Wow. So we've finally come to the end. This was the very first Mirandy fic and Fanfiction I wrote, and I just wanted to thank everybody for the PM's, reviews, favorites, and follows throughout the entire thing. I really appreciate all your sweet and wonderful support! (PS. Sorry, I probably should have split this up into 3/4 different chapters, but I was so excited to continue, I just couldn't!) Thanks again for reading :)

"Ava stay close," I called. Miranda and I were walking together hand in hand down the sidewalk, while our 4-year old daughter skipped ahead. She giggled, and turned to look at me, her shoulder-length brown hair tossing in the wind.

"I promise!" she cried and came running back.

I knelt down and caught her in a hug, remembering again just how precious she was to me. She filled my life with joy, and surprised me everyday. I looked over at my fiancée and smiled when her eyes found mine. Miranda helped me through everything, and words couldn't describe what it felt like to share this feeling of parenthood with her. We were still engaged since life kept interrupting our plans, but neither of us were too bothered by that fact. We lived together, we spent our days together, and woke up next to each other every morning. It was times like these, when our eyes connected and neither of us had to say a word, that I felt truly blessed to have her in my life. My eyes crinkled at the corners, and I broke our gaze to kiss Ava's forehead. She yawned mightily, and I picked her up, cradling her in my arms.

"You sleepy?" I chuckled and felt Miranda's warm hand settle on the small of my back as we began to walk again.

"Mmhmm," Ava mumbled and rested her head on my shoulder. She was very clingy towards both me and Miranda, and although I didn't necessarily mind that fact, she was due to start preschool soon, and I didn't want her to become too dependent on us. I wanted her to grow up to be strong and confident, but as Miranda had reminded multiple times, Ava could grow up to be both of those characteristics even if she was shy.

We made it to the townhouse, and I carried my daughter up the stairs to put her to bed. I turned, and saw Miranda resting her hip on the doorframe. A smile lit up my face when I saw her, and I embraced her in a warm hug.

"Hi," I whispered and kissed the soft skin on her cheek.

"Hi," she responded and smiled warmly.

Linking her fingers with mine, we walked to our bedroom together and started getting ready for bed. I slipped on my usual attire of black lacy boy shorts, and an old Northwestern tee-shirt. Miranda usually rolled her eyes fondly whenever she saw my unusual choice in nighttime attire, but I knew she secretly loved it. When I wanted to dress up for her, I had a secret collection of negligees, peignoirs, and lacy undergarments that I only brought out for special occasions. Miranda usually wore a silk nightgown that brushed the tops of her knees, and made my mouth water. Then again, she could wear just about anything and I would be left feeling weak in the knees. I exited the closet and passed Miranda on the way to the bathroom, kissing her briefly on the way. We had a system. She would use the bathroom first to wash her face, brush her teeth, and take care of the necessities first while I changed into my pajamas, and then we would switch.

I finished in the bathroom quickly, knowing that the sooner I was done, the sooner I could see my love. Bringing the hairbrush out with me, I had the secret hope that Miranda would brush my hair. I loved it when others played with my hair, and she was the best at it. Her methodical pulls on the brush always had me on the verge of falling asleep, and when she was done, she would thread her strong, slender fingers through my locks and give me a lovely head massage.

I perched myself on top of the large bed, and waited for Miranda to come out, absentmindedly twirling my hair through my fingers. She reemerged from the closet wearing the silky gown, and sat on the bed behind me. Reaching her arm up, she gently pulled me to lean back between her legs. I rested my head on her shoulder and gave a contented sigh.

"Hand me the brush," Miranda said, not unkindly.

I reached up and gave it to her, letting out a breathy exhale of air when I felt the brush begin its movements. It was so relaxing, and I felt myself melt at Miranda's ministrations. Her arm was wrapped around my waist, and I rested my own hand on top of it, gently stroking the smooth skin. She pulled me closer to her body and stroked my hair with the upmost reverence.

"That feels so nice," I murmured and leaned my head back to rest against her shoulder, making her chuckle and gently push me away.

"I can't brush your hair if you're laying on me," she admonished gently and twirled a long strand between her fingers.

I turned my head and looked up into her clear blue eyes, feeling my love for this wonderful woman curl itself tightly around my heart. Overcome with emotion, I leaned forward and kissed her deeply. My hand found hers, and I nudged the hairbrush out of her fingers where it fell on the floor, forgotten. She moaned quietly against my lips, and I answered with a responding groan. Gently, I pushed her back into a reclining position and held my weight above her on my forearms. Sweeping a strand of white hair out of her eyes, I held her gaze, letting my love shine through my eyes and finding the same look reflected in hers. My lips brushed against her temple and I murmured, "I love you."

"I love you too," she responded quietly and her arms wrapped themselves around my back, pulling me down fully on top of her.

An hour later, she was wrapped in my arms, still breathing heavily from her last orgasm. I held her tightly, absentmindedly stroking the length of her smooth back. She raised her head from the top of my breast, and I almost forgot to breathe. She was glowing. Her eyes were bright, her hair mussed, and a beautiful radiance shone from her face.

"Oh my," I breathed out and traced a shaky finger across her serene features, my heart aching at her beauty. She was my everything.

Miranda closed her eyes and kissed my fingertip when it outlined her lips. "What is it darling?"

