"Okay. Can we sleep now?" Without waiting for an answer Andréa pulled Miranda closer and closed her eyes.

Miranda settled into her arms and let her mind drift. She was having dinner with a designer tonight. Andréa said something about meeting Emily for dinner. The party was planned and double checked. She expected that Jolene had that well in hand. She'd need to have more flights booked and everything sent to Andréa to give to Lars. She'd have another week with Andréa.

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Notes:

Did not beta, feel free to offer corrections, suggestions, and scenes you'd like to see.

Notes:

Any comments or suggestions are welcome. In any language. I can use Google translate if I need to. I hate to limit anyone from sharing their opinion.