Miranda woke, as she normally did, far earlier in the morning than necessary. Often, the early morning wakeup was not exactly welcomed but was necessary in order to prepare for the day. This time she was grateful for the habit that had replaced a rather nightmarish sequence of mental images that included mangled cars and injured children. There was one good image however in the form of the very real presence of Andrea protectively holding her.
This feeling of total security was something that Miranda had never experienced with any of her other lovers. That term gave her pause. Lovers? She knew that although it had been used to describe her previous partners, none of them really qualified for that term. Love had never really been present during any of her previous liaisons. Andrea's breath warmed her shoulder and Miranda smiled. It was never something she could get used to with any of the men she'd slept with, even her husbands. Their breath on her had always made her skin crawl. Right now she did need to get up, but not because of Andrea or her proximity.
Easing out from under Andrea's arm, Miranda made her way to the bathroom. Once finished with her morning routine, she found herself standing next to the bed, watching Andrea sleep. Miranda stood for a long moment, clutching her robe tightly around her. Warring with herself, divided on the subject of taking the risk on a relationship with Andrea. As of right now, they could still call the whole thing off. As of right now, they had, still, not yet gone too far. As of right now, she could walk away, and it would hurt, badly, but it wouldn't kill her. She could still walk away if she didn't want to risk her heart any more. Bending over the bed, Miranda placed a gentle kiss on Andrea's forehead then swept out of the room.
Andy too was experiencing a series of nightmarish images, although they didn't seem so bad at first. She was just driving along a scenic road. Winter landscapes were passing by slowly when a deer jumped out in front of her car. She slammed on the brakes and skidded into a tree. Now she hurt all over and was cold. Closing her eyes tightly, she curled up into a ball and tried to get warm. Oh, there... warmth. Something solid under her. Opening her eyes, Andy saw the fireplace from the mountain house. She was sitting on her place on the hearth. This was good... Tay barked and wanted to go outside. She took him out and the Winter morphed into Spring... Tay bounded around chasing squirrels and Andy sat on the bench by the lake. Three butterflies, one larger one and two smaller ones, fluttered around her and Andy laughed as they landed on her forehead, cheeks and nose, touching down and flitting away quickly. Their legs tickled. It was wonderful, she was happy. Then the sky darkened and the wind became cold again as her Father appeared beside her on the bench.
"Nasty things," he said and raised his hand to shoo the insects away. "Stay away from my daughter."
"No!" Andy was appalled at the statement. "No Daddy... stop it!"
"No!" His eye shone with glee as one of the butterflies landed on the arm of the bench. He brought his hand down, smashing the colorful insect.
"No! Daddy!" Andy screamed and tears streamed down her face, "I love them!" She couldn't believe her father was acting like this, it wasn't him, he wouldn't be so mean. Her father wouldn't ever be so... monsterous. He loved her, Andy knew he did...
"You can't love them!" He sneered, "You don't!"
"I DO!" Andy gently picked up the smashed creature and, oblivious now to her nightmare-father's ranting, whispered to it, "I do love you." The fragile wings began to move and the butterfly stood, healthy and whole on her hand. It fluttered up to land very close to her ear and Andy thought she heard it say.
"I love you too."
Tay barked at her father and jumped up on the man, knocking him down into the mud at the lake's edge. Andy walked away slowly, carefully, because the butterfly and its two small companions had landed on the back of her hand and she didn't want to disturb them.
Tay barked again, and this time Andy felt the surface under her shift then heard Miranda's voice respond.
Rolling over, Andy breathed deeply and pushed her unruly hair out of her eyes. "Miranda? Wha... What time is it?"
"It's nearly five..." Miranda sat on the edge of the bed and traced Andrea's jawline with her fingertips, "Go back to sleep if you wish."
"Stay with me."
Miranda looked into Andrea's eyes for a long moment then relented. "One moment." She left the room and returned shortly with one of Taymor's large pillow beds. She placed it in the corner of the room and gestured to it. "Taymor, Bed!"
He obediently trotted over to the comfy spot and settled on it with a huff.
"Stay." Miranda told him sternly.
He yawned and put his head down on his paws, the warm familiar scents of this woman and the house comforted him.
Miranda detoured to the bathroom for a moment then joined Andrea on the bed. She carefully handed her girlfriend a single rose.
