Disclaimer: See Part 1
Miranda waited in the room, pacing since the moment the television monitor went back to static. She had watched nearly the entire time Andrea had been on the stand and was not pleased at all that Judy was allowed to gawk at Andy that way. She'd also seen the outburst when Judy had said something to Andrea and Andrea had answered back. Even though she didn't know what was being said she knew it couldn't have been good. When the door was opened and her fiancée entered the room, Miranda was right there, supporting her. “Are you okay?”
“Yes.” Andy melted into the embrace. “I'm fine. It was… strange. The D.A. asked me to recount the events… like he said he would, so I did… and then the defense asked me all kinds of weird questions, I'm not sure what his point was.”
“It's your turn Ms. Pries…Miranda.” The assistant gestured for Miranda to follow her out the door.
“Miranda…” Andy warned the older woman as she walked out the door. “He kept calling you Ms. Priestly.”
Rolling her eyes, Miranda made a small disgusted sound and inhaled deeply. “Of course he did.”
Andy watched the door swing closed, then realized there was a picture on the tv monitor; a few moments later she was surprised to find sound coming from the small speaker. I don't think Miranda heard my testimony. I wonder why I can hear hers?
Miranda followed the assistant to the courtroom double doors and waited a moment before the bailiff opened the doors and escorted her to the witness stand.
Placing her hand on the bible the bailiff held, the irony of the moment didn't escape her. She knew she was more likely to keep her word if she were swearing on an issue of Runway. Nevertheless, she would tell the truth. The D.A. approached her and asked her to recount the events a few months prior to the release of the all brunette issue of Runway. The man had informed her he would ask this, and she complied. As she spoke, she only glanced a few times at Judy, knowing the expression on the woman's face would just infuriate her; she knew she needed to keep a level head. When she was finished, she waited for the next question.
“Thank you for your candor.” He smiled a little sadly. “Would you please tell us now about the events from the issue release to Ms. Genero's arrest?”
This was also an expected question. Miranda began to relate the events from the moment Andrea stormed into her office, until she gave her statement to Detective Polniaczek. Of course certain events were not passed along, that Saturday night, for instance, was no one's business except hers and Andrea's.
“That was quite a story.” The defense attorney rose from his seat, smiling at Miranda. “Is your name Miranda Priestly?”
“But it hasn't always been…”
“No, I had it changed many years ago.”
“Professional reasons. It's not that uncommon an event.”
“Ms. Priestly, you are engaged to be married to Ms. Sachs, is that correct?”
Clenching her teeth at the ‘Ms. Priestly' nomenclature, Miranda nodded. “It is.”
“Did you propose to her or did she propose to you?”
“I proposed to her.”
Miranda stared at him stonily for a long moment then answered. “On her birthday.”
“How very romantic.”
“Your Honor…” The D.A. protested the comment.
“Councilor, please refrain from making personal comments.” The judge shook her head. “I'm not going to warn you again.”
“You must really love her.”
Stormy gray eyes watched him as he paced then turned to face her. “No response to that?”
Shaking her head, Miranda's eyes widened slightly. “I didn't realize a response was necessary. Andrea knows how I feel about her. I'm not sure how it's anyone else's business.”
“You made it people's business when you released the article announcing your relationship.” The man chided. “Didn't you?”
“We released the article because we knew as soon as this trial started the tabloids would have a field day making up things about us. So we took control of the situation and presented the facts, before they were distorted.”
“You have certainly captured the public's attention.” He nearly leered at her. “I understand the tabloids have a name for you two now.” They better have, it took me two hours to think of it.
“Yes. That began recently.” Miranda thought both the nickname and this line of questioning were ridiculous.
“What was it again?”
Miranda sighed. “As with any of those absurd nicknames, it's a combination of mine and Andrea's names. The one the tabloids seem to have agreed on is ‘Mirandy'.”
“Most of the time when a couple gets a nickname like that, they are rich and famous.” He leaned against the witness box. “You would fill that requirement in this couple, correct?”
“I'm famous in certain circles, and yes, I have money.”
“I'm sure that is a great comfort to Ms. Sachs. Things seem to have worked out quite well for her.” He raised his eyebrows and began to pace the courtroom. “A woman who lived in the apartment above her for years…” His tone became mocking, “but Ms. Sachs never knew her… drugged you into acting strangely and then she swooped in to rescue you. You must be very grateful for that.” He looked at Miranda. “Exactly how wealthy will she be when you are gone?”
Andy shot to her feet and headed for the door. “That bastard…” Her hand on the door stilled as Miranda responded.
I really do not like this man. “Andrea is or will be entitled to everything a spouse is.” Miranda spoke calmly. “As she should be.”
Collapsing back onto the couch, Andy watched the monitor and felt numb. Everything a spouse is entitled to? My God… She had no clue what to think about that, except that she knew she didn't want it. It should go to the girls… The jerk was talking again.
“That's quite generous.”
“Generous?” Surprisingly, Miranda laughed. “Not even close to what she deserves.”
“Oh Miranda…” Andy ran her fingers through her hair and gazed at the tv monitor. She nearly growled at the man's next comment.
