The screen in front of Andy kept blurring as she tried to concentrate on the words. It had been almost a year since she had written anything serious and the sudden task to 'fix what those imbecile Features writers were incapable of accomplishing', as Miranda had so eloquently put it, was daunting and not a little anxiety-inducing. She had about two hours left to polish the few, barely acceptable paragraphs and come up with an additional thousand words to stress all the important points and turn the 'sorry excuse for an article' into something worthy of appearing in Runway.
Of course, Miranda's constant pacing on the desk and those critical eyes trained on every word the brunette produced onto the screen did not help.
"Uhm... could you please stop crawling over the keyboard, Miranda? You're making me nervous."
The mink turned around and fixed her with a hardened gaze.
"How can I be expected to not pace around with so much incompetence around?" Blue eyes narrowed at Andy and the familiar boss-mode caused the brunette to gulp. "I was under the impression that you wanted to write for a magazine. Well... now is your chance."
"Yes," the assistant shut her eyes and rubbed at her aching temples. "I understand... and I'm grateful. It's just not easy to get into 'the zone' with you breathing down my neck... or rather... my fingers." She looked down at the unhappy mink and wiggled her hands.
"I know you want to keep an eye on everything, with the deadline looming right ahead and all that, but I think I could work better if you weren't constantly checking up on me."
"'Checking up' on you?" Miranda was definitely not pleased and the hair on the back of her neck rose up like on a dog that was about to lunge for an attack. "I am still your superior, Andrea. I hope you don't forget that." Her tone was deadly and the brunette couldn't help but flinch.
The fire in the editor's eyes nearly drowned out the worries that were so clearly setting her on edge, and Andy felt bad, because she sensed that Miranda was acting like this because she was truly stressed. Who could blame her? This situation might have had its fun moments, but Andy realised that being confronted with the prospects of losing the twins gave the editor every right to become unpleasant.
"Look, I'm sorry. Maybe... you can sit down?" The brunette offered an open palm to the mink. "That way you're still able to read along, but you won't distract me so much."
Her boss didn't move and just glared back.
"Please, Miranda. I'm sorry that I snapped at you. I'm under a lot of pressure and I want to do a good job. The best job."
The mink's eyes narrowed slightly, but she remained quiet on the other side of the desk.
Andy wondered whether Miranda would be susceptible to the pout that had aided the brunette in many such situations in the past. Lowering her chin and blinking her large eyes down at the editor, she moved her mouth and pushed her bottom lip forward. The pout had always been a trump in her arsenal when she needed a favour or wanted to turn a discussion to her advantage. Using it on her boss, she knew, was slightly unprofessional, but sometimes extreme situations required extreme measures.
"I'm sorry." She extended her hand further and used her index finger to stroke softly over the mink's front paw. "Please come here, so that I can continue."
Miranda's face softened, and with an air of defiance, that said she was not submitting to emotional blackmail, but rather moving on her own volition, she crossed the desk and sauntered back to Andy.
Holy crap, it worked!
The brunette managed to keep the amusement from showing in her face and she allowed the mink to crawl onto her lap.
"Thank you," she whispered and straightened her spine. "Now, where was I?"
Soon the assistant's fingers were flying over the keys again and she got lost in an argument countering the idea that faux fur would just encourage, instead of lessen, the status of real fur. She carefully moulded her words into an explanation that, by this particular logic, vegans who wore artificial leather boots were stimulating the industry just as much.
Mankind had evolved millennia ago by donning the skin of the animals they hunted, and those origins of fur and leather could not simply be denied. However, since then humans had found other ways to manufacture clothing, and beside the Inuit or an occasional polar expedition, wearing fur as a means to protect oneself from the elements was no longer a necessity.
Fashion, nonetheless, was a way to express oneself. Just as much as wearing military jackets did not imply that one agreed with wars, a wrap made from synthetic fibres that represented animal skin wasn't meant to promote animal abuse.
Andy further stressed the points of research into organic alternatives, not only when it came to fake fur, but in regards for the textile industry as a whole, and then came to a conclusion that focused on the actual garments. Miranda, who had been resting her little chin on the edge of the desk above the brunette's lap, was quietly reading through the last few lines on the screen.
"Hmmm..." she murmured after a while.
The assistant tensed and waited for signs of disapproval, but Miranda just nodded her head and said, "Send it to the Features editor with a copy to Nigel."
"Oh... okay," Andy mumbled surprised and began to compose the email. "So, is it alright? I mean, not too bad?"
"It's passable. I'd switch around a paragraph or two, and you should work on your punctuation," the editor tilted back her head to look up at the brunette. "But it isn't too shabby."
Andy felt dizzy at the unexpected compliment and her fingers trembled when she clicked to attach the text file and sent it off through the Runway ethernet.
"Thanks," she whispered sheepishly and out of habit stroked the editor's fluffy back.
"So... now what?"
They had spent most of the day on the article, with only a few visits to the art department to look at the faux fur spread layout, and now it was almost eight.
"Actually," Miranda said when she jumped down from her warm spot on Andy's lap and stretched her lithe body on the carpet, "I'm rather hungry. Could you check the office fridge for something edible?"
The mink's frequent fixation on food was starting to become rather endearing and Andy rose from her chair with a smile on her face. Now that the article was sent for final editing and the fashion maven hadn't hated it, the brunette was able to relax and she almost skipped the few feet to the kitchenette. The prospects of nutritional conquests in the fridge, however, were rather bleak and she stared at the empty shelves with disappointment when her own stomach made itself known.
"Uhm, all I can offer is half a grapefruit and some crackers, I'm afraid." She closed the fridge and turned around just in time to see a short man pushing through the double glass doors.
"Oh... good evening Mr. Ravitz," she greeted Elias-Clark's chairman a bit confused. What was he doing here on a Sunday night?
"Where is she?" The man asked slightly agitated.
An inconspicuous look around the office assured Andy that the editor was safely hidden under the desk and out of sight.
"Uhm... Miranda is at home, sir..."
"No she isn't. My assistant attempted to reach her at the house all day, unsuccessfully, might I add. So I ended up going over there myself and the place was empty."
Crap, the brunette thought. If the chairman himself was actively trying to find Miranda, things were really bad.
"Uhm... maybe she was out?"
"Don't take me for a fool, young lady," his small eyes were squinting at her through the black-rimmed glasses. "I know of the last-minute changes to the issue, and I know Miranda. She wouldn't just trust her staff to get things done in a hurry without sitting right on top of them." He looked around the assistant area and then walked to the doors that lead the editor-in-chief's office. "Now, tell me. Where is she?"
"I... I'm afraid I don't know, sir. I haven't seen her since Thursday morning." Technically that wasn't a lie.
"You're telling me, that I'm being swamped by advertisers who have been inexplicably dropped from this issue, and I've just gotten news about a two-hundred-thousand dollar lingerie spread being cut in favour of a highly-sensitive and provocative subject matter that won't sell us half as many copies as the naked girls would have... and the woman responsible has simply vanished?"
An angry, red flush crawled up Irv's neck from the collar of his shirt and he leaned closer to the frightened brunette, who shrank back in order to not to agitate him further with the few inches she had on him.
"You," he pointed his stubby fingers at her chest. "You will tell her that I want the issue back to the original format that she presented to the board last week. I want the lingerie model returned to the cover and I want none of this anti-fur business."
Andy grimaced when his unpleasant breath reached her face, but she knew she couldn't budge on this. They couldn't risk Miranda remaining stuck in the body of a small animal and never be able to talk to her girls again. Memories of the pained expression on the editor's face during the phone call with the twins strengthened the assistant's resolve and she squared her shoulders.
The short man looked taken aback. "Excuse me?"
"No. I won't tell her. And she won't change back the issue." She clenched her jaw in an attempt to still remain polite. Irv was, after all, still everyone's boss.
He stepped even closer and the brunette moved back against the wall in an attempt to escape the loathsome, little man.
"If that woman doesn't do as I say, I will make sure," he grabbed Andy's arm just above the elbow and tightened his fingers to a painful squeeze. "That you will find yourself without a job and the chance to work in publishing ever again."
The young woman winced from pain and disgust, but refused to bend to his will.
Irv sneered and pressed his body against Andy's. "Have I made myself clear?"
Before Andy could respond or try anything to get the creepy man off of her, the chairman jerked back with a blood-curdling shriek that echoed loudly through the otherwise abandoned office. He staggered to the side and the assistant spotted the white, fluffy blur that had its jaw tightly locked around Irv's calf.
"What the hell! Get this thing off me!"
He violently shook his leg and Andy worried for Miranda's safety as her little body was flung from side to side. The mink managed to hold on for a bit, but then she lost her grip and Irv managed to shake her loose. With a yell of pain and frustration he swung back his foot and drove his polished shoes straight into the little creature, sending it into the air and flying into Miranda's office, where it landed on the carpet with a soft thud.
Andy pushed past the chairman and staggered over to quickly kneel on the floor beside the lifeless ball of fur.
"No, no, no... Mira... please... please be okay!"
Irv's nasty sniff barely registered when the brunette gently cradled the editor. Tears spilled across her cheeks and she frantically tried to feel for a heartbeat.
"You know what to do." Mr. Ravitz spat at her. "Fix this, or you're fired." He straightened his collar and nodded to the mink. "And I hope you realise that bringing your pet rat to the office is against Elias-Clark regulations. If it turns out that I will need a rabies shot, I will sue."
"You can try, sir," Andy shot back evenly through her tears, "but then you'll have to face charges for assault on a staff member and animal abuse."
He narrowed his eyes and sent her a final, seething look, before turning around and walking away, unable to fully hide his limp.
"Miranda... Miranda," the assistant whispered into the white fur as she held the frail, little body to herself.
"Please wake up... don't leave me..."
The faint pulse under her finger tips sparked some hope and she nuzzled carefully behind the little ears.
"Ugh..." the creature groaned and began to slowly move its limbs. "Ouch."
"Oh thank god!" The brunette sobbed in relief and pressed tiny kisses all over the mink's forehead and cheeks.
"As much as I may enjoy your euphoria about my being alive, I don't think it's worth the pain and humiliation of being kicked across my own office" the editor murmured. Andy pulled away and looked down onto the white fluff ball to figure out whether she had heard correctly. A tiny smirk playing on Miranda's lips confirmed her ears were in good working order, and the brunette could no longer contain an elated giggle.
"You're okay? Nothing broken?" She carefully set the editor back down on the carpet.
Miranda slowly flexed her muscles and, although she appeared to be sore, she managed to walk.
"I think I'm okay. It's quite remarkable how resilient this little body seems to be."
Andy lowered her head to press her forehead gently against Miranda's and whispered, "thank you for saving me from the clutches of that disgusting, little man..."
Happiness welled up in her heart when the editor nosed her wet cheeks and shortly thereafter a raspy, little tongue began lapping at her tears. The brunette chuckled under the tickling sensation and pulled the mink closer for a hug.
"Does Miranda know you're canoodling with her little, furry project on the floor of her office?" Nigel's voice forced them apart abruptly.
Sheepishly drying her cheeks with her palms, Andy stood and turned toward the fashion director.
"Uhm... yeah, she does, actually."
Miranda had the audacity to snort which tore fresh giggles from her assistant. Nigel looked between the young woman and the mink and raised his eyebrows.
"Well, I just came here to talk about your surprisingly well-constructed article. On the way over I bumped into Irv and he seemed thoroughly disgruntled about something." He squinted at Andy in a way that indicated he knew she was somehow involved. "Any idea what could have gotten his briefs in a knot?"
"Uh... well," the assistant looked at Miranda who nodded her head and whispered that they could trust Nigel. "Irv wasn't exactly... happy with all those sudden changes. Especially since we kicked all the fur coat ads this close to winter."
The fashion director nodded.
"He also wasn't amused about the change from the lingerie cover to the girl with that beautiful, blue faux fur wrap."
"That sounds like Irv," Nigel smirked dryly and rubbed the back of his neck. "You know, we've never before made such drastic changes after the boards issue approval. At least not without their direct order."
"Mr. Ravitz said he'd fire me if I don't succeed in changing Miranda's mind about it." Andy revealed with a defeated shoulder slump.
"What? He can't do that! You're Miranda's assistant. And for reasons I haven't yet fully grasped, she trusts you more than she has ever trusted anyone. Don't worry, Six." His palm was warm when he patted her shoulder. "That man can't touch you."
"Hmmm," she looked away and gingerly rubbed her arm that would no doubt bare bruises where the chairman had forcefully grabbed her just moments ago.
"You're not going to try and talk her into changing the issue, are you?" The fashion director asked carefully. "Because something tells me she'd actually listen to you."
"No way, Nigel!" The brunette looked up, shocked. "Miranda needs to do this. It's very important to her, and I'll do anything to make it happen." She answered maybe a little too passionately.
"Hmmm... anything, you say?" Andy recognised the gleam behind his spectacles from the previous day when he had talked her into rolling around naked in front of the photographer with Miranda pressing against her naked breasts.
Before she could talk her way out of it, Nigel pulled a mock-up from behind his back and held it up in front of her.
The first thing she noticed wasn't so much her own exposed skin, or the fact that her hair and make-up looked positively exquisite. No, the very first spot any observer's eyes were drawn to, was the affection on her face and the adoration with which she gazed down to the mink, which stared back at her with equally undivided attention.
"Holy shit, Nigel..."
Seeing her own face and naked shoulders on the cover of Runway, even if it was just a draft for now, felt incredibly surreal.
"It's gorgeous, isn't it?" The fashion director beamed.