"You're beautiful," I cupped her cheek and she raised her own hand to cover it.

"Mm, you are too," she smiled lazily and leaned in for a sweet kiss.

A jolt of something shot through me at the tender touch. It something akin to desperation. Desperation to keep what we had perfect, desperation to make her mine forever, desperation to love her unconditionally for the rest of my life. All of my feelings about not being wed yet flew out the window-I needed to marry her now. She was my world. I kept my hand on her cheek, under her warm palm, and wrapped my other arm around her waist, bringing our naked bodies flush together. Miranda parted her lips and my tongue slipped in, playfully intertwining with hers before retreating into my own mouth. She chased it, and my lips turned up in a smile. I never wanted to stop feeling what I did in that moment.

"Miranda," I whispered against her lips, "My love..."

"Yes darling?" she rested her forehead against mine.

"I..." I trailed off and frowned when I didn't know how to express this longing in my chest. "I…"

"What is it Andrea?" she tenderly brushed her nose against mine.

"Let's get married," I blurted out. "Please. By the end of next month at the latest," my voice cracked slightly and I felt more desperate as I continued. "Please, I need-"

"Shh," she pulled back and cupped my cheeks. "Darling, shh."

"I don't want to lose you," I confessed, looking down and trembling slightly from my emotion. "I've waited so long, and I know that we've both been really busy, and I just got my book published, and the next issue of Runway is about to come out, and we probably won't have time, but I just-"

She cut me off by pressing her lips to mine. "Andrea, look at me." Miranda waited until I did so before continuing, "You will never lose me." She raised my hand and kissed my knuckles. "I agree though. We have waited for so long."

Emotional, I buried my face in her neck and inhaled her scent greedily. "Thank you," I whispered. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get so worked up."

Her fingers ran through my hair, gently massaging my scalp. "Don't apologize Andrea. I want to wed you as much as you want to wed me. We will be married by the end of next month. Enough waiting."

I pressed my lips to her neck and allowed myself to remain in her strong embrace, my heart calming with each passing second she held me.

"How about that one?" Caroline pointed to the glass.

I walked over and peered down into the case. The ring was big, and held a huge diamond in it. I gulped when I caught sight of the price tag and smiled at the teen. "I like it Caroline, but it's a little too big I think."

"You're right," she sighed. "I'm sorry, I'm really bad at this."

"Nonsense," I chuckled. "I value your opinion greatly. That's why I brought you and your sister along."

"And Ava," Caroline smiled and looked over to where Cassidy was holding her. My daughter's eyes were wide as she took in the multiple sparkling diamonds.

"Yes, I'm sure she'll have a few opinions as well," I chuckled and went back to looking through the cases.

I had arranged for Miranda to have a spa day at the Mandarin Oriental while I stole her children to help me pick the perfect ring for her. My book had climbed to New York's Best-Sellers List, and I had received quite a bit of money for it...Money I spent on my wonderful fiancée. She deserved the absolute best, and I was determined to give her that.

"Mommy! Look at this one!" Ava called from her position in Cassidy's arms, and I hurried over to her.

"Which one baby?" I asked.

"That one," she pointed proudly.

I looked up at the one she was gesturing to, and I gasped. It was perfect. The band was thin and silver, with an intricate twisted design on it, and a medium sized diamond sat nestled in the middle. It would look beautiful on her slender finger.

"Oh sweetheart, it's perfect," I beamed at her, and she reached her arms out to me. I gently took her from Cassidy, and hugged my baby tight. "Thank you."

"It's wonderful," Caroline grinned and turned to gesture for the clerk to come over.

"Yeah, Mom will love it," Cassidy chimed in and hugged me.

"Thank you all for coming with me," I grinned. "I could have never done it without you guys."

After paying for an inscription on the inside of the band, I tucked carefully in my pocket, zipping it shut, and we left the shop in high spirits. Caroline shielded her eyes and looked at the sky.

"It looks like it's going to rain," she grimaced. "We'd better get going."

"And whose genius idea was it to walk?" Cassidy jabbed her sister in the side.

"Hey, I think it was a marvelous idea," I smiled. "It gives us exercise and I get to spend quality time with you two," I tickled them and they laughed.

"Let's hurry though," Caroline said through her giggles. "We can cut through the park. Come on Ava!"

My heart warmed at the sight of the two redheads protectively taking my daughter's hands and skipping with her. I chuckled and followed them. The sky was greying, but my spirits were still high. The last couple weeks had been crazy-Miranda and I were swamped with making wedding plans. A total of 100 guests were expected to attend, and that's after we weeded a few people out. (Mostly people from Miranda's circle. My parents weren't coming after I informed them that my future spouse was a woman, and my ex-boss at that.) Pushing away the small pang in my chest, I thought about the rest of the wedding details and felt my the pain alleviate. The ceremony was to take place outside. Miranda had rented a beach house in Long Island, and although I felt it was much too grand and fancy, she convinced me that it was the perfect place. Getting married on the beach was out of the question, although we would use it for the reception. No freesias. There would be flowers, but Miranda was handling that. I handled the invitations and the band playing (some local group that I really liked), and I made sure that venue was booked, the staff hired, our rooms booked, and any other accommodations that needed to be made. It was easy, since I reverted quickly into my assistant mode. Everything was on track, and I turned my face up to grin at the few drops of rain that was slowly starting to fall. Suddenly, something grabbed me and I opened my mouth in a scream. The three girls in front of me whirled around and Caroline echoed my scream. Ava started crying.

