What are you doing New Year's?

Even through the Christmas holidays, Miranda Priestly did not slow down. She saw no reason to waste a full week on frivolity that would not advance the quality of Runway in any form. That she would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with her children was a foregone conclusion. It was, after all, her year to have them on the day itself. The custody agreement gave her the children on Christmas during odd numbered years, even numbered ones she had them over New Year's.

Were this not the case, Miranda would still have spent the time with her girls. Like many parents, she adored the look on their faces on Christmas morning. For them, at least, there was still a great deal of magic to be found under a fir tree bedecked in lights and ornaments. The editor couldn't help sighing knowing that the magic wouldn't last much longer. Learning the secret of Santa Claus seemed to turn the entire holiday into just an endless whirl of shopping, crowds and obligatory parties. Though she did not do her own shopping, Miranda felt as harried and harassed as the next person. She was inordinately glad the whole thing was over.

Turning her attention back to her work, she studied the proof sheets scattered over her desk. There had to be at least one decent shot in the hundreds before her that could be used with the article on dressing green. There were several new conservation minded designers who showed a great deal of promise and Miranda had decided to do a small piece on them for the next issue. Everything was done and ready for the printers, except for this final photo. Unfortunately, every one of the candidates seemed to be flawed in some manner. Not even to finally be finished with this issue would she allow a flaw to appear in Runway.

With a sigh, she continued to study the sheets with her magnifying glass. The next to the last shot on the very last sheet proved to be acceptable and she circled it with a feeling of relief. Stretching stiff muscles, she idly thought of starting at the back of the set for the next issue, but really, what would be the point? Her own perfectionism would require she look at every single shot, be there one or one thousand, to get just the right look for the magazine.

A tapping at her study door came as something of a relief after the long hours of silence. Her softly called "come" had a red head peaking around the door.

"Cassidy, come in, darling. Finished with your game already?"

The girls had agreed to play their new video game while Miranda worked undisturbed if she would watch the movie they had been assigned as social studies homework over the holidays with them. Neither was too thrilled about having to watch an assigned film but thought it might be okay as an excuse to spend time with their mother. The assignment did require them to watch it with a parent, after all, and their mother was a much better choice than their father. She cuddled.

"Yes. Are you finished too? We could play another game if you're not?" The hopeful expression in the blue eyes so much like her own was Miranda's undoing.

"Of course, Bobbsey, I just finished. You have remarkably good timing." Sliding the photos into their envelope, Miranda rose and taking her daughter's hand walked with her to the TV room.

The girls had made a nest in front of the sofa with every available pillow they could find. Miranda even noticed one that looked remarkably like the pillow on the lounger in her bedroom. Though she felt the sofa to be more appropriate seating for a woman her age, she really did enjoy snuggling with her daughters amongst all the pillows. Since they seemed to appreciate it more if she made a small fuss about it, Miranda rolled her eyes and gave a small 'hmmpf.'

"I suppose you expect me to roll around on the floor as if I did not have perfectly good furniture in this room?"

"Pleeeeease?" Caroline begged running up to take her mother's other hand and, together with her twin, lead their protesting mother towards the nest they had built.

"Oh, very well then, if I must." Kicking off her shoes, Miranda settled regally in front of the TV and opened an arm to each girl. "Well, come on. I refuse to submit to this indignity alone."

Squealing and giggling, the two dived in on either side of their mother. It was so much more fun when they could talk her into doing things she normally wouldn't do. To the world she was Miranda Priestly, icon, but to them she was just mom, though they loved the idea of the icon rolling around on the floor with them. It told them they were more important than anything else in the world to their mother.

"So what are we watching, Bobbseys?"

"It's called Pay It Forward." Cassidy supplied as she pressed buttons on the remote to skip over the advertisements.

"It's about this boy our age who comes up with this idea for his social studies project that ends up affecting half the country," Caroline continued.

"It's kinda sad," Cassidy took up the narration. "We're supposed to write a paper about whether or not we think this kind of thing could really happen. Okay, everyone quiet. It's starting."

Another remote, which Caroline had, dimmed the lights and they settled in to watch. Very little was said, though Cassidy retrieved a box of tissues towards the end to share with her sister. Miranda discreetly blinked her eyes several times, unwilling to admit something as silly as a movie could affect her this way. Still, she found herself mesmerized by the speech the boy gave during his interview. It rang too deeply and hit much too close to her own heart for comfort. She cuddled her daughters as they sniffled into her shoulders and turned her mind inward.

When the movie had ended, the girls chattered away about their opinions and what they could write for their homework not noticing their mother had become steadily quieter as the evening passed. Much later she tucked them in and gave each a kiss goodnight before wandering back down to her study. Fixing a glass of wine, she settled into her favorite chair and focused on the past year as well as the one before.

Never one to second guess herself, the mere thought of doing so was giving Miranda a headache. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she looked at her past as a whole. Yes, fear had played a big part in it, fear of poverty, fear of failing, fear of sinking into obscurity and fear of giving her whole heart only to have it handed back to her in a blender. If she were to be honest with herself, she supposed that was why her marriages had ended. She had intentionally made herself emotionally unavailable, intentionally marrying men who could never touch her heart. Anyone else who even came close was sent packing before they realized how close they were. Everyone was kept at a distance, her closest friends, if that's what they could be called, were only allowed at arm's length. Only her girls were allowed near her heart as they pleased, but then they were her babies and always would be, even once their hair became as white as hers was now.

Only one person had managed to get past the barriers she had erected and they had done so without her knowledge or permission. Once she realized what happened, Miranda began to take steps to put an end to it. The moment she had looked up during that ridiculous argument with Stephen, tears of frustration, the only strong emotion she allowed herself concerning her spouses, evident in her eyes, Miranda knew she was in trouble. Those large, liquid doe eyes looked back at her with such compassion and concern that the older woman was in shock, staring mindlessly back as she felt a charge from the contact streak through her body that left her speechless.

Attraction, that she could deal with, that was easy, a tickle here, a touch there and it was over. This was more, more than she had ever felt in her life and it brought the fear roaring back. Massive, vicious, with razor sharp teeth it tore at her guts, trying to reduce her, making her less than what she now was. The silly girl had to go, but firing her would admit that fear, name it and give it power. No, the girl had to leave on her own volition or as a consequence of her failure at work. That Miranda could arrange without thought or effort, so she sent her, with her distractingly long legs and lush breasts, to find an unpublished manuscript, the most carefully guarded one in the publishing world at the time, confident that she had seen the last of Andréa Sachs.

When the elusive manuscript was dropped on her desk with an enormous smile of accomplishment later that day, Miranda was not sure how to respond. For the second time in as many days, the ridiculous child had rendered the terror of fashion, famous for her slashing tongue and cutting wit, without a word to say. Grasping at the first thing she could find, she complained about the single copy, but even there Andréa had outmaneuvered her. Not knowing what else to do, Miranda accepted the situation gracefully. One must always be gracious in victory and defeat.

