Disclaimer: See part 1.

A/N - Heads up, people. Some violence implied and briefly described. Just in case it triggers something, OK?

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After Paris

By Gun Brooke

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Part 18

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Miranda nodded to Roy and bid him a good night as she stepped out of the town car.

"Ms. Priestly?" he said, and surprised her by getting out of the car, rounding it to reach her. "It probably isn't my place, but…when I drove Andy home, she, uhm, she wasn't herself. Something's bothering her." Roy's cheeks colored. "I don't mean to interfere, but Andy's a nice girl. We all love her."

Miranda barely stopped herself from agreeing out loud. "Thank you, Roy. I will keep my ear to the ground."

Looking relieved, Roy nodded and returned to the car. Miranda climbed the steps, lost in thought, to the front door and flinched as the handle was practically yanked out of her hand as the twins opened the door.

"You're home! And early." Their smiles sent happy tingles through Miranda's chest.

"Hello, bobbseys. You look—are you wearing makeup?" She narrowed her eyes.

"We've been playing beauty salon with Andy." Cassidy was suddenly serious. "She looked like she could use a distraction, Mom."

Miranda's stomach clenched. When her girls, independent of Roy, noticed something to be off—something was off.

"Then I'm sure you two gave her enough distraction to last all week." Miranda hung her coat, when she heard Andrea come down the stairs. She turned to greet her and stopped mid-step. Certain she looked quite the fool, all she could do was stare at the vision before her. "Andrea?"

"I know. I look…" Andrea cast a glance at the girls. "Different."

"Actually, you look stunning. Yes, different, but quite spectacular. Did you girls do this?"

"Yes, I did the hair and Caroline the makeup. We looked in the last issue of Runway."

So that's why it looked familiar. The girls had taken a picture of a very sultry Eva Longoria and translated that onto a fresh-faced Andrea. The result was amazing. And sexy. The fact that Andrea looked slightly uncomfortable and fidgeted made the contrast between the Veronica Lake inspired hairdo, and the fifties inspired makeup even more noticeable.

"I'll go wash off and we can have dinner," Andrea said and turned to go back upstairs.

"Absolutely not. The girls worked hard and did a marvelous job. Now, as lovely as you two look," she continued and looked at her daughters, "I suggest that you wash off before dinner. Use the makeup wipes in my bathroom. Not soap."

"Oh, Mom, we haven't washed our faces with soap since we were five." Caroline did a dramatic grimace at her. "And Andy worked hard on us too."

"Yes, I know, it'll be age appropriate in about four-five years. Now, scoot."

"All right, all right."

The girls didn't really seem angry or upset, she noticed. It was as if they were putting on the 'aw mom' act for Andrea's sake. She turned to her lover and carefully kissed her deep red lips.

"How was your day at the Mirror?" Miranda asked lightly.

"Oh. You know. Didn't take me long to get back into stuff. Things."

Ah. Something at work, Miranda guessed. She wrapped an arm around Andrea and walked toward the kitchen. "I think I'm going to have to let the girl style you for the Black and White Ball next time. You do look fantastic. Then again, I might not want to share this Andrea with anyone else."

"Really?" Andrea looked surprised. "You didn't just say that for the benefit of the girls?"

"I never sugarcoat anything, you know that. Not even with my girls, even if I don't tear into them like I do with my adult staff-members."

"Wow." Andrea cast a glance in the mirror. "I thought it looked good for, you know, clubbing, or something. I wasn't sure you'd go for something like this. Or that you'd think it fit me."

"Granted, I prefer you without anything on. Whatsoever. That said, this look suits you too."

Andrea smiled, and even if it didn't quiet reach her eyes, it was an improvement from the nervous fidgeting.

The dinner was a quick affair as the girls confessed they had a double set of homework for missing a day of school earlier.

"Andrea and I will retire to the bedroom. She needs rest," Miranda said with a cautioning glare at Andrea, "and I need to work some before the Book arrives. I'll be in to say goodnight to you later."

"Okay." Caroline glanced over at Andrea. "Andy too?"

"If she's awake," Miranda said.

The girls walked upstairs, both of them turning around twice as if to make sure their mother knew they knew she knew.

