Disclaimer: I own NOTHING regarding TDWP. Just borrowing. Promise.
Rating: PG-13…at least.
Pairing: Andy/Miranda (MirAndy)
Summary: Andy—clumsy? Not really. But around Miranda she falls hard. The question is, will Miranda catch her?
When She Fell for Miranda Priestly
A DWP MirAndy short story
By Gun Brooke
Andy was considered a clumsy person as a child. Scraped knees, fat lips, black eyes, bruised ribs, and worst of all, a broken leg that destroyed a whole summer when she was eleven, were commonplace. Her mother took her to the doctor, thinking she had some neurological issue, or she might need glasses. After putting Andy through all sorts of tests the doctor simply stated that she was completely healthy, but absent-minded and accident prone. She seemed to grow out of it when she hit puberty, which she and her parents were grateful for and even if she was not considered the world's most graceful young woman, she was doing fine.
Until she started working as Miranda Priestly's assistant at Runway Magazine.
Location: outer office.
Body part bruised: Bottom.
Collateral damage: Starbuck's No-foam Latte.
Miranda Priestly strode down the corridor, tossing orders at Emily, her mind already entirely focused on today's meetings. She had not slept very well, as usual, and an annoying, if not debilitating, headache drummed just behind her eyelids.
"And reschedule my meeting with Demarchelier. I'm going to be at Michael Kors's luncheon today and it always drags out."
"Yes, Miranda." Emily scribbled diligently next to her as they reached the outer office.
"Where's the new girl? Don't tell me she's not here with my coffee yet? How can it be that one simple task is so impossible even for someone who excelled at Northwestern, for heaven's sake? One measly mug of Starbucks and she is la—" Miranda stopped when the glass doors were flung open behind them and the new girl skidded in on her deplorable flat excuses for shoes. Her long chestnut hair fanned around her as she came to a sudden halt. Or, she may have intended a sudden halt, but something went wrong as soon as her eyes met Miranda's.
"Miranda! Oh, God, I'm sorry—" New girl's foot seemed to give in beneath her and the tray with two Starbuck coffees went flying.
Miranda had the good sense to duck and the coffee passed over her head and landed inside the kitchenette with a resounding splash. That's when the new girl's leg folded completely and sent her careening on her bottom toward her and Emily, skidding to a stop an inch from Miranda's Prada pumps.
"Bloody hell, Andrea, what are you doing?" Emily hissed.
"Ow. Oh, damn. Ow." Falling to her side, the new girl rubbed her bottom, blinking tears from her eyelashes. "I'm so s-sorry about the coffee, Miranda. I'll go get some more and I'll pay, but damn it, I just need it to stop hurting."
"Or stop talking." Emily was looking quite frantic now, her eyes darting back and forth between Miranda and the new girl.
"What? Oh. Sorry. Sorry." Moaning, the new girl stood on wobbly legs. "Miranda, I was running late and tried to catch up with you, to get you your coffee. I wasn't aware that the floor was so slippery; I've never noticed that before."
Miranda frowned. What was the girl talking about? Slippery? She gazed down at the marble floor. She ran the sole of her shoe along the floor. It was slippery. "What happened here before I arrived?" She turned her gaze to Emily. "The floor is wet."
Emily paled. "I thought it had dried. Miranda, I swear. I dropped two bottles of Pellegrino and I called maintenance right away."
"I'm not interested in any explanations of your blatant incompetence, but I would be interested to know why maintenance didn't put up a warning sign, thus subjecting Andrea to danger and Runway to a potential lawsuit for endangering our staff and causing bodily harm."
Miranda couldn't tell what shocked Emily more, being criticized or the fact that Miranda used the new girl's name.
"Miranda, the signs maintenance uses are a horrendously, garish yellow and I was sure it would dry up very quickly, and you have those meetings with the advertisers..." Emily bit her lip and looked like she was about to cry.