"Shh," a masculine voice whispered in my ear and my stomach rolled when I recognized it.

"Nate," I whispered.

The hand on my bicep tightened, and I cried out in pain. "Run girls! Run!" I yelled, when I saw their frozen positions.

"Mommy!" Ava, still crying, broke away from Caroline and Cassidy, and ran towards me.

My gut lurched. The grip on my arm slackened, and I threw my arms open to catch my trembling daughter. "Shh baby," I soothed, holding her tight. "It's alright."

"Like hell it isn't," Nate spun me around to face him and I gasped. Prison had not been good to him. He had lost a lot of weight, and his once adorable shaggy hair was long and greasy. He had grown a beard, and his eyes were almost black. Ava whimpered. I held her tighter and turned to yell at Caroline and Cassidy to run. As soon as the words left my lips though, Nate gripped my chin and forcefully turned it back to me, his nails digging into my flesh.

"Shut up," he hissed. The rain started to fall harder.

"Let me go," I growled. "You have a restraining order that you currently are violating."

"You think I really cared about that Andy?" he laughed, and the sound made a shiver run down my spine. He pulled something out, and I stiffened when I realized it was a knife. "I want to hear you scream my name again."

"You're sick," I spat.

His hands, fast as lightening, gripped my wet hair tightly and forced my head upwards. I stared at him defiantly, blinking the rain out of my eyes. My grip on Ava was secure, and she curled herself against my chest, whimpering.

Nate's eyes flickered down to her. "So," a sneer formed across his lips and I clutched her even closer. "That's my daughter."

"She's not yours," I snarled.

"Pretty," he reached his hand down and touched her head.

I saw red. "Get. Your. Hands. Off. Of. Her." I punched him in the face and somehow grabbed the knife from his grasp, all the while holding onto Ava. I breathed heavily, facing him with the blade pointing straight at his heart. My daughter's whimper shot straight through my heart, and I ached at the sound. "It's alright sweetheart, just close your eyes," I whispered in her ear. She obeyed me and buried her face in my neck.

Nate chuckled, wiping the blood off his nose. "Mama bear has some fight in her. I approve," he licked his lips.

"Shut up," I hissed and pointed the knife at him. "You will never be in her life. Or mine."

"Oh Andy baby," he drawled, holding his hands up in fake surrender. "I'm sorry."

My grip on the knife was firm, my hand unwavering. I just had to keep him away from Ava. Hopefully Caroline or Cassidy called the cops.

"Hey baby," he cooed and addressed Ava. "Sweetie, look at me."

"Stop talking," I held her closer to me with one hand.

"You're beautiful," he said and grinned when Ava peeked at him. "That's a girl. Will you tell me what your name is?"

"Don't do it," I whispered to her.

Her lower lip trembled, and I hated that she was in this dangerous situation. "Ava," she finally murmured.

"Ava," he clapped his hands together, and I jumped at the loud noise. "Beautiful. I have a secret to tell you my dear Ava."

"What?" she looked at him cautiously and I tried to shelter her ears, but I couldn't.

"I'm your father Ava."

"I don't have a father," she frowned. "I have two mommies."

"Aw, I'm hurt," Nate placed a hand on his chest. "You didn't even tell her about me?"

"Stop it Nate." I paused and looked at him with sad eyes. "What happened to you?"

Quick as a flash, he was right in front of me, and before I could react, he had the knife pressed against my throat. He laughed darkly and suddenly, my mind was back in the past.

He pushed me so I was laying back down on my back. Nate roughly kneaded my left breast, and I looked away. This time, he didn't object, so I let my mind wander. I tried to think of something-anything to escape the pain I felt. He shoved three fingers into me quite forcefully and I squealed in pain.

"Well slut," Nate whispered, "looks like you're wet from me."

Suddenly, he forced himself into me, and my body racked with pain. It had been a while, and it hurt like my first time. I clutched onto him for support, and immediately started mentally bashing myself. The pain was too intense though, and I wrapped my body around his sweaty one. He thrust in and out while he groaned.

I screamed, but couldn't hear it. All I could hear was his voice, wrapping itself around my mind, choking my air pipe and squeezing my heart like barbed wire. "You happened to me Andy. We loved each other, and everything was perfect before you decided to go all dyke on me. I was left heartbroken. You made me into this." his tone turned morose. "I can't sleep. I can't eat, and I can't drink. All I can think about is you and that…bitch," he spat bitterly, "together. So I ask you Andy, who is the real monster?"

I couldn't talk, much less breathe. What he was saying was true. I had caused the decline in our relationship. It was my fault that Nate had turned into this.

He chuckled lowly when he saw me flinch and start to shake. "You're nothing Andy. Nothing. You're trash. You're a whore." his voice raised even louder and I clutched at my forehead with one hand. "You're still scared of me. Oh Andy, when I read about your engagement with Miranda in the paper, I just had to pay my respects. Let me start with my engagement gift." I felt a sharp pain in my neck. Closing my eyes, I resigned myself to my fate before a faint, "Mommy" came from the bundle I clutched to my chest. I looked down and stared into my daughter's wide, frightened eyes. The fog lifted from my mind when I saw the emotion swirling in the eyes that so resembled my own. Screaming, I used all my strength and pushed him away, catching him off guard.

