I'm at a loss what to do for a few moments. I stare with agony filling every cell in my body as Miranda sobs, a heartbreaking sound that slashes through my soul. Then my heart pumps harder, my adrenalin kicks in and I pull her into my arms.
"No matter what you think I can't promise, or won't do, just tell me what it is and I'll prove you wrong, Miranda." I rock her and for a few moments more, she allows me.
Of course she pulls back eventually and wipes at her wet cheeks with disdainful movements. "Not even you can do everything, Andrea."
"Probably very true, but I know how I feel and I can't even begin to imagine—"
"All right! You can't promise me you'll never leave." Miranda's voice is harsh. She looks at me with narrow, dark eyes and slowly shakes her head. "That would be my condition; for you to never leave me. That's the one thing I could not survive. You can promise a lot of things and I'd believe you—but in my experience, I drive people away and they leave. You're young, vibrant, brilliant…smart." She gives me a wry smile. "You're in the beginning of your career…hell, of your life."
"And you think I can't have a career, or a life, with you?" I'm not sure how to interpret these misgivings. "And just so you know, I'm not like your asshole husbands."
"I know you're not!" Miranda frees herself and pushes me onto my back against the pillows. "You don't get it. It didn't surprise me when my any of the men that promised me everything under the sun eventually had affairs, filed for divorce and left. It hurt. Of course it did. I'm not made of ice, against popular belief. They left and I was alone again, not counting my girls." She clears her throat and presses my shoulders into the mattress. I'm not sure she realizes how rough she's being or how haunted her look is.
"Miranda?" I try to get enough air to say her name.
She lets go as if she's burned her hands against my skin. "Don't you see, Andrea? If you would do the same, it would kill me."
I'm speechless for a good ten seconds. Just as Miranda is beginning to resign and shift away from me, I snap out of it. Taking her by surprise this time, I flip her onto her back and place myself on top. I don't give her time to object, but kiss her with all the pent up passion, all the love I feel for her. It took me a while, but I realize this is Miranda in panic mode. She's determined to push me away before I get even a shred of opportunity to do it to her.
"If you want me to stay away from you, you're going to have to convince me it's because you don't care for me, that you can look at me and feel nothing." I press kisses against the thundering pulse point on her neck. "The only way I'll actually leave you is if you can look me in the eyes and tell me truthfully you are indifferent."
"What?" Miranda whispers, her hands already in my hair. So much for indifference, but I keep going.
"And if you think blaming how inconvenient my presence in your life would be regarding Runway, or your girls, you will disappoint me greatly as the Miranda Priestly I know have people on retainer who deal with any such fallout in her life." I kiss her gently on the lips. The tip of her tongue slips out to caress my lips, but I pull back. "So, what's it going to be, Miranda? Am I nothing to you but a one-night stand? Or is this more than that? I think it is, considering how rampant both our emotions are."
"Oh, you…you devil!" Miranda spits.
"Now there's a nice change," I smile tremulously. "Devil, huh?"
"You don't know—you will break me. I know you'll be the one that promises me everything—"
"Hey there," I say as I take her hands in mine and hold them above her head. I hold her gaze firmly and try to imagine I'm not trembling. I also try to convince myself I'm not afraid of gambling too high and losing everything. Losing her. "Listen. I'm not saying it would be all smooth sailing for a couple such as us. On the contrary, we'd have a lot of fallout to deal with. But who really cares? The only one I truly care for is you—and your girls for that matter. You know I'm crazy about them."
"Damn you. You can't use that as an argument." Miranda glares at me.
"I can use whatever I want." Now it was Miranda who didn't get it. "I'm fighting for both of us here. If I have to bring in the pope or Queen Elisabeth to do so, I will!"
"The pope." Miranda blinked.
"What I mean to say is that as long as I'm not doing anything I fear can harm either of the three of you, I'm ready to battle on. You're worth it, Miranda." I rub my cheek against hers. "I think that's what you fail to see since those bastards you insisted on marrying did such a number on your multiple times. Don't you agree that I would walk into this with a completely different mindset than any of them?"
"I suppose?" Miranda speaks slowly. "Unlike them you do know what I do for a living. What it entails on a daily basis."
"I do. That's not the issue here. Not right now. Negotiating work hours and stuff like that really isn't what bothers you either. I think," I continue and part her legs with mine. Her folds are slick and hot against me and I moan as I grind my pubic bone against her.
"Andrea…" Miranda moans and arches. "This is hardly fair play."
"Never said I would play fair. I'm fighting for our future. Our happiness." And I am. One of us has to pull her head out of the sand and I knew it won't be her. I will have to be the strong one, because as hardnosed and feared as Miranda is in her role as editor-in-chief, she is vulnerable and damaged by how her private life has played out until now. "Listen to me. There are tons of things I can't promise. I can be hit by a bus, fall out of the sky while flying, get an aneurysm and die from that...that's beyond my control. But apart from that—I can imagine leaving you voluntarily. No matter what I will choose to work with further on. No matter what my family or yours says. And no matter how you will try to push me away when you're afraid. I won't go. I won't leave."
Miranda gazes up at me, a strange mix of fear and anger battling for domination. "You think that now."
"I do. And I'll feel like this tomorrow and the day after and the next day…week…month…year. The only thing that can make this a moot point is if you decide that I'm not the one."
Miranda gasps and I release my grip of her wrists. She pulls me down and holds me so tight, I can feel my ribs rub against hers. "But you are." Her voice is broken. "You are."
