"I heard that she got fired from the Mirror", Miranda stated casually.
He did not need clarification on who his boss was referring to so he simply nodded, "That's right", he replied, "How did you find out?".
"There is not much I don't know when it comes to the world of publishing, Nigel", the white-haired woman responded simply, "You should know that by now".
"Of course", he said with a nod, "Is there a reason you brought it up?".
"There is a reason for everything that I do", she replied with a raised eyebrow.
Nigel nodded yet again, he was a little unsure of not only why she was bringing it up but also of what he was supposed to do or say in response.
"How is she?", Miranda asked with disguised concern in her voice.
He thought about lying for a moment, he thought about telling her that everything in Andrea's life was perfect and that she was happy but when he looked into the woman's blue eyes he realised that he needed to tell the truth, despite the fact that he knew that Andrea would not want anyone to know. "Not good", he admitted reluctantly, "But she still stands by her decision no matter what the consequences were to her".
"What exactly was the decision?", Miranda enquired, "I was only told that she refused to do assigned assignments and that she, and I quote 'blew up at the Editor-in-Chief' without cause".
"Protecting you", he replied simply, "They wanted her to do an expose on you and what it's like to work for you but they didn't want the truth, they just wanted a negative view in order to get more readers in. It's the only reason they hired her".
His admission had her taken aback slightly, the woman who left her and could not stand to be near her was protecting her.
"Not just that though", he continued, "He wanted inside information on your home life too; the divorce and, the worst of all, he wanted information on the girls". "Andrea said that it was bad enough that he wanted information on Runway, then even worse that he wanted information on you", the man said, "But to interfere with your personal life was not acceptable and it was when he mentioned Caroline and Cassidy that she 'blew up' at him in his office". "She is very protective over you, always has been", Nigel revealed, "Always discreet though and doing what she could with no need for recognition of it towards the end but when it comes to the twins, she can be fiercely protective".
Miranda nodded, "I know", she said quietly, "I remember when the girls both got into trouble at school and Andrea dealt with it before I had even heard of it". "I was in a meeting when the school phoned", she revealed as she remembered that day, "She went straight to the school and spoke to the girls then she contacted the board of governors when the girls revealed that the only reason they had gotten into a fight was because the teacher had made a comment about me in a ...less than positive manner".
Nigel smiled and nodded, "I remember that", he said simply, "She was furious when she got back to the office and she bought the girls in with her, she managed to convince Emily to man the desks herself while she looked after the two of them".
"Caroline and Cassidy did enjoy that day", Miranda admitted.
The balding man nodded with a smile, "She misses them, you know?".
"They miss her too", she revealed, failing to mention that she missed her too, although it was clear from her facial expressions at that moment that she did, "How is she doing? I haven't heard anything about a new job yet".
"That's because she hasn't been offered an interview yet so there isn't any job for you to hear about", Nigel said as he watched her reaction, "As for how she's doing... not good".
Miranda frowned visibly, "Explain", she demanded without hesitation, seeming not to care about how that reaction may be translated.
"Well... losing her job means no income so she's struggling with that", he admitted, "She won't ask for help and is refusing to accept help too, she is stubborn". "The little money she has left from the Mirror and the small amount of savings she has been going on rent", he continued carefully, "She's had to move apartments again because the rent was too much for her to afford". "Emily is jealous though", he revealed, "She doesn't know the truth though, she doesn't know that the reason she's dropped two dress sizes in the past few weeks is because she can't afford very much food". "I try to take her out to dinner or sneak food in but as I said...", he paused and sighed, "...she is stubborn".
"Her health?", Miranda questioned hesitantly, she hated hearing that the woman she secretly loved and secretly missed was suffering, especially because it was due to protecting her and her girls, "Explain".
"Ever since leaving Runway, she's been down", Nigel revealed, "But over the past few weeks they've determined that it's depression then it's been made worse with the financial issues and failure to get a new job". "The food issue is causing health issues too", he admitted, "I'm sure I don't have to explain what that can cause considering how many models you've sent away for being an unhealthy weight".
"Why haven't you told me this before now?", Miranda asked him as she looked up at him from her desk.
Nigel hesitated for a moment, "She told me not to tell anyone", he said with caution, "And... you never asked about her before now".
"Then why did you tell me?", she asked before clarifying further, "Why tell me when she told you not to tell anyone?".
"The answer to that is simple", the man replied, "You're not just anyone and I doubt you ever will be, especially not to her".
Miranda frowned slightly, "What do you mean?", she enquired with confusion on her face.
Nigel shook his head in disbelief, "You really never noticed, did you?", he asked with slight shock and raised eyebrows.
"Notice what?", the Editor-in-Chief questioned in response, annoyed that he had not given a direct and simple response.
