Disclaimer: See Part 1
The courthouse loomed in front of them.
“Are you ready for this?” Miranda was worried. Andy had been very quiet since the girls had left and it concerned her.
“I lied to the girls.” She held Miranda's hand and looked out the car's tinted window as they rapidly approached the large official-looking building. “Last night I told them I wasn't scared, because you'd be with me.”
“Now I'm scared because you are with me.” Andy leaned over to rest her head on Miranda's shoulder. “She tried to kill you Miranda, I don't want you anywhere near her.”
Turning her head, Miranda kissed Andy's forehead lightly, so no lipstick would transfer. “I could say the same about you.” Miranda was not looking forward to seeing the woman who had threatened to shoot Andy; threatened to take away the one person that made her happy. “If I had lost you…” Her voice cracked and broke.
“Shhh…” Andy held her closer. “You didn't. You won't.” Deciding it was time to change the subject, she asked, “Do I look okay?”
“You look quite nice, Andrea.” Miranda eyed the outfit Andy wore. It was a business suit the brunette had seen in The Closet when she'd taken her mother on a tour of Runway. “I liked the dress you tried on earlier as well, as much as I did when you wore it in Paris… except…”
Andy nodded, “Except I'd just come from Christian Thompson's bed when you saw me in it.”
“Not something I want to think about right now.” Or ever . Miranda sighed and clenched her teeth together at the memory. “They all want to take you away from me.”
“They won't.” Andy assured her. “I'm yours, always.” She smiled as the car rolled to a stop and winked. “C'mon, let's go put this psycho away.”
Miranda nodded and waited for Roy to open the door for her. “One can hope.” Stepping out into the sea of reporters Miranda couldn't help the de ja vu feeling she was back in Paris, but this time there was one extremely important difference. This time, Andrea was right beside her every step into the building.
“You can both wait in here.” The assistant to the District Attorney opened a door for them. Inside there was a table with four chairs, two threadbare stuffed chairs, and a full length tattered couch. She guided them in and pointed to a monitor hanging from the ceiling in the corner. “That's a closed circuit TV, you can see the courtroom, but there's not usually sound. The judge will probably cut the signal once the trial begins.”
Andy looked at the screen, fascinated. It looked just like the set of any of the hundred ‘Judge' shows that were on television. “I didn't think witnesses were allowed…”
“This room isn't only for witnesses, sometimes there are family members who want to see the trial but can't bring themselves to actually be in the same room as the person who committed the crime against their loved one. When they are in here, there is sound as well.” The assistant looked at them both. “Can I get you anything? Coffee? Soda? Donuts?”
“Coffee.” Andy glanced at Miranda and continued, “For both of us, and bring plenty of milk and sugar. No donuts.”
Nodding, the assistant smiled. “Of course.” She left quickly and Andy crossed over to where Miranda stood. She smoothed out the lapel of the older woman's gun-metal grey power suit and bent her knees to catch the sharp blue eyes with her own deep brown ones. “How are you holding up?”
“I'll manage.” Miranda blinked. “You?”
“Oh, I think I'll make it.” Andy leaned in, resting her forehead against Miranda's. “After all, you're here with me. What else do I need?”
Miranda grinned. “Sweet talker.”
Andy winked. “I learned from the best.” Shifting Andy laid her head on Miranda's shoulder and Miranda's cheek pressed against Andy's; they stayed in their embrace until the assistant returned with the coffee.
“I guess it's time.” Andy gestured to the monitor screen. People were arriving in the courtroom.
“Mmmm…” Miranda glanced up, and was about to resume her reading when the scene held her attention as Judy was escorted to her place at the defendant's table. Miranda's eyes narrowed at the woman who was looking around the courtroom eagerly, searching for…something. The disappointed look on her face made Miranda almost growl. She's looking for Andrea.
Andy curled into as much of a ball as a human can as she watched those psycho eyes searching the room, knowing they were searching for her. “That's really creepy, Miranda.”
The screen turned to silent static and Miranda put her coffee down on the table. “I know, Love.” She moved closer and wrapped the young woman in her arms. “She won't hurt you, there are guards, and she was handcuffed.”
Andy nodded and just reveled in the embrace. Nothing could hurt her when she was in Miranda's arms.
The assistant reappeared in the doorway. “Ms. Sachs?” She pressed her lips together and averted her eyes as the couple released each other. “It's time.”
Miranda stood and began to follow Andrea out the door when the woman held up her hand. “I'm sorry, Ms. Priestly, only Ms. Sachs is required. You have to remain here.”