Opting to rely on her own iron will to control the situation, the editor went about her usual routine. If, perhaps, the girl accompanied her a bit more often, if she, Miranda, offered up just a bit more information than she had with previous assistants that was simply because Andréa was more efficient than most and Miranda was in a generous mood.

Rising to refill her wine glass, she scoffed at how deeply her denial had gone. The simple truth was that she wanted Andréa near her, wanted to talk to her and listen to her, things Miranda had never wanted before. The editor took pride in everything the girl accomplished and tried to reward her accordingly without seeming to, of course. Somewhere in that time, Miranda ceased to think of her as a fumbling girl and began to see her as a young woman, an attractive, intriguing young woman. She had issued the order to go to Paris because she needed an assistant there, Andréa was efficient and perhaps, she could get to know the brunette just a bit better. Nothing beyond that, of course; Miranda was nothing, if not a professional. Office affairs were beneath her dignity and affairs with much younger employees were better left to overweight, balding men in search of lost youth.

Paris had been a mistake though, Miranda saw that now, she admitted as she resettled into her chair. She forgave herself it because, truly, how could she have known? She did not tell Stephen to be a coward and fax the divorce papers instead of facing her like the man he wasn't. She supposed she should have seen it coming, she had been through it before, but who had time to listen to his whining when there was so much work to do. Besides she had to cope with Andréa, who looked at her with such sad, injured eyes that it was difficult to think of much else. Her one repeating thought during that time was that she really needed to buy the young woman a pair of sunglasses, but then not being able to see those wondrous eyes was worse than knowing she had placed the sadness there that peeped out at her from time to time.

She had seen that same sadness in her hotel room in Paris that night. Miranda had known it would only take a word, or a small gesture, and she would have been in Andréa's arms. She could see it in those deep brown pools. She could let herself fall into them and drown in all they offered. But she had been defeated that night, not by the end of her marriage or the need to protect her girls, but by fear, the fear that if she did fall, she could never climb back out and in this one thing, she did not have the faith in herself to live outside her carefully constructed walls. So she had not told Nigel what would happen at the luncheon. She had sacrificed the feelings of the one person who had remained her friend in spite of it all on the altar of her fear, knowing that it would shake Andréa to her core.

In the car afterwards, she had carefully chosen the words that would make her appear the iciest of villains, without thought or care for anyone but herself, because, after all, that is who she was. She had driven Andréa away as surely as if she'd opened the door on the moving car and pushed her out. Miranda had thought she would be safe then, safe from the one person who could do injury to her heart. But as she had stood on those steps and turned to watch Andréa walk away, she realized she herself had set the blades in motion.

Studying her again empty wine glass, Miranda mused on the fact that tomorrow was New Year's Eve and once again she would attend a party alone, as she had done for over a year now. No, not alone, not totally, she always had Fear as her escort. The question became did she want to remain that person controlled and driven by fear.

Never one to put off a decision, she rose and went to her study to retrieve her phone. The quick pressing of a button set it to ringing.

"Hello?"

"Nigel. Good evening. Might we talk for a moment?"

"Ummm…of course, Miranda." Nigel pulled the phone from his ear at looked at the screen to be sure this actually was Miranda Priestly and not some other random Miranda that had gotten his number.

"You're still friends with Andréa Sachs, are you not?"

The voice sounded like Miranda but there was a hesitance there that he had never heard before.

"Yes…yes, I'm still friends with Andy." He wondered if admitting that would get him fired. Miranda's moods were even more mercurial than normal when it came to mention of the young brunette.

"Tell me, Nigel," she hesitated a moment before getting a strangle hold on the fear that tried to rise. "is she seeing anyone?"

Andy lay stretched out on her living room couch, back propped against the arm, watching the TV with the sound off and sipping a glass of wine. It was the second New Year's Eve she had spent alone in a row. Last year, she really hadn't noticed. As the newest member of the Mirror's staff, she had drawn the short straw and had to cover the news desk for the late shift. This year it was someone else's headache so she found herself lying there watching New Year's concert specials on TV and getting slowly tipsy.

This wasn't her only choice for entertainment this evening. In fact, she had been invited to several parties by co-workers, as well as Nigel, Emily and Serena. She just hadn't felt the desire to deal with the crowds and drunks, other than herself that is. She had assured them all that she would still be in Ohio for the holiday and would talk to them when she got back. She had told her family that she had to be back in New York to work over New Year's. The truth was she just didn't want to deal…at all…with anyone. Well, that really wasn't true. There was one person she would have loved to deal with, but that was about as likely as the Pulitzer committee knocking on her door over the hard edged article she had done on pooper scooper laws.

With a disgusted snort at herself for wallowing in whiney self-pity, she reached for the bottle of wine on the table in front of the couch. Refilling her glass, she stared at the TV screen without really seeing the picture. Glancing at the clock, she knew the local news break was coming up soon. The particular station she was tuned to was known for covering the celebrity events around town and was bound to have coverage of tonight's red carpet events.

Andy wasn't sure why she did this to herself, but invariably, if she wasn't working, she was sitting here watching this particular news show. It was stupid, it was painful and she couldn't seem to help herself. A flash of white drew her eyes into focus and she reached for the remote. She didn't turn up the sound, not yet, maybe not at all, she would have to wait and see.

Her eyes roved over the fitted black dress, the expanse of creamy white skin and the patently false smile. Miranda was as exquisite as always as she walked towards the door of the Metropolitan. She paused once or twice while camera flashes went off with the staccato rapidity of a fully automatic weapon. Andy wondered how many of them knew that Miranda was the real weapon. With icy intent she could wipe out your heart in a moment, and yet, you could never truly walk away.

After watching Miranda walk past the microphone bearing interviewers as if they did not exist, Andy turned off the set and tossed the remote onto her coffee table. She wouldn't be hearing the editor's quiet, silken tones tonight.

You've gotten totally pathetic, Sachs, she snarled at herself mentally. She had tried everything she could think of to dull the effect the white-haired woman had on her. She had gone on a whirlwind series of dating men and women. If there had been a third gender, she'd have dated them too, but it had been useless. She had invariably compared them to Miranda and no one could live up to that. The editor was unique unto herself and it was ridiculously futile to try to replace her.

The entire time she had worked for Miranda, Andy had written her feelings off to having a crush on her boss. It wasn't until she had returned from Paris that she realized the horribly empty feeling she had was from not being at the older woman's side, from knowing she would never again spend hours upon end rushing to respond to that quiet voice that warmed, thrilled and terrified her all at once.

Staring at the darkened TV screen, Andy forced herself to face the feelings she had been denying. I'm in love with Miranda Priestly. I have been for a very long time, which just totally sucks since there's no way she'll ever feel anything for me except a mild irritation if she thinks of me at all. Andy couldn't believe how badly that thought hurt, as if someone had reached in and quickly shredded her heart, much as Miranda used to do with her confidence. The brunette snorted at the thought. She had lived to make the editor proud, unconsciously hoping the older woman would notice her if she just did everything perfectly.