"You removed the sign because it was ugly?" Miranda felt like swatting her first assistant, a completely unusual reaction for her, as she normally was quite content eviscerating her staff verbally. Looking over at the new girl, at Andrea, she saw how she stealthily leaned against the desk, trying to not show that she was still in pain. Miranda found that rather intriguing. Andrea was new, very new, to Runway, and reminded her usually of a newborn colt trying to learn how to stand. Still, she was not about to complain, or make matters worse for Emily, which the first assistant still hadn't caught on to, if the daggers her tear-filled eyes shot at Andrea was anything to go by.
"Call maintenance and deal with the kitchenette area," Miranda said through clenched teeth. "Andrea, go down to the nurse and have her check your...examine you. I expect a written report of her findings in case you sustained injury." Annoyed, she removed her coat and flung it across Emily's desk. "I find it quite disappointing that I need to be the one making the decisions in such menial matters. Sort this mess, Emily, or call HR for a replacement for yourself." Miranda eyed the floor suspiciously as she made her way into her carpet clad inner office. The last thing she heard from the outer area was Emily hissing at her colleague.
"Just don't think you'll be able to milk this to your advantage, Andrea. Miranda is only concerned that you might sue. She doesn't care about a lowly assistant."
"Emily." Andrea sighed. "I honestly don't care if Miranda cares, or what you think for that matter. All I want to know is if I broke my fucking tailbone. If I did, I expect full pay until I heal up. If not, you're luckier than you deserve. Put the sign back up before someone much more important than I fall and break their neck. Can you imagine if Miranda had fallen on her tush? You're fortunate that it was me." Miranda heard a soft moan and surmised the girl had moved to go down to the nurse's station. "Oh, and don't forget to clean up the coffee. Better put up a sign there too."
Tush? Really? Gutsy. Miranda smirked as she sat down at her desk and opened the New York Times. The smirk grew into a silent chuckle when she heard Emily snarl.
Location: sidewalk outside Elias-Clarke
Body part bruised: Palms.
Collateral damaged: Jimmy Choo pumps.
Miranda strode out into the outer office, making Andy and Emily snap to attention. "Coat, bag. Andrea, with me."
Andy jumped up, grabbed Miranda's trench coat and purse. Not sure why, as Miranda normally donned her own coat, Andy held it up for her. Raising her eyebrows, Miranda slid her arms into the sleeves. Andy smoothed down the collar with trembling hands, forcing back a muted gasp as Miranda's silky hair brushed over her digits.
The elevator arrived promptly, as if knowing it was summoned to carry the queen. Miranda entered and then motioned impatiently with her chin for Andy to get in. This was a first and she stood as far to the right as she could to not crowd Miranda.
"We're going across town and we're stopping at the townhouse to pick up a few things. We won't be returning to the office today. Roy will drive you home after he lets me off at the end of the day."
Really? Andy gaped. "Thank you, Miranda."
"A mere practicality. You'll be bringing homework with you to bring in tomorrow and I don't want you hauling that on the subway. That means Roy will pick you up tomorrow before he collects me."
"I see." She really didn't. Homework? Sounded like her life was really going to suck tonight. "Sound's interesting."
Miranda didn't answer, but swept out of the elevator at the ground level. She strode across the marble foyer, not slowing down even for the doors, which the doorman flung open for her at the very last minute. Andy hoisted her messenger bag purse and hurried after her Miranda, still confused at the latest information. Miranda was already halfway to the car where Roy was opening the door to the back seat, when Andy felt something yank at her foot. She barely registered that the heel of her left shoe got stuck before her purse went flying and she fell forward. Crying out as the sidewalk seemed to come up and meet her, she barely braced herself with her hands. Searing pain made her push up, kneeling as she cradled her stinging palms.
"Andrea!" Miranda was suddenly at her side, lowering herself elegantly. "Not again. Wasn't it just a few months ago that you fell in the office?"
"My shoe. Got stuck." Forcing herself to breathe evenly, Andy tried to not show how badly her palms stung."
"What's hurting?" Miranda reached the missing shoe. "This looks unharmed. You should be able to use it. Oh, good, here's Roy. Assist Andrea. She hurt herself."
