For the next few days Andy walked around in a daze. When Lily asked her if she was all right, she almost broke down in tears. In the office she could barely concentrate, and her colleagues began to whisper behind her back after she practically screwed up an interview with a police officer, who was ready to walk away when she asked him for the third time "so, what exactly did you see?"
Finally, her editor took her for a cup of coffee, and right there, in the shop, told her that she was not to return to the office until she got her act together. He understood there were matters that affected a person's ability to do their job. However, what Andy should understand was that she was working for a newspaper, damn it, where no one could wait for her get over whatever it was that was bothering her.
It took a few moments for his words to sink in. Andy nodded mutely and watched him leave shaking his head. She couldn't even bring herself to argue.
In the next hour Andy watched her coffee getting cold, counted the number of chairs, lamps and napkins dispensers in the shop. Then she counted the number of red cars passing by. Then she ripped her receipt in a lot of tiny pieces and went home.
Andy knew she should be thinking about Miranda Priestly's likely revenge. Or at least about her own, suddenly uncertain, sexuality. And she did. For about half an hour after fleeing Miranda's house, when she wandered aimlessly, agonizing over what she had done. But then she thought about the softness of Miranda's lips under hers, and Miranda's eyes amazing shade of blue, and the way Miranda's perfume made her want to inhale more often. Andy thought about those and all other little things that she had learnt about the woman quite by chance in the past three month, and then she knew with an unexpected certainty – she was in love with Miranda Priestly.
The realization almost made her choke, because, really, Miranda Priestly? The Ice Queen, who ruled the fashion world with an iron fist? Her former boss, who she abandoned in Paris in the middle of the most important for the magazine week, because she couldn't stand the way Miranda did her job any longer? A woman, who was God knew how many years her senior? Honestly, no matter how one would look at it, it was impossible. Preposterous. Ridiculous. And yet from the moment Andy saw her smile in the Guggenheim museum, she was totally, all-consuminlgy, painfully, head over heels in love with Miranda.
"Miss. Miss, this is the last stop."
Andy raised her head to look at the conductor, then around an empty car. Shit, she missed her stop. Again.
Out on the platform she sat on the bench to wait for her train. An hour later she finally got off the bench. Another hour later she managed to get home.
It was dark already, when she finally made it to her apartment. Without turning on the lights or taking her clothes off, Andy crawled on the bed and curled into a fetal position. She dearly wished she could go to sleep and wake up when the world would make sense again and the object of her affection would be someone who didn't consider her an enemy...
"Mmm." What now? If she was going to be dreaming of Miranda, couldn't the woman be nice to her at least in her dream?
Oh, shit. Andy cracked her eyes open and almost jumped off the bed. "Miranda?"
The room was brightly lit now, and Andy looked around wildly. She was still at home, in her own bed, why then--. She looked at Miranda, who was standing in her complete "I-am-going-to-some-fancy-dinner" magnificence, frowning at Andy.
"Miranda, what--," Andy gulped, "what are you doing here?"
Miranda's gaze slid over her, making Andy shiver involuntary, before returning to her face. "You don't pick up your phone and your door was open. Are you ill?"
"Um." Andy furred her brown. The door? The phone? Why would Miranda be calling her? To say how her carrier was over? "Um, no, I am alright."
"You don't look--," Miranda started, but seemed to think better of it. She cleared her throat, pivoted on her heals, and walked to the window.
For a moment Andy was still, before she managed to shake the trance off and scrambled off the bed. She glanced at her crumpled shirt, and her bare feet sticking out of the hunched up pants, and the messed up covers, and one of the boots thrown on the bed. Shit, shit, shit. Trying hastily to fix her hair and straighten her clothes, she searched for the other boot, which remained elusive.
All her efforts seemed to be in vain, though, because when she raised her head to look at Miranda, her gaze was met with a sneer.
"Can I offer you something?" Andy managed weakly. "Tea, coffee--." She trailed off under Miranda's cold stare.
The woman paused, giving Andy a calculating once over, as if she was trying to determine if Andy's disheveled appearance deserved a comment, but uttered only, "No, thank you." Andy felt another shiver ran through her, only this time, to her complete horror, it was accompanied by a quickly spreading blush.
"Uh," she started again, averting her gaze from Miranda, "so--." She gestured her guest from the tiny bedroom into the living room. "You were calling me to--."
"Are you sure you are quite all right?" Miranda interrupted her coldly.
"Yes, I am." Andy stated, before she realized her extended hand was trembling. She stuck both hands (forget the manners) in the pockets and repeated with forced conviction, "Yes, I am."
"Very well," said Miranda and walked past Andy into the living room. The smell of the familiar perfume hit Andy's nostrils, and suddenly the memory of the kiss jumped to the forefront of her mind. "Oh. My. God," she thought in panic, because the desire to reach out and grab the woman was overwhelming. Andy gulped, infinitely grateful her hands remained in the pockets.