You live in a dream world, Sachs. You could never be perfect enough for Miranda to see you. Andy drained her glass on that thought and reached for the bottle yet again. As she sipped at this glass, she glanced at the clock. Ten minutes to midnight, better slow down, Andy my girl. Wouldn't want to end up face down on New Year's.

A knock at the door only irritated her, so she pretended to not be there. There was no one she wanted to see. Well, there was, but that was about as likely as snow in the Bahamas. Silently, she offered a toast to the wooden door. Happy New Year and go away. But the knocking only became more insistent and Andy was just drunk enough to let her inner most thoughts roll off her unguarded tongue.

"If you're not Miranda Priestly, go away!" she shouted taking another sip.

The response she got caused her to spill the wine down the front of her shirt as the glass ended up in her lap.

"That being the case, open the door, Andréa. You know how I love to be kept waiting."

Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit. I died. I'm dead. Alcohol poisoning, that must be it. I'm passed out and hallucinating. No way Miranda's at my door. No way. It's a trick. Gotta be a trick. Doug. Doug's crazy enough to do this…or Lily. She's twisted. Punishing me for putting my job first. That's it. That's gotta be it.

Jumping to her feet, Andy stalked to the door and flipping the locks threw it up.

"Lily, this is not the least bit…..funny?" Her anger died a fizzling death as she stared at the focus of all her dreams and nightmares. "Miranda?"

"Mmmm, so it would seem." Icy blue eyes swept over the woman in front of her. "You seem a tad…damp, Andréa."

"You always were good at monumental understatement," Andy laughed, once again back to the hallucinating theory. Otherwise, she would never have had the nerve to say such a thing out loud in the editor's presence.

The thin red lips showed just the hint of a smile.

"Yes, it is one of my more…endearing qualities. May I come in?"

Oh, hell, what have I got to lose? I've already misplaced my mind tonight.

"Come in, Miranda, and welcome to my home," Andy gave a sweeping bow and gestured the other woman inside.

"How much have you had to drink, Andréa?" the editor inquired. She really would have preferred the young woman be sober for what she had to say.

"Evidently both enough and too much," Andy laughed. "Oh, hang on."

Spinning Andy ran across the living room, grabbed up the remote and turning on the TV began to flip through the channels. Shaking her head, Miranda closed and locked the door before following.

"What are you looking for?" the older woman asked as she draped her cape over a chair and moved to sit on the couch.

"Weather report for the Bahamas," Andy mumbled as she continued channel surfing.

"Planning a vacation?"

"Checking for snow."

"In the Bahamas?" Miranda couldn't help laughing.

"Well, you were at my door on New Year's Eve. One's as likely as the other," was Andy's muttered explanation as she concentrated on finding a weather report.

"I think that can wait. I promise you if it snows in St. Thomas there will be a news break to tell you. Now sit down please." Taking the younger woman's hand, Miranda tugged the brunette down to sit beside her.

Stopping on an image of the ball in Times Square preparing to drop, Andy tossed the remote to the coffee table to stare at the vision seated beside her. Absently, she noticed that Miranda was still wearing the exquisite dress that showed her off to such perfection. At least, her hallucinations had style, even if her closet didn't.

"I can't believe you're here," she gasped, her shock evident. Then something occurred to her, "Why are you here?"

Before Miranda could open her mouth to explain, Andy was off and chattering.

"Oh, right. I'm dead…from the wine." She stared at what she believed to be an apparition, a very well dressed apparition in a black Valentino dress that highlighted a large expanse of creamy skin and cleavage. "You are so beautiful. I'm glad I made it to heaven."

Miranda could only stare at the younger woman as she tried to make sense of Andy's ramblings.

Suddenly, the brunette grabbed for the remote again and turned up the sound as the show hosts began to count down the seconds, Andy along with them.

"5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!" Laughing, Andy spun back and pulled the editor close, covering the lips she had fantasized about with her own. Fully in heaven now, the brunette angled her head to make firmer contact. She caressed those lips, sipping from them, wanting desperately to memorize the taste of Miranda. In case the EMTs broke in and revived her, she didn't want to forget the feel or flavor of this moment or this woman. She ran her tongue gently under an upper lip before stroking deep into the hot wetness of Miranda's mouth while her hands roamed over a soft body laying claim to all they found.

Trapped in a swirl of sensation, the editor could only respond to the mouth that plundered her own. She had known it would be like this with Andréa, but she was surprised by the dominance shown by the younger woman. She had never imagined the brunette would simply take what she wanted without even a moment's discussion. Miranda might have been insulted if she hadn't been so terribly willing to give what the younger woman sought. As she felt the zipper of her dress begin to give, she tried for a moment to slow them down, hands pressing against broad shoulders. They needed to talk about this.

"Andréa, wait…please..." But the lips fastened to her neck, licking and nibbling in a way that cleared the editor's mind of all except what the brunette was doing to her body, and Miranda was lost again.

It was Andy who broke the embrace, misunderstanding what the other woman had been trying to say.

"What? Yes. Okay. Miranda, you're Miranda. Can't…can't take you on the couch. The bed. I want room…spread you out and take you slowly…every delicious inch of you." Andy was up before the editor realized she was going to move. The words alone had scorched and flooded the older woman. A strong hand pulled her up and began to lead her toward what she thought was the bedroom.

The removal of those soft, full lips from her skin was allowing reason to return slowly. This was not what she had planned. Andréa was clearly inebriated, though still able to function. She shivered as a thrill raced down her spine, function admirably, in fact. Miranda had not come here to end up in bed with the younger woman, not yet anyway. She had wanted to talk, find out if the brunette was interested in perhaps dating, getting to know each other outside their previous work relationship. She hadn't planned on any of what had been happening to this point. The editor tried to stop their forward movement. They needed to talk.

Feeling a tug of resistance, Andy turned and pushed the white-haired woman against the door frame of her bedroom. Pressing her body against the smaller one of her ex-boss, she slid a thigh between the other woman's thighs and began a slow movement of her hips. With a gasp, the white head fell back against the woodwork as a delicious looking white throat worked drawing Andy's attention and her mouth to it.

"Don't resist," the brunette mumbled against delicate skin. "I want you. Wanted you so long. S'my dream and m'going to have you…at last." Andy would be damned if her hallucination was going to go any way other than what she wanted and that was Miranda naked, in the middle of her bed while the brunette took the rest of the night showing the editor just how much she loved and adored her. She wanted Miranda under her, gasping and grasping and wrapping those beautiful legs around her waist while the older woman screamed out her name. If this really was the brunette's last night on earth, she was damn well gonna make it count.