"Here, Andy. Lean on me." Roy, sturdy and safe, supported Andy as she rose, feeling ridiculous as a lot of people walking in and out of Elias-Clarke were giving her curious stares. Only when Miranda leveled them her infamous cold glare in return, did they hurry along.
The car was warm and the familiar smell of new leather engulfed her.
"Show me your hands." Miranda turned sideways on the seat, not bothering with the seatbelt.
Andy knew there was no use in protesting and as much as it pained her physically and embarrassed her, she unfolded her arms and held out her hands. She couldn't make herself open up her fingers.
Miranda took her left between hers and carefully peeled back her fingers, one by one. "Oh, my." She examined the right one as well. "None of the cuts are deep, but I'm sure they sting. We'll clean them out at the townhouse before we go on."
We? Andy blinked. "But we'll be late—"
"So you mean to say they won't wait for me to arrive, Andrea?" Miranda pursed her lips.
God. Pursing. Damage control! "Of course they will. I mean, you're the most important person there. The reason for the entire thing, no doubt." She glanced carefully at Miranda.
"Good. Glad you see it that way. Stop protesting, that will only make me even later."
Andy found there was no more way to object without causing the Devil's Wrath to descend upon her. "All right. A band aid or two."
Miranda merely nodded before she pulled the phone from her purse and began reading messages.
The townhouse was eerily quiet for being in the afternoon. Andy had assumed that the housekeeper, nanny, and the girls would be home, but that was clearly not the case. As it was hardly her business, she merely smiled stoically and asked Miranda where she might locate the first aid box.
"Come along." Miranda removed her coat, hung it over the railing and started walking up the stairs. "Don't dawdle."
Right. Andy hurried after her boss. She followed Miranda into a room that had to be the master bedroom. Walking into the vast bathroom, Miranda opened the drawers and pulled out a large box containing enough medical supplies to remove someone's appendix. "Sit," Miranda said and pointed at the stool in front of the vanity.
Complying, Andy held out her hands without being prompted. She closed her eyes as Miranda poured some liquid on a sterile cotton pad.
"It might sting." Carefully, Miranda cleaned both palms. "You won't be able to type of take notes. I think it might be better if you go home right away."
"No, I'll be fine. You need someone to take notes—"
"And it's obviously not going to be you."
"But I want it to be me!" Andy's felt herself go pale. God, please, she didn't just blurt that out.
Miranda browsed through the different dressings and bandages and then looked up at Andy with dark blue eyes. "Really? And why is that? Are you certain you're the best for this particular assignment?" Her words were acerbic, but her voice was not.
"No. Yes. No. I mean, I know it'll hurt, probably, but I can do it. I want to." Telling herself that shedding the tears that burned behind her eyelids would be a huge mistake, Andy pushed on. "You chose to bring me. You must think I'd be the right person."
To her surprise, Miranda actually chuckled. "Touché, Andrea. So I did." She put sterile bandages and wrapped Andy's hands enough for the dressing to stay put. "You better have it checked by a health care professional eventually. I've cleaned it, but who knows what you landed in on that sidewalk."
"I'll be fine. You did a good job." Andy could hardly believe that she actually praised her boss. Did you even do that as a lowly assistant? What if Miranda thought she was being condescending?
"Good." Miranda put the first aid box away. "Let me just collect a few things and we'll be on our way."
"You're taking me after all?" Andrea stood so fast, she nearly toppled over.
Miranda took hold of her shoulders and virtually shook her. "Will you please remain on your feet the rest of the day, Andrea? You're rendering me weak nerves if you keep falling at the drop of a hat?"
"Sorry. I'll be careful. Promise."
They walked downstairs after Miranda collected a briefcase and small parcel for Andy. "Here. A Dictaphone. You can operate that and then you can type the notes after the weekend when your hands will hopefully have recuperated enough."
"Absolutely." Smiling brightly now, Andy cradled the Dictaphone with her hands like it was a small baby.