"Uhm..." Andy had to admit it looked pretty damn good and it was mostly a head shot, hiding the rest of her naked body from view, so it didn't exactly make her feel uncomfortable. Still, the idea of this actually being published felt all wrong. She wasn't a cover girl. She was the smart, fat girl, who had shown up to her first day at work with a hideous poly-blend sweater and a 'grandma skirt'. She didn't belong on the front page of a fashion magazine.
"Of course, Miranda will need to give her okay, which is another reason why I'm here." Nigel pulled her from her musings.
"Could you please phone her? I sent this a few hours ago, but she doesn't answer her emails or anyone's calls but yours. If I want to get this to the printers on time, I need her approval a.s.a.p."
Andy shook herself to regain a bit of her lost composure and she trotted to her desk for her phone. "Right."
She pushed the speed dial button, knowing that they had set Miranda's phone to direct voice mail, and after a few imagined rings, she spoke, "Yeah... uhm... hi Miranda. Uhm.. Nigel is here and he wants to have your approval for... uh... a cover change..." She swallowed hard against the lump in her throat. "He... uhm... wants to use a photo from the shot I did yesterday... I think he sent it to you already..."
The mink's strong voice coming from right behind her startled Andy and she almost dropped the phone.
"Tell him to do it."
"What?" The assistant almost shrieked and she spun around to gaze wide-eyed at the editor.
"Unless you have... objections."
"Uhm... me?" Out of reflex she sent a helpless look at Nigel, who had become something like a friend to her over the past months, but he just stared back between the mink and the assistant in wonder. Andy realised she may have revealed that she was actually talking to the creature on the floor instead of to the phone, but she quickly pushed that thought away, knowing that the fashion director was never actually going to believe that.
"Uh... Nigel she says to use it... and uhm... I give my consent."
The bald man's eyes widened.
"Are you sure? Don't let her pressure you into this. It's still your own decision to make."
The brunette nodded, slowly beginning to realise what kind of privilege both Miranda and Nigel were offering. Even if she were to get fired the next day, she would always be able to remember her time at Runway and the few days spent so intimately with mink-Miranda.
"Yes, Nigel. I'm sure."
She turned her attention back at the editor, who was studying the mock-up of herself and Andy.
"Andrea, tell Nigel to use a smaller font-size for the second quote on the bottom, and change the Runway lettering to more of a bronze than gold. It goes better with your hair colour."
There's a thing I never in a million years would have imaged Miranda to say, the brunette thought to herself.
"Nigel, she wants some changes to the font..."
The fashion director seemed thoughtful, and he interrupted her with a raised hand.
"You know, what, Six? Come with me to the art department. I'll have them make the changes right away. We'll send them to Miranda and you can give me her feedback."
After a nod from the editor, Andy bent down to allow the mink to crawl into her arms. "Uhm... Miranda? We'll make the changes and then I'll phone you back." She clutched the furry creature to herself, still a bit nervous about what she was getting herself into, and then hung up the phone.
"Alright, let's go."
At eleven-thirty Andy was incredibly exhausted and at the same time completely wired from excitement. Nigel, her and the art department staff had done their best to adjust the layout to Miranda's specifications and had managed to send the issue to the printers with less than an hour to spare. Now the big printing machines somewhere across the city were busy putting Andy's glossy face on thousands of covers that would be available all across the nation the following day.
The car slowed down as it approached the town house and the brunette wondered whether she should maybe warn her family and friends. At the very least she should inform her parents, before they spotted their more or less naked daughter on the very magazine whose editor-in-chief she had nothing but complained about since she had started her job. The vehicle stopped and she thanked Roy's night shift replacement, before gathering Miranda and stepping out onto the curb.
Full of confidence that the spell would break as soon as the magazines were distributed across the country, she had decided to get the editor back to her own home. If the house was indeed empty, as Irv had implied, that meant Stephen was most likely staying with his mistress and they wouldn't need to worry about him.
The vestibule was dark when Andy unlocked the front door and stepped onto the blue-grey carpet, and the armed night alarm confirmed that the house was unoccupied. After entering the numbers that Miranda was dictating into the touch pad to disable the annoying beeping, Andy switched on the lights and set the mink down on the wooden floor of the bottom landing.
"Well, it looks like it's just us..." the assistant said while looking up the banister of the stairs. The house was completely quiet with the exception of Miranda's little footsteps on the polished mahogany and the overwhelming yawn that struck the tired young woman.
"Andrea. Come on, let's go to bed before you faint in my hallway," the editor said before she disappeared into the downstairs sitting room. Andy was a bit surprised that they didn't take the stairs, but when she followed Miranda through the kitchen and to the back of the house she noticed a second staircase.
Neat, she thought and trotted up each step behind the mink.
They climbed up two floors and walked down a long hallway before stopping in front of an intricately panelled door. Encouraged by Miranda's nod, Andy turned the knob and stepped inside what was very clearly the older woman's bedroom. Light blue walls and a plethora of magnolia fabrics instantly gave the brunette a familiar feel and she walked across the lush blue carpet to study the three black and white photographs above the king-sized bed. It took a while before she recognised close-ups of female curves; the dip of a hip, the swell of a breast and the smooth lines of an arched neck. It was artfully done and gave the room an extra air of femininity that was soothing and inviting.
"I see you like my choice of decoration," Miranda said, sounding slightly amused as she climbed onto the bed.
Andy nodded and then looked down at the blue and cream-coloured, satin sheets. She didn't want to imagine the editor and her husband at this beautiful place. The idea of Stephen in this room felt wrong and it threatened to squeeze the brunette's heart in an unpleasant grip.
"Stephen and I have separate bedrooms. He has never shared this bed," Miranda spoke softly, startling her assistant and making Andy wonder whether her unguarded facial expression had given her away.
"Oh... that's... uhm... good," she waved her hand helplessly in front of herself and slowly sat down onto the mattress.
"Get undressed and move under the covers, Andrea." The mink ordered impatiently.
Apparently they weren't even going to discuss Andy staying the night and the brunette was much too tired to argue the point anyway. Not that she would have wanted to leave Miranda alone or could have brought herself to say no to spending another night with the editor curled up in her arms. Quickly her pumps were discarded and she had draped her skirt, blouse and sweater across a nearby chair. Once she had stripped off her thigh-highs she felt self-conscious in just her lace lingerie, and she swiftly slid under the sheets.
"Please take off your brassiere, Andrea, or you'll tear the delicate satin." The whispered command didn't sound as much like an order as it resembled a plea.
With a definite blush to her cheeks the brunette reached under the covers to unhook her bra. She knew she shouldn't be shy around Miranda after the editor had seen her almost completely naked just a day ago. However the lingering revelation this morning, that the fashion maven wasn't exactly unmoved by exposed portions of her assistant's body, created a steady, warm buzz in Andy's abdomen.
She threw the garment on top of the pile of clothes and reached for the light switch. Under the cover of the sudden darkness a fluffy warmth slid across the brunette's shoulders and she felt the mink curl up against the crook of her neck.
"No matter what happens tomorrow," she paused to allow another yawn. "I want you to know that I'm on your side." She reached up to stroke through the soft fur. "If Irv fires me, I won't hold it against you, and I will still try to help you, whenever you need me."
"Why?" Miranda asked after a moment of thought.
The younger woman wasn't exactly sure what she was being asked. "Why what?"
A long sigh escaped the little creature.
"Why, after everything you have already done for me, and all those consequences looming on the horizon, would you still stick with me? I haven't always been exactly... kind to you.. or have given you reasons not to hate me..."
Andy's fingers stilled their movement and she took a deep, slow breath.
"Because I care about you, Miranda."
There. It was out.
"I've cared about you for a while now... and during the past few days I've realised that you're very important to me." She had to fight the sobs that threatened to bubble from her throat. "I... I miss you, Miranda. Although, I technically I see and talk to you every day... " The brunette sniffled. "But... I miss looking at you. I miss your hair... and your smile..." She gave a sad little laugh. "I even miss your glares and when you purse your lips."
That drew a chuckle from Miranda, but the choked-up tone revealed to the brunette that the editor was actually crying.
"Wow," Andy said breathlessly. "I didn't know mink could cry..."
"Don't be ridiculous, Andrea," Miranda wept softly against the brunette's throat and continued in a barely audible whisper, "I'm not crying..."
Overcome by love and incredible sadness at her longing for the older woman's human form, Andy snuggled closer against the white fur and pulled the covers tightly around them.
"It's okay, Miranda. I promise I won't tell..."
And cradling the distraught editor to herself, she let go of her own tears and slowly succumbed to sleep.
Her dream scape that night looked a lot like Miranda's office. If it weren't for the distinct knowledge that she was, in fact, asleep, Andy could have sworn she was actually standing on the familiar cream carpet back at Runway. The New York skyline, however, had completely vanished, and instead the long wall of windows looked out onto the rich, green spring fields that the brunette recognised from the previous night's dream.
Warm arms suddenly slid around her middle from behind and a pointy chin came to rest on her shoulder. Andy didn't need to turn around to know that it was Miranda.
"Darling..." the editor murmured against her assistant's neck and then nuzzled the area just below the earlobe. The brunette leaned back with a sigh, thankful she was dreaming of Miranda yet again.
The older woman linked her fingers across Andy's belly, and tightening her arms, she began rocking the assistant gently from side to side.
"Hmmm... this is nice," the brunette sighed happily and closed her eyes.
"Not as nice as what I'll do to you once I get my body back in the real world," Miranda whispered sensually and Andy clenched her thighs together in response to the sudden flood of arousal it evoked.
"I wish..." the brunette almost groaned in reply when the older woman's lips trailed down the side of her neck.
"What do you mean? You wish I got my body back," a tongued darted out to taste flushed skin. "Or you wish I'll do nice things to you outside of this dream?"
"Both," Andy whimpered as hot palms slid up her front and Miranda gently cupped her breasts.
"Hmmm... well... the first I can only hope for, but the latter," she rocked her hips against her assistant's backside, "I can guarantee."
"Oh god," Andy moaned and she reached behind them to grab the older woman's butt, massaging it gently and pulling the two of them even tighter together.
At that moment someone behind them suddenly cleared their throat and the editor spun them around to face the intruder.
The stranger in the woollen, patched-up coat, with the big hat and the thick, raven braid, stood in the doorway to the outer office.
"You...!" Miranda spat almost immediately at the man while sliding her hands back down to hold Andy firmly around the waist.
"After all the misery you've caused you have the audacity to even interrupt my dreams?"
Andy couldn't agree more when she reluctantly pulled her hand away from the editor's soft ass.
Hey... wait a minute...!
"Uhm... Miranda, what do you mean... your dreams? This is my dream!" The brunette leaned her upper body to the side to look back at the woman behind her.
"Clearly not, Andrea, since I am fully aware of the fact that you and I are asleep in my bed at the town house at this very moment."
Andy felt dizziness sweep over her.
"What? But so am I! This is my dream. I'm sure of it. I mean, just look outside... that's the exact grass with all the flowers I dreamt about last night."
Miranda narrowed her eyes at the brunette. "That was quite positively my dream, as well, Andrea. I distinctively remember..." she halted and blushed at the memory.
"... making out," Andy finished the older woman's sentence in disbelief. "Oh my god. Miranda, what's going on here?"
"Ehem... if I may," the stranger interrupted them. "These dreams belong to both of you. You have shared them every night since the transformation."
"What?" The assistant's cheeks buzzed with a violent blush as she recalled some of the details she had thought were nothing but her own private thoughts.
"Impossible!" Miranda hissed through clenched teeth.
"Oh... well, let me explain," the man said and Andy couldn't help but calm down at his friendly smile.
"I am a shaman and my services were called upon by the young activists who have been trying to get your attention for months now. You did not deign to listen to them, so I cast a spell that would force you to finally open your eyes and use your great influence to make a difference for the better."
The brunette felt the editor stiffen.
"Well, I am making a difference as we speak," Miranda said icily. "Right now, we are printing an issue of my magazine that will not only cause an uproar in the world of fashion, but will most likely also cost me my job and rip away everything that I have professionally built over the past two decades." The older woman's body almost trembled with anger. "So... I now demand for you to uphold your end of the bargain and... undo... the... spell!" Each word was stressed and laced with anger that left no room for negotiations.
The shaman chuckled and blinked his warm, dark eyes. "You have the blood of a true warrior inside of you, Silver Doke-Sesch. Do not worry, the spell is broken and you have already been returned back to your human form."
"Well..." Miranda said, clearly having the wind taken out of her sails by this easy conclusion. "Good."
Andy's heart thumped rapidly in her chest when she imagined herself in Miranda's bed with the editor's human body right next to her, and she wasn't sure she would be able to handle waking up without hyperventilating. The realisation that the editor from her dreams had actually been real Miranda, thinking she herself was merely drifting in her own fantasy world, made Andy's head spin. The older woman had been the one who had initiated all the physical contact in their joint subconsciousness the past three nights.
It all sounded too surreal and confusing, and part of the brunette simply wasn't ready yet to fully grasp what it meant for her and her boss. Carefully slipping out of Miranda's embrace she moved closer to the stranger.
"Uhm... excuse me... Mr. Shaman... Uhm... how come I was the only one who could understand Miranda?" She wrung her hands and turned around to look at the editor. The back-light from the spring day outside conjured a golden glow around Miranda's snowy locks and although her face was darkened by the high contrast, Andy could tell that the older woman wasn't too pleased about the loss of contact.
"And how is it possible," the assistant stepped back and reached for Miranda's hand, "that we share each other's dreams?"
The shaman chuckled warmly and touched the rim of his hat in what almost seemed like a sign of respect. "Well... it wasn't planned, but it turns out that it made everything a lot easier." He raised his chin toward Andy. "When I cast the spell, you selflessly attempted to place yourself between your boss and me, in order to protect her."