"You ready to go up, darling?" Miranda rose and extended her hand.

"No. We need to talk." Andrea swallowed like she had problems keeping the salmon she'd just eaten, down.

"Any reason we can't talk upstairs?" Miranda didn't remove her hand. "Please."

"Very well." Andrea took Miranda's hand and after clearing the rest of the table and grabbing Miranda's briefcase, they walked upstairs.

"What's wrong?" Miranda sat down on the foot of the bed and patted next to her.

"You're going to be very mad…displeased. Angry." Andre's hands began fidgeting again. She tugged at her fingers and kept looking down, refusing to meet Miranda's gaze.

"What happened?" Miranda told herself to be patient.

"I have a colleague, of sort. A woman. She's a columnist." Andrea drew a deep trembling breath. "She began asking me questions, you know, for her gossip column. She asked about you, naturally, and I answered. I told her how much I admired you as a mother, as a friend, hell, even as a fucking dog-owner."

Miranda snorted. "Dog-owner? Something tells me that's not what this woman was after." Biting into the tip of her tongue, she forced herself to not sound even more sarcastic. "What did she say?"

"That I'd given her enough for a juicy spread in her column. She already had a preconceived idea what you were like—"

"As do the entire publishing world of Manhattan. I don't care."

"I'm afraid what she might write. I'm afraid that she'll write about the girls. Or find out about…us. I'm selfish, Miranda," Andrea said and large tears ran down her cheeks. "I'm afraid she'll mess this up. I c-can't lose you." The last part was barely audible, but it pierced Miranda's heart and made it almost impossible for her to breathe.

"She can't and she won't. You have to tell me her name."

"Miranda…"

"No, Andrea. I need to know her name. Now." Not about to give Andrea any choice, since this was the only way to take the burden of this off her shoulders, Miranda narrowed her eyes and let the Dragon Lady out to roam freely.

Andrea gasped and pressed a hand to her midsection. "Damn. How do you do that?"

"Her name."

"Marissa Geller."

"Thank you." Miranda rose and walked over to the phone. Dialing, she soon heard Emily's voice at the other end.

"Text me the phone numbers for the editor-in-chief for the mirror. Yes. All his numbers. That's all." Her cell phone beeped in her briefcase only half a minute later. Miranda dialed the work phone first, then went through two more numbers until the man answered.

"Good evening, Gareth, Miranda Priestly here. We have a mutual problem."

"What…who, wh-…Miranda? What problem?"

She had to smile at the man's consternation. "One of your employees has demonstrated a staggering lack of judgment, not to mention decorum. Today was my very good friend Andrea Sach's first day back at work. I'm sure you realize how hard that must have been for her."

"Oh, absolutely. That young girl is an asset, not to mention a damn hero," Gareth Lorne said. "I knew she worked for you, but I wasn't aware that you'd stayed in touch."

"We have, and I feel very—very—protective of her. She's been through hell and back, and for her to be subjected to this backstabbing from one of her peers is quite frankly shocking. Though, having read a few of Ms. Geller's columns, it's taking it a bit too far calling her Andrea's peer. Anyway, I can't imagine that you had any idea of Ms. Geller's plans."

"Plans? No, I certainly have not. Marissa is a skilled columnist, and popular with her readers, but if she's confronted Ms. Sachs in any way that is inappropriate—"

"Gareth, you're not listening," Miranda said, lowering her voice. "Ms. Geller has acted in a malicious way, and against any journalistic code of honor, and I want her gone."

Andrea gasped, a sound that was echoed on the other end.

"Miranda, I just can't fire Marissa without proof."

"Very well. Let her run her columns tomorrow and pray she hasn't written anything that can be perceived as harmful to Andrea, or to any other member of my family. That way, not only will she be fired, but she will be blacklisted as well."