Miranda, stunned at her own body's response to the mouth and hands that were ravaging her senses, gave up trying to fight it. She wanted Andréa just as badly and was no longer interested in giving up what might prove to be her only opportunity. The next she knew the editor found herself right where Andy wanted her, naked and underneath the undulating brunette. Scorched by the wildfire of the younger woman's passion for her, Miranda wrapped herself around that long, beautiful body and gave herself totally to Andréa's control.

What felt like both seconds and hours later, the editor did indeed scream as her nails dug into strong back muscles and her legs trapped a trembling body to her own, aftershocks cascading through her as her center pulsed and quaked. If this is what it would be like every time with Andréa, Miranda had seriously doubts about making it to the next New Year. Vitamins…she would send Emily to buy her lots of vitamins.

Andy slipped to the side and manipulated both their bodies until she was tucked behind the older woman. Wrapping Miranda tightly in her arms, she pressed her lips to the back of a damp neck before murmuring softly into one delicate ear, "I love you, Miranda" and drifting off to a dreamless sleep never feeling the body in her arms stiffening before relaxing into her embrace.

"I love you too, Andréa. And we will talk…eventually." Closing her eyes, Miranda joined her new lover in sleep confident that the New Year would prove glorious for them both.

*****

A bright spear of sunlight slid through the bedroom window and settled on a peaceful face, warming the skin and drawing its owner gently towards wakefulness. Eyelids partially raised before slamming shut with a responding groan. Oh, damn. Bad choice. Not dead, though. Small blessing. Still, the hangover wasn't as bad as she would have thought. Rolling from the bed she staggered into the living room and over to the couch. Picking up the wine bottle, she checked the contents. There was at least half a glass left in the bottom. Frowning, Andy looked around convinced there had to be at least one empty bottle somewhere.

There is no way I got drunk enough on three quarters of a bottle of wine to have hallucinated like I did. There's just no way that… Andy's thoughts stopped abruptly as she notice a pile of dark fabric laying across the back of her end chair. Where did that come from? Rising, she stepped over and lifted the fabric to inspect it. A cape? Why is there a cape…? Oh, holy shit!! Dark eyes widened with realization, allowing in far too much light for the headache behind them. Groaning, she grabbed the back of the chair. Aspirin. Lots of aspirin…and water. At least a gallon.

She moved into the kitchen, retrieving a bottle of pain reliever from a drawer and grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. After self-medicating and finishing off the water, she tossed the bottle into the sink. Holding up the cape she had been dragging behind her, Andy studied it with greater care. Ok, either I'm still hallucinating, really dead or… Having the presence of mind to wrap the cape around her body toga style, she tiptoed over to her bedroom door and peaked around the frame. Her eyes slowly slid up what was obviously a very naked body, a very naked woman's body, lying in her bed barely covered by the sheet. The head was tucked under a pillow as if trying to escape the sunlight so the woman's identity wasn't yet clear, though the flawless skin of the delicately muscled back looked extremely familiar. It ought to, I spent enough time following it around when I worked for M… Andy felt her eyebrows rising and she irrationally wondered if they would stop before they reached the nape of her neck.

Unable to stop herself, the brunette stumbled over to the bedside and reached out for the pillow. She had to know, had to see for herself. Her heart clenched and she found it hard to breathe as shifting the fluffy mound revealed a head of snow white hair and a face, relaxed in peaceful sleep. Miranda. Abruptly, Andy sat down on the side of the bed, the movement waking its occupant. Drowsy blue eyes blinked open and gradually focused on the woman sitting beside her wrapped in her cape.

"Mmmm. It looks much better on you," she smiled.

Andy shivered at the husk in that sleep roughened voice.

"You're real," she whispered.

The light laugh tinkled into the silent room.

"Very real," Miranda allowed. "And quite content and…satisfied." The smile turned absolutely devilish. She rolled over careful to keep the sheet in place over her breasts. From the look on Andréa's face too much too fast might really kill the poor girl and that would truly be a waste since the editor had plans for her, long range plans.

"M-Miranda, last night…I…I'm so-" Two fingers suddenly covered her lips stopping Andy from continuing.

"Do not apologize unless you truly regret what happened for your own sake," the older woman cautioned. "For myself, I regret nothing." She couldn't contain a shiver of pleasure at the memory. "It was exquisite. You were exquisite, Andréa."

The flash of heat she saw in dark eyes reassured the editor that regrets were the one thing they would not be talking about. Tucking the sheet more securely under her arms, Miranda pushed herself up and adjusted the pillow behind her back so she could more comfortably lean back into it. It was time for that discussion that had been delayed last night and the editor did not think it a good idea to have it lying in bed with her body exposed. While sitting in bed and covering the more private areas of her body with a corner of sheet was not the ideal solution, it at least gave her a moderate feeling of being less exposed. She did not have long to wait before the questions began.

"Why are you here, Miranda? Why did you show up here last night?" Andy winced realizing she had just questioned the one person that should never be questioned. At least if she kills me I won't have to worry about this headache anymore.

"I am here," the older woman gestured to the bed, "because this is where you placed me before taking me. Quite skillfully, I might add." She smiled at the flush that rose from the upper edge of the cape to suffuse Andy's face. I wonder just how far down that began. Making a mental note to find out very soon, the editor continued. "I am here," she gestured to the apartment in general, "because I abhor wasted time and a great deal of it has been uselessly expended on my part, and I think on yours as well, denying that this," she indicated the two of them, "does not exist and should not happen. I hope that answers you sufficiently, Andréa."

Andy couldn't take her eyes off the woman lounging so casually in her bed, as if the iconic woman found nothing out of place about awakening next to an ex-employee after have been thoroughly ravaged by said employee the night before. Thinking about all she had done to Miranda's body, she was amazed the woman could sit, let alone seem so relaxed doing it, though she did notice that the editor was leaning well back and not sitting up straight. Licking her lips, Andy wasn't surprised to find her own body becoming aroused by the sight. She could think of no better way to spend her day than using her mouth and tongue to taste and caress the most intimate parts of the woman she adored.

Miranda watched as the tip of a pink tongue slid over a full lower lip and doe eyes darkened almost to black as they slid over her body barely concealed by the sheet. There was no doubt in her mind as to what Andréa was thinking, if there was indeed thought behind the flaming look. She felt her nipples harden and knew the younger woman was aware of it by the way those eyes locked on her breasts and that tongue repeated its previous journey. In her entire adult life, she could not remember anyone looking at her in quite that way, as if her body were a feast set before a starving woman. Oh, Miranda Priestly had been the focus of admiration and desire over the years. She was, after all, a very beautiful and powerful woman, but the look she was receiving now spoke of a soul deep craving that sparked an answering surge within herself.

Miranda, however, was determined to finish this discussion. It was obvious the desire was present, but she wanted more, much more, with Andréa and before she would allow this to continue she needed to know if the brunette wanted the same things. As the brunette slid infinitesimally closer, the editor held up a warning finger.

"Stop right there, Andréa. I'm not finished." Refusing to allow herself to be sidetracked by the adorable pout that came instantly to the brunette's face, she continued, "Last night was amazing, but I need to know if that's all there is."