Miranda had started to walk toward the door, but stopped in mid step and stared at Andy. For eternity-long minutes, her steely blue gaze traveled over Andy's features and then down to her hands. "Let's go, Andrea."
Location: Metropolitan Ball
Body part bruised: Back of head.
Collateral damaged: Palm tree.
Miranda didn't walk down the winding staircase at the Metropolitan. No, she glided, like on air, and the black Valentino dress caressed every curve on her slight frame like a persistent lover.
"Ah, isn't she just amazing?" Emily placed a hand over her chest and sighed. "Just look at her. She commands the room already and she hasn't even reached the floor level yet."
Andy agreed. Miranda didn't just look amazing. She looked hot. Seriously, wonderfully hot and sexy. And beautiful. Andy swallowed against the onset of nerves that made her stomach tremble. How was it that a mere look at this woman, twice her age, made her go totally weak at the knees and jelly like on the inside?
"Andrea?" Emily hissed. "Are you deaf? She's waiving us over!"
As far as Andy could see, Miranda did nothing of the sort. She was standing there, holding court and not even looking at Emily or her. Or maybe she was? The woman had reptilian speed when it came to some things. Andy hurried over after Emily, eager to help, but also afraid to screw up. This was her second Black and White ball, and next time, Emily would have moved on to whatever dream job she chose, and Andy would be the one teaching a new scared second assistant the ropes. She pictured the binders of photos of dignitaries, designers, film stars, actors, politicians, journalists, etc., and hoped she wouldn't screw up their names and make Miranda look bad.
As it turned out, Miranda herself was pretty on top of things. She only turned to Emily and Andy three times during the evening. Andy was relieved she had studied extra with the newest additions to the binders as someone had seen fit to invite a bunch of what Miranda deemed to be pseudo-celebrities. The reality show stars were so star struck, they all but threw themselves at her feet, and Miranda made the process short by merely nodding once and passing them at lightning speed.
"Make note to find out who scored invites for those—people." Miranda pursed her lips. "And fetch another glass of champagne, Andrea."
"Yes, Miranda." Andy took the one Miranda had pretended to sip from during the night and placed it on a tray for such purposes. She glanced around for one of the waiters carrying freshly stocked trays, and seeing one closer to the exit, she made her way over toward him. In a moment of insanity, she decided to get one for herself. Normally she didn't have a single drop of alcohol at these functions, but she suddenly felt like trying it. She'd only ever had the very 'el cheapo' champagne and quite looked forward to tasting this, which was, if not Dom Perignon, exactly, then at least a very good sort of bubbly that was well out of her price range.
Balancing the glasses back to Miranda, she passed through a denser crowd as Miranda had moved. Several men in tuxedos were blocking her ways and she tried to circle them, keep the champagne flutes out of harm's way, and not lose track of Miranda's whereabouts.
"Where are you going to so fast with those drinks?" a clearly inebriated man slurred and wrapped his arm around her waist.
Andy moaned inwardly. She didn't have time for any such drunken antics. "Going to my boss," she said, smiling politely. "Let me pass and I'll be out of your way—"
"No, no, I can't do that. I can't do that without you paying a penalty."
"Penalty?" Her brain stalling, Andy tried to figure out what he meant. His friends were laughing now.
"Yes. It has to be against the law to be this beautiful." He looked triumphantly between her and his friends. "See? How's that for a winning icebreaker?"
"Very witty, sir. Now just let me—"
"No, you have to pay the penalty. One kiss."
Oh, no. Not only know but hell no. Andy forced her hands to relax in order to not snap the fragile glass stems in two. "Sir. Let me pass," she growled, angry enough not to lose her polite tone.
"Not until you pay. One kiss—" He frowned as someone tapped his shoulder.
"I believe you have monopolized my assistant far too long." Miranda stood, one hand on her hip, the other extended toward Andy. "My champagne?"
"Ms. Priestly. I—I—" The man seemed at a loss for words and let go of his grip of Andy so fast, she stumbled backward. Suddenly there was no crowd behind her at all. Nothing to cushion the fall.