Miranda interlaced her fingers with the brunette's and pulled her closer again.
"That was a stupid thing to do, Andrea..." she mumbled into the brunette's hair. "You could have gotten hurt."
"Uhm... it wasn"t as if I had time to think. Everything happened so fast..." the assistant trailed off, remembering the explosion of adrenaline in her system when she had deemed Miranda in mortal danger. "I merely acted on instinct."
The queen of fashion brought their joined hands back around Andy's waist and held her tightly, making it clear that she did not wish for the brunette to be anywhere else.
"As it turned out," the shaman continued his explanation, unfazed by the intimacy between the two women. "A portion of the spell reflected off of you before it hit its target, creating a link between you both."
Miranda slid her chin back onto the younger woman's shoulder and Andy could feel the tension in her jaw when she spoke, "If this... link exists only between Andrea and I, then why, pray tell, are you here?"
"I am a shaman, Doke-Sesch. I have my ways." He smiled mysteriously. "But I will leave you now. My work here is finished."
"Wait... uhm," Andy attempted to ignore the length of Miranda's body possessively pressing against her from behind. "When we get back to the real world, will we still have this link? Will we still be able to share dreams?"
"I'm afraid not. When the spell ended, so did your connection. As soon as you wake up, everything will be back to the way it was."
Dread slowly crawled up into the brunette's chest, and she tried not to lose hope that whatever emotional connection had developed between Miranda and her would still remain, even without the spell.
"Now I must go..." He held up a hand and offered a final warm smile that did nothing to soothe Andy's anxiety. He then turned around, patched-up woollen coat swirling around his ankles, and disappeared into the white fog that engulfed the outer office.
Miranda's rigid hold on the brunette slackened a little and the editor exhaled sharply. "I thought he'd never leave..." Her pliant lips found the side of Andy's neck and she began gently suckling a path down to the younger woman's collar bone.
"M-Miranda... what are you doing?" Andy knew she wanted the older woman to continue, however, the fear that everything would be different as soon as they woke up, brought up her automatic defense mechanism. "Please... stop."
"Darling," was breathed against her shoulder, "why on earth would I stop?"
It was difficult for Andy to concentrate on why, exactly, she couldn't just let herself go. "Uhm... shouldn't we... you know, talk?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Andrea." The older woman slowly slid her hands back up to the swells of the brunette's breasts. "Why would we do that? This is my dream, and I plan to do what I always do," the editor's palms brushed over her nipples, "... have my way with you."
"Oh god..." Andy could no longer restrain her moan. "Miranda, please... I can't do this..." her hips pushed back into the older woman's heat on their own accord, "... knowing that once we wake up... you will most likely kick me out of bed, fire me and banish me from publishing forever..." This time her moan sounded more like a sob. The uncertainty of what she would face back in the real world truly frightened her.
"Andrea..." Miranda sensually curled her tongue around each syllable, her voice a lover's caress. "... please don't spoil my fantasy." Her tone became sorrowful. "My dreams of you are all I have..."
The brunette wiggled her body so she could turn around in the tight embrace and look into the older woman's darkened eyes.
"Miranda, your dreams of me? Did you not hear a word the shaman just said?" She brought up her hands to cup the editor's smooth cheeks. "It's me. The Andrea lying in your bed with you, right at this moment."
Alert washed over Miranda's features, her eyes darting between Andy's in search of truth.
"So I'm supposed to believe that... this... really isn't just my own imagination?" The editor's jaw went slack in subdued shock, leaving her lips parted in an unguarded way that had the younger woman's fingers itching to wander over that beautiful mouth.
"Yes," Andy whispered as her thumbs slid tenderly over Miranda's chin, and she looked up into blue-greens that flooded with fear, hope and sudden clarity . "And when we wake up... we will both remember this..."
As if pulled by invisible strings they slowly drifted the remaining few inches toward each other, and when the assistant's lips were touched to the delicate mouth of the editor, warmth spread across Andy's skin, expanding from where she was connected to Miranda to all over her body. She felt as if she were falling backward. Gravity pulled at her and the instinct to keep Miranda close forced up her arms and she locked them firmly around the older woman's back, bringing her with her.
The first sensation she became aware of was the unfamiliar weight on her chest and stomach that pinned her firmly to the mattress. Before she could panic, though, Andy's brain tuned in to the gentle pressure against her mouth, and the tender brush of her nose against another. She was surrounded by warmth, and although she couldn't exactly move, she felt oddly safe.
When the fog around her conscious mind began to clear she realised that she was kissing someone who was stretched out on top of the entire length of her body. Someone naked...
Her eyes flew open and her heart jolted into a violent tumble that kick-started her entire system awake. Wide iceberg-blue pools stared back down at her, glassy with wonder and sleep-laden confusion, and the lips against her own were carefully lifted away. The movement caused the signature white lock to slide down and caress the brunette's cheek and the incredibly wonderful, silken feel of it made Andy question whether she was still dreaming.
Their startled gazes remained locked while the younger woman took stock of the situation. Miranda's chest, that wonderful creamy expanse Andy had so admired at the benefit, was pressed flush against her own. She could feel the softness of their breasts pushing together with each rise and fall of their joint and increasingly more laboured breathing. Thighs of satin skin lay on top of her own stretched-out legs, and a distinct tickle of hair through the lace of her La Perla briefs drew an unfortunate amount of attention to the fact that Miranda was indeed fully naked.
A hot flush climbed up the brunette's back, like warm palms sliding up her spine and firmly grabbing at the crook of her neck to spread out across her shoulders and chest.
The editor's lips were slightly parted, seemingly at a loss for word and action, just like in their dream a moment ago.
They had shared it, hadn't they?
In the pale, grey illumination of morning Andy watched as a particularly lovely shade of pink appeared on Miranda's cheeks, her neck, and on what little the brunette could see of her chest without allowing her gaze to wander away from the shiny blue-greens above her. Neither of them moved and neither spoke, however the violent thumping behind the editor's breasts, pulsing against the younger woman with each rapid beat, travelled the short distance to her own heart and solidified their intense connection.
Miranda was really there. No longer a small furry animal, but her beautiful human self, warm and unclothed... and in Andy's arms. The face, which the brunette had missed so painfully much, began to glow, each little muscle relaxing as they continued to look at each other. They remained still out of fear of destroying the moment, worried that as soon as either of them moved they would burst this bubble of peace that engulfed them.
Andy realised that her hands were flat on Miranda's back, still holding her close from when they had fallen out of the dream. Heat and her steady pulse seeped from her palms straight into the woman in her arms, binding their heartbeats together.
It was too much, too overwhelming, and the intensity sought release. The godlike vision before Andy blurred when thick tears spilled over her cheeks and her fingertips curled into the warm skin of Miranda's back in an attempt to hold on, to find a grip.
Then there was movement and tender fingers found Andy's cheeks, wiping at the moisture and stroking the flushed skin. Miranda's lips brushed ever so lightly against the brunette's mouth and the sweet caress of her whisper threatened to combust Andy's heart.
And then Miranda kissed her. A meeting of lips that was meant to soothe and reassure. Andy tightened her grip and slid her arms further so that the crook of her elbows firmly locked around the older woman's sides, brushing against the swells of her breasts in the process. They hummed against each other, startled by the electricity they created through simple touch. A tongue, firm and slick, tentatively snaked over the brunette's bottom lip and, as if to encourage Andy to grant entrance, Miranda rubbed the soles of her feet sensually against the younger woman's ankles.
Lost in sensation the brunette's lips parted, welcoming the sleek muscle with her own tongue, and as the wet, rough surfaces slid together, the friction sending jolts of desire straight to Andy's core, her legs twitched awake. They shifted apart only slightly, but the weight and pressure of Miranda's thigh nudged them further until the editor's smooth upper leg fell in between. The sudden force of desire that coursed through the assistant had her arch back her neck in a groan, breaking their kiss.
The older woman buried her face against Andy's throat, her hips rigid against the brunette's muscled thigh, and there was nothing in the world that could have prepared the young assistant for the exquisite sensation of Miranda's wet centre against her skin. It was hot, slick and wonderful, and as if her body had been trained for this very situation, her palms automatically caressed their way town to the hollow of the editor's lower back to guide her closer.
When Miranda carefully rocked her groin forward, once, then twice, Andy thought she might die from the soft pressure the older woman's leg caused against her panties.
The elegant tip of that patrician nose was pressed into the crook of her neck and the older woman's almost steamy breath left a fine sheer of moisture on Andy's collar bone when they moaned again in unison.
The sudden noise of an opening door and footsteps on the hardwood floor of the corridor froze them cold. Sloppy, sliding steps shuffled past their room and rhythmic creaks from the stairwell signalled that the danger had passed for now. Miranda's body went slack, but her arms sought out Andy's shoulders to hold on to her tightly.
"Stephen. He must have come home at some point..." she murmured against the racing pulse in the younger woman's throat.
"Oh... oh god... I'm sorry..." Panic had Andy wiggling her body to get away, only to realise she wasn't going anywhere under the editor's delicious weight.
Miranda's face, that had just a second ago been flooded with terror, softened and her lips slowly drew into a smirk as she looked down at the panicked brunette.
"Andrea... Darling..." Her thumb brushed over the assistant's mouth, smoothing away the small, worried crinkles. "It's alright. He went downstairs. We never interact in the mornings." She squinted at the bed side table. "It's almost eight so he'll be on his way to the office soon."
Andy tried to clear her mind from the overload of emotion and sensation. She had a naked Miranda in her arms, a naked and evidently aroused Miranda, and they had just made out.
The older woman shifted and her wetness slid against the brunette, bathing the assistant's skin in a warm and slippery mess. Andy grew increasingly moist in sympathy and closed her eyes to fight the steady throb between her legs.
"Shh, Darling," the editor whispered as she tenderly nosed Andy's still damp cheekbones. "It's going to be okay. Everything will be alright."
"But," the brunette peered back up from beneath barely raised lashes, "all of that stuff... did it really happen? Where you really there in my dreams?"
A smile that warmed Andy to her core played across Miranda's lips and she brushed a few stray strands of hair back behind the younger woman's ears. "That... ssstuf?," She repeated with purred amusement. "As to our shared dreams... I distinctively remember dozens of furry, mischievous children and how we were in the process of creating... more." Her thigh pushed teasingly against Andy's lace covered centre. "I also remember our kiss in the field among the wildflowers..."
She nibbled at the brunette's bottom lip and caressed Andy's nose with her own.
"Hmmm, yes..." the younger woman hummed against Miranda's mouth. "You did mention something about always having your way with me in your dreams..."
"Oh... that." A sheepish look replaced the radiant desire on Miranda's cheeks and she looked down to where her fingers were distractedly caressing up and down Andy's throat. "I...I meant my regular dreams... from before..." blue-green eyes skidded from side to side, unwilling to make contact with the brunette. "... before this all happened..."
"I see," was all the assistant managed to say when she was overcome with tenderness and love at the vulnerable expression on Miranda's face. She brought up her hands, sliding her fingers into the short strands of snow at the nape of the editor's neck and slowly combing through the silky hair. "So... how long have you had those kinds of dreams about me?"
"Months..." Miranda confessed breathlessly. "Since Harry Potter..."
With a gentle tug, the brunette brought the editor's soft cheek against her own and hugged her tightly.
"Why did you never say anything?"
An elegant snort tickled against her nose.
"Are you out of your mind? Not only did it never occur to me that you would possibly want anything to do with a frigid, old woman like me, how, pray tell, would I have broached the subject? 'Go fetch my Starbucks, and by the way, I ravished you in my dreams last night, would you like to have a real go at it on my desk after lunch?'...Don't be ridiculous, Andrea."
Andy giggled briefly at the playful and out-of-place La Priestly tone, but then grew serious and placed a tender kiss on the corner of Miranda's mouth. "You're not old. And certainly," she shifted her hips, "not frigid."
"Yes... well..." Miranda was incredibly adorable when she was shy and flustered, and Andy was reminded of the cuteness of her mink form.
"I've also... felt drawn to you... for a while now. I didn't really understand it for what it was," the brunette gently stroked the older woman's hair. "But as soon as you were gone... I mean, when your body was... I realised that I longed for you... not just emotionally, but also physically."
Miranda's hands languidly slid down Andy's arms, leaving a soothing trail of warmth in their wake.
"I think... I had gotten so used to being around you all the time that it really hit me how much I missed your presence... your face," her fingertips grazed the editor's cheekbones, "and your scent." She inhaled deeply. "Especially since over the past few weeks... you've kept me by your side and took me to meetings and showings, and sent Emily out on errants instead."
"Well, yes." The older woman snuggled into her assistant's neck, much like she had as a mink. "I wanted you close."
They heard the front door slam, and for a while they just lay entwined in their intimate embrace, letting the resounding silence of the house rock them into a peaceful state of simply basking in each other's presence.
"Darling?" Miranda interrupted after a few blissful minutes.
"As much as I'm enjoying this," she planted a tender kiss on the base of Andy's throat to stress the point, "we need to get to the office. I'd hate to miss out on the chaos that will most likely break out as soon as people see the new issue."
The brunette grimaced at the memory who exactly was on the cover, and in which particular state.
With an unhappy groan Miranda slowly extracted her legs from between the younger woman's thighs and rolled to the side under the covers. When she elegantly rose from the bed she brought the sheets with her, quickly hiding her body from view and leaving Andy behind, exposed and cold.
"Hey! No fair," the brunette whined and the fashion maven turned around to pin the younger woman into the mattress with her typical, sweeping gaze. Now, however, Andy recognised the passion smouldering behind those glowing eyes and realisation struck, that Miranda had been looking at her like that for months. Instead of scrambling up to cover herself, Andy leaned up on her elbows and arched her back, teasingly jutting her naked breasts into the air.
