DisclaimerWhatever you can recognize is not mine.

Warning: English is neither my first, nor my second language. Proceed at your own risk.

LEAVE BEFORE I RUN AWAY

Once.

The lunch meeting went better than she expected, and Miranda allowed herself to take a break on the short drive back to the office. As Roy slowly made his way in the heavy midday traffic, she relaxed, gazing out the window. A small smile playing on her lips, she thought about the upcoming trip to Paris, and the following vacation with the girls, and this new young designer she was going to make famous.

The car made a turn and continued its stop-and-go crawl along the street, squeezed between the inevitable New York taxicabs. After yet another halt Roy carefully glanced at her in the rear view mirror. Most probably he expected her usual cutting remark about the lack of movement. But strangely, just then the certainty of delay in her afternoon schedule did not bother Miranda. Instead, she felt content letting her gaze travel between the people hurrying up and down the street – one never knew where the inspiration for the next great spread or an interesting editorial would come from. And New York streets could offer a hell of an inspiration for those who understand how to find it.

For instance, those two girls, who were walking on the sidewalk, just ahead of the car. Miranda couldn't see their faces, since, despite Roy's best effort, the car still moved slower than the walking speed. And yet, seeing them only from the back, gave a nudge to her imagination. Take the taller girl with a very short dark hair ("should tell Nigel to use more models with boyish cuts for the summer issue"). Her gray trench coat was livened up by a light blue scarf ("hmm, no, not blue, should be--uh--green. Yes, talk to someone at Hermes—"). The girl had very nice Manolo's boots on. Although they were at least a couple of seasons as out of style, in combination with a pair of vintage jeans, they created a chic look, which didn't need the trendiest pieces ("there is this little shop in the Village, may be Jocelyn should take a look there"). The other girl--. Well, back to the first one. The messenger bag. No, it was just plain wrong. What if--.

As Miranda thought about the bag, the girls turned to the side street and quickly disappeared around the corner. "Make a right," she threw a bit hastily to Roy.

The driver, even if he was baffled by the request, didn't show it, but obediently pulled to the right at the intersection and, when the light changed to green, made the turn. When he almost immediately had to stop the car to let the pedestrians cross the street, Miranda leaned closer to the window, searching for the girls.

Ah, there they were. Good. So, the messenger bag. It had to go. Instead--well, how about a Luis Vitton's Biker bag? Hmm. Miranda considered it for a moment. It was tricky to make a decision like that without actually seeing a person's face.

As if answering Miranda's tacit wish, the girls stopped, and the taller one, apparently intending to hail a cab, stepped to the curb and turn to face the oncoming traffic.

For a moment Miranda forgot to breath. Oh. God.

Oh god. No.

No. It couldn't be. Absolutely impossible. Miranda swallowed hard. Bloody hell, the tall girl - the gray trench coat, the Manolo's boots, the short haircut, and all - was no other than the blasted Andrea Sachs.

Miranda frowned and pursued her lips. She could do it. She could definitely do it. She swallowed again and grabbed a folder from her bag. Well, so, the new belts should go--. Unseeing, Miranda was staring at the open page, as the car jolted into motion.

"Belts--" she murmured, furring her eyebrow, "of course--well--."

Meanwhile, the car slowly glided by Andrea and her friend, and even with her head bent down, Miranda couldn't help, but see a hem of gray trench coat and a pair denim-covered knees.

She let out a breath, she didn't know she was holding, only when she heard Roy's question, "Where would you like to go now, Ms. Priestly?"

Right.

Miranda snapped the folder shut and bit, "To the office, of course."

She jerked her cell phone out of her purse. "Anna, I want the outfits for the Spring cover ready in the Closet by four. Get me a conference call with Donatella early tomorrow morning. Tell Nigel--."

As she was firing her instructions, Miranda felt a pure white rage boiling inside her, ready to come out. So, she lowered her voice, infusing it with just enough menace to make sure that on the other end of the line her assistant understood – no mistakes would be tolerated today. None. And if someone would cry or feel like quitting Runway this afternoon – well, so be it.