So slow, it felt almost like slow motion, Andy felt herself fall backward. She resisted flailing her arms for balance, since all she could think of was the champagne flutes, but eventually her self-preservation kicked in. Stumbling, she tried to regain her footing. Miranda tried to reach for her, which was in itself quite shocking, but missed her by mere inches. Suddenly something prickly and quite abrasive hit her from behind, only to snap and fall to the floor with her.
"Andrea!" Miranda was on her knees next to Andy in seconds. Whipping her head around, she hissed. "I'll have your head for this."
"S-sorry, Miranda. Not sure what happened." Andy moaned and rubbed the back of her hurting head. "What did I hit?"
"Not your fault whatsoever, Andrea." Miranda helped her to sit up on the floor. "Can you manage to stand?"
"Sure. Absolutely. Oh!" Lightheaded, Andy clung to the only thing safe in a world that seemed to spin out of control, Miranda's hands. "A bit dizzy."
"She could be concussed. You okay, Six?"
"Nigel?" Andy shifted and tried again to stand up. Strong hands helped her and now she felt how wet the fabric of her dress was. "Oh, Nigel, Miranda. I'm so sorry. Is it ruined? Is it?"
"She sounds concussed," Miranda said. "Help her to the car. I will be out in five minutes."
Andy gazed around her; saw the crowd forming at a respectful distance. She heard Emily's voice as she called Roy to bring the car around instantly. Nigel in turn held her close to his slight frame.
"I've got you, Six. Let's get you away from these—these Neanderthals."
"She's not going to kill him, is she, Nigel?" Andrea babbled as she stumbled toward the foyer. "Or fire me? Am I fired?"
"Hardly, judging from how she looked at you, honey." Nigel sighed. "This will no doubt make Page Six. She's only staying behind a few extra minutes to make sure the right heads roll. And it wouldn't look good if she was suddenly so worried about her assistant that she left with her arm around her."
"What are you talking about? Arm around whom?" Andy tried to follow Nigel's words, but the man insisted on speaking in riddles. "Is that Roy with the car? Oh, right. Emily called him."
"Smart girl. Here, get inside and we'll just wait for Miranda."
"She's coming too?" Andy frowned as she slid along the seat and curled up. The back of her head hurt, but feeling through the hair, she couldn't detect any broken skin. She did locate a big bump dead center though, which would account for hitting—what? "What did I hit? I heard, and felt, something break?"
"Oh, you took out a whole palm tree. Snapped it in half. Pretty impressive, Six."
"Don't be ridiculous, Nigel. She could have impaled herself." Miranda had opened the door. "Sit in front."
"Will do, Ma'am," Nigel said smartly and winked at Andy. "Dragon Lady in her most protective mode."
Miranda took her usual seat in the car, which felt oddly comfortable and—homey? Andy leaned her aching head sideways on the backrest so she could keep watching her boss. "Sorry for this to happen," she murmured. "It tried to avoid him politely. I think he had a bit too much to drink."
"Don't think about it anymore. It's deal with."
"Wha-what? What does that mean?" Startled, Andy tried to decipher Miranda's expression.
"It means you don't have anything to worry about. Let it go."
Andy sighed and closed her eyes. She was suddenly so very tired. The dress clung to her uncomfortable where it was drenched in champagne and perhaps water from the…the palm tree? "I just want to go home."
"Anyone there who can check on you? I fear you may have a concussion."
"No. I'll be all right. Honest."
Miranda didn't like that response, Andy could tell by the pursing of perfect pink lips and the narrowing of ice blue eyes. "Then you will have to stay at the house."
"House? What house?"
"Or the hospital."
"No hospital!" Andy couldn't think of anything worse. She sat up, even if her head pounded with pain. "No hospital. Anything but that."
"The townhouse then." Miranda nodded. "You can take the second floor guest room and I'll be able to check in on you."
Andy wondered if her potential concussion was worse than she thought. She was pretty sure she was hallucinating. Miranda checking in on her? Staying at the townhouse? Impossible.