The editor's tongue darted out to moisten her lips and that beautiful pink hue returned to her cheeks as her eyes became glassy.
"Uhm... I... I'm going to take a shower," Miranda swallowed hard and bit her bottom lip in fascination when the brunette languidly began stretching her limbs. "There is an en-suite in the guest room to the left... feel free to use it."
"Thank you. I will," Andy replied while slowly running her fingertips over the sticky patch left by Miranda on her upper leg.
When the older woman spun around and quickly rushed into the master suite, the assistant could no longer fight the giggle that had hung back in waiting ever since Miranda had gotten up.
Miranda's lingering scent on her body was overwhelming and after a short while Andy's amusement turned into a frustrated groan. She rolled over and pushed herself out of bed with determination to have the editor in her arms again very soon.
Andy showered in the indicated guest en-suite, and when she was done and stepped back into the spare room, wrapped in nothing but a fluffy towel, she found that a magnolia coloured blouse and an ebony skirt had been lain out on the guest bed. She lifted the garments only to discover a set of black lace lingerie and silk thigh-highs.
With a giddy smirk on her lips she quickly got dressed and hurried back out to Miranda's door. Suddenly feeling shy she knocked and waited, subconsciously pulling at the skirt and combing her fingers through her hair.
When she quietly entered the room where just a few minutes ago she had been firmly wrapped around Miranda's wonderful body, the fashion maven was nowhere to be seen.
"In here," came the voice from the walk-in closet.
Andy stepped into what could have easily functioned as another master bedroom, but was lined with an array of huge, floor-to-ceiling shelves and clothing racks.
"Wow..." she exhaled in wonder.
"What did you expect, Andrea?" Miranda mocked from the far-end corner. "In the months you have worked for me, have you ever seen me wear the same outfit twice?"
"No, of course not," the brunette answered, eyes trailing over countless different fabrics and cuts as she approached the older woman. "Knowing, and finally seeing for yourself are two different things, though." She looked up at Miranda and smiled.
The queen of fashion was fully made up and dressed, except for her bare shoulders and exposed stomach. She wore a strawberry red pencil skirt and a delicate white lace bra that revealed more than it hid. Andy's mouth watered and she wanted to reach out and slide her palms over the editor's smooth stomach, but Miranda turned and when her eyes caught on the assistant, she licked her lips and studied the younger woman's figure with a fire burning behind cool blues.
"My clothes look delicious on you, Andrea," she whispered hoarsely and Andy's thighs clenched at the tone.
"Uhm... thank you..." she whispered shyly.
So much for the shower...
"Come here," Miranda said, holding out a hand that the younger woman gladly took.
Ever so slowly the editor pulled Andy closer until their chests and hips were pressed together. A delicate flush to the older woman's chest indicated that she was just as affected by their proximity as the brunette. With incredible tenderness Miranda slid a hand behind Andy's neck and brought their foreheads together.
"Andrea..." she laced their fingers together. "I want this... between us... I want a real shot at it."
The brunette felt Miranda's heart flutter wildly against her chest, and overcome with happiness she could only nod and whisper, "me, too."
"We need to... figure out a lot of things, though." The older woman exhaled sharply, disappointment and anxiety evident in her sigh, "And right now, we need to get to Runway... I need to schedule an appointment with my lawyers as soon as possible, and I want Stephen out of my house and out of my life... today, rather than tomorrow."
"No problem, I will phone the law firm from the car on our way to work," Andy whispered helpfully.
"Andrea... I want to very much continue where we left off earlier..." sadness coloured Miranda's voice and she tightened her hold on the younger woman's hands. "But we need to be careful until the divorce is finalised."
Andy pulled back and was about to whip out her strongest, pleading pout when the editor leaned forward and placed the sweetest kiss on the tip of her nose.
"It will be two weeks at the most, Andrea. My lawyers have been in possession of the filled-out divorce papers for almost a year now. All they have to do is add the date... I've only been waiting for proof... to make it as quick and pain-free for the girls as possible. I've been aware of my husband's affair for quite some time, I just didn't have an idea whom he might be seeing. Unfounded accusations would have dragged out the divorce proceedings, and until now... I haven't really had a pressing reason to dive into yet another scandalised separation."
Her eyes glowed with affection as her thumbs drew soothing circles on Andy's wrists.
"I was content with having you... in my dreams, knowing that you could never possibly want me... like this."
When the younger woman wanted to open her mouth, Miranda stalled her comment with a gentle finger, before continuing.
"Last week, when I slipped into Stephen's office, I saw his business partner's wife. The mandatory year of separation isn't needed in cases of adultery, and with the threat of William finding out about Gloria and my husband, I'm willing to bet that Stephen will sign fast and without complaint." Her lips kept hovering close to Andy's. "Then I'm all yours... if you will have me."
Instead of answering immediately, the brunette covered the remaining distance between them and touched her lips to Miranda's, mindful of the freshly applied lipstick, and gently brushing over the older woman's mouth to portray her willingness to wait.
"Yes," she breathed and enveloped Miranda in a tight hug, revelling in the sweet mixture of soap, moisturiser and the natural scent of the editor's skin. They remained like this for a while, slung around each other and simply basking in their joint embrace until Miranda slowly pulled away.
"We need to get to the office. Please phone Roy to meet us outside in ten minutes," she instructed. The sudden business-like tone didn't faze Andy as much as the uncharacteristic use of the word 'please'.
"Yes, Miranda," she chimed in her best assistant voice and spun around in search of her shoes and her phone with a wide grin on her lips.
Andy slid into the leather seat next to the fashion maven, barely able to suppress a grin. Miranda, of course was her normal, stoic self, however the fact that the brunette was beaming like a lit Christmas tree and hadn't been told off or been on the receiving end of a few scathing remarks, was surely tipping Roy off that something was up. As hard as it was, the younger woman attempted to pull her lips back into a neutral, submissive position, but Miranda's perfume and her body heat, tempting Andy from a much shorter than usual distance between them, was really proving too much.
To the common observer, nothing would have seemed out of the ordinary, Andy knew that. Roy, however, had been Miranda's main driver for eight and a half years, and his badly hidden glances at the two women in the rear-view mirror, gave away that he felt something wasn't quite right.
The editor, much like every morning, was gazing out at the passing world, the eyes behind her Marc Jacobs shades constantly observing, not missing a moment to look for inspiration on the Manhattan streets. Andy stole a few glances at the breathtaking sight next to her, following the defined lines of Miranda's distinct profile and recalling the incredible softness of the older woman's skin.
The assistant didn't care if Roy caught her staring and, she had to admit, it wouldn't be the first time she was observing her boss quietly in the back of the car, anyway. Still, something in the air between them must have visibly shifted, because the driver didn't give Andy a single chance to secretly sneak her fingers across the small distance and hold hands with Miranda.
"Roy, is there some reason why your attention is not fully on the road?" The fashion maven suddenly spoke without turning away from the window.
"Uhm... no, M'am," he mumbled quickly, and from then on his eyes remained glued forward.
Attempting to fight the giggle that lay waiting at the back of her throat, Andy focused her own gaze on the passing scenery. In a way she felt bad for Roy and she knew he was loyal and wouldn't compromise their situation. That didn't change the fact that Miranda's blatant display of authority roused wonderful sensations below the brunette's bellybutton.
Suddenly a smooth hand slid across her knuckles and the editor loosely interlaced their fingers, caressing Andy's palm with her thumb. When the brunette chanced a look, Miranda still hadn't turned away from the window, but the way she practically made love to the younger woman's hand betrayed her feigned disinterest. Unwilling to break the moment with idle babbling or a wrong move, the assistant simply held her hand in place and returned her gaze to her own window.
Much too soon their journey came to an end as the Mercedes smoothly slid to a stop in front of the Elias-Clark building, and the older woman gently extracted her fingers, before opening the door.
This time it wasn't activists that were crowding the entrance, but the press. Not so unusual, considering that a new and quite controversial issue of Runway had just appeared, however, as Andy stepped out of the car and hurried after Miranda toward the revolving glass doors, she realised that instead of focusing on the editor-in-chief, the cameras were flashing in her own face.
"Andrea," Miranda said in that soft voice that would only reach her assistant's ears. "Stay close."
She didn't have to tell Andy twice. With a nervous smile, the younger woman attempted to shield her face from the photographers and slipped into the lobby with a sigh of relief. They made their way across the marble floors and for a moment Andy worried that her security pass might have been disabled over night, due to Irv making his threat reality.
The small gate opened, though, and she rushed through it in order to keep up with Miranda, who was already shooing a group of clackers from a waiting elevator with as much as a tilt of her chin. The women's faces where a picture of perfect shock when the junior assistant was beckoned to join her boss in the cabin.
The doors slid shut, but before Andy could spin around and grab the older woman by the collar of her coat, press her firmly into the wall and ravish her sweet mouth, Miranda held up a finger and whispered, "cameras."
"Damn the Technological Age..." the brunette hissed in frustration, but she was rewarded with a sexy chuckle from the editor.
So they remained still, and at a more or less professional distance from each other, as the elevator closed in on their target floor. The doors opened and there stood Emily, no doubt notified of their arrival by Roy, and, judging by the magenta shade of her face, she had also seen the revised cover of the magazine. Before the redhead could mutter anything that would endanger her further employment, Miranda brushed past her and began rattling of a stream of instructions as if this were simply an ordinary day.
Andy just followed dumbly, half aware of the intense scrutiny and whispers that accompanied the trio on their walk to their office. In the assistant's area Miranda paused to slip off her coat, but before she could throw it on Emily's desk, the brunette was already reaching for it, sending the older woman a charming smile that was briefly mirrored in the small sparkle of blue-greens behind Marc Jacobs'.
"Oh and Emily, get my Starbucks," the editor ended her long string of commands, before sauntering into her office with an extra sway of her hips. "That's all."
The senior assistant finished scribbling down her tasks for the day and then hurried around her desk for her purse. When Andy turned around from hanging hers and Miranda's coats, the redhead stared her down with a fierce gaze that was filled with loathing, jealousy, but also a hint of respect. She didn't get around to comment, though, because their boss was calling for the brunette.
Miranda stood with her back to the outer office, looking down on something on her desk, and when Andy approached, the older woman instructed, "Close the doors."
She did as she was told and as soon as they were alone, and safely away from prying ears and curious eyes, the editor turned around with that warm glow on her face, that Andy had been privy to just that morning.
"Darling you're so beautiful," she whispered softly and looked down on the magazine in her grasp. The younger woman's steps were sluggish, weighted down by apprehension, but sensing the hesitation, Miranda held out a hand and tugged Andy closer.
It wasn't like she hadn't seen the image before. She had given Nigel and the art department staff her okay on the final draft the night before, but looking at the finished product still caused inexplicable emotions to flutter in her chest.
I am on the cover of Runway!
Watching Miranda caress her printed face didn't make the situation any less surreal and Andy found that she couldn't do anything else but grin, stunned into silence.
"Look at you, a cover girl." The older woman said gently as her sparkly eyes found Andy's. "Who would have ever thought?"
"Not me," the brunette quipped and she hid her burning cheeks behind a palm.
"Hmmm, I will want a large print of this, framed and in my house. Preferably my bedroom," Miranda murmured, dropping the magazine back on the desk. She then slid her arms around the younger woman's waist and pulled them flush together.
"So. I'm dating a cover girl," she smirked. "How incredibly clichéd and potentially suffering from a mid-life crisis does that make me?"
She said 'dating'!
Andy chuckled happily and draped her arms around the editor's shoulders. "Very."
"This is going to be a long, hard day, Andrea," Miranda whispered as she leaned in to bury her face in the crook of the younger woman's neck. "It's going to be exceptionally difficult to keep my hands off of you."
"Hmmm," Andy nodded in agreement and trailed her finger tips tenderly up the editor's spine. "But keep in mind that now that you're human again, nothing will stop you from pizza night with the girls this evening. I'll make sure that your schedule is clear."
Miranda suddenly pulled back and gazed warmly into the brunette's eyes. "Join us."
"Tonight. The girls and me. Join us." One of her hands had found the base of Andy's skull and was now caressing the sensitive skin just below her hair. "Judging by the enthusiastic behaviour on the phone, my girls will be thrilled to see you... and I'm not ready yet..." she brought their foreheads together, "to not have you around, even for a second."
Rubbing their noses together the editor allowed a heavy sigh. "I have gotten so used to lying curled up on your chest, that it's almost painful when I'm not touching you." She chuckled. "That seems incredibly silly, doesn't it?"
Andy tenderly stroked Miranda cheeks and shook her head. "No, that's not silly at all. It's sweet." She tilted her chin forward to place the ghost of a kiss on the older woman's mouth, careful to not mix their different shades of lipstick. "And yes, I would love to join you for dinner tonight."
The sound of the ringing phone in the outer office forced them apart and the assistant reluctantly let go of Miranda and walked back to the doors. The editor's eyes followed her with a hooded gaze and parted lips, and when Andy was about to pull at the door handle the older woman said, in her most sensual voice, "That's all."
Giving a radiant smile and eyes never leaving Miranda's, Andy pushed the double doors back to their usual position and then hurried to answer the phone.
"Miranda Priestly's office, how may I help you?"
"Get my wife on the phone," Stephen's voice came through the line, infused with evident rage.
Andy cringed. Granted, he was a cheating bastard and a drunk who liked to embarrass Miranda at official functions, but he was still her husband. Hopefully not for long. The brunette knew he was calling because of the divorce papers that Miranda's lawyers must have had messengered over to his office just this morning.
