Part 4

"Andrea what are your career plans once you leave my employment?"

Andy had trouble focusing on the question. She was having trouble focusing on anything other than the fact that downstairs Miranda had admitted she cherished her. And the editor was angry, really angry, for the way their last day together had turned out. Was she in the twilight zone? Did she fall down a rabbit hole? Lifting her eyes toward the formidable woman, Andrea drank in the vision and couldn't help grinning. That bow looks ridiculous. Noticing Miranda cock her head in question, Andy tried to focus on the question just asked.

"I was planning on applying for writing positions, hopefully at a magazine or newspaper."

"Yes. I thought as much. I'd like you to consider writing for Runway. Although I would ultimately make the decisions of which articles to include for each issue, you would not work directly under me. Of course, you already know that. I have wanted to move the magazine toward including weightier articles, writings of some import instead of merely fluff pieces, and I am confident you could spearhead such changes. Will you think about it? " Miranda turned her head toward Andy, seeming to study with great interest the emotions the young woman was helpless to hide.

Why is she offering this? I'm leaving her, and instead of punishing me in some way, she is offering me a job, a great job, that would keep me near her. "Why are you being so generous to me?" Andy just couldn't believe this turn of events. Actually, the last few days were astonishing. She shook her head, not understanding.

"Is it so surprising that I want you to succeed, Andrea? I can understand that I destroyed your trust in me in Paris. Normally I would not even consider explaining my business decisions, but please believe me when I say that if I could have avoided hurting Nigel, I would have. At any rate, I fully intend to help him find something that will make him happy. He deserves it. And, Andrea, I have already discussed such matters with him."

Miranda gazed at her earnestly, not attempting to hide her turbulent emotions. It was startling to be privy to this side of Miranda and extremely attractive. Suddenly Andy felt the overwhelming need to calm those restless eyes peering at her so intently. "Miranda." Andy meant to say more, but she felt breathless. Feeling an arm slide around her waist, Andy looked back at Miranda.

"You're not going to faint on me again, are you?" This Miranda said caustically, softening the sarcasm with a small smile.

Shaking her head no, Andy began to tremble as the heat from Miranda's hand seeped through her side. She could smell Miranda's distinctive perfume, and it made her dizzy. Everything about this mesmerizing woman disrupted her equilibrium. As if from afar she heard her name. "Yes, I'd like to write for Runway. Thank you," Andy finally uttered softly. That was really about all she could manage. She gulped the rest of her champagne, reveling in this half-embrace.

"Good. I'm glad that's settled. If you have no objections, you can start next week. Unless you desire some time off first?" At Andy's shake of the head, Miranda hummed her approval. "Very well. Let us talk about that other matter, then."

Miranda led Andy over to the chaise lounge and gently disengaged. Andy felt bereft at the loss. Emotions flitted across the beautiful fashion editor's face, alerting Andy that she had seen the young writer's reaction. As if in reward, Miranda sat closely next to Andy, so close she could feel Miranda's leg pressed against hers.

Looking attentively into Andy's eyes, Miranda continued, "It seems that foolish man tipped my hand a bit more than I had anticipated. I can't very well deny what I so plainly stated downstairs, so let me be blunt." Miranda looked down at the carpet before examining Andy's face. She continued in a soft voice, a determined gleam in her bright blue eyes as she took Andy's hand.

"I want to spend time with you, Andrea. The thought of not having you in my life is quite distressing. Perhaps I am a pathetic, love-sick woman, but I cannot help how I feel. Believe me when I say I fought myself on this for a very long time. And the truth is I would have continued to hide behind my façade, that well-designed mask I present to the world, for quite a bit longer if I had that luxury. But I don't. Circumstances have forced me to face my feelings. And now I am asking that you permit me to be a part of your life. Friend, lover, whatever you'll allow."

Miranda's touching words washed over Andy forcefully. Could this be happening? She felt Miranda's steady hand clasping hers. As if concerned Andrea did not understand exactly what she was offering, Miranda continued. "Andrea, this is not casual. I have no desire to indulge in some meaningless fling. Please."

Seeing a hint of desperation in Miranda's stare, Andrea took action. Lifting her hand she gently removed the outlandish bow off Miranda's head, slid her fingers through the snowy locks, and leaned forward, intent on giving Miranda an answer she would never forget.