Meanwhile, Miranda walked around the living room, as if considering if she should sit down, but deciding against it. "So," she finally stopped, "I believe we need to finish our," she cleared her throat, "conversation."
Andy opened her mouth and quickly closed it again, afraid that the only sound that could come out would be a whimper.
"You see, Andrea, despite your vehement denials, your behavior seemed to indicate that you did speak to--uh--some people." She glanced sharply at Andy.
"People?" The word came out as a croak.
"Tell me," suddenly, Miranda was right in front of her, "who talked? Was it Michelle? One of her confidants?"
Andy furred her brows and tried very hard to understand what Miranda was talking about. But the woman was so close, and her eyes were so blue, and the lock of the beautiful silver hair on her forehead just begged to be touched, and--.
"All right," Miranda glared, "you've proven your point. Name your price."
Andy made an enormous effort to concentrate on Miranda's words. "Um--." And then it dawned on her. Oh. Oh, god, that was why she wasn't dead yet. Her gaze automatically moved to Miranda's mouth. So, she didn't imagine that she wasn't the only one, who did the kissing last time. Andy licked her lips.
"Andrea?" Cool fingers touched her chin. "Look at me."
Her heart skipped a beat, and Andy froze for a moment, before she obeyed, moving her gaze very slowly up until it met with Miranda's cold stare. Then they stood, their eyes locked, for a few long moments, before something shattered in Miranda's face.
"You--you have a boyfriend," she stated in a broken whisper.
"Not any more." Andy shook her head slightly, her eyes never leaving Miranda's.
"That boy…at school, in the gallery…"
"Just a colleague." Andy said, inwardly chanting "please, please, please," although she wasn't sure what for and whom she was begging.
Andy waited only for a spilt of a second before she made a step forward and mashed her lips with Miranda's. For the next few moments it was like she didn't know how to kiss, because it was all about contact – the tighter the better. But then Miranda moaned and opened her mouth, and the contact morphed into something damp, and warm, and so completely wonderful that Andy got a hold of Miranda's shoulders to make sure that this sensation would never end. In response, one of the woman's hands curled around Andy's waist and the other - dug into the hair at the back of her head.
"Ah--," Andy gasped and clenched her fingers tighter onto the soft fabric of Miranda's jacket, when sometime later Miranda pulled away. But the woman only took one ragged breath before her lips were back on Andy's, and her tongue was licking inside Andy's mouth.
"Oh," protested Miranda, when later still Andy ripped her mouth away from Miranda's to get some air. But, quickly deciding that breathing was largely overrated, Andy immediately dove in for another kiss. In appreciation, Miranda pulled her closer.
"Yes," exhaled Andy, when one of Miranda's hands got underneath Andy's shirt. The cool palm, sliding up and down her bare back, drove Andy mad. She was shaking then, because as perfect as the kissing was, she needed more. And she began moving her mouth down to Miranda's jaw and long, beautiful neck in little nips and licks, while her hands after a long hesitation finally abandoned Miranda's shoulders and went to work on the buttons of the woman's jacket.
"Oh, god," Miranda panted hard, as her other hand joined the first one underneath Andy's shirt. Andy was so far gone by then that the buttons turned to be more than she could handle, and she simply ripped the jacket off of Miranda, without ever removing her lips from the woman's warm skin. The clicking of the torn buttons on the floor didn't concern either of them - Andy was too busy trying not to hyperventilate as she felt Miranda's hands, back under her shirt the moment she freed them from the jacket's sleeves, cupping her breasts, and Miranda, her thumbs sliding over Andy's suddenly taut nipples, her mouth attached to the hollow of Andy's throat, seemed too occupied to pay attention to such non-essential things as torn buttons.
And then it was hard to say who was doing what. There were hands, and lips, and bites, and discarded clothes, and moans, and whimpers. Andy couldn't tell how long this bliss lasted before Miranda pulled back and gasped, "Wait--ah--wait."
What? Why? Andy furred her brow and licked her lips. There was absolutely no reason to wait, was there? And she expressed her disagreement by reaching out and pulling Miranda to her.
But the woman was stubborn. "Wait," she said again and went to work on carefully untangling her limbs and other parts of her body from Andy's. It took a while, because her movements were not very steady, and Andy hindered her efforts.
Finally free, Miranda, sensing that Andy was getting ready to pounce her, raised her eyebrow in warning. "Andrea, wait," she said almost coldly as she got up from the couch, where they'd collapsed some time earlier. But then she bent and gave Andy a quick kiss. "Wait," the woman whispered against her lips, as her fingers stroke the sides of Andy's neck.
Still the feeling of loss washed over Andy, when she saw Miranda made several steps away. "Please, don't go," was on the tip of her tongue. "Please." But then the small part of Andy's brain, which was still functioning, told her that without a blouse, with her bra crooked so that one of the breast was almost out, with her skirt half undone and ridding so low on her hips it could fall any moment, Miranda was not going far.