"Mr. Thomlinson," the assistant said loudly by way of warning Miranda, "I will see if she's available."
The editor had already sat down and waved for Andy to put him through.
While Miranda handled her agitated husband, the brunette couldn't help but occasionally glance over to get an idea of how things were going. Would Stephen cause trouble? Would he try and fight her? Andy of course knew nothing of their prenuptial agreements or other arrangements, but she really hoped everything would go smoothly.
The editor seemed in control of the conversation and at one point she even raised an eyebrow at Andy and gave her an encouraging and rather adorable little smirk.
"Well, well, well... the Queen is back and our Cover Princess is all bright and shiny..." The fashion director drawled from behind her.
"Wow, she looks positively radiant." The bald man stood next to Andy and crossed his arms, watching Miranda regally speak into the phone behind her desk. "Being sick for a few days is really agreeing with her." He turned to the assistant with wide, humorous eyes that left no doubt about the fact that he knew well enough Miranda hadn't actually been ill.
"Who's she murdering on the phone?"
"Stephen," Andy sounded maybe a little bit too smug.
"You don't say?" He gave her his best 'uncle Nigel can sense something is up and will grill you later over drinks' smile.
"Where's your gorgeous, furry little friend?"
"She went back to where she belongs," the brunette smiled and gazed at Miranda.
The editor smugly hung up the phone and Nigel waltzed into her office and picked up the faux fur issue from the desk.
"Irv is furious, the board has gone wild and sales are sky-rocketing." He smirked. "In short: another masterpiece."
Andy's heart swelled with affection when she watched how Miranda's lips drew into a purse to conceal an overly satisfied grin.
"And you weren't even around... probably hiding in some kind of luxurious spa resort, by the looks of it." He looked her playfully up and down and Miranda just tilted her head to the side as if to say, 'I know I look fabulous'.
"Well, I've had help, running the ship from a... distance," the fashion maven allowed the tug at her lips to widen when she looked up at her fashion director. "I'm glad to note that at least some of my staff still show up to work with functioning brains."
Nigel beamed. "Don't forget our Six over there. She was brilliant."
"Oh, how could I forget the most efficient assistant I've ever had...?" Miranda bit her bottom lip and dipped her head back to gaze at Andy through lowered lashes. The throb between the brunette's legs was explosive, and in order to hide the violent blush on her cheeks, she turned and quickly rushed behind her desk to sit down and calm her breathing.
At that moment Emily pushed through the doors with the coffee tray in hand and Serena following on her heels. The blonde's eyes immediately locked onto Andy, and when Emily hurried to deliver Miranda's coffee, Serena smiled.
"Congratulations, Andy. It's a great cover."
"Thank you," the junior assistant whispered meekly and offered a crooked grin in return. Emily's tall Brazilian friend had been nice to Andy ever since the brunette had started to make an effort to understand fashion and its industry. As much as Emily hated it, Serena's good nature seemed to calm the still occasionally low-boiling animosity between the two assistants.
The redhead returned to her desk and sat down in her chair, facing Andy. She stared for a while, taking in the brunette's blouse and skirt, most likely trying to assess why the clothes seemed familiar, although they weren't from the Closet, and after a while she shifted in her seat and licked her pouty lips.
"What... how did you... when..." she almost stuttered. "I mean... you aren't exactly a model... and... you eat carbs for Christ's sake."
Andy wasn't sure how to answer. She knew for someone as obsessed with Runway as Emily, it must be hard to come to work one morning and find that her dorky, Mid-Western colleague, who hadn't known Gabanna from Gucci seven months ago, was displayed on the cover.
"It just kind of happened... Nigel had the idea at the photo shoot... and then Miranda gave her okay..." She shrugged helplessly, aware that an explanation wouldn't make the redhead feel any better.
"I think you look beautiful in the photo," Serena said and flinched when Emily smacked her arm rather hard. "What?" The blonde turned toward her friend. "She does."
"Oh please," the redhead scoffed. "It's just a head shot with that rat thing... you can't even see the rest of her fat body..."
"Emily, I do not care for the way you speak to Andrea..." came the sudden, icy voice of their boss. Miranda stood in the doorway to her office, one hand on her hip and eyes narrowed to dangerous slits.
"I... I... yes, Miranda," Emily mumbled in shock.
Andy realised that this was the first time that the older woman had interfered during one of the senior assistant's belittling rants. The fact that Miranda would risk picking sides and actually become involved, gave the brunette a strange new feeling of protection. Nate had never defended her when their mutual friends had mocked Andy's job or her dedication to Miranda. No, he had actually joined in. Putting his girlfriend down had been amusing to him.
And now Miranda, who could probably pass as a grand master of the most carefully constructed, most severe insults, was stepping up and coming to her defence.
Before Andy could reveal the nature of her musings through excessive, love-struck grinning, the editor turned around to address her.
"Andrea, did Meisel confirm?"
"Not yet, he's still in Rome, but I'll get a hold of his assistant right now," she picked up the phone, instantly thrown back into her most perfect assistant mode, when Miranda continued.
"When you're done, contact the moving company to come by later this week for Stephen's things," the older woman waved her hands in front of her chest and shrugged in disinterest, "and schedule a meeting with Leslie for tomorrow morning to see what we can do to minimise the press... on all this."
"On it," Andy smiled while already browsing for the contact information of the movers.
"Oh, and Andrea," Miranda leaned forward, slightly angling herself over the junior assistant's desk. "The girls arrive at five-thirty. Adjust our schedule accordingly."
"Uh-huh... Consider it done."
The fashion maven's back was turned to Emily and Serena and she took the opportunity to offer Andy a cheeky smirk, and then took a long, pointed look at the brunette's cleavage.
Trying her best to ignore the delightful buzz in her ears at Miranda's especially enticing walk back into her office, Andy set about the given tasks with vigour.
Helping Stephen move his ass out of the house - no problem. Getting Leslie to keep the divorce out of the press - definitely. Making sufficient changes to their schedules that would allow Miranda to have her girls back in her arms as soon as possible - her life's mission.
Andy tried to remember the last time she'd had pizza. It wasn't necessarily that she had consciously eliminated junk food from her diet, but in the past few months she had simply not had time to hang out with her friends and order pizza. Late-night, pre-packaged salads at the office had quickly become a staple food for her, and now that she looked down at the enticing slice of Italian ingenuity, she realised how much she had missed it.
Watching Miranda welcome home her daughters and seeing the loving mother in the editor surface when she had wrapped the twins into a firm, tearful hug, had opened even more of the brunette's heart for the queen of fashion.
The girls had been curious, but amendable when the older woman had explained that Andy would join their pizza feast, and as they sat at the dining room table the friendly banter of their phone calls returned easily.
"We saw the cover of Mom's magazine at school today," Cassidy explained around a mouthful of cheese.
"Yeah," Caroline chimed in. "What ever that white, fluffy thing is, it's so cute!"
Miranda almost choked on her food. "Cute?"
The brunette, however, burst into giggles at the older woman's face and the fact that her daughter had just indirectly complimented her. In Andy's opinion, human Miranda wasn't far behind the mink when it came to being the most adorable creature on earth.
"It's a mink," the younger woman explained to the girls, while the editor calmed herself down with a sip of wine.
"What's a mink?" Cassidy asked.
"It sort of belongs to the weasel family." Andy continued. "It's indigenous to most of North America and Europe and it's one of the most popular animals to use in the fur industry."
"Fur industry?" Caroline looked alert and faced her mother with glassy eyes. "So this cute mink... is a... coat now?"
Miranda's mouth opened, but she didn't seem able to respond to that shocking insinuation, so the brunette stepped in.
"Oh god no, Caroline!" She gave an encouraging smile. "The beautiful, little mink from that photo went back to be with her family."
Both twins gave a sigh of relief.
"So what's it like to touch it? Is it really soft?" Cassidy inquired further, while Caroline made quick work of the rest of her pizza slice.
"Yes. Incredibly soft," the assistant replied, waving her hand in the air as if she were petting an invisible creature. "And you know what the most adorable thing is?" She asked the girls, but turned to look at Miranda. "When you stroke it behind the ears and it gives a little purr... almost like a kitten."
The editor quickly reached for her glass to take another sip, before the blush on her cheeks could become too prominent. Andy grinned, but her giggles where drowned out by the sudden chorus of whiny twins.
"Oh Mom, can we please get a pet mink?"
"Yes, please! We promise to be the best daughters ever!"
"No," was their mother's abrupt La Priestly reply that sounded a lot like she had just shot down another one of Paul's uninspired shoot location ideas in an editorial meeting.
The brunette watched tandem pouts of the highest skill level be aimed at Miranda, and the editor turned her gaze down to her plate to pretend that she wasn't affected.
A feeling of tenderness swept over Andy as she watched Miranda grin at the twins. This little family probably had its problems, just like every other household, but to the brunette they were perfect. The way the older woman interacted with her daughters confirmed the image of the gentle, loving character behind the Snow Queen mask that Andy had glimpsed a few times in the past months, and been fully invited to see this morning. Her heart buzzed and she had to take a deep breath to keep from trembling at the intense love that bubbled up inside of her.
The rest of dinner was equally entertaining, and the assistant noted that Caroline and Cassidy didn't even comment on the absence of Stephen. It seemed that he hadn't been part of the family for a while - if he'd ever truly been - and the girls' lives didn't include him much at all.
After a dessert of sugar-free lemon parfait, the girls retreated upstairs to do their homework and Miranda led Andy into her home office. It felt a bit strange to be back in that room, just a few days after her and mink-Miranda had caught Stephen and his business partner's wife down the hall. None of that seemed to be on the editor's mind, though when she closed the door behind them and gently pushed the younger woman toward the couch.
When her butt hit the soft cushion, Andy smirked up at the queen of fashion. "I thought you wanted to wait... and take things slowly."
"I said no such thing, Andrea. Maybe it's time you had your ears examined," was the playfully snooty reply. "If I recall correctly, I had merely suggested that we," she placed one knee on the cushion to the side of Andy's thigh, "would need to be," the other knee followed so that she was straddling the younger woman's lap, "... careful."
Miranda's sensual bite to her own bottom lip almost distracted the brunette from the feeling of the editor lowering herself fully onto her legs. Restricted by their tight skirts it was a close fit, but the warmth and weight of Miranda on her forced Andy to lean backward with a content sigh. She reached out to bring the fashion maven with her, and as soon as their chests touched, they hummed in unison and wrapped their arms around each other.
Miranda rubbed her face in the crook of Andy's neck, always returning to the very spot she had loved to nuzzle as a mink, and the brunette smiled into white, silken hair.
"I've wanted to do this all day," the editor admitted with a sigh. "Well... actually I've wanted to do this for months..."
Andy reveled in the feel of the older woman's nose brushing against her skin. There was something incredibly warm and soothing in these simple caresses, that she had never experienced with anyone else before. It was almost ironic that out of all the people in her life, the Dragon Lady had turned out to be the sweetest. Overcome with affection, the brunette trailed her fingers lightly through Miranda's hair and was rewarded with a happy, little growl that echoed strongly between her thighs.
She wanted Miranda. Especially with the teasing dreams and this morning's delicious wake-up call. However, some things were still left unsaid, and there was a slumbering uncertainty in Andy's heart. Knowing she was about to ruin the mood, the assistant tenderly stroked the older woman's back and planted a kiss just below a defined jaw bone.
"So... Stephen is more or less gone?"
"Hmmm, yes," Miranda mumbled against the younger woman's throat. "As soon as I brought up Gloria, he was eager to cooperate and I believe he signed the papers right away. We had a water-tight prenuptial agreement, keeping our fortunes entirely separate, so he should disappear from our lives fairly quickly."
Andy was slightly taken aback by the indifference in Miranda's voice. "You're not going to miss him, even a little?"
"No." The editor sat up and gazed down to where her fingers rested against the assistant's collar bone. "Our marriage was more or less a business arrangement," she said quietly. "As pathetic as it sounds, I thought I needed a husband to ensure a more... stable position as editor-in-chief, with Irv constantly trying to get rid of me. I also felt like the girls still needed a father... figure around," she snorted elegantly and slipped her hands around Andy's neck. "As it turned out he wasn't just a lousy 'dad', but he also managed to do nothing but embarrass me every time I brought him along to a gala or dinner."
The brunette nodded in agreement. She remembered Stephen's drunken display at the Met Ball rather vividly.
"The thing is," Miranda gazed intently into her assistant's eyes. "I have no emotional attachment to that man. I never did."
"Oh..." Andy couldn't hide her shock at the admission. She didn't quite understand why Miranda would marry someone she didn't love.
"I..." the editor whispered, fingertips absently stroking the nape of Andy's neck. "Until recently I didn't think I could combine my true feelings... with my life."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm fifty, Andrea..." she gave a pained half grin. "And in a rather powerful position. I had more or less surrendered myself to closing off my heart, and creating the personal life the world needed to see in order for me to stay successful professionally. If that meant hiding part of who I was, I was willing to pay the price so I could give my girls and the magazine what I thought they needed."
"I... I don't think I understand."
The older woman exhaled forcefully, clearly frustrated that she had to spell things out.
"I'm not exactly... straight, Andrea. In case you hadn't noticed."
"Oh..." the brunette heard herself mumble dumbly. Of course Miranda had confessed to having sexually-tinted dreams about her, not to mention the moist proof on her leg that very morning that the editor was more than a little affected by her assistant's almost naked body beneath her own.
"Yeah... I kinda noticed," she replied with a sheepish smile and was delighted when the older woman smiled back.
"Now... thanks to being the adorable, furry fly on your wall for a few days," Miranda bit her lip again and Andy felt herself clench at the perfect mix of sensuality and mischief, "I found out that my growing attraction to you wasn't all that one-sided."