"Oh, no," Andy assured her with a lascivious grin. "I can think of a whole lot more and I'm more than willing to demonstrate…right…now." With each of the final words, the brunette moved that much closer.

Miranda shifted her body into a straighter sitting position to increase the distance between them and winced slightly at the move. Andy couldn't hold back an even larger grin. The editor was feeling the effects of their night together. The thought gave her a warm happy feeling and she realized she wasn't being exactly fair with the older woman. Miranda simply wanted to know if there was more between them than just sex and if she were honest, the brunette had to admit if the situations were reversed she would want to know the same because if desire is all there was then the likelihood of having been used to slacken a drunken case of the hornies became a very real possibility. Andy would give every ounce of writing talent she had, if not her very life, to never have Miranda feel used by the younger woman's touch.

She reached out a hand to take the editor's into her own and brought it to her mouth, pressing a gentle kiss against the soft skin on the back of that hand, she continued to speak punctuating her words with more kisses to each finger.

"But if you're asking me if I feel more than just a burning to desire to take you in every way I can, over…and over…and over. Then no," even as Miranda stiffened and tried to pull back her hand, Andy continued refusing to release her or stop the gentle caresses. "that's not all there is. There is more, a great deal more, enough to last a lifetime if given a chance. Would that be enough for you, Miranda?" Andy glanced up from under her lashes to see what effect her words had had on the woman.

This time it was Miranda who experienced the difficulty in breathing. Was Andréa saying what the editor thought she was? If so, was she, Miranda, ready to hear it or was it too soon?

"Maybe we could start with lunch, or dinner, and see what happens from there," Miranda offered by way of compromise.

Andy's smile was pure seduction.

"Let's start with breakfast," she purred. "I'm having you. You can state your preference as to menu when I'm done, sometime this afternoon."

Pulling the toga-cape loose she tossed it to the floor before stretching out on the bed on her stomach. Slipping her arms under Miranda's thighs, she grasped them and pulling the older woman closer until she was once again right where Andy wanted her, on her back with her legs over the brunette's shoulders. With the first swipe of her tongue, the younger woman had her once again making the wonderful sounds that were a music Andy was quickly becoming addicted to. The brunette couldn't help wishing all subsequent New Year's could be spent in just the same way. It was truly going to be a glorious new year, she thought before losing herself in all things Miranda.

-----,-----'-----

A week had passed since New Year's and Miranda was getting more impossible with each passing day. Her schedule was ridiculous at this time of year with the holidays eating up so much of her precious time that she had to double, and sometimes triple, her work load to catch up. She arrived earlier, left far later and drove her staff with the relentlessness of an Egyptian taskmaster, all of which left no time for a new lover or even an old one which explained her three divorces. However this time, this year, was different, it was keeping her from Andréa, an intolerable situation that magnified Miranda's normally foul mood at this time of year by a power of ten.

Her staff was being to show the strain with several contemplating scheduling their next vacation at the nearest mental health facility. The impossible had now become commonplace in the Runway offices and they had moved on to being commanded to do the…well, the word for it had not been invented yet and they were convinced none of them would last long enough to see that happen.

Miranda, for her part, continued to channel her frustrations into the demands she was making on her staff. Driven as much by the desire to have Andréa's exquisite body pressing her down into the nearest horizontal surface as by a rapidly growing fear that their time together had been an aberration that would not be soon repeated, if at all, the dragon had risen to majestic heights of snarling impatience. She wanted Andréa; she needed Andréa and anything that kept that from happening was not to be borne, a fact that kept human resources working around the clock to process final paperwork and find replacements for the increasing numbers of departing personnel. There was even a rumor going around that the irascible editor was seeking to accomplish a complete staff change by Valentine's, one person at a time.

The white-haired woman knew she was being unreasonable but she couldn't seem to help herself. Every day that went by without contact with the brunette made her life that much more unbearable. There had been no phone calls, no email, not even one lousy text message. True, she had told Andréa she would be exceptionally busy during this time, but that did not preclude some form of contact. The younger woman had been so unbelievably aggressive with the editor's body that Miranda could not understand why she wasn't being equally as determined about this. It never occurred to the fashion maven that, perhaps, Andréa was having the same concerns about the older woman's silence. After all, Miranda had never had to chase after a love interest, why would this situation be any different?

-----,-----'-----

Across town, Andy Sachs was having a similar problem. Her editor had already sent her home to work saying her attitude was proving disruptive to the newsroom at the paper and not to return until she worked it out. She was too good to fire but not so good he could afford to have her snarling at all and sundry. Knowing he was right, she'd packed up her work and stomped out the door to begin her imposed exile.

Few people knew, or realized, that Andy really did have a temper. It seldom made an appearance, but everyone has a line and the editor had crossed Andy's two days previous. The brunette had attempted to call Miranda on her cell, emailed and even sent the editor a text message, which the woman despised, only to find the older woman had blocked those avenues of communication. A call to the Runway offices had resulted in being hung up on by Emily before she could more than get her name out. Emily's response was typical for the Brit and Andy wrote the rest off to an insanely busy Miranda not realizing she hadn't removed the blocks she has set in place after Paris.

Now she paced her apartment, furious at herself for letting Miranda Priestly once again control her life, even if by the editor's noticeable absence from it. She hadn't heard so much as a peep from Miranda all week. She knew the editor was extremely busy but honestly, you'd think she could take a minute to let Andy know she was still alive, still interested in whatever had begun between them over the past weekend. Maybe that was it, maybe she wasn't interested and this was her way of showing it. It would be just like to editor to simply ignore the situation as if it had never occurred.

Well, that wasn't going to happen. Andy was no longer that easily frightened girl that had worked at Runway. This Andy had come into her own and no one just brushed her off, not Miranda and definitely not after what had happened that weekend. Oh, no, Miranda. Not this time you don't. Grabbing her coat, Andy slammed out the door. There was one editor who had a hell of a lot of explaining to do and now was as good a time as any.

She fumed all the way to the subway stop, on the train and during the remaining walk to the Elias-Clarke building, re-playing everything that had happened between Miranda and herself. Her anger, and her arousal, grew with each remembered touch, each echoed moan. She threw open the doors to the lobby and stalked in.

The security guards took one look at her and decided discretion was, indeed, the better part of valor and pretended not to notice the furious brunette. They considered themselves lucky there was an elevator open and waiting. At least they wouldn't have to write up repair reports for the damages to the lobby. Someone else wrote the ones for Runway and they had no doubt that was where she was headed. Only Miranda Priestly could make a normally easygoing person that angry. They watched on the security cameras, very glad there was no sound, as she paced inside the small silver box, flinging her arms and working herself into an even bigger rage. They lost sight of her when the doors opened on the Runway floor, figuring they'd hear from Miranda's assistant soon enough… if their assistance was needed. They prayed it wouldn't be since the brunette was just as scary as Miranda at the moment. The editor created visions of unemployment when angered. This Andy inspired thoughts of hospital stays and they both knew which they would prefer.