As it turned out, Roy pulled up at Miranda's house and clearly Andy was expected to get out of the car. Nigel assisted her up the stairs where he stayed as Miranda opened the door.
"Thank you, Nigel," Miranda said softly, shocking the hell out of Andy again. "I'll see you on Monday."
"Sure thing. Let me know if you, or Andy, need something. I don't have any plans other than lounging around in my newest leisure suit."
"I'll keep that in mind." Miranda exchanged air kisses with Nigel and then motioned for Andy to step inside. "Come on Andrea."
Location: Miranda's bedroom
Body part bruised: None.
Collateral damage: Miranda's peace of mind.
Miranda carefully let Andrea walk up the stairs to the second floor ahead of her. Normally Andrea trotted after her while navigating through crowds or traffic, but now she needed to make sure Andrea didn't break her pretty neck by falling down the stairs.
"Here. This is the main guest room. It used to be Stephens, the last years of our marriage, but I had it completely redecorated when he moved out." She wasn't sure why she explained this in such detail, but Andrea merely nodded and stood in the middle of the floor, looking forlorn. "Do you require help?" Miranda hoped not, but honestly, the young woman seemed entirely dazed.
"I'm fine. I just need to…to sit down."
"You are totally out of it, Andrea." Miranda tapped her lower lip, which oddly enough seemed to catch Andrea's interest. "Perhaps sleeping in here isn't such a good idea after all."
Andrea's face fell and she clearly squared her shoulders as spoke. "I can get a cab. No problem, Miranda. I understand."
"You do? That's brilliant, because I have no idea what you're talking about. Get a cab? And go where?"
"Listen to me." Miranda took Andrea gently by her upper arms. Her skin was so silky smooth, if a bit chilled. "You are staying here. Tonight, and perhaps tomorrow night as well. It all depends on how you're doing. You may have a knack for falling down, but you usually don't injure yourself to a degree where your judgment is this impaired."
"But nothing. What I meant before was, as you are most likely concussed and seem a bit confused, you shouldn't sleep alone. I have an extra-large king size bed. You would be safer there." Sort of. Miranda sighed as Andrea's impossibly dense and long eyelashes fluttered.
"I'd sleep…with you?" Andrea actually pursed her lips.
"Would you be able to see past any potential awkwardness?"
"Why do you want me in your bed if you're going to be all awkward about it?" Andrea's brows knitted as she appeared to lose track of the conversation.
"Why don't you come with me, let me help you get ready for bed, and then we'll decide if we're awkward or not? One thing at a time."
Looking relieved, Andrea allowed Miranda to take her hand and guide her to the master bedroom suite.
"Beautiful." Andrea stood inside the door and looked around the soothing, luxurious room, ending up with her eyes looked on Miranda. "Stunning."
Feeling her cheeks warm, Miranda walked into her vast closet and returned with a silk nightgown. "Would you be comfortable in this?" She held up the pale pink garment.
"Yes, I think so. Thank you."
"It's mine, but I've only worn it once." Miranda narrowed her eyes as it was Andrea's turn to blush. Curious. "Why don't you get ready for bed? You'll find everything you need in the bathroom—Andrea?" To Miranda's horror, tears were suddenly streaming down Andrea's face. "Why are you crying?" She walked up to Andrea and cupped her elbows. "Can you tell me?"
"I—I have dreamed of this—of you, so many times. Dreamed of being allowed to get closer and now I am. It's just…it's just…" Wiping at her tears, Andrea obviously tried to regain control.
"What is it?" Miranda pulled Andrea with her into the bathroom. She nudged for Andrea to sit on the counter next to the sink. "Here, let me remove the makeup while you compose yourself. Then please tell me what's upsetting you so." She busied herself with makeup wipes, cleaner, toner, and night moisturizer. Andrea sat there with her eyes closed, looking almost asleep. "There. Very fresh faced. Now, let's get out of this dress. I'll have it sent to the drycleaner." Miranda unfastened the ties in the back and unzipped it the rest of the way. As it turned out, Andrea only had panties, a garter belt and stockings left on once the dress was removed. Her full breasts seemed to defy gravity and Miranda swallowed convulsively as she glimpsed the dark areolas and the pebbled nipples.