“Unacceptable.” Miranda continued toward the door.
“Miranda.” Andy stopped her and smiled. “I'll be okay. I love you.”
“I want the monitor on,” Miranda demanded.
The assistant took a deep breath. “I'll see what I can do, I can't guarantee sound though.”
Miranda nodded and held Andrea's hand until their arms couldn't stretch anymore and the young woman's hand slipped from her grasp. “You'll do fine, Andrea, just ignore her.” Miranda watched worriedly as the door closed. And stay away from her. She paced the room waiting for the tv monitor to show her something, sitting on the couch quickly when it did. Now she wasn't sure if she wanted the thing on or not. Andrea was already on the stand, and that…psycho, was staring at her, transfixed it seemed.
Miranda didn't realize she was actually growling at the scene.
Andy walked down the hall to the double doors of the courtroom. She tugged on the cuffs of her shirt, under her jacket. “I'm a little nervous.”
The assistant flashed a reassuring smile. “That's understandable. Judy is cuffed, and under guard, she won't hurt you.”
Nodding Andy waited with the woman until the bailiff opened the doors and gestured for her to enter. She tried not to look at Judy, but she couldn't help glance in the woman's direction and her stomach nearly turned at the almost rapturous joy on the would-be-killer's face. Keeping the bailiff between her and the blonde psycho, Andy walked to the witness box and turned to face the bailiff, placed her hand on the Bible and swore to tell the truth. She wondered what good that did though, especially if someone didn't actually believe in the Bible… like her… it may as well have been Julia Child's cookbook as far as she was concerned; but she would tell the truth anyway.
The District Attorney stood and walked toward the witness box. “Is your name Andrea Sachs?”
Andy's lips twitched and she subtly corrected his pronunciation to match Miranda's. “Andrea, yes, or Andy.”
“Could you recount for the jury, the events leading up to Ms. Genero's arrest?”
“I had hoped once I'd told you the story I'd never have to think about it again, but okay.” Andy shifted in her seat and began reciting the story just like she'd told the District Attorney before. “A co-worker at the newspaper brought the newest issue of Runway to my attention. She thought it would be interesting to me because I used to work at Runway as Miranda Priestly's assistant. The interesting thing about it was that all the models in the issue… well… they looked like me.”
“How long had it been since you'd worked at the magazine?”
“A little over a year.” Andy shrugged. “I went to the Elias-Clarke building and confronted Miranda about it. While in her office I noticed that she wasn't acting like herself, like I had known her to act when I worked for her, and was very surprised when she invited me for dinner at her home that night. I accepted hoping I could find out more about why she was acting so strangely.”
“What was your first instinct as a reason for her strange actions?”
“Drugs.” Andy answered and promptly continued. “But that was what made everything so confusing, because Miranda doesn't take drugs.” Andy paused for a moment and when the man didn't say anything, she continued. “When I realized that just because Miranda didn't take drugs, that didn't mean someone wasn't feeding them to her. I also realized that the only way they'd be able to do it without her knowing, would be in her coffee. That meant the second assistant, Judy, or someone at Starbucks who knew Judy worked for Miranda had to be the culprit.”
“What about the first assistant, Emily?”
“Emily would never harm Miranda.” Andy shook her head. “Miranda and I both know that Emily would rather die than see Miranda hurt.”
“Once we realized Miranda was being drugged and how, I called a friend of mine, a detective on the police force. She is the one I call when I have any questions about procedures or whatever while writing my articles. We gave her all the facts and then let the police do their jobs.”
“Pretty much.” Andy inhaled sharply. “Oh, we also went to a Doctor to have some bloodwork done, to see what kind of things were in Miranda's system. That was part of what we told the police.”
“Okay.” The D.A. nodded. “Now, tell us about the day Ms. Genero was arrested.”
“I got up very early that day because I couldn't sleep. It was a good thing too because I was ready for the day when Jo, my detective friend, knocked on my door. She told me I needed to see something and informed me that… Ms. Genero… not only lived in my building, she lived in the apartment directly above me.”
“You had no idea she lived in your building?”
“Not a clue.” Andy rolled her eyes. “Some reporter I am, eh?” She exhaled softly. “Anyway, we went upstairs and I was surprised to see an empty apartment. Jo directed me to the bedroom and there was a bed, and a ton of surveillance equipment. The monitor showed alternating views of different sections of my apartment. She had been watching me, watching me for a long time.”