"NO!" I shrieked.

He stumbled back, clutching his face. I kicked him between his knees and loomed over his curled figure.

"Leave me and my family the hell alone Nate. You are part of my past, and will remain there. You have no control over me anymore." I didn't even recognize my voice in that moment.

Apparently he didn't recognize it either, since a flicker of fear shone in his eyes. I didn't remember what happened after. I think he was dragged away by the police. (When did they come?) My strength began to fade, the coldness of the rain seeping through my clothes and chilling my skin. I could still hear his voice, and try as I might, I couldn't get rid of it. The weight was removed from my arms-what was it anyways? My hearing faded and all I could register was the harsh breathing of my own breath.

"Andrea!" a voice pierced my ears, and I instinctively turned my head in the direction where it came from.

There she was. My Miranda, running to me in the pouring rain, her silver hair shining like a beacon of hope.

"M-Miranda?" I whispered, and fell to my knees, shaking violently. Rain washed into them, but I didn't bother to wipe it away. Was I crying? Suddenly, a pair of arms were around me and I screamed and tried to scramble back. "No! Let go of me!" I yelled. "Please, no more pain," I broke down sobbing.

The arms were back, and feeling the fight drain out of me, I fell into the embrace and cried.

"Andrea, Andrea, Andrea," the soft voice whispered, and I laid there for I don't know how long, just listening to the voice and feeling my body calm itself. I blinked, and I could finally see.

"Miranda?" I said hoarsely, looking up at the worried face peering anxiously down at mine. It was her arms holding me protectively. She had reached me faster than I thought.

"Oh Andrea," she was crying too, the rain falling down around her face.

"Miranda, I was so scared," I whimpered and tried to push myself up into a sitting position, but failing.

"Shh, darling, stay," Miranda ran her fingers through my hair. My head was resting on her lap, and I turned it so I didn't have to look into her eyes. I felt so ashamed. Hot tears burned at the corners of my eyes and I sniffed.

"Look at me," Miranda turned my head back to her and brushed my cheek with the back of her hand. Her eyes were my lifeline, burning into me and filling me with warmth. "You're safe now. He won't ever hurt you again Andrea. Never again, my love."

"Promise?" in the state of mind I was in at that moment, I didn't realize I was asking the impossible of her. How could she promise that?

But she gave me the answer I needed. "I promise."

Looking back on that incident, I realized the only thing keeping me sane was the presence of my wonderful daughter. Without her, I don't think I would have found the strength and courage to stand up to the monster of my past. I realized that she quite literally saved my life. Without her, I would have allowed Nate to pierce me with that knife. I shuddered at the thought. My mind in that moment was gone-I didn't register anything but the words Nate had just said to me. I didn't remember that I had a wonderful family who loved me, and who I loved with my whole heart. I didn't even remember that I was to be wed in just a couple weeks to the love of my life. All that existed in that moment was the one voice I had once fought so desperately to forget, and the harshness of the words it uttered.

My family banded together for me after that day. Miranda, Ava, Caroline, and Cassidy all devoted their time to helping me move on with my life, instead of sinking into a shell as I had done before. Even Patricia helped by giving my sloppy kisses and allowing me pet her for hours on end while I opened up to a therapist. As my physical scars healed quickly, my emotional ones didn't, so Miranda had hired the in-house doctor to help me move on from the past. Dr. Paulson, as she was called, was a wonderful person to confide in. She helped me through issues that I had buried deep within myself, and always offered a shoulder to cry on when I didn't want to burden Miranda with my secrets.

The wedding was still on track, and although Miranda had expressed her concern, I didn't want to push it back. The only concern I had was Ava. She had become even more clingy towards me, fearful that if she let me out of her sight, either her or me would be harmed. Nate had really shaken her up, and it made me so angry. He had scared my baby girl, and although he was sent to a mental institution (where he could hopefully get help for his anger), I wanted to hurt him for that. Although she hadn't had any questions about him being her birth father, she had become quieter, and had nightmares for days following the event. I had asked Dr. Paulson for a referral for a children's psychiatric for her, and had a reputable therapist's number within the day. Dr. Newbourne was a middle-aged woman with blonde hair and a gentle smile. She had helped Ava immensely during their sessions together, and although Ava stopped having nightmares and slowly transformed back into the smiling, happy girl she once was, she was still overly-attached to me. I didn't mind it so much, since I had the same urge she did. I never wanted to let her out of my sight.

Miranda, once again, had stepped up to be my rock. Words cannot describe all that she did for me in that time. She made me feel cherished and loved every second of the day, and helped me realize that what Nate did was not my fault. He was bipolar, on drugs, and had issues that ran deeper than just mental illnesses. I felt pity for him. This whole ordeal had made me stronger, while it broke him.

A pair of arms startled me out of my musings, and I jumped slightly before relaxing into the embrace.

"Hey you," I murmured, shivering when a pair of familiar lips brushed themselves against my neck.

"Hello," Miranda's cool breath flitted against my skin.

"How was Runway?" I rested my hands on top of hers.

