Irv fucking Ravitz.
Andy had honestly thought that the stunt he had pulled in Paris was low. She had thought him scum for that particular deed, had supposed that was the lowest he could go. However, for the first time, she was willing to admit that Nigel was right; she was naive. Because she had believed Irv when he had said that he wanted to bury the hatchet with Miranda; she just hadn't realised he intended to bury it in her head.
This was definitely the most degrading and humiliating situation she had ever found herself in, and taking into consideration that she was first assistant to Miranda Priestly, that really was saying something. Kamikaze butterflies were rocketing around in her stomach to such an extent that she was sure her face must have taken on a greenish hue. She was beginning to regret that shot of tequila.
As she placed herself centre stage to a scattering of applause and the rumble of hushed murmurs, she could barely believe that no more than fifteen minutes ago she had been enjoying this party.
15 minutes ago…
As she passed another waiter she deposited her empty glass, swapping it for a full one. Andy was in high spirits. Miranda's birthday party was in full swing: the champagne was flowing, the guests were enjoying themselves and she was turning heads. Sporting a short, black, Lacroix dress with lace panels at her sides that exposed the pale skin beneath, even she had to admit she was looking damn sexy. Serena's expert touch with some curling tongs and red lipstick didn't hurt either.
Scanning the room Andy noticed that Miranda was only standing a few metres away. She looked radiant tonight. Celestial. She was pleased to see that her boss was conversing with Irv Ravitz. A month ago Irv had announced that the company would be organising an evening to celebrate Miranda's fiftieth birthday, and had come to Andy personally to ask for help arranging the finer details. He had confessed that he was looking to use this as an apology of sorts and so it must be suited perfectly to her tastes. As always, Andy had jumped at the chance to make Miranda's life less stressful in any way. So far, it seemed that everything was going swimmingly. Job well done, Sachs.
Andy was aware of the band falling silent and staying that way. Then a voice took its place: the voice of Irv Ravitz. Andy suddenly felt uneasy.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for attending this evening. As you know, we are here to celebrate the birthday of the beautiful and talented Editor and Chief of Runway magazine; Miranda Priestly." Rapturous applause exploded throughout the ballroom as the woman in question smiled humbly. "It seemed to me a grand idea that we take this opportunity to show our appreciation for Miranda and also offer you a chance to do the same." She could see from here that, like her, Miranda was sensing an impending doom. "So, my guests, the band will be at your disposal for the rest of the night to imitate the closest thing you will find to karaoke on the Upper East Side. Anyone wishing to dedicate a song to the birthday girl only has to approach the band and take to the stage. Enjoy the rest of your evening!"
The entire room seemed to be in shock, all still staring at the stage as though expecting to snap out of their daydream and back into reality. Without really thinking Andy had started moving towards Miranda, but stopped short realising that Irv had taken his place at the fashion maven's side once more.
"It will be interesting, don't you think, to see if anyone will sing a song for Miranda Priestly?"
"What exactly is the meaning of this, Irv?"
"Consider this my birthday present to you Miranda. A sharp dose of reality. You are fifty, twice divorced, with no friends to speak of and an army of employees that are so scared of you that they piss themselves when forced to look you in the eye. I imagine even those devil spawn you call your children will escape you at the first available opportunity. Here we are at your birthday party, half a century of life, and there is not one person in this room who cares about you."
Miranda looked as though she had been slapped. It took all of Andy's will power not to lunge at the disgusting dwarf of a man.
"So I think it will be interesting, and highly amusing, for the room to watch as not one person sings a song for the Ice Queen. Because Miranda Priestly is not well liked and she is not loved; she is alone."
As Irv departed Andy made her way to the bar. Unfortunately, she knew what she would have to do. She needed to show the editor that she was liked, that she was loved, and that someone cared enough about her to make a fool of themselves in front of all their co-workers, as well as Manhattans elite.
Andy ordered a shot of tequila.
As the notes of the grand piano signalled the beginning of the song, Andy swore revenge. She would find something on Irv; tax evasion, embezzlement, a bloody rent boy, it didn't matter. She would find something, and she would bury him. Silently, she thanked her mother and father for encouraging her to take singing lessons.
She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes…
Looking into the audience she witnessed Nigel spraying a mouthful of martini.
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies…
Emily was wearing a shit-eating grin that read: 'You are so getting fired.'
And she only reveals what she wants you to see…
Irv's face turned a horrid shade of puce, he was furious. Perfect.
She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me.
Andy was unable to decipher Miranda's reaction. She didn't appear to be angered, or relieved. At best, it looked like indifference. The brunette felt flooded with grief and embarrassment, but as she had to finish what she started she funnelled her emotions into the song and continued.
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time.
Oh and she never gives up, and she never gives in, she just changes her mind.
And she'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden,
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding,
She'll bring out the best and the worst you can be,
Blame it all on yourself 'cause she's always a woman to me.
The song ended and she was met by applause. Smiling graciously, Andy descended from the stage and calmly made her way towards the exit, trying desperately to hold back tears.
Once outside she allowed the floodgates to open. Slowly, she walked towards the edge of the sidewalk searching for a taxi through blurry eyes. She froze as a hand clasped her wrist tightly and tugged.
Through her haze of sorrow and self pity, Andy noted the silver hair and the intoxicating perfume as she was led to a different destination. The brunette waited until they were both sat in the back of Miranda's chauffer driven Mercedes before reclaiming her hand from the older woman.
Without so much as looking in the direction of the editor she knew that she was being dissected by those cobalt eyes and tried to take some deep, calming breaths. She would need her strength for when Miranda eventually decided to start cutting into her. Andy was so tense that she jumped when delicate fingers brushed at the tears streaking her cheeks.
Andy forced her eyes to meet the fashion maven's stare and noted that there was no anger and no disgust, just confusion and something that Andy couldn't read. Hope, perhaps.
"Because I care, Miranda. I care about you."
They leaned in at the same time. The soft meeting of their lips sent a shudder of desire throughout Andy's body that ended in a faint whimper. Miranda's answering moan drove the brunette's hand to the back of her neck, and into her hair as tongues met. It was short, but delicious and held the promise of more to come.
The smile that graced Miranda's face as she pulled back left Andy breathless. She wouldn't have believed that Miranda could look more beautiful if she hadn't witnessed it for herself. The look of delight was contagious and Andy found an answering grin spread across her own lips.
"My Andrea, you are full of surprises aren't you?"
"I may still have a few up my sleeve."
"I should certainly hope so. Roy, home. Now."