“Let the record show we have the computer drives, labeled with the dates, but the data on them has been destroyed.” The D.A. was quite aggravated at that. “We also have over three thousand photographs of Ms. Sachs that appeared in newspapers or were taken by Ms. Genero herself and used to create a kind of shrine.” He passed the photos of the shrine itself around the jury. He turned back to Andy. “Go on.”
“When I saw the shrine and Miranda's pictures crossed out in red I knew Miranda was in trouble, so I ran out of the apartment and called Roy to pick me up. Roy is Miranda's driver. I rode with Miranda to her office.”
“I'm honestly not sure what I thought I could do, but I didn't want Miranda to face Judy alone.”
“We walked in like nothing was wrong, privately informed Emily of the situation, and made her leave. Judy was then called into Miranda's office and Miranda and I asked for an explanation of why she would do such a thing as drug Miranda.”
“Don't you think that was a little…dangerous?”
“No, it was stupid, but I knew the police were on the way and I didn't realize that she had a gun.” Andy shook her head. “I was so angry at what she'd done to Miranda, I asked her…”
“And what did she say?”
“Overruled.” The judge gave the defense attorney a scathing look. “You know better than that.”
The D.A. motioned to Andy. “What did she say?”
“She went on a weird rant about how Miranda was too old for me, and that she was much better suited for me… to which I laughed because that was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard. She never once even spoke to me… in all the years she lived above me, she never even said ‘hi'!”
“Hmmm… that does sound a little…off-balance.” He prompted, “What happened next?”
“She pulled a gun and told Miranda that if she didn't drink the coffee, coffee we'd been told by the police contained enough drugs to kill anyone who drank it, she would shoot me.”
Judy jumped up from her seat, “I would never have hurt you! I love you! I only said that so the old bitch would…” Her lawyer managed to shut her up and sit her down as the judge banged the gavel on her desk and Andy responded hotly.
“Love? You've got to be kidding… what you did is nothing like love.”
“Order! Quiet in the court! The defendant will not address the witness.” The judge wiped her face with her hand and let out an exasperated breath. “I'll instruct the witness not to directly address the defendant.”
“Yes, ma'am...your Honor.”
“What happened next, Ms. Sachs?”
“Miranda told me that she couldn't let me get hurt and then she picked up the coffee cup and took a drink.” Andy swallowed hard at her usual reaction to that memory and closed her eyes for a moment, picturing Miranda next to her, holding her hand.
Everyone in the courtroom saw the shudder make its way through Andy's frame.
A tear slid down Miranda's cheek as she watched the picture. There was no sound but she knew exactly where Andrea was in the telling because of the uncontrollable shudder that had passed through the brunette's body. The memory of her taking the drink of coffee always caused that reaction in Andrea. Miranda concentrated on picturing herself standing next to Andrea, holding her hand, wishing that was enough to help the brunette get through the testimony.
For just a moment, Andy thought she could actually feel Miranda's hand in her own then she continued her narration. “She took the drink and then stared at Judy, just stared. The police arrived a few moments later and arrested her. When they asked for the coffee cup that was still in Miranda's hand, she took the top off and spit the drink she'd been holding in her mouth back into the cup. They took Judy away, we gave Jo our statements… that was pretty much it.”
The D.A. nodded and sat down. The defense attorney stood slowly and walked toward Andy.
“That was a very brave thing to do.” He smiled at Andy.
“What?” Andy had no clue what ‘thing' he was referring to and told him so. “What thing?”
“Drinking what she thought was poisoned coffee.” The man clarified then asked. “Why do you think she did that?”
“Objection!” The D.A. stood. “Calls for speculation.”
The attorney changed the angle of attack. “You and Miranda Priestly are… involved, correct?”
“When did that begin?”
The attorney's voice had taken on a slightly smarmy tone and Andy shook her head. “I don't understand the question.”
With a slight smile the man again changed tactics. “How did you meet Ms. Priestly?”
“Almost three years ago I was hired to be her second assistant.”
Nodding the attorney asked, “And how long did that employment last?”
“A few months short of a year.”
“And what were the circumstances of your dismissal?”
Andy took a deep breath. “During the Paris Fashion Week there were some political situations within the industry that I decided I was unable to stand behind. Therefore I left my position with Runway and sought employment elsewhere.”
“With Ms. Priestly's assistance.”
“She hates being called Ms. Priestly, and as my former employer, the people I interviewed with would obviously call Runway for a reference from my immediate superior, which was Miranda, yes.” Andy didn't see why that would be important.