Emily saw her coming down the corridor and moved to intercept the brunette. Before she could even open her mouth, a hissed "Don't" sent the Brit right back behind her desk, a shiver of fear racing down her spine. Dropping abruptly into her chair, the red-head was surprised to find she was slightly aroused. She had always been a sucker for an Alpha female, it was, after all, why she loved working for Miranda, and Andrea was absolutely magnificent at this moment. Whatever happened in that office, if the brunette came out single and unincarcerated, Emily was making a move. On second thought, even a short prison stay would be acceptable, they had conjugal visits in this country, after all.

Seated at her desk, Miranda had heard the hissed warning. Andréa. Rising, she moved towards the door intent on intercepting the brunette. She wasn't sure why she did so, only that something in the brunette's tone required the editor's immediate compliance. The response was instinctive and if she had stopped to think about it, Miranda might have found herself furious that this slip of a girl who the editor had so easily controlled during her employment could cause such a Pavlovian reaction in her. But Miranda didn't have time to think, she could only move towards that voice. She had missed Andréa terribly this week, specifically she had missed this aspect of her.

Andy stormed into the office, kicking the door shut behind her and forcing the other woman backwards to her desk. She didn't lay a hand on Miranda in doing so; she didn't have to. Her sheer presence caused the normally indomitable icon to give way before the power emanating from the younger woman. In the time it took to blink, Miranda found herself seated on her desk, thighs spread and her lover standing between them.

"I don't know what the fuck you've been thinking, but you…donot…ignore me," Andy snapped. Grasping her lover by the back of the neck, the younger woman pulled the editor to her lips, claiming the woman, mind, body and soul, with that one kiss.

Unable to do more than submit to Andréa's power, Miranda gave herself over and reveled in the plundering of her mouth. She responded, opening her mouth and accepting the strong, wet tongue deep inside her. She trembled; she flooded and wrapped her legs around Andréa's hips trying to pull the brunette closer to where she needed her. That she was in her office, on her desk, being taken by an ex-employee never entered the editor's mind. After an interminable week of abstinence, Andréa was here demanding what Miranda was, once again, more than willing to give.

She didn't register the buttons on her blouse flying across the room as the fragile fabric was ripped apart, only the strong fingers kneading her breasts before pulling and pinching her hardened nipples. She gave no thought to the almost permanent wrinkles that would be in the skirt now shoved to her waist or the lingerie that tore as it was shoved aside, she only registered the feel of three fingers shoved deep inside her as a hot mouth moved from her lips to bite and suck the nipple now left free. She only knew she was going to come here, in her office for the very first time, because Andréa was going to make it happen and Miranda had not the slightest desire to stop her.

She whimpered as the lips and hands left her and she was pulled to her feet. She could barely steady herself against the desk as Andy with a muttered, "Want you naked" stripped the rest of her clothing away and pushed her back on the desk, plunging once more between her thighs. She thrashed, arms clearing her work space, caught in the unbelievable sensations washing over her. In some deep part of her mind where the responsible editor had been shoved, Miranda realized it would take most of the morning to clean up the mess that was now her office, her clothing, her authority and herself. Still, she could not bring herself to care. She had never known this level of pleasure and she refused to do anything to suppress it now.

Arching her back, Miranda's moans turned guttural, her breath gasping and panting from her chest. The fingers buried deep inside her increased their rhythm and force. Just as she reach the pinnacle, the pace and pressure would change yet again, keeping her always on the edge, allowing her arousal to grow exponentially. Just when she felt her heart would stop if she could not come soon, the labored organ seemed to do just that as full lips wrapped around her clitoris and Andréa sucked with the full power of her mouth and lungs. Miranda exploded screaming.

As the sound tore through the outer office, the second assistant jumped to her feet.

"Sit down!" Emily hissed. Sternly watching until the girl resumed her seat and her work, though the second's eyes kept sneaking glances at the closed door. Returning to her own work, the Brit kept her hands out of sight to disguise their trembling. Not for the first time, she wished to be in Miranda Priestly's place, though today it was for an all new reason. When the seldom used intercom buzzed on her desk, she lifted the receiver for privacy, unwilling to let anyone else hear what she was about to.

"Emily, go to the closet and get a new outfit for Miranda," The Brit shivered as the lust roughened voice caressed her ear. "And, Emily, she'll need everything except shoes. When you have them, don't come in. Just hang them on the inside door knob."

"Yes, Andrea." Emily didn't question her response as she hurried off to the closet to do the brunette's bidding. It just seemed appropriate.

As short time later, Andy heard the door open and quickly close. She knew, if she looked, there would be clothing hanging on the door, but right now she was content to just sit looking out at the skyline of New York. She had finally removed her coat and it was now being used to cover a very naked Miranda who lay quiescent in Andy's lap. A white head lay against the brunette's shoulders as a strong arm held the editor close. Andy's other hand stroked Miranda's breasts and belly in a calming, soothing motion.

"Has anyone else ever seen you like this?"

Knowing her lover meant more than her current nakedness, the editor shook her head in the negative unable to find the strength to speak.

"No one else ever will. You're mine."

Miranda shivered at the possessiveness and pressed her lips to an elegant neck to show her acceptance.

"I love you, Miranda."

"I love you too, Andréa," the words were whispered and hoarse but Andy had no trouble hearing them.

-----,-----'-----

Sometime later, Miranda stirred and leaned back in her lover's arms. With gentle fingers she stroked the younger woman's cheek before pressing against the chin and turning the brunette's face so their eyes might meet.

"What angered you so much that you felt the need to confront me here, Andréa?"

Andy studied the blue eyes that searched her own for a moment. Just because Miranda had professed to loving her didn't mean the editor wanted this to continue. "I've tried to reach you all week, Miranda. Everything's blocked and Emily won't even take a message. If you didn't want to see me, there are…nicer, more direct ways of letting me know."

"When have you ever known me to take such passive-aggressive action? If I did not want to see you, you would be in no doubt of the fact. I wanted to see you very much. I had thought you would contact me. I didn't realize…I did not put blocks up against you, Andréa. I don't know how they got there." Though if she thought about it, the editor knew where the blame could be placed. Emily. Her assistant would have immediately put the blocks in place after Paris. It was standard procedure to protect Miranda from irate ex-employees. "I'll see that they're removed."

Andy nodded absently. That really wasn't her primary concern at the moment. She pressed her palm to the soft skin of the editor's belly.

"Did I hurt you? I don't usually lose control like that and I'd never want to cause you pain by my actions."

Miranda smiled, running her fingers through long dark hair as she took a silent evaluation of her body before reassuring the younger woman.

"Sitting will be problematic for the rest of the day and my authority as editor is severely bruised, but beyond that, I'm fine, Andréa. Better than fine actually, if somewhat surprised at your continued aggressiveness."

Andy blushed, capturing her bottom lip between white teeth.