"Miranda..." Andy accepted the flower gingerly, the thorns were actually very sharp. "Thank you." She sniffed the flower wishing she could place the scent, then set it aside for a moment. "How do you do that?" She'd never managed to get a straight answer to that question. "Get them to deliver at this hour." When Miranda remained silent, Andy bit the bullet and brought the subject up. "Cassidy told me, a long time ago, that I should ask you about the flowers." Pulling Miranda close, Andy asked, "What is their significance to you?"
"They are a hybrid species..." Miranda closed her eyes to revel in the warmth of Andrea's embrace. "My mother... loved gardening. She spent hours in the rose garden tending the plants. She... created that flower."
"She created it?"
Nodding, Miranda continued, "Through selective cross breeding, she made a flower that reminded her of a sunrise." Shining blue eyes focused on the past, "Her favorite time of day." Pausing in the story, Miranda collected her thoughts and continued. "No one else grows them, or can grow them, they are mine, the last thing I have connecting me to my mother."
"You've taken Taymor outside before, you've seen the greenhouse."
"Miranda, are you telling me that you grow these yourself?" Andy looked at the flower again, slightly awed.
"I grow them, cut them, harvest them, in my free time."
"You're free time?" Andy knew that Miranda rarely had any free time.
"There is more than enough time to devote to my family and still tend the flowers. It doesn't take that long each week." Miranda sighed, "There have been several florists that have wanted to buy the rights from me. But I will not give them up."
"Of course not! My God.. Miranda... Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing them with me." A word in Miranda's tale struck her. "Harvest?"
Licking her lips, Miranda nodded, "The rose hips that grow on this particular plant," She exhaled softly as one of her major secrets passed her lips, "are the main ingredient in my signature perfume."
"Oh!" Andy suddenly realized why the flowers smelled so familiar. Pulling Miranda closer, Andy brought their lips together in a breathtaking kiss, her hands finding the curves that they fit so perfectly.
"Mmmm..." Miranda loved the feel of Andrea's hands on her, but there were more important things to concern her right now. "The girls..."
"They're going to be fine, Miranda." Andy reminded her. "The doctor said they would most likely be released tomorrow." She held Miranda closely, feeling the woman's spasms as Miranda began to cry.
"I was so scared. If anything ever happened to the girls..." Clinging to Andrea, Miranda confessed, "I would not have made it through this without you."
"Shhh... they're fine... they're going to be fine." Andy assured her, "I would never leave you to deal with anything like this alone. Never, Miranda. I'll always be here for you."
Miranda pulled away after a few minutes of self-indulgent wallowing in the comfort of Andrea's arms. She was breathing heavily, trying to sort out everything she was feeling and thinking. "Andrea... I..." James' voice echoed in her mind, Just tell her. Caroline's joined her father's, Just do it... She had been wrong earlier. She had thought that she could walk away and her heart would mend itself in time. That wasn't true, because it hadn't only been a few months that she had been loving Andrea. It had been longer, much longer than that. Wiping away the tears that streaked her cheeks, Miranda smiled, "Our anniversary is coming up."
"Anniversary? What do you want to do for our first year? I still owe you a tropical island trip."
Chuckling at that, Miranda smiled, "The trip is for when the book sells. And it won't be our first anniversary, Andrea."
Miranda nodded. "No. It will be our third." Smiling at the shock on Andrea's face, Miranda named the date, "March Thirteenth, Two Thousand and Six. The day you entered my life and changed it, forever."
"I can't believe you remember that."
"How could I forget, the day I met you?" Miranda brought their lips together gently, then with more pressure. Her hands found their way under Andrea's pajama top, caressing the smooth skin, stretching across the young woman's muscular stomach. "Andrea..." Just tell her. Just do it. "Andrea," she felt it, she did. It had been easy to whisper the words to a sleeping woman, but now Miranda had to force the words past her lips, "I love you."
"I love you too, Miranda." Andy sighed between kisses and writhed against Miranda's hand as it slid upward past her ribs. Unable to take the barriers between them Andy quickly shed her top and began working on the buttons holding Miranda's shirt together. When the fabric opened, Andy's eyes closed, momentarily overwhelmed by the sight. "You are so beautiful, Miranda." Her hand moved almost of its own accord and Andy loved the feel of Miranda's breast in her hand, the weight of it. The small pebbled flesh in the center hardened and pushed against her palm. "I've loved you for longer than I can say."
Laying Miranda back, Andy guided that taut bit of flesh into her mouth, smiling against it as Miranda arched and gasped.