"Nope. Not one-sided at all," the younger woman giggled and slid down her hands to gently cup the editor's behind. "I guess I'm not exactly straight either."
"Yes, so it appears," Miranda smiled. "And cook-boy had an inkling..."
At the mention of Nate, Andy had to cringe. She wasn't exactly proud of breaking his heart.
"I'm sorry about biting him," the editor turned her head to rest her cheek on the younger woman's chest bone and one of her hands began to soothingly stroke up and down Andy's arm. "He just... he tried to fondle you... and I felt possessive."
The brunette laughed, "you know, I should be angry at you for that. You can't just go around biting people for my sake..." she tenderly nosed Miranda's ear lobe. "But it was incredibly funny and... it felt nice... that you'd protect me like that..."
"Hmmm," the editor mumbled, "don't mention it."
"And Nate was right. You... you sort of had taken over my life. In a good way," she hurried to add. "Well... not so good for Nate and I, but you've become the most important person in the world to me, Miranda."
Snowy locks shook when the older woman abruptly lifted her head to look at the assistant. "I have?"
And then Miranda's lips were on hers. Warm, wet tongues met and slid together carefully, caressing in languid strokes that slowly picked up speed. The editor moaned into the kiss when Andy's hands began to rhythmically squeeze her butt, and their groins commenced to move in a lazy waltz against each other.
Driven by new-found courage, Andy stroked down Miranda's thighs and hooked under the hem of the older woman's skirt. Aided by eagerly lifted hips, she managed to push up the fabric to the hips and the queen of fashion opened her legs wider and pressed herself greedily against the assistant.
Even through the silk of her blouse, Andy could feel Miranda's heat, and the memory of that morning returned, bringing along a wild rush of arousal. Miranda was so beautiful... and warm... and alive. As they continued to explore each other's mouths, the brunette recalled how desperately she had missed the editor's body just twenty-four hours ago, and a sudden, feral need guided her hands back to the now exposed buttocks, which she gripped firmly, pulling Miranda hard against herself.
"Oh... Andrea," the older woman moaned, breaking their kiss. "Yes..."
Andy immediately latched onto the smooth column of Miranda's neck, suckling tenderly at the satin skin and delighting in the helpless little, whimpers the editor was producing.
The sudden melody of the assistant's cell phone cut through their feverish make-out session and Andy groaned in frustration as she leaned her forehead against Miranda's shoulder. The older woman chuckled and hugged her tightly.
"Let's just ignore it. It can't be important," she nuzzled Miranda's collar bone, "because you're right here with me."
"Yes," the editor chuckled warmly, "yes, I am." Her hands pulled at Andy's blouse, freeing it from the confines of the skirt, and she slipped warm palms over the younger woman's belly.
"Hmmm, so much nicer without fur..." Miranda murmured against the assistant's lips as the phone stopped ringing.
"Is that so?" Andy quipped cheekily, allowing her tongue to sneak out and brush over the older woman's pliant mouth.
The phone rang again and this time Miranda leaned back to fetch it from the coffee table. "Let's turn this thing off," she spat at the device before talking a look at the screen. "Oh."
"What is it?"
"As much as I'd love you ravish you right now, Andrea, I don't think we're at the point in our relationship yet, where I can hang up on your mother.
"What?" Andy almost shrieked and pulled the phone from the hands of a smirking Miranda.
"Oh crap..." she quickly picked up. "Hi, Mom!"
The editor was giggling and buried her face in the crook of Andy's neck to muffle her sounds.
"Andrea, what on earth is happening!" Mrs. Sachs asked almost hysterically.
"What do you mean, Mom?" The brunette grimaced and then gave a playful smack to Miranda's backside to tell her to stop laughing.
"What do I mean? Honey, your face is on that magazine you work for! Your dad and I only found out this evening when Sally came over and brought us a copy!"
"Okay? When were you going to tell us? Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is when your neighbour is the first to bring attention to the fact that your daughter is on the cover of a national magazine?"
Andy sighed and Miranda looked up worried. "Mom, it was a last minute thing. The photo was taken only this Saturday and Miranda decided to use it for the cover late last night, right before it went for the printers."
"That woman put your photo on the cover?"
"Yes, Mom," Andy suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. "Miranda is the only one who can make the final decisions. She's the editor-in-chief. So yes, she put me on the cover. But I gave my consent."
"I thought she hated you?" Mrs. Sachs sounded a bit confused.
"No," Andy managed to smile sweetly at the editor. "She doesn't hate me. Far from it."
"What do you mean?"
"Mom, have you even looked at the rest of the magazine? There's a three-page article, that I wrote."
"Uhm... page... one-hundred..." she scrunched her nose in an attempt to remember the exact number.
"Forty-seven," Miranda whispered helpfully and the brunette beamed at her.
The sound of fluttering pages could be heard and then Mrs. Sachs gasped.
"Honey, that's wonderful! Richard," she spoke away from the phone. "Come, look at this."
Andy could hear her father say "Wow!" in the background.
"So what does Nate say? And your friends?" Andy's mother inquired.
"Oh... about Nate..."
Miranda moved to get up, but the brunette looked up in alarm and covered the speaker to whisper, "please stay."
The editor nodded with a surprised, little smile and sat back down in the spot next to Andy. When the assistant began explaining about her break-up with Nate, the older woman slid down to rest her head on the brunette's lap and reached for her unoccupied hand.
"So does that mean there's someone else?" Mrs. Sachs asked, knowing her daughter a little too well.
"Uhm..." Andy looked down to where Miranda was tenderly tracing along the bite marks on the assistant's palm.
"Yes, you could say that."
"Will we get to meet them?"
"Uh... yes... although maybe not too soon..." the brunette revelled in the editor's gentle caresses and she knew she wanted to forgo the drama and revelations and keep Miranda to herself a while longer. "Hey... wait a minute... them?"
"Well... that was a woman's laugh just now, wasn't it?"
"Uhm... yes..." Andy almost squeaked.
"Well..." Mrs. Sachs began, but evidently didn't know what else to say, and an awkward silence crept over the connection.
"Honey... are you happy?" She finally asked.
The brunette looked down at the beautiful older woman who gazed back up at her with concern and affection.
"Yes, Mom. Yes I am." She wiggled her hand free from Miranda's grasp and trailed her fingers up and over the editor's smooth cheeks.
"Then that's all we need to know, for now."
Andy tenderly stroked behind Miranda's ear and scratched lightly at the base of her neck, while their eyes locked.
"Thanks, Mom. That means a lot to me."
"Yes... well. Goodnight, Honey."
"Goodnight, Mom. Say hi to Dad." She hung up.
Miranda purred when Andy gently threaded her fingers through the editor's silken locks, and the brunette was reminded of the night she had brushed mink-Miranda while speaking about the twins. The look of trust and understanding in the older woman's eyes was enthralling, and she leaned down to capture Miranda's lips in another kiss.
Two pairs of loud footsteps clambered down the stairs and approached the home office at running speed.
Speaking of the twins...
Reluctantly, Miranda sat up and straightened her skirt.
"Sorry," she gave Andy's hand a final squeeze.
"It's okay... we'll have plenty of time..." the brunette whispered sweetly before the door was yanked open and two enthusiastic, little redheads stormed inside.
"Is Andy still here?"
Plenty of time turned out not to happen over the following four days. With the magazine sales thriving after their faux fur issue and Miranda revising several planned spreads and shoots, work was overwhelming. Although they saw each other throughout the entire day, the editor and her junior assistant hardly had any time alone.
On Tuesday they had shared two kisses in Miranda's private bathroom and one brief hug in the kitchenette. Wednesday morning they had managed a few minutes alone in the fashion maven's office, but their careful make-out session, being on a constant watch for potential intruders, had only left them more needy. Most of Thursday was spent by Miranda at a long-winded board meeting that ended up getting Runway's monthly budget increased. To celebrate, the editor had brought Andy to an empty room on the thirty-seventh floor where, after ten minutes of delicious kissing, they had nearly been discovered by the maintenance crew.
Needless to say, on Friday they were on the verge of exploding from pent-up sexual frustration.
"Jeez, would you stop bloody sighing already!" Emily scoffed from behind her desk.
"Sorry, Em... I'm just tired..." Andy rubbed her cheeks and tried to concentrate on her computer screen.
"You'd think with your sudden fame you'd be a lot more chipper and less of a drag," the redhead mumbled as she flung her chair around and jumped up to retrieve a print-out from behind her.
"Are you still angry about that?" The brunette asked, facing her colleague.
"Yes," was the snappish answer and Emily stapled the papers together and sat back down without further comment.
"Look, Emily. I..."
Her newest in a countless array of attempts to smooth over the senior assistant's jealousy was aborted when Miranda came walking down the corridor, arms laden with a stack of style books. Andy immediately bolted from her desk and hurried to hold the door open for her boss.
"Thank you, Andrea," the older woman spoke softly and the brunette almost melted at the tiny smile on the editor's lips.
"You're welcome," she whispered and readily took a few folders from the older woman's hands. Silently they walked to Miranda's office and dropped the style books on the coffee table in the corner.
"The girls have a sleepover tonight," Miranda said quietly before chewing on her bottom lip. Andy had to clench her fists to stop herself from stealing a kiss. "So...I want to take you out to dinner and then we can return to the town house without being disturbed..."
The assistant glanced back to the doors to ensure they were still alone, before answering, "that sounds lovely. What time?"
"Be ready at seven." Miranda briefly stroked down Andy's arm and then walked back to her desk to pick up a folder.
"Get these to Nigel. Tell him the colours are too heavy, but the bow ties will work."
They shared a smile and Andy turned around to make her way to the fashion director's office. Miranda no longer used her typical phrase to dismiss her, because when it came to the two of them, it would never just be all.
Careful to hide the spring in her step, the junior assistant hurried past a sulking Emily and clacked her way through the corridor to Nigel. When she reached the glass door to his creative lair she stopped dead in her tracks.
Standing beside the bespectacled man at the large centre table, holding up a back issue of Runway, was the blue-haired girl that had threatened to throw a paint bomb at Andy just a week ago. The brunette frowned. What was a PETA activist doing in Nigel's office?
"Hi, Nigel," Andy stepped inside, causing both to look up. "Too heavy on the colours, but bow ties are a go." She handed the folder to the fashion director and eyed the girl, who seemed to recognise her.
"Uhm... hi," the girl greeted shyly.
"Six, meet my niece, Jessie Kipling." He patted the girl's blue hair. "Sweetie, this is Andy Sachs, the author of the article you enjoyed so much."
"Nigel... we've already met." Andy said neutrally, the memory of their little stand-off outside the building preventing her normal friendliness to surface.
"Yeah," Jessie mumbled meekly.
"Really, Nigel, bringing a PETA activist to the office?" The brunette asked, eyes not leaving the pierced girl in front of her.
"As she is the only member of my family who doesn't question my 'life style', I will not question hers," the fashion director answered wistfully and Andy's demeanour softened. She couldn't be angry with the only person in Nigel's family who accepted his sexuality.
"Listen, I'm sorry about the other day... we didn't know who you were or that the mink was actually alive..." Jessie said quietly, her head bowed to study her fumbling fingers.
"I guess... it's okay... nobody got hurt in the end." The brunette managed a smile. "Just make sure you don't judge too easily in the future, alright?"
The girl nodded. "Oh yes... I won't make that mistake again. How did you train the mink to do that anyway?"
Nigel gazed between the Andy and his niece, puzzled. "Do what?"
"Uncle Nigel, I swear the look that animal gave us... I could actually feel the skin melt off my face..."
The fashion director tilted his chin down and looked at the brunette over the rim of his spectacles. "Is that so? Mira, the blue-eyed, white-coated mink with flesh-melting glares and an affinity for certain junior assistants." He smirked at Andy. "Interesting."
"Yes, well... I gotta go," the brunette stammered and retreated back toward the door. "You know... work... and stuff..."
She actually ran back to her desk.
"I swear it was almost like he knew," Andy told Miranda in the car after they had left work that evening. "There was just something in his smile... I don't know..."
"Do you think he has anything to do with our shaman-friend?" The older woman said quietly as she watched the lit-up New York streets fly by.
The brunette frowned. "I don't know... he's Nigel... he wouldn't betray you, would he?"
"Hmmm... betray... no, I don't think so." She turned around to look at Andy. "However I wouldn't put it past him to... manipulate a few things here and there."
"Hmmm, maybe. I still don't want to think badly of him. Maybe it's all just a coincidence." The brunette murmured as she tried to figure out where exactly they were going.
"Well, it matters not," the older woman decided. "It all worked out in the end." She glanced briefly at the brunette and smirked before turning back toward the window.
"Yeah," Andy giggled. "And we'll have a great story to tell our children..."
Shit... did I just say 'children'?
She couldn't believe they were on their way to their first official date, and she had brought up offspring. Not to mention that Miranda already had two beautiful daughters, and assuming that at one point they could be considered both of theirs, was just preposterous. Andy blushed violently and began to fidget while looking anywhere but at the silent woman next to her.
Suddenly warm digits closed around her wrist and Miranda pulled the brunette's hand into her lap, linking their fingers together.
"Yes, we will," the editor whispered, and the assistant carefully chanced a look to find a warm and dreamy expression on the older woman's face.
Andy smiled and caressed Miranda's palm with her thumb, feeling giddy when the fashion maven quirked her lips and turned to look back outside.
"So... where are you taking me?"
"Back to the beginning..." Miranda said softly.
Andy frowned. "The beginning? You mean... a place where they eat poly-blend sweaters? Such a place exists?"
The older woman gave her a stern look, refusing to dignify the younger woman's lame joke with a response.