Miranda pulled the nightgown over Andrea's head before unfastening the stockings from the garter belt. She rolled the left one down a satin skinned leg, and then the right one. By now, her fingers were trembling. "Andrea? Are you all right?" Miranda whispered.
"Why were you so upset just now?"
"Because," Andrea whispered back, "this is so damn bittersweet. I've dreamed of having you bring me here, pay attention to me as a person, rather than an assistant, and it's so wonderful to feel that part come through. But it's not for real. It's because I hurt my head. It's not…not real." She drew a trembling breath and lowered her head.
Miranda thought her heart was going to skip enough beats to render her unconscious. "You—you wanted me to take you home?"
"Yes. I'm sorry. I guess this is the awkward part."
"I've yet to reach awkwardness. I'm surprised however. I didn't think—I mean, I thought this attraction was one sided."
"I knew it was one sided." Andrea closed her eyes hard. "How could it be otherwise? I'm your assistant. You're way out of my league and as far as I know, you've never showed any signs of being a lesbian, or even bi."
Miranda wondered how her bathroom could have been depleted of all its oxygen so fast. She couldn't breathe properly no matter how she tried. "I'm a little confused now and I can't blame it on a concussion. Are you saying you're attracted to me, Andrea?" She tipped Andrea's face up with a trembling finger under her chin.
"And then some!" Andrea gushed. "Not blaming anything on any type of head injury, because I've been totally gone on your forever. Almost from day one." She shrugged and tilted her head. "Are you saying you're not uninterested?"
"I'm too old for you. I've so far never regarded any woman as a potential love interest." Blushing at the premature use of 'love' Miranda forged on. "You say I'm out of your league. I find the opposite to be true."
"I don't care about leagues right now. I wish I could just hold you." Andrea stared at Miranda with hunger in her eyes. "If I sleep in your king size bed, will you allow me to hold you?"
Andrea was always courageous, even when she didn't think so herself. Miranda unclasped the garter belt and removed it. Steeling herself, she pulled at the panties and slid them down Andrea's legs. "Yes. I would welcome your embrace," she murmured, annoyed at her sudden case of bashfulness, and also feeling as if she had suddenly reached the point of no return.
Andy walked toward the vast bed. She had honestly never seen such a big bed before. Extra-large indeed. Behind her, an equally fresh-faced Miranda, dressed in a similar nightgown as Andy, came from the closet. Feeling she should hurry, Andy lifted her foot to climb into the bed, only to get stuck with her toes in the hem of the nightgown. Startled, she cried out and ended up on her back in the bed, the nightgown pushed up around her hips.
"Good Lord, Andrea, are you trying to give me a coronary?" Miranda leaned over her. "How is it you keep falling down around me?"
"I think—no, I know—I'm falling for you." Andy knew she was screwed. So much candidness could never work out well with Miranda Priestly.
"Oh, you are, are you?" Miranda's lips became fuller and more luscious as she smiled. "I have to say you make for a very pretty picture displayed like this." Miranda's eyes scanned Andy from her hair down to her painted toenails. "Stunning."
"I should—" She tried to tug at her bunched up nightgown.
"No. Don't. Please." Miranda whispered and pressed her lips to Andy's. Soft, silky smooth, she brushed them against Andy's, kissing her gently. "Mm. Open your mouth for me, darling."
Darling. Andy groaned and complied. She accepted Miranda's tongue, met it with hers, and gently nibbled Miranda's lower lip. Encouraged by the low moan emanating from Miranda, she deepened the kiss, explored her mouth and allowed for Miranda to do the same. "So sweet. You taste like warm sugar. So, so sweet." Andy ran the tip of her tongue along Miranda's lips, but eventually it wasn't enough. She wanted to touch Miranda, explore her naked body and push inside her. The passionate feelings overwhelmed her and she had to act. Rolling Miranda onto her back and at the same time, pushing her nightgown up, eager, oh God, so eager to feel the perfection that was Miranda's skin, Andy was dizzy with all the rampaging emotions.