And indeed, after wandering unsteadily around the room, Miranda seemed to find what she was looking for – her purse. She fished out a cell phone and pressed a speed dial number.
"Emily," she cleared her throat and turned away from Andy, "Emily, cancel my dinner." She listened for a moment before hissing, "I don't have time to deal with your incompetence." Frowning, she listened some more before stating, "Do it. That's all." She snapped the phone shut and threw it with an air of distaste back into the purse. She then shook her silver mane, turned to Andy and said, narrowing her eyes, "So, where were we?"
Andy's breath caught, because even in her worst – disheveled, half-dressed, with ruined make-up – Miranda looked absolutely gorgeous. And then she smiled, and Andy forgot to breathe altogether. It was the warmest, the nicest, the most real smile Andy ever seen on Miranda's face. Kind of like the Guggenheim one, only better.
Miranda made a step forward, and Andy, a sudden relief chocking her, jumped up from the couch and threw herself at the woman. "Oof," was all that Miranda managed before Andy's lips were on hers and Andy's hands were around her.
From that moment on there were no more interruptions. And if Andy was afraid that her ignorance on the subject of making love to a woman would mar the occasion, shortly it was too late to worry about it.
They ended up in Andy's bed around midnight. They were both thoroughly exhausted and completely incapable to carry on any longer. Still, her head on Miranda's shoulder, her arm around Miranda's middle, Andy couldn't stop smiling. This--this was perfect. Even Miranda's fingers, drawing tickling patterns on her shoulder, seemed to spell p-e-r-f-e-c-t.
"I have to go," Miranda sighed.
"You--could stay, you know," offered Andy.
"No. I would never make it home before the girls are up." Miranda stirred and nudged Andy to let go.
After a brief hesitation, Andy did, but not before she kissed Miranda's shoulder and inhaled deeply, "God, you smell good."
"Andrea, right now I smell like--," the woman didn't finish, looking at Andy's smiling face. Instead, she cleared her throat, brushed her lips on Andy's temple, and quickly got up.
Miranda looked around the bedroom and found only her skirt, which miraculously had come off last. She put it on and went to the living room in search of the rest of her clothes. Andy followed.
She stood in the doorway, watching Miranda walk around the room, resolutely ignoring her in favor of the clothes quest. "You are so beautiful," Andy whispered, surprising herself.
"Pardon?" Miranda squinted at her.
"Um, when can I see you again?" she wasn't sure if she managed not to blush.
"I'll--I'll call you."
"Cool." Andy grinned. "My cell is probably the best way to reach me, but when I am in the office, I might be on a meeting, or--."
Miranda looked at her raising the eyebrow, and then Andy did blush. "Um. When do you think we can meet? How about next week?"
Working on her blouse buttons Miranda didn't answer right away. "On Sunday I am flying to Hawaii for the shoots."
"Oh. The week after?"
"I'll be quite busy with the Fall issue," said Miranda surveying the damage done to her jacket.
"Wait," suddenly it was chilly in the room, "you are not going to call me, are you?"
Miranda put on the jacket, looked straight at Andy, and stated, "I don't think it would be a good idea."
Andy was never into confrontations, but then she asked, "Why?"
Miranda raised her brow.
"Humor me," asked Andy.
With a sigh the woman conceded. "As soon as the word gets out about," she waved her hand between them, "no doubt, my ex-husband will come up with some idiotic lawsuit about how unsuitable I am to raise two teenage girls. And all those incompetent assistants, editors, and models I've got rid of over the years. Do you think they will miss a chance to notify anyone, willing to listen, that they lost their jobs only because they didn't want to sleep with me?" Without waiting for the answer Miranda took her purse. "Bathroom?"
Silently, Andy pointed at the bathroom door and watched Miranda disappeared behind it. Then she began shivering. Automatically, she picked up her own, completely crumpled now, shirt, put it on, and went looking for pants.
When ten minutes later Miranda emerged from the bathroom, looking like she might still make that dinner, Andy gulped and said quietly, "You know, we could keep it--uh--a secret."
"Andrea," Miranda started sternly, but softened her tone, "you've seen my schedule. Every minute of my day is--." She shrugged and pulled her almost buttonless jacket tighter around her. "Besides, how long will it be before you'd hate it that we can't go together to the movies and such?" She stepped closer and brushed Andy's cheek with her knuckles. "It won't work."
Looking straight into Miranda's eyes Andy dared to ask, "So, this," she swallowed around a limp in her throat, "this was because of what's-her-name Michelle, was it?"
Miranda removed her hand and after a pause said, "No."
A small sad smiled playing on her lips, the woman cocked her head. She looked Andy up and down, then stepped closer, and whispered in her ear, "You are extremely fetching."
Andy opened her mouth to say something, but Miranda shook her head, quickly pecked her on a cheek, and left.
Unsaid words - can we talk about it, what about the previous fabulous three hours, I love you, please, don't go – tasted bitter in Andy's mouth long after Miranda was gone.
A/N Thank you for reading and reviewing.