"Busy. As you know, the issue comes out the day before our wedding," Miranda rested her chin on my shoulder and sighed. "It's crazy, but it's better to have the work done before we are married so I can fully enjoy your presence." she kissed my neck again. "Your beauty," she said between kisses. "Your laughter. Your smile."

I chuckled breathlessly. "I love you," I turned in her arms and kissed her. "So, how did the cover turn out?" I wrapped my arms around her neck.

"Breathtaking," she smiled, and it made my heart flutter. "You look so beautiful on it, my darling."

I kissed her cheek. "We both look beautiful on it."

I took her hands in mine and kissed the backs of them before looking back up into her tender eyes. "Let's go to bed."

"You didn't have to wait up for me," she blushed slightly, and I grinned. "It's almost 4 in the morning."

"I wanted to make sure you got home safely," I responded and turned out the lights before guiding her up the stairs.

We went through our nightly routine before climbing into bed. I immediately snuggled up next to her, and she chuckled fondly before pecking the top of my head and pulling the covers over us.

"One more week until we are married," I whispered sleepily.

"One week too long," she murmured back.

I sighed happily and nuzzled my favorite spot on her neck before falling asleep.

I stared down at the cover of Runway, my heart pounding. Our picture was exquisite. My profile was smiling lovingly up at Miranda, my eyes crinkled around the edges and my lips curved up in a wide, loving smile. Miranda was staring directly into the camera, her look challenging anyone who dared say anything about us. A little smirk was on her lips, and it made me love her even more. Our hair and makeup was perfect, and the photo itself was in black and white, giving it that sophisticated, flawless touch. It was the first time Miranda, as Editor-in-Chief, put her picture into Runway. I felt honored that I got to share the cover with her. I flipped it open, and smiled when I saw more photos of us. I had to admit-we were a beautiful couple. I immediately started reading the article, hungrily soaking up our love story. While no words could express the amount of love we felt for each other, the writer was wonderful at capturing the importance of our relationship. I had decided to keep Nate out of the story, but I did make sure to tell the interviewer that Miranda brought a great deal of meaning to my life again. She quite literally saved it. When I said that, my fiancée tenderly brushed the back of my hand with her fingertips and gave me a rare smile. Of course, both the camera and the author caught that moment, but it only served to emphasize the amount of love we had for each other.

"Miranda," I called from the bedroom.

"Yes darling?" she emerged from the bathroom with her toiletries kit in hand. She walked over to the bed, and packed her small bag in the suitcase that was resting on top of the covers before sitting down, facing me.

"I love it," I breathed and looked at her with shiny eyes, clutching Runway to my chest.

"I do too," she reached out her hand.

I knelt between her legs, and heard her stifle a gasp. I intertwined my fingers with hers and rested my cheek on the side of her knee. "It's beautiful."

"I'm glad you approve," she ran her fingers through my hair.

"I'm really proud of you, you know that right?" I looked up at her. "You work so hard, and always produce the best. I admire you greatly for that."

Miranda's breath caught before she cleared her throat and said in a hoarse voice, "Thank you darling."

I pushed myself up to my full height on my knees and kissed her softly, my hands cupping her face. "No, thank you." I brushed my lips against her cheek and started making my way down her neck before she laughed breathlessly and turned her head away.

"We can't, we still have to finish getting packed," Miranda reached up a hand and brushed back a piece of hair that fell in my face. "We promised the girls we'd be in Long Island by noon at the latest."

"All right," I pouted and pressed one last kiss to her irresistible lips before backing off. I turned to go help Ava pack before she caught my arm and I looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

"I love you."

"As I love you," I smiled and kissed her knuckles before sweeping out of the room.

I sucked in a breath when I saw her waiting for me. The sun shone down on her, making her appear as if she were glowing and my heart swelled as I took in her beauty. Her makeup, while not a lot, was immaculate, and her hair was in her signature coif. Her dress was Lagerfeld, and mine was Valentino. I clutched the flowers in my hand tightly, watching Ava skip ahead, throwing rose petals. Cassidy and Caroline were also in front of me-Cassidy was my maid-of-honor, while Caroline was Miranda's. I finally reached Miranda and sighed when she took both of my hands. I faced her, my eyes slightly teary when I finally laid eyes on her for the first time since yesterday evening. Caroline and Cassidy had insisted we spent the night apart to keep up with tradition. It was the first time I had to sleep alone since Miranda and I shared our first kiss. It was scary, since I hadn't realized that I depended so heavily on her to keep away my nightmares, but Ava was with me, and that helped. I somehow made it through the night, and woke up early the next morning to get ready. Cassidy and Caroline made sure Miranda and I didn't accidentally see each other before the wedding, wanting to be the whole thing to be romantic.