“She's that good is she?” His leer didn't dissipate as the D.A. objected and the Judge sustained his protest. Miranda couldn't help hearing the small sound of dismay from Judy's general direction. She answered the question anyway, her response wiping the expression from his face and also causing the psycho to make that sound again.
“She's the best.”
Andy clapped her hands over her mouth, feeling the blush heat her fingertips even as she fought to keep from laughing. Sweet talker… She tried to focus on what Miranda was saying.
“But Andrea's worth to me doesn't have any bearing on the fact that Judy Genero took it upon herself to poison me for months ultimately using enough to kill me, and threatened to shoot Andrea while all the while proclaiming to love her.”
“Gosh…Ms. Priestly…” The attorney sounded shocked. “When you put it that way… it sounds kinda…”
Smiling a predatory kind of smile, Miranda shook her head. “You want me to say I think Ms. Genero is crazy.”
“Not at all. She believes she loves Andrea, how could I possibly think that is crazy? Her clear, well-thought-out plan to hurt the person she perceived had hurt the person she loves is misguided, but far from crazy. The only illogical part of her thought process is that she didn't take into account that Andrea…” Miranda turned to look directly at Judy and spoke very distinctly. “…does, not , have any feelings, for her.”
Judy's expression went from active dislike to extreme hatred. She jumped up from her seat. “You old bitch… I'll kill you yet…”
With a growl, Judy's attorney rushed to her side and tried to quiet her. “Sit down!”
Andy watched Miranda, the Editor's expression never changed but Andy could tell, even through the TV monitor, the older woman was extremely satisfied to have caused the outburst.
“That's a pretty good story.” He nodded at Miranda. “The whole taking revenge thing,” he smiled, “but what if it didn't happen that way?”
“There is no other way it could have happened.” Miranda now knew her dislike for this man bordered on hatred.
“Oh, but there is.” He paced the area in front of the witness box. “I think it's much more likely that Ms. Sachs, and Ms. Genero knew each other all along. They did live in the same building for years after all.” He scanned the jury seeing a few nods at that. “I think it's much more likely that Ms. Sachs, trained Ms. Genero in order to get the job, and get close to you.” He smiled a crooked smile. “I think it's much more likely that Ms. Sachs knew once you were drugged, you could be manipulated into doing whatever she wanted… Ms. Sachs had the ambition, Ms. Genero had the knowledge how to make it happen. They made a good team, don't you think?”
“No.” Miranda's nostril's flared. “They did not know each other.”
“How do you know?” He raised his eyebrows. “Because Ms. Sachs told you so?”
“And you trust her?”
“You trust her so much you had a private investigator following her?”
“No.” Miranda shook her head. “It was not like that.”
“No?” He leaned against the front of the witness box. “Explain it to me then.”
Andy's eyes were glued to the screen. “Yeah… explain it.” Please explain it…
“I'm a fairly well known public figure,” she glared at Judy. “Whom someone had just tried to kill.” Miranda began, “I wanted to make sure that Andrea was okay. It wasn't a private investigator, it was more of a bodyguard.”
“Usually when I want a bodyguard I hire a bodyguard, not a private investigator.”
“I didn't want her to feel self-conscious,” and at the time, I didn't know if I had the right… She sighed. “It was only for three weeks, to make sure she was no longer in danger.”
“He put together a dossier about her though, right?”
“Yes,” Miranda admitted.
“What did it say?” He was curious.
Yeah, what did it say… Andy thought, and waited to see what Miranda's answer would be.
“I don't know.” Miranda looked him directly in the eye. “I never read it.”
“Never?” He found that hard to believe.
“No. I wasn't interested in that aspect of the service. I only wanted Andrea monitored to insure her safety.”
“What if I told you that is what I think Ms. Genero was doing as well, keeping track of Ms. Sachs, making sure she was safe.”
“Not the same.”
He shrugged. “What's the difference?”
“I did not have a shrine of pictures, I did not have hours and hours of video of Andrea doing private and personal things via surveillance cameras installed, unbeknownst to Andrea, in her apartment.” Miranda almost smiled even as she looked at Judy. “I had a life, with Andrea, at the time.”
“Damn you…” Judy jumped out of her seat, again. The shackles prevented her from reaching Miranda before the guards stopped her. “You're the reason she was sad… You caused all her problems!”
Miranda watched calmly as Judy was returned to her seat and the defense attorney sighed. “No further questions.” He hadn't asked her about the pajamas, but once he realized how controlled Miranda was on the stand he didn't want to. He'd rather have the jury let the question remain in their minds than have this woman coolly explain them away.
The judge addressed Miranda. “You may step down.”
“Are we required to remain for the rest of the trial?” Miranda knew if they had to stay for the entire thing there wouldn't be much time to prepare for the meeting with Detective Jo and her wife before the charity benefit.
“No, you are no longer required to remain in the building.”
“Thank you, your Honor.” Miranda stood and walked out of the courtroom, not bothering to spare even a glance at Judy or her lawyer. There was only one person she was interested in seeing at the moment, and she wasn't in this room. I have to explain…
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