Andy stopped for a moment in order to remove the last barriers of fabric between them. Sliding Miranda's pajama's down off her legs and kicking her own off quickly, before returning her attention to Miranda's exquisite breasts.
Since it only took one hand for the task, Andy's other hand began to explore expanses of skin. The ridged texture of Miranda's ribs, the soft curve at Miranda's waist, the gentle swell of her hip. The long line on the outside of Miranda's thigh, the hardness of her knee, and the long line back up the inside of Miranda's thigh. Even though Miranda's leg moved, opening to the pressure of Andy's light touch, Andy stopped her hand's motion and asked, "May I?"
"Yes." Darkened blue eyes closed as Andrea's fingers explored the warmth and wetness they found. "Oh.. yesss."
Not quite believing she'd been granted the honor, Andy delighted in the textures she found, the coarse hair, the smooth slick skin, the small nubbin protrusion. Each one evoking its own special sound from Miranda, a moan for this one, a gasp from that one. Each one given individual care, until only one unexplored area remained. Although she loved to see and taste Miranda's breasts, Andy redirected her gaze to Miranda's face. The sight of this gorgeous woman caught in the throes of passion made her gasp and she couldn't help freezing, an awed whisper escaped her throat, "God..."
Miranda opened her vivid blue eyes to meet Andy's dark brown gaze. They were poised on the edge. Andrea was about to become her lover in every sense of the word and Miranda wanted that, needed that. Keeping eye contact, Miranda canted her hips forward, pushing herself up off the bed slightly, impaling herself on Andrea's stilled fingers, giving herself over completely.
The sensation of being inside the woman she loved beyond all measure, the Miranda Priestly, broke Andy out of her paralysis. She met each thrust of Miranda's hips with her own and her thumb found the spot that made Miranda gasp so deliciously.
"Andrea!" Miranda cried out amazed that she was being so vocal. No one had ever brought that out in her. No one had ever made her feel like this, so alive and vibrating with need that built within her with every touch, until wave upon wave of pleasure crashed over her. Andrea held her as she recovered from the sensory overload. Breathing deeply, Miranda was aware of something that she had never experienced before. Her body was no longer her own, it was Andrea's to do with as she pleased, forever.
"Miranda," Andy found Miranda's ear and whispered, "I love you."
"I love you." Miranda smiled as the words slid off her tongue easily. She caressed Andrea's cheek then threaded her fingers through the waves of long dark hair surrounding Andrea's face. Raising up, Miranda captured the younger woman's lips then began to explore the leonine neck. She was intent on giving Andrea as much joy as she had just experienced.
Taking her time, Miranda began to learn Andrea's body, the curves, the sensitive spots, the places that made the young woman gasp. She had not thought it possible, but Miranda came to understand that as much as she enjoyed Andrea's attentions to her, she loved making love to Andrea just as much, if not more. She reveled in the sensation of making Andrea writhe under her with a mere touch. A slight shift would elicit a gasp from the already panting young woman and kissing the pulse point on Andrea's neck brought forth the most delicious moan imaginable. Kissing her way down Andrea's body, Miranda found herself looking up past the small expanse of skin to meet wide dark eyes, before lowering her lips to taste the one part of Andrea she had yet to sample.
"Oh..." Andy's hips bucked, "Oh, God... Miranda!" The deadly sharp tongue that could cut a designer to pieces with a few words, swirled deliciously. It was too much. Every muscle in Andy's body clenched and her eyes closed tightly as she collapsed back onto the bed. She tried to catch her breath, tried to form a coherent sentence. Nothing seemed to come to mind.
Pulling Miranda back up her completely satiated body, Andy kissed her lover, her partner, deeply, enjoying the taste of herself on Miranda's lips. "I love you."
"Mmmm..." Miranda snuggled down at Andrea's side, keeping as much skin contact as possible between them. "And I you."
They both dozed for a short time then Andy awoke to something tickling her foot. She moved it so it was back on the bed under the covers and looked to see Tay sitting near the edge of the bed. "Tay, that tickles."
Miranda roused at the rumbling words. "Hmm..." Sleep muddled, Miranda asked, "What?"
Andy laughed, "Taymor was licking my foot. It tickled."
"Mmm..." Settling back down, Miranda closed her eyes and mumbled, "Bad, Taymor..." She conceded that it was time to be getting up. "This is a lovely way to wake up, but we need to get cleaned up and get to the hospital."