"I wonder what wine would go best with cerulean, probably Pinot Noir... something a bit lighter, you know to cancel out 'casual corner' bitterness..."
Miranda finally snorted and the brunette giggled along, proud that she had managed to make the editor laugh.
"You are ridiculous, Andrea!"
"Yes," Andy looked down at their joined hands and squeezed Miranda's fingers tightly. "I certainly am. So, are you going to tell me which beginning you were actually referring to? "
"We're having raw fish, Andrea." The older woman stated.
"Oh, that beginning." The brunette grinned. "Now that was ridiculous!"
"Yes it was," Miranda chuckled and Andy beamed at the playfulness between them.
They arrived at their destination and Roy, who had become an expert at pretending nothing unusual was happening in the back of his car this week, opened the door for them.
"Wow, this place looks wonderful," the younger woman gazed around after they had stepped through the noren and into the small, but cosy sushi restaurant.
"Yes, its rather quaint, but their sashimi is the best in all of New York." Miranda said as an older lady, dressed in a silk kimono, led them to their seats. They were asked to remove their shoes before they stepped up into a raised back room that was covered in tatami mats, and Andy was treated to a delicate view of the editor's calves when Miranda elegantly lowered herself to kneel in front of the low table.
"Well," Andy grinned as she sat down opposite the editor. "I like it already."
The small room was partitioned off the rest of the restaurant and gave them much needed privacy.
"Have you ever had sushi before?" Miranda asked after they had been served green tea.
"Uhm... yes... but we've only gone to 'sushi happy hours'... you know. All-you-can-eat type restaurants. Nothing ever this nice," she smiled as she looked around. She wasn't entirely sure what she had imagined Miranda would choose for their first date. Fancy five star cuisine had seemed possible, but the assistant hadn't really looked forward to accompanying the editor to one of the stingy places where she took business dinner companions.
This little Japanese place was a very positive surprise. It was a hidden gem and utterly romantic.
"Well," Miranda raised her tea cup. "To ridiculous beginnings... and a wonderful evening." The smile she gave Andy was full of affection, warmth and anticipation, and when the brunette raised her own cup, she got lost in the older woman's radiant gaze.
Their eyes remained locked as Andy sipped from the sencha, allowing the hot infusion to warmly run down into her stomach and soothe her nerves.
"Andrea," Miranda set down the tea and leaned slightly across the table. "I want you to write another article for Runway."
"Current eloquence notwithstanding," the editor smiled crookedly, "you have a way with words. I think you have a great writing career lying ahead of you."
"Oh," Andy was flabbergasted. Coming from Miranda that was more than just a compliment. The older woman never bothered with idle chatter and insincerity. She was brutally honest, which often resulted in bruised egos and crushed spirits. But receiving a positive remark from the 'Snow Queen' was like a healing balm on the soul. It made everything seem possible and the world a mere playground for excellence.
"So... given our current... situation, I think you need to eventually move on from the post as my assistant." Miranda reached across the table to take the younger woman's hand. "Although I don't know how I will be able to cope without your... smart, little brain around."
"I understand," the brunette smiled sadly and looked down at their interlaced fingers. "I'll miss being so close to you all day long, but if I move to another department, I'll just be right down the hall. And I would love to write for Runway."
They gazed at each other, filled with the knowledge that this would solidify their future together.
"I never thought I'd say this, Andrea," Miranda's eyes were shining and she gently brushed her thumb over the inside of Andy's wrist. "I see a great deal of myself in you. You can see beyond what people want... and you give them what they need."
The brunette felt dizzy from the almost pleading tenderness in the older woman's eyes. She knew that what Miranda wanted and what she needed at that moment, were both the same thing. Leaning closer she was about to kiss the queen of fashion, when the paper screen door slid open and their food was served.
The salmon sashimi was the best thing Andy had ever eaten, she was sure of that. The way it almost dissolved on her tongue was pure magic, and the brunette could tell by looking at the older woman, that Miranda enjoyed it just as much.
"Hmmm, you know it's strange, but it is so very different to eat this as a person, than to... tear into it as a little predator," the editor licked her lips after swallowing another piece. "As an animal, there are distinct tastes, but you experience no..." she gazed up at Andy, "pleasure from eating something... so delicious."
The younger woman shivered at the way Miranda had pronounced 'pleasure' and 'delicious', which, by the look on the older woman's face, had been exactly her intention.
"I read somewhere," Andy savoured the lingering flavour on her tongue before retaliating, "that eating sushi... is like going down on a woman."
Miranda dropped her chopsticks, and the exposed skin of her cleavage turned a beautiful shade of pink. However, the brunette's victorious smirk faltered and was replaced by a most furious blush of her own, the moment the editor leaned across the table and whispered, "well... we will need to conduct some in-depth research on that subject, won't we?"
Exactly how they had managed to get to the town house, Andy couldn't say. It was all a blur of fleeting touches and playful teasing that had left both them completely flustered by the time they arrived at Miranda's front door. The editor fumbled with the lock, fingers trembling, and when they had finally hurried inside, she quickly set the alarm and then sauntered toward the main stairs.
The brunette could only watch mesmerised when Miranda elegantly shrugged off her coat and ascended each step with such an enticing sway to her hips that Andy's throat felt like it was made of sandpaper by the time the older woman had disappeared from view to the upper floor.
"Andrea, don't dawdle," came Miranda's sultry, disembodied voice and the distinct trickle between her legs finally kicked the younger woman into action and she sped up the stairs. On the second floor landing, she found the editor's discarded coat and bag, and as she hurried up the final flight of stairs, she sincerely hoped that Miranda wouldn't strip any further. Revealing every last inch of that beautiful and very human body was definitely Andy's job.
Miranda stood leaning against the wall next to her bedroom, and when the brunette spotted the editor, she slowed her jog down the hallway to a stroll.
"Hi," she whispered breathlessly, the race up the stairs and the vision before her, robbing her of all remaining oxygen. The older woman's chest was heaving, her shoulders were pressed back and she gazed at Andy through dabbed lashes with such fire that the brunette's knees almost gave out.
"Finally," Miranda drawled. "One would think with your vibrant youth..." she slowly swept her eyes over the younger woman's body, "you'd be able to keep up with an old soul like me." She reached for Andy's hand and pulled her in for a kiss.
Despite the crackling tension they kept their movements light and gentle, and the brunette took her time to absorb the other woman. The warmth coming off Miranda's body lured her in like a cosy fire in winter, and her sweet, rich scent felt like a homecoming. Andy pushed herself fully against the soft curves, delighting in the sensual roll of hips that welcomed her.
Miranda's pinstripe pencil skirt and matching Bill Blass jacket had been torturing Andy all day. The golden silk wrap camisole the editor wore underneath, was entirely too low cut for the brunette to function, and she had imagined what it would be like to slide her palms under the teasing jacket and around the editor's waist all day. Now that she had Miranda finally to herself and practically pinned against the wall, she did exactly that.
The action was rewarded with a long, firm stroke of the older woman's tongue against her own, and strong hands gripped Andy by the hips. Guided by what must have been her previously-dormant, lesbian instincts, she slid her palms over the small of Miranda's back, down to the editor's gorgeous ass and grabbed her firmly, holding her in place as their groins collided once again.
Her mouth was plundered as if it held the secrets to a great treasure that could be coaxed with gently nibbling lips and an impatient tongue. Eager hands strayed from her hips, wandering over her sides and snaking their way ever so slowly to her butt, until they both squeezed each other in tandem. Their tongues fell into the rhythm of their hands and hips, causing their bodies to pulse against each other in near ecstasy.
"Oh god," Miranda pulled away with such a guttural groan that Andy nearly came from the sound of it.
"Andrea... not out here..." the editor panted.
The brunette felt completely dazed as she watched the older woman lick her swollen lips, cheeks rosy and throat moving with gulps for air. She couldn't quite believe that she had caused Miranda to get into this state, and the wondrous realisation gentled her touches.
She took a step back and lightly trailed her fingertips up the older woman's spine. Never before had anyone looked at Andy with the amount of desire that now poured all over her body from the wells of the editor's darkened, blue-green pools. The bond they had unknowingly built over the past few months, strengthened by the ultimate trust and deep affection that had been born during their furry, little adventure together, formed such a base of unity between them that the brunette knew she couldn't hold anything back.
"I love you."
The whisper wasn't as much a necessary declaration as it was a release of all those overwhelming feelings that swirled around in Andy's chest. Deep down they both already knew about each other's sincerity and emotional investment in this.
Miranda's lips pulled into the most beautiful, radiant smile the younger woman had ever seen, and she was convinced that if the world could see the Snow Queen now, they would rename her 'Sun Goddess'. Reaching over to turn the door knob, Miranda used her other hand to tightly thread their fingers together, before gently tugging Andy into the bedroom.
The subtle scent of lilies drew the younger woman's attention to the strategically placed floral arrangements and she grinned. Miranda had so planned this.
"Come," the editor whispered as she pulled the brunette to the side of the bed, which now sported white and gold satin sheets that looked like one could drown in them. Warm fingers reached up and caressed Andy's cheeks.
"I love you, as well." Miranda whispered while her thumb stroked tenderly over the younger woman's chin. "More than I believe I will ever be able to show you."
Their mouths met again, the connection less frantic and more of a means to ground them, and Miranda's hands slipped around the brunette's waist and to the zipper of the aubergine Gucci skirt that Andy knew had attracted the editor's longing gaze more than once in the office that day. The fabric loosened and warm palms slid under the velvet to slowly ease it down over rounded hips.
Miranda's tongue curled around Andy's, holding her gently in place as the garment pooled around four-inch Louboutins. The brunette carefully stepped out of the skirt and noted with surprise how the older woman kicked the expensive piece of couture out of the way. The mild shock didn't distract her for long, though, and she guided her hands back around Miranda's middle and up to her neck, where she hooked under the Bill Blass jacket and slowly pushed it over elegant shoulders.
Once it had joined the Gucci skirt on the carpet Andy needed to pull back to fully appreciate the beautiful silk camisole. The large jade globe necklace fell perfectly between the exposed swells of Miranda's breasts and the brunette felt her mouth water as she slowly untied the closure of the wrap. She wanted to unfold the older woman's body like a precious gift, taking her time as she looked intently into blue-green swirls.
When the garment fell open and revealed a charcoal strapless bra that was so delicate that it was a perfect match for the pale skin it barely hid, Andy's heart nearly thumped out of her chest. She peeled the layers of golden silk away and slipped the wrap camisole off Miranda's arms, taking a moment to caress the editor's wrists, before adding the piece of clothing to the growing pile of designer garments.
"You're so unbelievably beautiful, Miranda."
She reached for the necklace and raised it past the older woman's flushed cheeks and over her snowy head. Andy knew that the jewellery was worth more than eight-thousand dollars, so instead of tossing it around, she stepped past Miranda and carefully placed it on the night stand instead. Warm arms encircled her waist from behind and before she could turn back around, the older woman pulled her firmly against herself.
"Andrea..." Miranda whispered into her hair. "I can't quite believe that this isn't just another dream."
The months of sadness and longing were evident in her voice and Andy felt her heart tremble with the urge to smooth over any remaining doubts the older woman might have about the reality of them. She leaned back her head to rest against a bare shoulder and reached behind her to pull the editor's warm body closer.
"Mira... I'm right here... and I want this more than anything..."
Lips found the nape of her neck and the hands around her middle slowly slid up her front. When Miranda's palms gently cupped her breasts through the fabric of her satin blouse, Andy was reminded of their last dream together and how wonderful it had felt already then. Their mutual fantasy, however, had not prepared her for the intensity of reality, and when the older woman began to slowly kneed her flesh and breathed hotly against her neck, the brunette arched back with a groan, squirming under the overwhelming sensation.
"Oh god... please... not yet... oh..."
The editor seemed to understand and tenderly trailed her fingers higher, to Andy's collar bones, where she traced along the rim of the blouse, until she met the top button and swiftly opened it. The younger woman hummed when the back of Miranda's nails briefly caressed along her chest bone, and skilful digits travelled lower to make quick work of the next button. Alternating between lightly stroking down the newly revealed path of skin, and proceeding to unbutton the garment, Miranda continued to nibble at the top of Andy's spine.
"Darling," she whispered between licks and kisses, "you smell absolutely divine."
Andy moaned when gentle fingers brushed over the front clasp of her bra.
"You know..." the older woman continued as her hands moved lower. "As a mink, my sense of smell was significantly heightened..."
There went another button.
"And although I lacked the physical responses in that small, furry body, your scent did incredible things to me... in my mind. I still possessed the memories of what desire felt like...," Miranda pushed her hips forward to rub sensually against Andy's backside. "... and arousal."
The brunette exhaled sharply when the older woman's fingers dipped into her belly button.
"The mornings after our shared dreams," the editor continued, "there always seemed to be one particularly delicious smell coming from you..."
Oh god... Miranda could smell how turned on I was! Andy's heart pounded violently against her chest.
"It drove me wild... the longing to be turned back into a human..." she took care of the final button and peeled open the blouse, knuckles brushing over the younger woman's stomach and hips. "... and be able to touch you," she nipped at an earlobe and eased the satin off Andy's shoulders in one fluid motion, "like this."
Before the garment hit the floor, Andy had already turned around and she crushed their bodies together in a forceful kiss. Bare arms slid around warm backs and the sensation of their breasts touching, with nothing but the thin lace of their bras between them, was a death sentence for the brunette's panties. She could feel Miranda's firm nipples brush against her own and with a skilful move, as if she had been practising for this one moment her entire life, Andy unhooked the clasp on the editor's back, feeling the fabric go limp.