As I stood there, gently massaging Miranda's hands in mine, I knew they had made the right choice. By denying myself her company for the past day, this moment was heightened to perfection. I loved the woman standing across from me more than humanely possible, and I realized that marrying her was the best decision I could ever make in my life. She helped me through everything I had gone through, and had been there for me when no one else was. Her eyes, always so beautiful and clear, gazed into mine and our connection at that moment was so strong, we almost missed the exchange of the rings. Blushing profusely, I lifted her delicate hand and pressed a kiss to her ring finger before sliding on the ring I had bought with my daughters. Her eyes softened when she looked at the ring, a symbol of my love for her, and she reciprocated my actions. Lifting my hand to her soft pink lips, her eyes were tender as she slid the ring on my finger. It was exactly my style and my lips turned up into a smile. We were officially married seconds later, and were kissing passionately as soon as the words 'You may kiss the bride' registered in our ear drums. Miranda's lips, always so soft, were on mine, and I quickly swiped my tongue across her lips before pulling away. We turned to our guests and rested the sides of our foreheads together, our fingers intertwined at our sides while we grinned at each other like idiots. The applause and cheers were loud, and my heart was lighter than it had ever been. The cool breeze from the ocean blew through, and I blushed when she pressed her lips against my temple. I could hear the 'click' of the camera, and was reminded that we had hired a professional to record the special moments of the day. He deserved a raise in his paycheck, since that was the first I was reminded he was there. I couldn't wait to see the pictures he took.

"You look beautiful," I whispered to Miranda and she smiled.

"You do too," she kissed my cheek.

"Ready to eat some cake?" I grinned widely.

She rolled her eyes playfully. "Lead the way darling."

The reception was wonderful. It was on the beach, and guests were free to do basically whatever they wanted. They could mingle, swim, surf, eat, and dance. I kept a hand on Miranda's back when we were talking to guests, and she kept hers wrapped around my waist.

"I'm glad you're here," Miranda nuzzled my temple after Mr. Dupois left our presence. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to remember his name."

I giggled. "I thought that was the point of weeding out the wedding guests."

She shrugged. "Speaking of wedding guests…."

"Andrea!" a wonderful British voice squealed and I responded with my own squeal of excitement.


She embraced me, and I clutched her hands tightly when we parted. "How are you?" I exclaimed. We had gotten together a couple times after I moved out of her home, but I still missed her. She, like Miranda had saved me. Without her, I would have had no place to go after Nate raped me. I was eternally grateful to her, and she knew that. We never discussed it in great detail, but I knew that she knew how thankful I was to have such a great friend in my life. I would do anything for her. I gave her a big smile.

"Same as always," she tutted.

I caught Miranda's lost expression, and reached out to take her hand. "Miranda and I are so glad you could make it, Ems."

"Of course," Emily shifted her gaze from me to Miranda. "I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

My wife's arm settled back around my waist, and I grinned, knowing it was her way of saying that she didn't want to let me go again.

"Have you tried the crab cakes Em?" I asked, knowing that Selena had played a big part in getting the redhead to eat again. "They're to die for!"

"Yes, they were wonderful," Emily said almost dreamily and I chuckled at the expression on her face.

"I hired the best chief," Miranda sniffed. I grinned at her haughtiness.

"Well whoever s/he is, his/her food is amazing," Emily raised a hand to her heart. "Simply amazing. You have exquisite taste Miranda."

"Yes, well," Miranda said, slightly flustered by the compliment. "Where is Selena?"

"She's over there," Emily waved her hand absentmindedly. "I'll get her."

Once they returned, we had a wonderful time catching up with each other. They left to go dance, and I rested my head on Miranda's shoulder.

"Would you care to dance Andrea?" Miranda's low voice made me want to take her back to our room, but I fought the urge and looked up at her, my breathing just slightly heavier. I blushed when I realized she knew exactly what she was doing to me, and frowned at her playfully.

"Of course Mira," I nipped the underside of her jaw and grinned when it had the desired effect. Her eyes grew darker, and I laughed, placing my hand on the lower part of her back to guide her to the beach. Our shoes were off, so we didn't have to worry about sinking in the sand. She wrapped her arms around my neck as I cradled her waist, and we stole sweet kisses as we swayed back and forth to the soft music. The local band I had hired was wonderful-they knew when to slow down the music, and when to play faster, upbeat tempos. The ocean itself provided beautiful background noise, and the night was clear and crisp. Torches burned, providing the light, and the moon shone its radiant beams on us, making Miranda's already pale skin glow brighter. Her lips were soft against mine, and I sighed blissfully at the peace I felt. Breaking away from the contact, I rested my forehead on hers and stared in her eyes.

"I love you Miranda," I bit my lower lip. "You are my everything."

Her arms tightened around my neck and she smiled at me. "I love you as well Andrea. I can't imagine what I would do if you ever walked away."

"I will never leave you," I promised.

We swayed in silence for a while, enjoying the sounds of the ocean and the soft music in the background.

"I had your ring inscribed," I whispered.

Miranda raised an eye and twisted her ring off, bringing it up to her face. "For my beautiful Mira," she read quietly. She leaned up and pressed a kiss to my lips. "Thank you," she said hoarsely. I tenderly brushed my nose against hers and smiled.

We were pulled out of the moment by Ava running towards us, a bouquet of flowers clutched in her hand.

"Mommy! Mommy!" Miranda knelt down and caught her, lifting her in the air and spinning her around while Ava shrieked in laughter. "I brought you flowers!"

"Thank you Ava," Miranda took them and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "How thoughtful."

I rested a hand on Miranda's shoulder and the other on Ava's back, smiling at both of them. "Thank you baby."

"You're welcome," Ava grinned adorably. "Can we dance now?"

"Of course darling," Miranda hugged her tightly before setting her down on the sand.

