AN: Thanks Weez, love. I am in awe of your abilities in both languages. To TheLadyHoll who suggested the band's name, thank you.
Unexpected Grace – Chapter Eleven
Miranda stood at her office window, watching the flow of humanity from her lofty perch. Sun streamed down to the city streets through the piercing blue of a cloudless spring day. Seeing her own reflection in the window, she raised a hand to trace the smile in the glass, amazed at all that had come to pass in a mere six months.
Runway was just about ready to go live in the next few weeks. Final testing was frantically underway and so far user feedback was excellent. She was glad not to be in the middle of the teeming chaos, which she was assured was really under control. The Book was a thing of the past, now reviewed online. At times, it was hard to let go the control of the processes. But let go, she did.
Her evenings were freed as Nigel and Emily took over the workload. Weekends were saved for her family and friends, the boundaries of which had begun to blend, to her surprise. She had reduced her working days to four, taking Fridays off. Her study had become more of a studio and she spent that Friday drawing and designing, often sharing space with Andy as they both worked. Sometimes, they explored the riches of the city together, opening up a playground of creativity for them both.
Moving away from the window, Miranda turned and sat at her desk, picking up her phone. It had become a depository of the images of her changing life and her growing family. She glanced through the photos she had lovingly captured.
There were the twins in the midst of a snowball fight with Andy. The girls were wary at first but Andy never self-appointed herself to be a parent. She knew that time was needed for any kind of relationship to develop with the twins. She was there consistently, never pushing. She helped with homework, spent time with each twin and the two together, playing, talking, laughing, living. They were easy to love.
The next photo showed a beaming Emily and Serena. They had announced their pregnancy at the three month mark and were expecting a girl. Serena had just started to show and beamed into the camera leaning back into the proud and anxious arms of Emily. They had been over for dinner on the weekend and Miranda surprised them with an early baby shower. This child would have her own Closet waiting for her as she entered the world.
Nigel and Doug stood together in the next photo. Nigel's arm draped loosely over Doug's shoulders as their heads leaned together. Doug's gentle humor and his charming, caring nature were creating a sparkle in Nigel's eyes that she had not seen in years. It made her heart full to see their happiness.
Finally, there were all her photos of Andy. She flipped through them to find that one, the first one and caressed the picture of the sprawled beauteous woman who held her heart. A smile found every corner of her being.
Blushing, she had guiltily shown Andy the photo. Andy simply purred and demanded her own. Her phone now carried the picture of a fully satiated, disheveled, love tossed Miranda. Actually, she had taken quite a few and absolutely refused to erase a single one of her phone candies.
Miranda snapped the phone closed, putting it down on her desk. Her thoughts sobered as she looked at her calendar. She had an appointment later in the day with her therapist. She had learned how to deal with the panic attacks, teasing out their origins and triggers. And no, it had not been easy. Digging deep into hurtful past events was unpleasant and frightening. The process had pulled on every bit of her courage. And Andy was right there every step of the way, loving and supporting. Letting go of the false comfort of control was a painful skin to shed.
Miranda was learning that love was in the everyday moments of a life, the daily choices that come in living in the present. And live she did. Love had become a verb in her life. She carefully chose daily reminders for Andy, ranging from the simple expression of care through the entire spectrum of tokens that lovers gave and received. Most valuable of all was the clear focus of time and the cherishing of the blessing of Andy in her life.
The object of her thoughts was strolling down a street in Greenwich Village, a guitar case in her hand. She had a promise to keep and songs to play for the man who gifted her with the guitar. Her band, Selkie, was doing well and growing in popularity. Wearing clothing created by an unidentified designer and in conspiracy with Nigel, Selkie was the best dressed band in the land, sleek, dark, dramatic and elegant.
Their manager had them booked a couple of nights a week in various venues. Opening for a nationally known touring musician was in the works for the upcoming months. Studio time was booked for the fall with an award winning producer that had caught their act and wanted to work with them.
Andy had left her job at the Mirror and now worked freelance, picking up contracts from different papers and magazines. Like any musician breaking into the business, she needed something to pay the bills as the band grew. The guys were cutting back to part time as well. Her apartment served as a rehearsal space and working studio for Selkie and a refuge when projects caught her creative eye and needed focus.
Late one night, they finally had a conversation about the leather outfit. Miranda had struggled to find words. "When I called you my selkie, something inside me opened up. You became this woman returned from the sea, who had come back to me. I needed to keep your skin with me, to give myself the illusion that you were mine and would never leave me, never to be lost again. You are my selkie, my dark eyed enchantress." Fingers brushed through dark locks.
Andy had quietly nodded. "I'll never be lost or ever leave you of my own choice, M'ran." She half smiled, "Do you think I could enchant them out of your closet and borrow them for a while when we play? You can have them right back."
Miranda's eyes narrowed possessively. "Only, and I do mean only, when I accompany you, Andréa. You're much too hot in that outfit. I've seen how women…and men…. watch you onstage." Kissing her proprietarily, she laughed darkly and added, "There is other clothing in that closet that might be enchanted off ….someone."
"Someone? Would that someone be you?...Just guessing here." Dark eyes filled with warm humor and infinite desire as arms surrounded the smaller woman.
A silvery forelock was tossed from darkening blue eyes as arms slid around to join in the small of Andy's back. "Let's see some enchanting and we can find out."
Long after midnight, Miranda was awakened in the night by the warmth of a long body pressed up behind her, to find herself nested within the cradling curve of Andy's arms. Fingertips were caressing the curve of her waist and hip, barely touching skin, tracing over ribs and the waisted curve, flowing to the rise of a hip.
Velvet lips kissed the space just behind her ear and whispered, "This curve may be my favorite place on your body, love." Andy sighed softly. "A dream woke me. I dreamed of a moonlit terrace. You were there, curled around me as I played a lyre for you, M'ran."
Miranda turned with a soft murmur, wrapping herself into the arms of her love, her head pillowed by the sleepy warmth of breasts. "Sleep, darling, whatever time, whatever place, we will always find our way to each other."
The guitar rested in the corner where Andy had left it. She had gotten in the habit of playing her newest songs for Miranda late at night before they slept. Miranda would curl around her and listen or sit and sketch as she played. A glint of shifting light caught the dragon gleaming softly in the ebony, creating the illusion of a tail shifting, wrapping around the neck.
Andy caught that twinkle of light and smiled sleepily, settling into the cocoon of warmth they created together. Perhaps one day, the dragon tail would lift off that fret board and curl around her wrist like the Dragon in her arms had coiled around her heart. As she faded into sleep, words came to her…magic and mystery ….and unexpected grace.
Yes, it's complete and ...your reviews are still very much welcomed. Let me know if you liked it or not or leave some other comment. Thanks to everyone that's been reading.