"Ummm, yeah. That kind of surprises me too." She shrugged, unsure what else to say.

Slipping her arms into the sleeves of the coat wrapped around her body, Miranda rose from the younger woman's lap and crossed the office to retrieve the clothes hanging on her door.

"I need to bathe and dress. As lovely as this is, I don't think it appropriate to remain nude in my office any longer." She gestured towards her desk where her laptop and cellphone lay. "Perhaps you could remove the blocks while I do so." Leaning down, she brushed a gentle kiss over the younger woman's lips before continuing into her private bath.

Watching until the door closed behind the editor, Andy turned to the desk and began to remove the obstacles that kept her from communicating with the woman she loved. Once that was done, she gathered up the torn clothing that littered the floor and leaving them all folded neatly on the arm of the couch that sat to one side of the office, she began to search for all the loose buttons. She was dropping those into a small crystal bowl on a side table when the bathroom door opened and Miranda walked back into the room.

Her eyes started at black Louboutins, moved up over sheer black stockings to the slim skirt that hid thighs and hips, then upwards over a white wrap blouse that accentuated the editor's bust before locking on warm blue eyes.

"Meet with your approval?" Miranda asked. The perusal having left her tingling, the editor seated herself, wincing slightly, behind her desk to prevent herself for crossing the room and initiating another fiery interaction with her lover. She wasn't sure how effective the move would prove when the brunette sauntered over and resting her hands on the arms of the chair, leaning close, stopping with only a breath between their lips.

"You look almost as delicious as you taste," Andy murmured before pressing their lips together.

Grasping the brunette's biceps, Miranda forced herself to end the kiss.

"You can't…can't keep doing that, Andréa. It's impossible for me to think when you're kissing me." Not to mention what it did to an already sore portion of her body.

Andy straightened and gave the other woman a lop-sided grin.

"I don't necessarily see that as a problem, Miranda."

"No, I don't suppose you do. Still, I have a great deal of work to do before I can call it a day and I would very much like to see you tonight. There's a great deal we need to talk about."

Unable to suppress her laugh, Andy shook her head at her lover.

"For someone who usually appreciates an economy of words, you seem to want to spend a lot of our time together talking," she teased, delighted by the stain of red on the editor's cheeks. "Ok, I'll let you get back to work. Do me a favor and don't kill Em reasserting your authority, ok?"

"Yes, well, you will be required to compensate for any amusement such a favor causes me to miss, Andréa."

Laughing at the dry tone, Andy grinned at her with more than a hint of deviltry.

"Oh, I'll make it up to you. Count on it." She winked.

"That's all, Andréa." It was the only response a flustered Miranda could think of.

Andy's laughter floated back to her as the brunette swung open the door and strode through the outer office. Her two assistants stood at the edge of Emily's desk watching the long legs and swinging hips of her lover. Miranda's eyes narrowed. Not for long.

"Emily."

Both women jumped and shivered, the icy tone letting them know they'd been caught. Gulping, the red-head entered her boss' office. It was going to be a very long afternoon.

----,----'----

Hours later Roy brought the Mercedes to a stop in front of Andy's apartment building. With the twins at their father's for the weekend, Miranda had opted to come directly here from the office. A phone call earlier in the afternoon had set the details and the editor was looking forward to spending the evening and perhaps the night, if not the entire weekend, with the woman she loved. There was a great deal she wanted to tell the young woman and even more she wanted to do to her.

Miranda still found it hard to believe that she had yet to make love to Andréa. Every time they had been together, the brunette had sated her into exhaustion, not that she was complaining. The editor had long ago given up on finding a lover who could dominate her. Her personality was entirely too strong for most of the people she had been involved with over the years. She had convinced herself that she was meant to be the dominant party in all her relationships, but a small part of her, hidden deep down, had hoped that one day she would find the one person that she could submit herself to. Her fear had always kept her from willingly giving herself over to anyone, afraid they would see that need as weakness and use it against her. The result was that her sex life had always been vaguely unfulfilling; the men she had been with bending under her stronger will. She found it highly surprising that the one person who seemed to be able to bend her would prove to be Andréa. In the entire time the young woman had worked at Runway, Miranda had never seen any sign of the steely strength the brunette had shown her during the past week. No, that wasn't correct. The editor had seen it in the straight line of the younger woman's back as she had walked away in Paris.

So intent was she on getting inside the building that she barely gave Roy time enough to open the car door before hurrying across the sidewalk, tossing directions over her shoulder that she would not need him any further that night. She pressed the button next to Andréa's name and waited impatiently for the buzz that would let her inside. She came as close as she ever had to racing up the stairs and knocked abruptly at the apartment door. She pushed her way inside as the door opened, pressing her lover against the wall and claiming those full lips with her own.

The kiss went on, as Miranda did her utmost to relay to Andréa how much she needed, loved and wanted the younger woman with her lips and tongue. Her hands cupped full breasts, thumbs working over the nipples feeling them harden and press back. The brunette moaned low in her throat and Miranda fastened her lips to the hollow at the base of that long neck as if she sought to draw the sound out to taste it.

With her lips now freed, Andy fought to draw breath into her starving lungs. The editor seemed almost frantic to have her, but if she didn't stop the older woman now, she was going to end up with a hickey in a very hard to hide place. She pushed back on the editor's shoulders.

"Miranda…baby…wait."

The editor drew back searching her lover's eyes, trying to read the expression there.

"Don't you want me to…" She stopped and with a shaky breath settled the mask of Miranda Priestly into place. Stepping back, she created space between them. As much as she craved the younger woman's hands on her flesh, Miranda knew herself well enough to know she could not be happy in a one-sided relationship. It would not work for her even in an affair. Drawing her coat closer around her body, she reached for the door.

"I should go. This obviously isn't something you want and I can't accept less."

"Whoa, Miranda," Andy reached to draw the other woman back against her body. "I'm not stopping us, baby. Just slowing it down a bit." She wrapped her arms around a slim waist and cradled the smaller body against her own. "You know I want you. I want to feel your hands on me, in me. I thought maybe we could have a glass of wine and talk a bit first. I want a relationship with you, Miranda. I want us to build something strong, not just fall into bed every time we're together. I thought that was what you wanted too."

The editor nodded, wrapping her arms around the one's holding her so gently. She could barely contain the sheer joy that welled inside of her knowing that Andréa wanted them to be together as much as she did and in the same way. She allowed herself to be lead further into the apartment, taking a seat on the couch and accepting a glass of wine. When the brunette settled beside her, Miranda kicked off her shoes and curled her legs beneath her leaning against the younger woman's side. Andy draped an arm around the editor's shoulders and cuddled Miranda to her. Who would have thought Miranda Priestly likes to cuddle? But then the woman she was coming to know was very different than the icon the rest of the world saw.

"So how did the rest of your day go?" She asked pressing her lips to a soft temple.