We each took one of her hands, and she clung onto them tightly. The band switched to an upbeat tempo, and we started dancing. Caroline and Cassidy joined us, and soon, all the wedding guests were dancing on the beach. Laughter and chatter filled the air, spreading the area with love. As the night drew on, the crowd dwindled slowly. We thanked our guests for coming, applauded our wonderful band, and praised the amazing photographer. Soon, it was just our family on the beach. Ava started yawning, and Caroline and Cassidy smiled knowingly at each other.

"Come on Ava," Cassidy scooped her up in her arms. "Let's go to bed."

"What about Mommy and Mommy?" Ava rubbed her eyes sleepily.

"They'll be along soon," Caroline winked at Cassidy over Ava's head, and while I felt a flush creep up my face, I appreciated what they were doing. They were giving us privacy.

"Alright," she yawned mightily.

"Good night Ava," I pressed a kiss to her forehead and stroked her hair. "I love you baby."

Miranda followed suit, and I whispered a 'thank-you' to my daughters as they carried Ava to bed. I watched them go with a smile on my face.

"So," Miranda husked behind me and every cell in my body perked to attention. "Alone at last."

Her arms wrapped around my waist and her lips were on my neck before I could even respond. I moaned at the familiar feel of her touch and raised an arm to curl around her neck. Tugging her to my lips for a kiss, I poured everything I had into it, no longer restricted by guests or a photographer.

"What do you say to a midnight swim?" my eyes twinkled as we broke apart.

Her response was to shimmy out of her wedding dress, leaving her in a white bra, white lacy underwear, and a white garter on her milky white thigh. My mouth went dry and I quickly followed suit, flushing slightly when her appreciative gaze traveled up and down my own form, clad in black lingerie. We both slipped off our wedding rings, not wanting them to get ruined by the salt water, and set them atop our wedding dresses. Then, I took her in my arms, kissing her deeply.

"You look amazing," I husked between kisses.

"As do you," she cupped my cheek.

I grinned and then knelt before her. "Can't have this getting wet," I said cheekily and leaned forward to capture the frilly garter between my teeth. Miranda sucked in a deep breath, and watched me through hooded eyes. Dragging it down the expanse of her trembling leg, I felt her hand weave its way through my hair and I hid a smile at her reaction.

"Oh my," she whispered when I was done. Pulling me up to my feet, she captured my lips in a lust-filled kiss. I broke away, giggling and ran into the ocean, squealing when the cold water hit my skin. She followed me, seemingly not caring about the fact she just ruined her very expensive lingerie. I caught her in my arms, and she wrapped her legs around my waist, kissing me deeply. We parted for air, and my breath caught at the sight of her in the moonlight. I spun her around, the water sloshing up against our bodies, and she tilted her head back and laughed. The beautiful sound curled itself around my heart and sunk into my soul like honey. I wanted to devote my life to making this wonderful woman laugh everyday. I held her tightly in my arms, never wanting to let her go. Her hands went to cup my face, and we kissed again.

"I love you, my beautiful Miranda," I whispered. "My wife."

"You are my world," she responded simply and delicately licked the inside of my mouth.

I whimpered and started kissing my way down her neck, sucking and nipping gently. She tilted her head back, exposing the flawless skin, and I worshipped it with my mouth. Her arms were around my neck, and her legs were around my waist, making it easy for me to love her fully. I reached her breasts, and undid her bra with one hand, freeing her magnificent chest. (The bra itself was swept away with the tide.) I licked the slope of the flesh, and then made my way to the most sensitive part of it. I laved her nipple with my tongue and sucked it in my mouth before releasing it with a soft 'plop'. She moaned and threaded her fingers through my hair. I gave the same attention to her other breast and then kissed my way back up her neck to her lips. Holding Miranda with one arm, I maneuvered my other hand to cup her sex. She bucked her hips and gasped. Sliding my hand under her underwear, I finally touched her heated flesh, and she dropped her head to my shoulder, moaning in my ear. Gently, I entered her with three fingers and her breathy gasps made my own sex clench. She buried her face into my neck to muffle her sounds of pleasure while I pumped into her, and I rested my own head against the side of hers. She came with a muffled shout, and I slowly brought her down from her climax, pressing kisses to her cheek. Miranda kept her face buried in my neck, her steamy breath creating a film on my skin, and I slowly withdrew my fingers before wrapping both arms around her back. Rocking her back and forth gently, I whispered my declarations of love in her ear.

"I love you," Miranda finally whispered, her lips brushing against my neck. "I love it when you hold me. I feel safe, loved, and protected."

"I promise I will cherish you for the rest of my life," I murmured and tightened my hold. "I love you too Mira."

She lifted her head up to nuzzle the side of my cheek with her nose, and I closed my eyes at the wonderful sensation. Her lips brushed across mine tenderly, and I opened my mouth to allow her tongue to slip in. We kissed endlessly underneath the starry sky. Miranda pulled back when our lips became too tender, and we brushed our noses together before trailing them across each other's faces tenderly, mapping out every contour and curve. Breathy exhales were released from our mouths, and we finally stopped our affectionate exploration to rest our foreheads together. Our eyes opened, and we smiled at each other. I ran my hands up and down Miranda's naked back, and it alerted me to the fact she was topless. I had totally forgotten. It also drew attention to the fact there was a great deal of goosebumps on the expanse of her skin.

