It was all a blur of grey bathrobes, bad decisions, ignored warnings and revealed plots. Not surprisingly, the rest of the luncheon was tense. Nigel was trying his best not to look like a kicked puppy, Irv's face kept flitting between crimson and plum and Miranda, for some reason unknown to the brunette, kept throwing glances at Andy.
Andy noted that it was a pleasant change. Steadily, over the past few months, Andy had found her eyes drifting to her boss more and more often. She had thought nothing of it until she caught herself staring at a thigh, the flexing of a calf, a hand drifting across a collarbone, her breasts; that had been the eureka moment. It would seem that respect and admiration had turned to lust and desire. Andy was well aware that this want of hers was one sided and that it always would be, but that didn't mean she wouldn't allow herself to dream of snowy white hair and delicate hands.
In an attempt to concentrate on anything other than the politics of Runway or Miranda's cleavage, Andy decided her best shot was to have a conversation with someone who's mind wasn't entirely focused on the not too subtle smack-down Miranda had issued her boss and the little French bit.
"Nice to meet you Mr…Dogg?"
"Just call me Snoop, sweetness. And you are?"
"Andy Sachs. Well, Andrea, but everyone calls me Andy."
This is how Andy found herself in a French nightclub with Snoop and his entourage, slamming her third shot of Absinthe on the bar. Oddly enough the more she drank, and the less she could feel her legs, the easier she found it to walk in heels. She accepted her fourth drink as she started making her way to the dance floor; for the night she was free of obligation, free of Runway and free of Miranda.
She registered three things upon waking, once she opened her eyes; somehow, she had made it back to her hotel room, she was lying on the floor next to her bed and her head felt like she had spent the previous night slamming it forcefully against a wall. Luckily, she didn't have nausea to accompany her headache. Slipping on her discarded underwear, Andy pushed off of the floor in the direction of the en-suite to assess the damage.
This wasn't happening.
Andy swayed in front of the mirror, blinking rapidly, praying that the next time she opened her eyes the view would be different. No such luck.
Angled just inward from her right hip-bone, peeking over the top of lacy panties, was a fresh tattoo; two letters, initials, in calligraphy – MP.
Now, not only would her boss be constantly in her thoughts, but branded onto her body. If there had been any hope for re-establishing a relationship with Nate when she returned from Paris, it was officially out of the question. Andy made a decision there and then that if she ever saw Snoop Dogg again she would be forced to ram her Jimmy Choo where the sun didn't shine.
Deciding to take action on the things she could control, Andy proceeded to remove the taste of Absinthe from her mouth before returning to the bedroom. On entering, she halted. The thoroughly crumpled and abandoned duvet upon her bed was moving.
Creeping forward, so as not to wake the wriggling lump, Andy only prayed she wouldn't discover Christian Thompson; once had been more than enough. Lightly gripping a corner of the duvet, Andy cautiously tugged until the crown of the strangers head became visible. Upon the pillow lay snowy white hair, that looked even more sensual in its freshly tousled state.
"Shit, shit, shit!"
Sitting down on the end of the king-sized bed, Andy couldn't decide which was worse; that she had slept with her sharp-tongued boss, or that she had probably had that tongue on various parts of her anatomy and couldn't remember it. It mattered little, as Miranda would no doubt fire and black-list her as soon as she woke. She could probably even take a hit out on Andy to silence her if she wanted to.
"You're unhappy to find me in your bed."
Torn from her thoughts, Andy stood abruptly and faced the older woman, now sitting upright on her bed, wrapped in a white sheet. The editor's lips were pursed and she looked displeased.
"I thought you were sleeping."
"I was, rather happily in fact, until you starting cursing."
Andy observed the other woman and slowed her mind enough to register what had been said. Miranda did not appear angry at waking up to the sight of her assistant, but that her assistant was freaking out. Was it possible that Miranda did not regret the previous night and all that had taken place? Whatever that may be.
"I'm not unhappy; confused, a little scared, frustrated that my memory seems to be failing me, but not unhappy."
This seemed to ease the older woman's demeanour somewhat.
"I may have underestimated the amount of alcohol you had consumed. You were walking incredibly well."
"That, I do remember." When no more information was forthcoming, Andy spoke again. "Do you have any idea how I went from a nightclub with Snoop to… well, here?"
"Nigel and I had been at the hotel bar; he retired earlier than I, and at around 2am you entered the lobby as I was heading to my room. We shared an elevator."
Those four words were delivered with a blush spreading slowly over the editor's cheeks that Andy mirrored despite not being aware of exactly what it had entailed; she was sure she could guess.
"Now I don't know whether to kill that bloody Dogg or thank him."
Miranda tilted her head, "For?"
"Thank him; you're in my bed. Kill him; for the tattoo."
Blue eyes travelled down Andy's body to the mark in question. She shivered at the heat of the gaze, suddenly remembering that she was standing in only her panties. Miranda smirked.
"Yes, he does enjoy marking those he takes out. I joined his entourage at a club in New York once…"
A flash of memory seared through Andy's brain; tracing her tongue over the dark lines at the base of the editor's spine as her lover arched, which moved the black wings of the inked dragon, as though it were flying.
"I remember that too."
The tone of these words didn't shock her; she could feel the heat rising as, slowly, lost memories were unearthed. Fear gone, she climbed onto her bed and towards her lover, straddling shapely hips once she reached her destination.
With more control than she expected, she raised her hands to Miranda's face, unhurried, allowing the editor time to back away. When she met no resistance, Andy delicately cupped pink-tinged cheeks and brushed her lips against the older woman's, praying for a response. She moaned as she felt replying pressure and soft hands sliding up and down the length of her back. The kiss deepened until the need for air separated them.
Miranda gently trailed her fingers down the brunettes arm. "Is your amnesia lifting, darling?"
"Slowly; though I'm sure a more physical description of events would be extremely helpful."
Hours later as they both lay entwined, sated and panting; Andy mustered enough breath to voice her thoughts.
"Thank him; I should definitely thank him."