"Mmmm. Very well. Both Emilys are back in line and only slightly scathed." She smiled at the chuckle that vibrated against her body.

"Thank you, baby." Andy murmured.

Miranda took a slow sip of her wine contemplating how best to bring up the next subject.

"Andréa, you've been…," she sighed and decided to just be as blunt as always. "You're very dominating with me. I hardly recognize you. It's not how you were at Runway."

Andy shifted, uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was taking. She had actively avoided questioning herself on this topic. She'd never been this way with anyone else and was almost afraid to look too closely at why. A solid middle class Midwestern upbringing created a lot of taboos in a person's psyche. Loving a woman was complicated enough to face, adding in sexual dynamics just made the whole thing too complex to deal with.

"Yeah, well, it doesn't have to happen again. I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable." She took a long drink of her wine, looking everywhere except at Miranda.

Blue eyes widened as the editor realized what her lover was thinking.

"No, Andréa, I didn't mean…," she started only to be cut off.

"It's fine, Miranda, I'll keep better control of myself." Andy was beginning to feel really foolish. Of course, a woman like Miranda Priestly would object to being manhandled, or womanhandled as the case may be.

Seeing that the issue was quickly getting out of hand, Miranda took both their glasses and set them on the coffee table. Standing, she lifted her skirt and settled onto the younger woman's lap, trapping Andréa between her thighs and forcing the brunette to look at her by capturing her face between gentle hands.

"I am not saying I want you to stop, Darling. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love the way you are with me. I only brought it up because I also want to be able to touch you. I can't be happy if I'm not allowed to express my love for you as well and nothing in our past interactions led me to believe you were this way." Miranda punctuated her sentence with a slow, deep kiss.

Andy brought her hands to rest on her lover's thighs. Sliding her hands along their lengths, she relished the feel of the silk stockings under her palms, the texture warmed by the editor's skin.

"That's just it. I never was before," Andy began. "No, that's not true. I never felt comfortable expressing that part of me before." She leaned back and rested her head on the couch looking up at the woman in her lap. "You make me crazy, Miranda. I completely lose control with you and that just comes out. You bring it out in me and being with you…It feels safe, safe to be who I am."

Miranda's smile was iridescent. Husbands and lovers had expressed many things about being with her over the years, but no one had ever said they felt safe being with her. She was amazed at how unbelievably good it made her feel. Added to that was the fact that no one had ever seen this side of the young woman before, it was reserved for her.

"I feel safe with you also, Andréa. I know you won't willingly hurt me…my body or my heart. I've never felt that either. I don't want to lose this, nor do I want to talk about it anymore, at least not right now." Rising from the younger woman's lap, she tugged at the tie that held her blouse in place. Turning, she walked towards the bedroom, shrugging the delicate material from her shoulders and letting it drop to the floor. She glanced back over her shoulder to see if the brunette was following.

"Come to bed and let me show you how much I appreciate how you are with me, Andréa."

Her hands moved to the fastener of her skirt just before she stepped out of sight. A moment later the black material flew into sight and landed on the floor, followed a moment later by one Louboutin and then the other. Needing no more encouragement, Andy practically jumped over the coffee table in her hurry to follow. She barely paused at the door of her bedroom to take in the gleaming white skin broken only by the delicate lines of black lingerie and silk thigh highs before taking a running dive at the bed and lush body awaiting her.

"Andréa!" The throaty laugh carried the sheer joy of knowing she had at last found what she'd always wanted and in the most unlikeliest of places.

The brunette drew back from the alabaster column of neck she had immediately latched on to.

"Yes, Miranda," she quipped, eyes sparkling with humor.

Unable to help herself, the editor traced smiling lips with a fingertip.

"No, darling. In our bed, it's 'Yes, Andréa' and always will be."

Andy's smile slowly faded, her expression becoming serious as she searched Miranda's eyes for the truth. She had to be sure this was what the editor truly wanted.

Knowing she wasn't easy to read, the editor let her feelings clearly show, and was relieved when the brunette's expression softened. She gasped in shock to find herself suddenly rolled over on top of the younger woman.

"I believe," Andy began, stopping to press a kiss to the convenient slope of a breast, "someone promised to show their appreciation. I think now would be a good time."

Miranda unleashed that rare radiant smile.

"Oh, yes. Now would be perfect," she purred leaning down to capture full lips with her own. Sliding her legs to either side of the brunette's hips, she sat up bringing Andréa with her. Grasping the hem of the long-sleeved t-shirt the younger woman wore, Miranda lifted it up and over her head, tossing it to the floor near her own clothes. She filled her hands with warm, naked flesh marveling at the softness and weight. Andréa's breasts were firm and heavy and Miranda wanted desperately to taste them. She couldn't take her eyes from the rapidly hardening nipples, which she caught between thumbs and forefingers pinching gently.

"Harder," Andy instructed.

Miranda's eyes diverted to meet her lovers for a long silent moment, then she nodded her understanding. Even in this, Andréa would lead.

The shuddering gasp and hissed, 'Yesss', she received as she pressed the turgid nubs tighter between her fingers struck deep inside her belly. She expressed the increase in her arousal by plundering Andréa's mouth as she alternated pinching and pulling the younger woman's nipples with squeezing the large masses in her hands. When she felt the brunette begin to arch up against her, Miranda released her breasts and grabbed the waist of her lounging pants, stripping them down. That Andréa was naked beneath her clothing was incredibly arousing to the older woman.

With a hand on each knee, she pressed, spreading long, toned legs to make room for her body. She wanted to taste Andréa, show her in the most intimate way possible how very much she did appreciate her. She opened the brunette with her fingertips and leaned forward, tongue extended for that first sweet taste and suddenly stopped realizing it didn't feel quite right. Her eyes swept up over the long body stretched out before her to Andréa's face, where she looked deep into her lover's eyes.

"Please?" Miranda asked. The unmistakable look of pure love in those doe eyes gave her the answer and she lowered her mouth savoring that first contact.

Andy arched up off the bed at the feel of her lover's hot tongue stroking over her. She wanted to close her eyes and be lost in the feeling, but was unable to stop watching Miranda, her Miranda, with mouth firmly attached to the most intimate part of her body. She didn't try to stop herself from riding the wet muscle that pushed inside of her, hips flexing in counter rhythm to its firm thrusting. Her moans mingled with Miranda's as three fingers replaced the tongue and lips fastened over her clitoris to suck and nip at her. It seemed only seconds before she arched and screamed out her pleasure. She collapsed to the bed, hands reaching to pull her lover to her. Miranda came willingly, clasping the still trembling body to her and planting soft kisses all over Andy's face and neck.

The brunette's arms were like steel bands around her, claiming her, owning her and Miranda had never felt so safe or so loved. As she felt herself turned, felt the weight of her lover's long body pressing her into the mattress, the lips that attached to her breast and the long fingers that stroked purposefully between her legs, Miranda knew she was where she belonged, with whom she belonged and there was no fear. With Andréa, there would never again be fear.