"Oh my gosh," I said, panicked. "I'm so sorry Miranda. You must be freezing!"

"Shh," she murmured. "I can hardly feel it. Your embrace is worth it."

I blushed and kissed her nose. "Let's go inside. I don't want you dying of hypothermia."

With her body still curved around mine, I carried her effortlessly through the ocean until we were completely out of the water. Unfortunately, her weight became heavier, and I could feel my arms trembling slightly. Thankfully, she unhooked her legs and stood shakily. I held her securely, knowing that her legs were asleep from being locked in the same position for such a long time. She rested her head in the space between my breasts, pressing her ear against my ribcage. I stayed quiet, running my palms up and down her back.

"That's not fair," she said quietly.

"What's not?" I tensed.

"You're still have your bra on," she looked up at me and my fears disappeared immediately, replaced with warmth.

"Let's rectify that, shall we?" I kissed her and then used my body as a shield to protect her modesty, even if we were alone on the beach.

"Always the perfect gentlewoman," she said fondly.

I smiled at her and guided us over to where our dresses were. Picking hers up first, I held it up to her body to cover her and then grabbed mine. I slipped my ring on, and then slid Miranda's onto her slender finger. I draped my dress over my arm and offered my arm out for Miranda to take. She chuckled and held her dress up to her body with one hand and looped the other around my arm. We walked back to the beach house and let ourselves in quietly. Ava, Cassidy, and Caroline were staying in the room farthest away from ours for the night so we could have privacy, but we still had to be careful. Tip-toeing up to our bedroom, I locked the door after us before turning on the light.

I gasped when I saw Miranda. She had tossed her dress carelessly to the side, and stood naked, having divested her underwear along with the dress. She sauntered up to me with a smirk on her face. Her fingers curled around my own dress before she threw it on top of her own. My mouth was still hanging open slightly, and she gently pushed it shut with two fingers. Blushing, I gave her a sheepish smile. Miranda turned me around, and wrapped a warm arm around my naked waist. Her lips latched onto my neck and she began sucking, making me moan aloud. Her wicked tongue swirled around on my skin and I sighed in pleasure.

"I do believe it's time for me to show you how much I love you," Miranda nipped the shell of my ear.

"Make love to me Miranda," I begged. "Touch me. Please."

She kissed the sensitive patch of skin below my ear, and cupped my breasts. I groaned and arched into her touch.

"Let's remove this, shall we?" Miranda husked and unfastened my bra quickly before returning to cupping my breasts with warm palms.

My breathing hitched and I leaned my head back to rest against her shoulder as her fingers started pulling and rubbing my nipples. Her lips kissed my neck again, and I arched even further into her touch.

"Oh Miranda," I breathed.

"Bed," she guided me to it and I laid down before she climbed over me. "Wait, I need to get the lights."

I made a noise of protest, but she ignored me and shut off the switch, bathing the room in semi-darkness. The windows let in the light of the moon, and I waited impatiently for her to return to me. Miranda's weight dipped the bed slightly, and my breath hitched in anticipation. Her shoulder blades alternated up and down as she crawled toward me, and I was vaguely reminded of a tiger before her soft lips were on mine. Wrapping my arms around her neck, I pulled her closer and let out a moan of appreciation when the length of her body covered mine completely. Her fingers were on the waistband of my underwear, and I groaned in relief when she finally divested me of them. Miranda's lips blazed a path down the middle of my body, and I tensed in anticipation when she kissed the skin just above my sex. Finally, her strong tongue took a swipe up the length of my slit, and I gasped, fisting my fingers in her soft hair. She alternated between licking and sucking, and my back arched up into her wet, hot mouth. My other arm was jammed into my face to keep me from waking the girls, and I screamed my release minutes later, pressing it firmly to my lips. Miranda coiled her way up my body and I kissed her deeply.

"I love you, you know,' I smiled up at her.

"I know," her lips found mine again.

With a new-found sense of strength, I flipped our positions, and held her arms above her head. Her eyes flashed up at me and I grinned before diving in. It would be hours before we finally stopped from exhaustion. The morning light was already streaming in, but neither of us cared. We knew that Caroline and Cassidy would keep Ava from barging in and give her answers that would satisfy her curiosity if she asked where we were. We curled up facing each other, resting our arms in the middle of us, and intertwined our legs. Miranda's eyes gazed lovingly into mine, and I'm sure my own eyes reflected all the love I felt for her.

"Miranda?" I whispered.

"Yes Andrea?" she reached up and brushed a hair from my face.

"Thank you," my eyes watered slightly against my will and I reached up with my own hand to cup her hand. I pressed a kiss to the palm, and a few of my tears splashed onto it. "Thank you for everything. Miranda, you healed my broken spirit."

"You healed mine too," Miranda responded with tears sparkling in her own eyes. "I was old and lonely until you came and saved a difficult woman from being unloved. I love you so much Andrea."

"I love you too Miranda." I pressed my swollen lips against hers and then settled back on my pillow.

We fought the exhaustion for as long as we could before our tired eyes finally drooped shut. My last thought was of her, my beautiful wife, and my arm unconsciously wrapped around her middle, pulling her closer before I fell asleep with a smile on my lips.