"Then let me love you, Miranda. Please." I know I'm risking everything by letting go of my last defenses, but if I'm going to convince Miranda to go against her fear and to trust me, I have to. "I love you. I've never loved a single soul as much as I love you."
I swear Miranda stops breathing. She stares up at me with eyes so huge, I feel like I'm drowning in her ice-blue irises.
"You are the bravest person I know," Miranda says so quietly I can barely hear her. She clears her voice again. "I love you too. Surely that can't come as a big surprise?"
I kiss her gently and then smile. "I hoped. After we made love tonight, I dared to hope for the first time. Had you asked me yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to answer as I would've been out cold."
"Heaven forbid." Miranda runs her hands up and down my back and then wraps her legs around me. "So, you're determined to make a go of this? Of us?" Her tone is a bit too flippant as if she's trying to keep it light in case I didn't mean what I said.
"No." I want her to understand completely and I can tell my short reply jars her as she goes rigid and her eyes go back to being mere slits.
"No?" Lethal now, her voice nearly singes the air between us.
"I'm not making a go of this. That suggests that I'll try a relationship with you on a whim. Sort of to see if it flies or not. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm ready to commit, to promise you everything and care for you, love you with all my heart and your girls too. That's lightyears away from 'making a go of it'." I can feel this is it. If Miranda doesn't get the difference, if she cannot fathom the depth of my emotions, we won't stand a chance. Then she will try to drive me away at one point, eventually.
Melting into the bed, Miranda holds me tight and rolls us on our sides. Her expression is now relaxed and soft, her hands seems to want to map my entire body the way they stroke me with feverish movements. "God, Andrea. I love you. Never in my life have anyone made me feel like you do. Where in the world does this power you wield with such strength come from?"
"No idea." I'm smiling so broadly now, my cheeks hurt. "My best guess is…from loving you?"
"Then by all means, I will learn from you and exercise some of the same strength." Miranda's lips tremble, but her reciprocating smile is still brilliant. "I do the irony in my attempt to shield myself from you potentially leaving me by driving you away…it's a quite ridiculous concept."
I know better than agree too eagerly. Besides, I am not being pretentious when I think I know Miranda better than she does herself when it comes to her private fears. She may come to the same conclusion as I just did—that she's a bit of an ostrich—with time, but I'm not going to point that out. I'm no fool either. Right now I'm very happy and I'm hoping she won't have yet another serious bout of insecurity and fear that will derail us. I know it is early days yet and still…my instinct tells me that once Miranda has examined her emotions and decided to dare to trust in mine, she'll go full steam ahead, which is in her nature. She's no wishy-washy individual, far from it, and once she has her strategy clear, she's committed to making it work. I can only live in hope that she will regard us the same way.
I decide to kind of seal the moment and thus cement it in both our minds. Worming my right hand in between us, I cup her still-swollen folds and let my middle finger caress her clit. Miranda jerks and begins to tremble instantly.
"Andrea!" Her hands move to my breasts and she's massaging them, caressing them, plucking at my sensitized nipples. "Go inside. Please."
I do. Two fingers, then three, I enter her, claim my Miranda and she grunts in a very unladylike way with each thrust of my hand. It drive me nearly insane to watch her bite her lower lip, arch her back against me, and I can think of nothing I want more than make her come again. Or so I imagine before her hand finds my aching core.
"Oh, my…so wet again, darling?" Miranda purrs between gasps. She circles my entrance. "May I?"
"Y-yes!" I move up to make it easier for her and she enters me so slowly I'm whimpering.
"Move against me. Yes, like that. Like that." Miranda hooks her legs farther up around my torso, moving her fingers faster.
I reciprocate with the same rhythm and when she realizes I change pace to mimic hers, she speeds up even more. I can tell she's close and I'm not far behind. The way her knuckles tease my opening is sending me headlong into what promises to be the orgasm of my life. Of course it's not just the friction, or the pace, or even the way it feels to have my fingers inside Miranda…it's because it is Miranda. Only this morning, I was certain my love for her was hopeless and didn't even dare to dream—only fantasize. Now, the woman I love and adore is making love with me, gazing up at me with clear love and adoration right back. That's why my body is nearing an orgasm that I'm sure will border on pain in its intensity.
Miranda comes, convulsing around my fingers and clutches at me with her free hand as she wails my name over and over. I barely register it before I follow and yes, it is pleasure. Yes, it's is almost painful. And yes, it's the best sex I've ever had and no; I don't ever want to leave Miranda, not for anything or anyone.
As we calm down, sweat evaporates, heartrate and breathing slows down. Miranda seems content on snuggling close after we carefully withdraw our fingers. I'm suddenly so tired, so spent; I'm sure I'll nod off in a few moments.
"Time to sleep, Andrea," Miranda says and yawns. She tugs at the covers and managed to cover us. "Long day tomorrow."
"Good idea." I close my eyes. "I love you."
Miranda turns her head and I open my eyes again. And lose my breath all over again. Miranda is studying me with such tenderness written across her face and with her lips stretched into the softest of smiles. She's never been more beautiful.
"I love you," Miranda says quietly. "Sleep well."
"You too." I turn into her and bury my face against her neck, inhaling the amazing scent of perfume and sweat. Her arms hold me close and knowing this is our first night of many more to come makes me the happiest I've ever been. When she presses her lips against the top of my head, I know this feeling will only continue to grow.