Andy took a deep breath and agreed, "Yeah, but we have time. It's early. The girls will still be sleeping." She kissed Miranda temple and turned her lover slightly to see out of the room's large window. "Look," Andy smiled and pointed to the pinking clouds.
"It's a beautiful sunrise."
"Mmmm... it certainly is." Miranda smiled, "I told you we would share one, one day."
"More than one I hope." Andy squeezed the woman in her arms gently, "Maybe a few sunsets too?"
Miranda laughed, "Acceptable." She grinned wryly, "On a tropical island?"
"Of course." Andy laughed, "As soon as I win that lottery."
Patting the stomach under her hand, Miranda chuckled, "I think perhaps your aspirations as a novelist will pay off before the lottery idea pans out. You have sent the book to several publishers, yes?"
"Yes, but I'm not telling you which ones and you promised to stay out of that process."
"Yes, Andrea." Miranda spoke mockingly obedient, "I won't interfere. But I want my lawyer to look at any contract before you sign it."
"Of course, Miranda." Andy kissed the tip of Miranda's nose, "But lottery or book deal... so long as we get to be together, I'll be happy." She couldn't imagine a future for herself without Miranda and the girls in it. "C'mon... let's go check on the girls."
The ocean view from their patio was spectacular and had given them a wonderful perspective to watch the sunrise this morning. Now, Miranda and Andy watched the waves rolling toward the shore and grinned at the girls as they surfed the larger swells.
"So, this didn't take as long as I thought." Andy grinned. "The paperwork wasn't that bad."
Miranda laughed, "Keith has always known how to procure the best deals for his clients. He's a good lawyer."
"Well, I promised that when I sold my first book I'd take us all on a tropical island vacation... so," Andy gestured to the sand and ocean in front of them, along with the sky that was just turning from pink to blue, "here we are."
"Mmm... yes, well. They love the islands." Miranda grinned, "You will have to continue writing for years to come in order to satiate their need for the beach."
Laughing at that, Andy turned her head to look into her love's amused blue eyes. "I think I can manage that." The book's reviews were all amazing and it had been on the best seller's list for weeks. Although she didn't think it was going to be as huge as Harry Potter or Twilight, Andy knew that she had the potential for a popular series of books on her hands, or more accurately, in her head. Plus, there were a couple of stand alone novels she thought might make their way to the printed page, on occasion. "They're just lucky I have so many ideas in my head."
"I believe I am the lucky one in this senario." Miranda grinned, "Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket?" Andrea's habit of buying a ticket when she 'felt lucky' was a constant source of amusement for Miranda.
Rolling her eyes at the familiar teasing comment, Andy laughed, "Write a book. It seems to work better than hoping for your numbers to match." Dark eyes reflected Miranda's smiling face and Andy spoke quietly, "And, just so you know, I am the lucky one, Miranda."
"Hmmm..." Miranda took a sip of her fruit juice concoction and asked, "When do you have to be at the bookstore, Andrea?"
Accepting the change of subject, Andy recalled her schedule. "The signing doesn't start until ten." She laughed as Taymor romped at the edge of the rolling water sneezing when he poked his nose too far into the surf. "They'll send a car around nine-thirty I think." She asked, "Are you sure you don't want to join me?"
"Not today." Miranda shook her head. "I have a conference call to take at ten-thirty. We can still meet for lunch though, and take an excursion this afternoon to that cove we were told about."
"Excellent." Andy stood and stretched. "I'm gonna take a shower and get ready to meet my adoring fans."
"Mmm... need any help?" Miranda's blue eyes twinkled in the morning sun.
"Anytime." She offered her elbow as Miranda rose from her chair and spoke conversationally, "It was a lovely sunrise." She had grown to adore that time of morning spent quietly with Miranda.
"Mmm... yes," Miranda leaned into her partner's solid frame and grinned, "I would imagine the sunset will be spectacular as well." She had learned to love the multi-hued evening displays, especially when, at the end of them, she knew she would be spending the rest of the night in Andrea's arms.
Miranda chuckled at that and thought about how much things had changed since Andrea had re-entered her life. All too soon, Caroline and Cassidy would be going off to college and things would change again. But, she knew, one thing would never change, smiling at that thought Miranda spoke quietly. "I love you, Andrea."
Andy felt her breath catch as it always did, always had, when Miranda's smile appeared. "I love you too, Miranda."