"I would like to be able to accommodate you on any matter, Miranda, I really do," Gareth babbled, "but there are union rules and—"

"That's all." Miranda snapped the phone close. "I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow and read what this woman finds it in her treacherous little heart to share with the public." Miranda sat down next to Andrea again. "In the meantime, I want to reassure you. Slipping her hand in under Andrea's hair, she caressed the soft, smooth skin above her collar. "No matter what this woman writes, I would never hold you responsible. Nothing will be destroyed between us. I trust in the fact that you are as protective of me as I am of you and the girls." She saw some of the tension leave Andrea's eyes. "Just like you were there for me last night and this morning, it's my turn to be there for you now. I've told you before I don't care what they write about me. This is the truth. I really don't. Now, if they bring you, or the girls, into the mess, heaven help them." She kissed Andrea's cheek, tasting the faint saltiness from the previous tears. "I have a request now."

"Yes?" Andrea leaned against Miranda.

"Why don't you rest while I work some? No matter what you think of your own stamina, and how well the girls styled you, makeup and all, I can see the dark circles beneath your eyes. Go on, take off the makeup, get into something comfortable, and I promise to wake you when it's time to tuck the girls in, if you fall asleep."

"But—"

"Please, darling. Humor me."

This, strangely enough, made Andrea chuckle. "Now that's funny."

"I don't see why." Miranda sniffed, but was so happy to see the broad smile reach Andrea's eyes for the first time this evening.

"All right. A nap might be a good thing." Andrea suddenly flung her arms around Miranda, hugging her tight. "I was afraid," she whispered, her breath hot against Miranda's neck. "I thought I was stronger than this."

"Listen to me, darling. You're not back to normal quite yet. You've done a remarkable recovery after all the horrible that happened, all the trauma. You're just not quite your feisty self. You will be."

"You promise?"

Miranda's heart nearly shattered at the longing in Andrea's voice and the tremors reverberating over to her own body.

"I promise."

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Andy padded back to the bedroom, after watching Miranda slip downstairs to let Patricia out one last time. She slipped into bed, having gone through her evening routine already and so had Miranda, having finished the Book in record time. She could hear Miranda walking back and forth a few times downstairs and the sound of her steps made her feel so safe and cared for. Soon, she heard the steps change directions and approach via the stairs.

"You might as well take off your pajamas, Andrea," Miranda said, placing something on the dresser. "I decided I actually enjoy sleeping in the nude when you're near. Another first for me."

"Uhm, okay?" Surprised, Andy stood and removed her sleepwear. Miranda had made a detour to the bathroom and now returned with a large towel.

Andy watched in mystified fascination how Miranda pulled the covers back and placed the bath towel in the center of the bed. "What are you doing? Or we?" Suddenly a scent reached her. "Chocolate?" Her pulse picked up speed.

"It was your idea. I have developed a sudden sweet tooth, apparently. I already know how much enjoy you." Miranda let her robe fall to the floor as she sauntered over to the foil covered bowl sitting on the dresser. "Lie down, darling. On your back, please." She gave a feral smile.

Andy felt a rush of moisture between her legs as she climbed up on the bed. "How do you want me? Like this?" She lay down flat on her back.

Miranda tapped her lips with her index finger, looking thoughtful. "Yes, but spread your legs and make room for me. Push some pillows behind you, under the towel. I want easy access."

"Oh, God." Andy did as Miranda wanted. Soon she half sat against the pillows, her legs accommodating Miranda holding the brush and a flat brush.

"The way I see this, I think you need to tell me where I should paint you. Choose carefully because those are the only places my mouth will go."

Andy trembled now. "Okay. Here." She pointed at her lips.

"Don't lick it off." Miranda didn't use the brush. She dipped a finger and traced the outline of Andy's lips. "Next?"

Andy pointed at both sides of her neck. Miranda took the brush and ran the warm chocolate along her neck. Andy didn't need any further prompting and soon she boasted chocolate covered nipples, the creases of her elbows, her belly button, the inside of her thighs.

"Are you sure that's it?" Miranda whispered huskily, the brush shaking some between her fingers.

"Why don't you choose a place?" Andy said, her voice throaty with need.

"You do have some very good ideas." Miranda dipped her fingers into the bowl and rand them along Andy's labia, coating her. "This is a remarkable product. It will not run, and it won't go hard." Miranda set the bowl down on the nightstand. "Now let's see if it tastes as good as it smells. I'm pretty sure it can't be more delicious than you." Leaning down, Miranda began her journey along Andy's body, licking, raking with the teeth, sucking noisily, and generally driving her insane. When the only chocolate remaining was the one on her nipples and between her legs, Andy was beside herself.