Although she shook with the effort to hold back her desire, Andy forced herself to move slowly. Reverently she allowed their lips to join, moaning at the feeling of completeness that pervaded her.

This is heaven. As she continued to deliver devout kisses, she felt Miranda respond with increasing ardor. She wants me.

It was incredible. Andy felt humbled by the power Miranda willingly turned over to her. It was such a tremendous act of trust. Clearly Miranda had not known whether Andy would accept her affection, but that hadn't stopped her from offering her heart. She had allowed herself to be vulnerable even though she had not been sure of the outcome. Overcome with the immensity of this night, Andy held Miranda closely. She devoted herself to loving this exquisite body, to honoring every gorgeous inch. Pulling away, Andy stood, a promise in her eyes.

"Come with me."

Walking toward the bed, Andy had never felt so desired, so confident, so sure of what they were about to do. She believed Miranda's fervent promises, her vows to make Andy happy.

Miranda allowed Andy to set the pace, her face reflecting such hope and joy that Andy could not help but mirror the editor's impassioned words. She had dreamt of Miranda delivering herself into her tender care, of allowing her to see behind the façade. It was heady. Andy would make sure Miranda never regretted this night.

Gently removing the distinctive costume from Miranda's body, ruffles and all, Andy took her role of lover seriously. Miranda returned the favor by stripping Andy of her outfit efficiently, only pausing to graze Andy's aroused body with light caresses down her sides before pulling her into a full-bodied, scorching kiss.

Andy felt herself beginning to swoon. Miranda lowered her gently onto the bed, her eyes conveying such affection it was hard for Andy to maintain eye contact. Reaching for Miranda, Andy stroked the porcelain skin of her beloved's face, glowing with wonder at the way Miranda touched her. Like gossamer wings kissing ivory skin, so Andy worshipped the body splayed before her.

Taking the time to familiarize herself with every aspect of Miranda's body even as her own shuddered with need, Andy felt enamored even more by the thrilling reactions she received in response to her loving ministrations. Determined to drive Miranda past her ability to control her body's responses, Andy sucked at an amazingly receptive breast as her hand manipulated the other one. Andy moved her hips, tilting her pelvis so their bodies danced in a sinuous rhythm. It was seductive. Addictive. Glorious. Once would never be enough. Nor would a lifetime of such moments. Bracing her arms on either side of Miranda's head, Andy lowered her face so that only inches separated them and fell into such an intense stare she feared she would forget to breathe.

Then she heard Miranda's words flowing over her as they traveled toward that pinnacle, that zenith of light so bright it eclipsed everyone, everything in their lives except the two of them, joined so provocatively. Miranda held Andy's hips firmly against her as she continued her confessions. Such wonderful words, words outlining a life shared, of never being without the other, of a bond never imagined. And as Miranda confessed, "I love you," Andy dropped off the edge, shouting her pleasure even as she heard Miranda reach her own release. While she pulled her sanity about her once more, she felt arms holding her tightly, more murmured words soothing her soul, repairing her spirit, declaring unconditional love. She believed every utterance.

For the rest of the night, Andy attempted to prove just how grateful she felt for this chance to love such a magnificent woman, this woman strong enough to present her heart, to remove the façades, to trust. Andy didn't mind that one night was not enough time to accomplish her self-assigned mission. She intended to keep trying. After all, Miranda expected loyalty and competence, and she was just the person to meet such exacting standards. Andy couldn't help chuckling at her morose thoughts just yesterday when she imagined today would be anticlimactic and lonely. She was never so happy to be proven wrong.

The next morning found Andy smiling at her lover who had just finished a phone call. She wondered whether they would have time for some before-breakfast carnal feasting.

Miranda recognized Andy's desire and lowered her body onto hers, eliciting a loud moan. Just before their lips met, Miranda said, "Our costumes turned up this morning. We can wear them next year." With that pronouncement, the extremely talented editor proceeded to ravish her adoring lover to such distraction that Andy promptly forgot all about costumes, pranks, names, and anything else beyond Miranda's magical touch.

The End.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this little tale. As I stated at the beginning, this was my first Mirandy tale. It still makes me smile. I hope it had the same effect on you.