"You can see every little mistake that appears in the book", he highlighted, "Even a piece of text that is a millimetre in the wrong direction and yet you couldn't see what was right in front of you".
"Spit it out, Nigel", she said with frustration and annoyance in her voice, "I don't have all day".
Nigel, again, shook his head at her, "Every time she looked at you, it was as if she was looking at the stars", he revealed, "The love she held for you was blinding". "She tried to hide it, at first I could see that it was a simple attraction but after a while...", he paused, "...after a while, it was clear to me how much you meant to her and that look of love she would give you". "Admittedly", he continued, "It was stronger when you weren't looking, when you looked away she would look at you as if you were the eighth wonder of the world and even when she heard your name or spoke it her eyes would light up".
"How was I supposed to know when it was when I wasn't looking in her direction?", Miranda questioned with annoyance.
"As I said, it was stronger then", he replied, "But that doesn't mean that it wasn't there, she even told me herself that she felt like she was lost in your eyes everytime you looked at her". "Honestly, that woman is so sappy at times", Nigel revealed with a slight smirk.
Miranda shook her head, "I'm not sure what drugs you're on Nigel", she commented, "But I can't help but want to be on them too". She sighed heavily, "She couldn't get away quickly enough", she said, truly believing what she was saying, "She hated me in the end, just like everyone does eventually".
Nigel shook his head to counteract what she had said, "No, she didn't", he stated simply, "She has never hated you, I don't think she has the ability to". "She left because it became too much for her", the man revealed, "She was in love with a woman who, she thought, never even noticed her". "She told me one night, a few days after we got back from Paris", Nigel continued, "That no matter how much she wished, prayed, and hoped, she would never be able to tell you how much she loves you". "She said that it was because you could have anyone in the universe and that she would always be a billion miles from even the bottom of your list", he revealed as he remembered the tears that the young woman had shed that night in her drunken haze, "So never think that she hates you because Miranda? Our Six, your Andrea, she will never hate you".
The woman bit her lip, "What am I supposed to do, Nigel?", she asked, for once she was unsure of the answer.
"Tell her the truth", Nigel suggested, "Other than that? Well, that is your move to make".
Miranda nodded as she thought about it for a moment, "I'll need her new address".
Nigel smiled and wrote it down straight away on some post-it-notes that the woman had on her desk.
"Emily", she called out in her usual soft manner.
The English redhead hurried into the room, she was the only assistant as the latest second assistant had been fired on her first day in the office which was two days ago and they had not found a replacement yet, "Yes, Miranda", she said politely.
"I need you to find out all of the places that Andrea has applied to as well as the information on the jobs available there", Miranda stated, "Do it discreetly and get me their phone numbers, I will choose which ones to contact". "After that, you will contact Editorial and find out what articles need to be written", she continued, "I want the details, I will select the appropriate ones and then they will be hiring Andrea as a freelance writer for the department until she is fully employed".
"Then I need you to have groceries delivered to this address", she said holding out the post-it-note to the woman who took it instantly but without snatching it from her boss' hand, "Make sure that it includes multi-vitamins too and that it's all nutritionally balanced but make sure to include Ben and Jerry's ice cream and cheese pizza with a stuffed crust, she likes those". "Also check that the utilities are being paid", she continued, "If not pay them and any bills outstanding at her apartment, I will not have her suffering a power outage on top of everything else".
"Then I want you to get me the contact details for that florist we use", Miranda ordered, "I will be ordering them myself and they need to arrive before the food delivery does, I will inform you of the delivery time of the flowers". "Then you will book a table at that Italian restaurant she liked the last time we went to lunch", she said as her orders continued and the two other people in the room appeared rather shocked, "Make it for four at six pm, the girls will be joining us". "Ensure that Roy knows to pick them up from school and bring them straight here and inform Cara that her services will not be needed tonight", Emily kept writing the notes down on the notepad that she continuously carried at work, "I will also require an overnight bag for Andrea, Nigel will help you with that". "That's all", she stated at the end making the assistant rush back to her desk in order to get on with the jobs that she had given that all centred around the ex-assistant.
"Bloody hell", Emily muttered as she almost collapsed into her chair with a shake of her head and shock on her face.
"Don't you think it might be a bit...", Nigel paused, "...much?".
Miranda glared at him, "No", she said simply, "I do not". "It is nothing less than what she deserves", she continued as she opted to look down at the paperwork on her desk instead, "If she loves me like you say she does then I want to be able to give her the world". "I have wasted enough time thinking that she hates me", she admitted, "I have spent months thinking that she would never be interested in me in such a way and if there is hope? Then I can live on it once more".
Nigel nodded, "You really do love her, don't you?".
"That isn't even a question", she replied, "Of course I do".