"Miranda, I need to—I have to come."

"You do?" Miranda licked her lips. "I'm going to clean your nipples and you can't come. Not yet. Do you understand, Andrea?"

"Mm. Yes? Yes." Arching against Miranda's mouth, Andy closed her eyes as the greedy mouth of her lover closed around one nipple and caressed it with a viciously flicking tongue. She moved over to the other breast and licked it, slowly, over and over.

Andy was whimpering now. She was burning up and she knew the chocolate mixed with her body's own moisture had made her a hot mess between her legs. She wanted Miranda's fingers, her mouth, anything, touching her. Now. "Miranda, it hurts. I want you so much—it hurts."

"Yes, it does. It does hurt. It hurts to want someone this much." Miranda moaned against her stomach as she moved down. "Oh, you're so wet. So sticky and…messy."

"I…uhm…sorry?" Andy couldn't think when she felt Miranda's breath against her swollen sex.

"No need. I take this as a true compliment." Miranda cleaned her labia thoroughly, one at a time. Then she parted them still licking with long, thorough strokes.

"Please, Miranda. Please, please, please."

"Please what?"

Wasn't it obvious? Andy couldn't remember ever wanting someone this much. "Please, fuck me."

Gasping, Miranda glanced up at Andy. She locked their eyes together, made it impossible for Andy to look away and then she pushed two fingers inside. Andy wanted to close her eyes and moan, but she knew she had to be quiet, and that she shouldn't look away.

"There." Miranda was breathing hard and fast now as well. "So wet, so tight." She lowered her head and began licking the hood of Andy's clit. "And so mine." She sucked it in between her lips and tongued it gently. Moving her fingers in and out at the same rhythm, Miranda hummed. "Come, Andrea." She sucked fully at the hard ridge of nerves, and Andy slapped both her hands over her mouth as she scream forced itself over her lips. Her body jerked, she broke out in a full-body sweat, and she shook so hard, she was afraid Miranda might lose her grip.

"Oh, thank God, you scared me," was the next Andy heard Miranda say. She was suddenly wrapped up in Miranda's arms.

"What…?"

"I think you passed out for a moment. I was unsure if I should be content or worried there for a moment." Miranda smiled against Andy's lips. "Seems I am to be congratulated."

"You humble woman, you." Andy hid her face against Miranda's damp neck. She could feel fine tremors coming from Miranda. Realizing that her lover was yet not satisfied, Andy mustered all her strength and pushed a hand between them, cupping her.

"Andrea!" Clearly taken by surprise, Miranda arched into Andy's hand.

"This made you pretty horny, didn't it?" Andy smiled lazily. "Pick a number between one and five."

"What? Why?"

"Humor me."

"Three."

"Good choice. Five takes training I believe." Andy pushed three fingers into Miranda and pressed the pad of her thumb against her clit. So wet and slippery, it was hard to maintain a good grip, Andy kept circling, pushing in and out, decisive and eager to make Miranda come, craving it.

"Yes. Oh, yes. Andrea, I need…I…Four."

"Four? Oh, four." Adding her pinkie to the other three fingers, Andy realized it had to burn. Still Miranda's hips danced against her hand, undulating in long, hard movements. Andy guessed that it wouldn't take much now to push Miranda one step closer to the abyss. Perhaps all the way over if she did it right. She bent up against Miranda and took her left nipple between her teeth. Digging them in, just enough to sting, but never to injure, she heard Miranda draw her breath.

Thinking quickly, Andy moved her lips to meet Miranda's, catching her scream with her mouth, when Miranda's orgasm tore through her. Bucking wildly at Andy's hand, Miranda whimpered as if she was in agony. Finally she relaxed and barely seemed to have enough energy to cling to Andy.

"We should…shower…" she murmured in Andy's ear.

"Nah. Not yet," Andy murmured contentedly. "Later."

"Sure. Later." Miranda melted into Andy's side and went to sleep. Andy had feared she'd be completely sleepless this night, but as soon as she heard Miranda's even breathing, she was asleep too.

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To be continued in part 19/?

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