Last part to this short piece. R&R always appreciated.
"How. Dare. You."
Andy flinched at the sound of each of Miranda's words. Her eyes not daring to meet Miranda's, she rose to her feet, gaze still glued to the Louboutins.
The young woman gulped, but kept her focus on the shoes.
"Look at me."
The command was enunciated with precision and each word pulled at Andy's heart, threatening to bring another onset of tears.
Andy looked up. Slowly. She lifted her eyes at a painful pace, moving up perfect calves, over the hem of the pencil skirt, resting on the curve of those thighs, stifling a sob at the sight of a delicate hand poised so menacingly on Miranda's hip. The brunette took a deep breath, mustered every ounce of strength left in her, and darted her eyes upwards to look into on the editor's face.
Miranda looked beautiful. Miranda looked angry. Miranda looked hurt. Andy could see everything in that perfect - so damned perfect - face.
"Miranda-" Andy began.
The older woman cut her off.
"No. You've said your piece. You've said everything you needed to say."
Andy swallowed hard, biting back tears. This was it. Now came the ultimate rejection and humiliation. She had tried to run but Miranda wouldn't let her.
"How could you? You thought you could just drop something like that into my lap and then leave? Leave for good? You stupid, stupid girl!"
Miranda was faintly aware of the situation around her: the stares, the whispers, the pointing. She didn't care. Her anger consumed her. In the car she had tried to reason with herself, calm herself down, but now, upon seeing Andrea, Miranda's hurt had stamped out every last piece of reason from her mind. Her eyes blazed an incredible blue and her cheeks were a bright red. Her lips pursed as she tried to take a steadying breath through her nose.
"Did you think I didn't care? Is that it?" Miranda continued, almost in a snarl.
"In Paris when I told you to do your job, that was because I needed you to. A messy divorce was on my hands, and who better to help handle everything than you? I thought I had more time, I thought we had more time. And, idiotically, I thought you knew. I thought you knew the power of the unspoken. Emily could see it; Nigel could see it; everybody could see it, to the point of almost destroying my reputation."
Andrea's lip trembled, her expression puzzled.
"You stupid girl," Miranda repeated, in a whisper this time. Her eyes looked calmer and the red had began to fade from her cheeks as she began to speak again, much slower, and with such emotion that Andrea thought her heart might break all over again.
"At first, I thought I were stupid," she began.
"I would hear your persistent kindness to Emily in the outer office and smile to myself; when I would see you laugh with Nigel I'd wish it were me that could bring such a smile to your face; I'd hear a song on a lazy Saturday morning and you were the first person I'd want to play it to; I'd read an interesting book and wonder if you'd found solace in it too. I wanted to know those things. On so many occasions, I planned on asking you about your favourite books, films, places, people, songs. I wanted to know it all. I thought everything would be better after Paris. I waited. I waited to ask you. And then... you just left."
Miranda's voice had become louder and angrier and tears began to fill her eyes.
Andy couldn't wait a second longer. She cupped Miranda's face with both hands, pulled her in and kissed her. Hard.
Miranda sank into the embrace, her lips moving against Andy's on instinct, hands tangling themselves into long brown curls.
For a moment, the editor was acutely aware of loudening whispers and maybe even a few camera shutters, but right now? She couldn't care less. Miranda was in the arms of the love of her life and she was there to stay.