"Andrea. Andrea? Calm down. You're hyperventilating." Miranda's voice, impossibly soft and gentle, spoke in her left ear. "Listen to me, darling. You're not well. I promise you we're going to return to this as soon as you're better, but for now, we have to stop."
"No." Sobbing, Andy could only think that Miranda would never let her close again after tonight. If they stopped now, Miranda would withdraw and never let her get close again.
"Listen." Miranda hugged Andy close. "Listen to me. This might elevate your blood pressure and hurt your head. We have all weekend, if you are willing. I do not wish to jeopardize your health. I couldn't bear it."
The words slowly pierced Andy's fear. Miranda couldn't bear it if anything happened to her? Andy held her breath for a few moments and then exhaled. "I panicked."
"I'll say." Her voice a quite romantic, sexy, and stern, Miranda chuckled. "You silly, wonderful girl. You really care about me enough to panic?"
"Seems like it." Suddenly so incredibly fatigued, Andy clung to Miranda, so tired that even the risk of being pushed away didn't faze her.
"Ah, better. I think you need rest more than anything. It's quite late."
"Let's get you tucked in."
Andy tried to wrap her bruised brain around Miranda being so caring. Miranda's elegant hands pushed the duvet in around her, cocooning them both. "I'll go up early tomorrow and work on the Book, but now I just want to make sure your poor head gets any worse."
"Haha…" Andy snorted. "Sch-smacked my little head on the pavement…"
"You asked me that once. If I had sma-smacked my head…no, my little head, on the pavement." She yawned and pushed her face into Miranda's neck. "When you think about it, it's really rather funny."
"I fail to see the humor in you hurting yourself." Miranda spoke softly. "However, I do remember the Harry Potter exchange. Now that was rather funny."
"Says you." Andy closed her eyes, feeling Miranda shift a little next to her. At first she feared Miranda might leave the bed, but as it turned out, she merely turned out the light and snuggled closer. Miranda's signature scent engulfed Andy and she felt as if she was wrapped up in a soft, protective blanket.
"Sleep well, Andrea. I have you."
"You sure do. Can't imagine any other place I'd ever want to be." Andy spoke her mind and heart without considering if it was smart or not.
"Thank you for telling me. I don't want you to be anywhere else either." Miranda's lips stretched into a smile against Andy's temple. "So soft. So beautiful." She kissed Andy's cheek, then her jawline up to her earlobe. "We have a lot to talk about tomorrow, but until then I just want to hold you and make sure you're all right."
"Works for me. Love you, Miranda." Andy snapped her eyes open. Now, that was not supposed to go out unedited. Oh, God, what was Miranda going to say now? If she withdrew, and who could blame her, Andy knew she'd die inside. She hadn't even known just how much she loved Miranda until the word popped out. It was the naked truth. She loved Miranda Priestly, had fallen for her in more ways than one.
"Andrea." Miranda's voice was barely audible. "Do you mean it?"
"Yes." There was no use in lying or backtracking. If this was going to destroy anything, at least Andy knew she'd stood up for how she felt.
"I don't use that word easily or carelessly." Miranda was trembling now. "I do however also pride myself of not being a coward when it matters. I've screwed up enough relationships in my day, but something…something about you, tells me that being less than truthful now, would be a huge mistake." Miranda kissed Andy's eyelids, the tip of her nose, and—very gently—her lips. "I love you."
Maybe I'm concussed after all? Andy held Miranda tighter, afraid she'd miss any of the half-whispered words. "Yeah?"
"Are we going to figure things out?" Andy hoped Miranda would understand what she meant. Her head was still throbbing and she was too tired to explain in detail. She just wanted to hold Miranda and know.
"We most certainly will." Miranda kissed her again. "We can do anything. Right?"
"Now sleep, Andrea."