My season wasn't quite over yet; I still had a few days remaining, so I stood by the elevators, Starbucks in hand. I sipped this one; Miranda's was upstairs on her desk. She breezed into the Elias-Clarke building wearing a lilac silk and taffeta Jil Sander dress beneath a Burberry cardigan that I never would have paired it with. The combination was very spring, and it made Miranda look soft, studious and no-nonsense all at the same time. It was breathtaking. "That's a form of torture," I said, in lieu of good morning. "You look beautiful."

"Are you drinking my coffee?"

I shook my head. "It's upstairs." I held my arm across the open elevator door, and once it closed, smiled lazily, and leaned against the wall.

Miranda took my cup, sipped from it and grimaced. "Is mine this tepid?"

"Of course not."

"What's on for today?"

"Patrick will call you at 9:00. You've got a meeting at Calvin Klein they think is at 10:30, but it's really at noon, and then lunch immediately after with the girls' new tutor who should have evidence in hand of improvements already. Then your lawyer at 2:30, the Mac proofs at 3:30, and Sophie Charpiot is, for some reason, on your calendar yet again, at 4:45." I arched an eyebrow at her.


"What's that about?"

Miranda held out the Starbucks, and I took it. "She has a few changes to her line."

"Oh really? Yeah, I would change my line if I were her, too. Because it hasn't worked for ten years, has it?" I gave Miranda a cocky grin.

She pursed her lips. "My, how smug they become, apparently overnight. It seems like yesterday you were wistfully wishing to be in Sophie's shoes."

"I told you. If I were Sophie, I'd have knocked on that door every day. And I did, didn't I?" Then I bit my lip. "I got worried this morning, on the way here, thinking about your daughters. They're going to hate me."

"Why would they ever do that?" Miranda frowned. "They most definitely won't hate you. I don't hate you. And you'll do that same thing to them that you did to me, that…" She gestured to the air. "Charm you have. They'll be yours by the end of the week; mark my words."

I was unconvinced. "Um."

Miranda looked at me, that look with the cocked head, as though I were obtuse or idiotic or both. "Well, it's not as if you have to do anything but open that blabbering mouth," she sniffed. "Emily."

The elevator chimed.

::The End::