With decades of dressing and undressing women, Miranda had no trouble with the younger woman's front closure and when they moved their torsos away from each other for just an inch, the lace fell away easily. The need to see urged them further apart and Andy feasted her eyes on the vision before her. Tentative fingers reached until they tenderly stroked each other's breasts, sighing at the heat of their palms as they cupped the soft flesh.
Miranda quickly pulled the bra straps down Andy's shoulders, leaving both of them completely naked from the waist up, before stepping back in and bringing their skin back together.
Although they had woken together like this only five days ago, now it felt so very different. The anticipation of what they were about to do heightened their senses, and shock and doubt no longer clouded Andy's absolute desire. She could feel the violent hammering of the older woman's heart against her own chest, and as their lips found each other again, tongues sliding against each other with sweet promises, the brunette fumbled with the zipper of Miranda's pin stripe skirt. Boldly, her palms slid into the loosened fabric and she moaned into the editor when her palms met smooth butt cheeks on their way of sliding the garment down sensuous hips.
Without breaking the kiss, they stepped out of their heels, and Miranda turned them so Andy had her back to the bed. With surprising strength the older woman then lowered her assistant onto the satin sheets, holding her firmly but tenderly around the waist, until Andy was fully on her back.
Eyes glowing with white hot fire, Miranda pulled away from the kiss and stepped back, gazing hungrily down at the brunette sprawled before her.
She's a goddess, Andy thought mesmerised as she watched the editor slowly unhook the straps of her garter belt and begin to sensually roll down her thigh-highs. It was a vision of perfection: The body she hadn't known she wanted so much, until it had no longer been around. She knew that Miranda was no perky twenty-year-old, with firm baby skin and abs of steel. However Andy was convinced that, if that were the case, the editor would only be half as enticing as she was now: Dressed in nothing but charcoal lace briefs and a thick layer of unbridled desire.
Andy was about to reach for her own stockings, but the older woman sternly scolded, "No!" and placed a knee on the side of the bed.
"Leave that to me, Andrea," Miranda husked and crawled fully onto the mattress.
Heartbeat pounding wildly in her ears, the younger woman was frozen in place and unable to move as Miranda approached with feline grace. Her shoulder blades alternately rising toward the ceiling, the editor languidly pushed from one arm to the other, clawing her way through the satin and up along the length of Andy's legs. She hovered ever closer, her body suspended above the brunette's, and grinned like a predator about to devour its prey. After a few moments of letting her eyes convey the sincerity in her heart, she finally lowered her mouth to the younger woman's waiting lips.
The kiss left no doubt that Miranda was ready to claim what she considered hers, and it was common knowledge that the queen of fashion always got what she wanted. Andy arched up her back to welcome the teasing pressure of the older woman's breasts as Miranda kept herself propped up in the air, hands digging into the bed on either side of the brunette's head.
The younger woman moaned around the forceful tongue that began to ravish her mouth in a promise of what was still to come, plunging deep and exploring every inch of flesh in its wake. All Andy could do was to keep breathing and give herself completely to Miranda. Soon the editor's mouth abandoned the swollen lips and she began kissing down the brunette's neck, licking briefly at the hollow at the base of Andy's throat, before nibbling along the sensitive skin below a collar bone.
All the while, her soft breasts kept brushing against Andy, the stiff peaks setting the younger woman ablaze where they grazed against her skin.
"Oh Jesus, Miranda..." Andy helplessly moaned and her fingers tangled in the silken, white forelock that tickled so deliciously against her skin. She could feel the editor smile as those sweet lips moved lower and over the swell of her breast, hot breath marking a trail all the way to Andy's left nipple. When wet warmth closed around it, Andy was on the edge of fainting.
Soothing knuckles brushed against her cheek, tenderly grounding her, and making her feel safe when the editor's tongue swiped against her roughly. Desire shot straight to Andy's core and she cried out, grabbing a fistful of snowy hair to force the mouth to remain right where it was.
"Mira," she whimpered, the nickname coming easily. The tenderness she had felt for the adorable, little mink and the urge to protect Miranda, no matter what shape or form she was in, translated incredibly well into her all-encompassing love and desire for the older woman.
The editor began to switch between sucking and firmly licking, and Andy felt as if Miranda were drinking straight from her heart, pulling at the love where it came directly from her soul.
The gentle fingers against her cheeks left her face and travelled down until the older woman's nails brushed against her other nipple, circling the areola and preparing it for the coming lips. As she devoted an equal amount of loving, oral attention to the second breast, Miranda's right hand covered the wet nipple above Andy's heart and she began rolling it between her thumb and index finger, gently pulling each time she sucked at its twin, and brushing over it in time with the mirrored movement of her tongue.
Andy groaned and rolled her hips, desperately seeking more contact. She was almost frantic, breath coming in shallow, little pants, and the lace panties that appeared to be stuck between her legs felt way too restrictive. A shiver from longing and the cold air against her suddenly abandoned breasts ran through her and she reluctantly let go of Miranda's gorgeous hair when the older woman slowly moved up and knelt beside her.
Their gazes met, glassy browns drowning in the depth of sincere blue-greens, and Miranda slid a warm palm across Andy's stomach and over her hip, looking at the brunette through lowered lashes while chewing on her bottom lip. Anticipation had Andy's heart racing, but Miranda didn't touch her remaining piece of underwear. Instead, she glided lower and began to carefully roll down first one, and then the other thigh-high.
Only once Andy's legs were bare and tingly from the fashion maven's teasing caresses, did Miranda move her fingers up to the younger woman's abdomen.
"Andrea," she whispered love-drunk, "You are the most remarkable, precious creature in the universe."
Fingertips fluttered along the lace waistband and Andy squirmed, pushing up against the infuriatingly light touch.
"Mira... I'm ready."
The older woman smirked when her index finger slipped beneath the fabric and brushed against the brunette's trimmed curls.
"Are you sure?"
Andy nodded vigorously, biting her own lip to keep from outright pleading.
"Well, then..." Miranda smiled and planted a sweet kiss just above the panties, before hooking under the fabric and firmly tugging it down Andy's thighs and over the readily lifted knees. There went another few hundred dollars, flying through the air and landing god knows where in the older woman's bedroom. Not that either of them cared.
Eager fingers pulled at Miranda's charcoal panties, and soon they were before each other completely naked.
Lips parted from overwhelming desire, the editor slowly crawled back up and slid against Andy's body, angling herself so she could press against the younger woman's side, while resting her weight almost fully on the mattress. The brunette could feel the tickle of short curls against her upper thigh and she opened her arms to welcome Miranda for another kiss.
Less forceful this time, their tongues moved together, a final, slow build-up to their joining. Andy had never felt this cherished before in her life. Her previous lovers had smothered her, of course, but none of them had ever conveyed such a blinding desire to be with her, to hold her, to love her. Her connection with Miranda was unique, their bond so strong that their skin was almost vibrating when their touched. A ripple through the fabric of the very universe, as it played witness to their love.
"Mira..." Andy whispered against the editor's lips, their breaths mingling as they snapped for oxygen. "I'm yours. Please... make me yours."
Miranda's nostrils flared and she had to blink her eyes closed for a few seconds before nodding and sliding a warm hand over Andy's belly. Her warm gaze was firmly locked with the brunette's, both needing a visual link for what they were about to experience.
"Open your legs, Darling," the older woman husked. Andy complied and, through her haze of lust, she still felt embarrassed at the waft of cold air against her centre that revealed just how truly ready she was.
When the fashion goddess slipped a finger between the younger woman's thighs and into the slippery heat, they both moaned at the contact. Andy's head fell back and Miranda leaned down to place a loving kiss on the brunette's shoulder.
"Oh Andrea... you feel," she slowly traced the slit and whispered, "exquisite."
With a mind of their own now, Andy's hips rolled forward, seeking more contact, chasing the warm hand. Miranda hummed against the crook of the brunette's neck when she lowered a second finger and languidly brushed her knuckles up against Andy's clit.
"Oh..." the younger woman panted and Miranda began licking at the base of her throat in time with each further stroke against Andy's bundle of nerves.
"I've dreamed about this many times, but I could have never imagined," the editor murmured into the brunette's skin, "how incredibly wonderful you feel, my Darling."
Andy's arms tightened their hold around Miranda's shoulders and she gyrated her hips in time with each movement of the older woman's fingers.
"Mira... please..." she whimpered, gazing across the slope of her cheekbones at the woman who looked back at her, filled with complete awe, her eyes shiny. "I want you... please... go inside."
They stared into each other's souls and Miranda carefully poised two fingers at the younger woman's entrance. Voice shaking from emotions, the editor whispered, "I love you," and then she pushed all the way inside.
The sensation forced Andy's eyes shut and she cried out. She could feel Miranda's fingers melt into her, their path eased by the slick walls drenched in her arousal.
"Darling, look at me," the older woman instructed.
Andy forced her lashes up and gazed back into tearful blues. "Mira...?" She suddenly felt concerned.
"Shh, my Darling... please... let me make love you to," Miranda almost pleaded.
"Yes..." was the only thing the brunette managed to say and then the fingers inside her began to move. Slowly out and then back in, stroking her inner walls in all the right places and sending sharp jolts of desire through the rest of her body.
"Oh god, Mira... yes..."
Miranda was incredibly gentle, but seemed to know exactly where to apply pressure when she curled up her fingers. Her knuckles pushed deliciously against the entrance, stretching Andy so lightly that it was almost teasing. Not that it mattered; the brunette was dangerously close to the edge, simply from watching the love and intense need wash over the older woman's face.
"I don't think I can... oh..." she groaned when Miranda's thumb returned to her clit, rubbing firmly with each push inside. "... Mira..."
"It's alright, Darling," the editor whispered so sweetly that Andy knew she would forever feel safe in Miranda's arms. "I've got you. You can let go."
Andy propped up her knee and let it fall away from the older woman, to open herself wider. The sloppy sounds of each thrust into her should have embarrassed the brunette, but it only drove her even higher, delighting in how wet Miranda made her.
"Yes, that's it... Andrea," the editor pressed her body more firmly against her, lifting one knee over Andy's stretched-out leg. She straddled the brunette's thigh, and they both groaned as Miranda's own flood of arousal coated the younger woman's skin. Their hips began to move together, the older woman's upper leg pushing her hand deeper into Andy and the heel of her palm pressed hard against the stiff bundle of nerves.
The brunette held on tightly, digging her fingers into the smooth back as they rolled against each other. They attempted to keep their eyes locked, but were quickly overwhelmed, and Miranda leaned down to rest her forehead against Andy's shoulder.
It was unbelievable how slick and wet the editor was against her thigh, and wanting to share the exact same experience, Andy propped up her trapped leg, slightly lifting Miranda, before slipping her hand around and in between them. The editor whimpered in anticipation and the younger woman's finger drove into her almost on their own, guided by the movement of their hips and the incredible amount of lubrication.
"Oh god... Darling," Miranda cried out and their pace quickened. Their hips rocked firmly and their fingers stroked deeply, filling each other as their palms ground against their clits. Andy's free hand slipped further down to dig into the supple flesh of Miranda's ass, and their torsos flowed against each other in waves, backs arching and breasts pressing together, until suddenly Andy felt herself come apart. Almost as if the essence of her entire being was oozing from her, filtering through her every pore in a bright, deliciously burning light.
She moved frantically, faintly sensing the strong muscles around her own fingers pulsate, as she was swept up by a blinding wave of pleasure. Miranda groaned against her throat and their arms and legs locked around each other almost painfully, muscles becoming rigid with tension and their tight embrace leaving no room for breath, almost crushing their ribs.
Slowly the high current of electricity ebbed away, leaving a warm, simmering buzz behind, and they fell back into the bed with a long, mutual moan.
Their hearts were pounding so rapidly that it was difficult to say which beat belonged to whom, and as their upper bodies rose and fell in a united quest for oxygen, they nuzzled the crook of each other's necks. After a few seconds the older woman shifted, and carefully rolled down to the side, bringing Andy around with her. Facing each other on their sides, they finally opened their eyes, and the brunette saw her own love reflected in Miranda's gaze.
"Wow," the brunette whispered. "That was..."
"... indescribable," Miranda finished, awed.
They grinned warmly, fingers still firmly buried inside each other.
The editor used her free hand to brush a few sweaty strands from Andy's face and then rubbed their noses together.
"You're so incredibly beautiful and precious," she whispered against the younger woman's lips, before claiming them in a gentle kiss.
"Hmmm," Andy hummed happily. "I love you, Mira."
"And I you, Andrea."
Gazes connected, they carefully extracted their fingers, grimacing, as they slowly flexed their hands. Then they giggled at the intensity of their orgasms and slung both arms fully around each other in a tight embrace. The brunette shivered, and the older woman managed to wrangle the sheets out from under them and pulled the covers up and around their shoulders.
They snuggled against each other, basking in the afterglow and the ridiculous amount of stickiness between the two of them.
"Darling," Miranda purred against Andy's neck while she combed her fingers tenderly through the long hair. "Stay..." she said softly. "Stay with me... stay in my life... regardless of the consequences or situations we may find ourselves in. We'll figure everything out... Just please, stay."
The younger woman's heart swelled with love and the prospects of a happy future. "Yes! Of course!" She pressed herself tightly against Miranda's body. "You're stuck with me."
"Hmmm... is that so?" the editor chuckled.
"Yes. It was a sure thing the moment you drove your sharp, little canines into me... ahhh... hahaha..." she squirmed under the sudden, but gentle bite to her neck that was followed by a soothing lick and a healing kiss.
"Now," Miranda said in her best editor-in-chief voice, "I believe we still have to conduct some research..."
Andy giggled happily and not without giddy anticipation, "Yes, Miranda."