“When did the… physical, aspect of your relationship begin?”
“Why is that relevant?” Andy didn't think it was anyone's business.
The judge glared at the defense attorney, giving him this bit of leeway. Partially out of pity, because she knew this was pretty much an open and shut case, and partially to satisfy her own gossipy curiosity. “Please answer the question, Ms. Sachs.”
Andy answered. “Two days before… Ms. Genero was arrested.”
The attorney blinked. “Not before?”
“You're telling me, that between the time you were hired as Ms. Priestly's assistant, and the day you've described as two days before Ms. Genero's arrest, you didn't have any kind of physical relationship with Ms. Priestly.” He sounded incredulous. “At no time during your employment as Ms. Priestly's assistant were there any physical encounters between you.”
Wow Miranda is gonna hate this guy… “That's correct, nothing physical happened between us until two days before the arrest.”
“But if there was nothing going on between you physically, why did Ms. Priestly have a pair of pajamas made for you.” He held up the receipt for the item in question. “Tailor made, to your measurements…” He shook his head. “This is dated just after the time you worked at Runway, before her divorce.” Leveling his eyes at the brunette he tilted his head and grinned. “Are you, sure, there wasn't anything going on between you?”
“I didn't know about the pajamas until three days before Ms. Genero was arrested.” Andy looked him directly in the eye. “As far as why she had them made, you'd have to ask her.”
“I certainly will.” He nodded and recapped slightly. “Now, if your assertion that your physical relationship didn't start until just before Ms. Genero's arrest is true, you've only been together for a few months.”
“Four.” Andy nodded. “Four months, today.”
“Ah… well, Happy Anniversary. That wasn't very long though, and now you're engaged to be married? That's a little fast isn't it?”
“Sustained.” The judge glared at the defense attorney. There was curiosity about public figure's lives and then there was just downright rudeness. “Tread carefully, Councilor.”
“Why did you feel the need to ‘confront' Ms. Priestly regarding the all brunette issue of Runway?”
“If there was a magazine that contained nothing but people who looked like you, you would want to find out why too.” Andy ruffled her bangs. “It just so happened I knew exactly who to ask.” She looked at the man and shook her head. “I have to say there are tabloid reporters who ask less invasive and more relevant questions than this…”
“I agree with the witness.” The judge, her curiosity satisfied, instructed the man. “Move on.”
“Ms. Sachs, when you moved into your apartment did you make any effort to get to know your neighbors?”
“Not really.” She shrugged. “There was no time. My funds were running out and I was scrambling to find a job.” She rolled her eyes and glanced across the jury. “Rent was going to be due.”
“You never tried to approach any of your neighbors?”
“Occasionally I would see people checking the mail, coming and going on the stairwell… we might say hi, but that's it.”
“Mmmm… did your boyfriend?”
“Your boyfriend, the one you were living with, Nate. Did he know any of your neighbors?”
There was a tone in his voice that made Andy very careful with her answer. “Not that I am aware of, he never mentioned anyone else in the building.”
“What if I were to tell you that Nate was friendly with everyone in the building, including Ms. Genero?”
“I would say ‘good for him' but that doesn't change the fact that I never knew her or conversed with her.”
“Wouldn't you be angry? Jealous? Wouldn't you want to hurt her, accuse her of something that would make her pay for spending time with your boyfriend…?” His off-the-wall theory trailed off as Andy began laughing. “Something funny?”
“Yes, it's hilarious to think I'd be upset about ‘losing Nate'”, Andy wiped her eyes. “Nate left me because I worked too much. I wasn't upset when he left, I couldn't have cared less at that point.”
“Because it cleared the way for you and Ms. Priestly to be together.”
Andy snorted. “Yeah, over a year later.”
“Ms. Priestly's a very rich woman… that must be quite a comfort.”
“I don't want her money, I never have. I only want to be with her.”
The attorney ground his teeth together, if he kept up the questioning and asked the wrong thing, it would just incriminate his client even more. Anyway, he thought he'd distracted the jury as much as he could from her testimony. He'd gotten to bring up the pajamas, and he'd managed the setup he needed; feeding the jury's skepticism regarding living in a building with someone for years and never even meeting them. When Ms. Priestly got to the stand he'd pull even more attention away from the facts. That diversion should be more successful though. That setup had been more complex, requiring calls to every tabloid publication he could think of to plant the ‘name' for the couple. Not the best of plans, but he needed to do something to stop the jury thinking about the fact that his client was completely and totally guilty. He hated unwinable cases.
“No further questions.”
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