Disclaimer: See Part 1
“Gram?” It had taken nearly five rings before Pava had answered the phone and Andy thought the woman sounded a little odd. “Ma told me you were staying with Mrs. King…are you okay? Did I wake you?” She wondered at the wisdom of waiting until they'd gotten home to call.
“Andy Darlin'… I'm okay, no I was up…we saw the news. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, we're fine.” The brunette leaned back against the headboard and welcomed Miranda into the bed, automatically playing with the soft white hair as the woman laid her head on Andy's thighs. “Miranda protected me.” She grinned at the snort that comment generated.
“I'm glad you are okay, and no one got hurt.”
“We are too, Gram. Listen, I don't want to bother you for very long. I have other calls to make and I know you must be tired. I just wanted to hear your voice, and let you know we were fine. Take care okay and tell Mrs. King that we are sorry for her loss.”
“I will Darlin'. Thank you for calling, take care. Bye now.”
“Bye.” Andy cut the call and asked. “Can I call Lily and Doug?”
“Of course, call whomever you need to.” Miranda draped an arm over Andy's legs and snuggled closer. “I'm perfectly fine right here.”
The calls to Lily and Doug were quick, Andy was tired of talking, but she agreed to meet them tomorrow night at one of their favorite hang-outs. She told them she didn't know if Miranda would join them or not, it would depend on her work schedule.
When she heard Andrea mention Runway to her friends, Miranda sighed and pushed herself up to retrieve her phone from the nightstand. Dialing quickly, she didn't bother with a preamble when Emily answered. “Regardless of the sensationalistic newscasts this evening, I require The Book tonight. That's all.” Hanging up, she tossed the phone back where it was and resumed her position snuggled next to Andrea.
“You could have been a little more reassuring to her, let her know you were okay.”
“Telling her I want The Book tonight doesn't let her know that?” Miranda managed a shrug. “I'll talk to her when she's here.”
“No, you won't.” Andy laughed. “You'll be asleep by then, and so will I.”
Darkened blue eyes looked up the length of Andrea's torso and Miranda grinned. “Wanna bet?”
“Ha!” Andy shifted, bringing their eyes level. “If we're doing that , you still won't be talking to Em tonight.”
“True,” Miranda gave it some thought. “It's not much of a choice though, as to which activity I would rather be participating in.”
“Oh really…” Andy grinned. “You like talking to Emily that much?”
With a growl, Miranda suddenly felt the weight of the evening descending on her and realizing what she could have lost, she pulled the grinning girl to her, crushing their lips together. “Not even close.” Fingers tangling in long dark hair held them together as Miranda's searing kisses burned through them. “Andrea…” She laid a series of kisses along the elegant neck. “God, Andrea, I could have lost you…”
As she said the words Miranda gripped her tighter, almost painfully tight, but Andy didn't care, in fact she reveled in it, feeling something, even pain, was good, it reminded her that she was indeed, alive. “Miranda…” She didn't know the words to tell Miranda what she wanted, needed… so she relied on actions to speak for her and began to remove her pajamas. She smiled as Miranda took advantage of any newly exposed flesh, nipping and sucking every square inch she could find. “Miranda…” Andy looked down as the blue-eyed woman looked up. There was nothing but deep breaths between them, until Miranda's white teeth flashed in the darkness and she whispered,
“I need you.”
Andy groaned and took another few breaths before one word burst from her lips. “Please.” Her head fell back and tears leaked from the corners of her eyes. “Please, Miranda…”
Miranda finished undressing the young woman and marveled at the form below her. “Do you know how beautiful you are?” She saw disbelief in the brown doe-eyes, “I can't possibly tell you often enough.”
“Miranda, I'm not…” The statement stopped as long elegant fingers slid over her skin and soft lips following in their wake took her breath away.
“You are,” Miranda murmured against the dip just below Andrea's ribs and kissed lower. “My Andrea, my heart, always.” She heard the sob that drew from the woman below her, felt the muscles contracting under the skin her lips were caressing, felt long fingers threading through her hair and there was no more talking for the rest of the night.
Andy sat straight up in bed. “What?! What is it? Are you okay?”
“Your wrist!” Miranda was horrified at the darkened area around the base of Andrea's hand. Sad blue eyes looked up and grew even sadder. “Oh, my darling I'm so sorry…”
“Hey…” Andy tried to cheer Miranda up with a smile, “It's not your fault.”
“But,” Gently touching Andrea's arm, Miranda could feel her eyes filling with tears. “You should go to the doctor.”
“It's just a bruise Miranda, I don't need a doctor.”
“Does it hurt?”
Andy shrugged. “A little I guess, when I move it the wrong way, or jar it…”
“What about this one?” Miranda brushed her fingertips over the space between Andrea's eyes.
Gasping, Andy blinked. “Wow, is there a bruise there too?”
Nodding, Miranda swallowed hard. “It's a small circle.” The barrel of the gun made it.
“I can cover that one,” Andy assured her, “and it doesn't hurt.” She'd only felt a tiny ache when Miranda's fingers had brushed across the injury.
Holding the young woman's face in her hands, Miranda pulled the dark head down to her, kissing the small circular bruise gently.
Andy closed her eyes at the tenderness of it. “Miranda…”
“Shhh…” The older woman continued placing small light kisses all over Andrea's face. “We don't have to talk.”
“We need to.” Andy pulled away slightly so she could look into Miranda's eyes. God I love her eyes. “I need to explain why I…let him… dance with me… and put his hands…” The blue eyes showed compassion.
“You were scared.”
“Yes, I was.” Andy agreed. “But, when we first started dancing, I was going to knock him down then. He must have sensed it, because he told me if I did anything funny…” She shuddered. “He said he would shoot you.” Andy could feel the tears in her eyes. “I couldn't let him, Miranda, I couldn't take the chance he would hurt you. I would have done anything to keep you safe.”
“Shhh…” Miranda shifted closer. “You were marvelous, we are both safe. Both here, together…” She returned to her previous activity, kissing Andrea lightly wherever she could manage and groaned as Andy began returning the kisses. “We will have to go to the police station today…”
“Yes, Miranda.” Andy rolled to pin Miranda to the mattress. “We will.” Sliding her leg between the older woman's, she smiled. “Later.”
“Hey guys!” Andy tossed her purse on the tall round table and gave Lily a hug, then found herself in a bear hug from Dougie. “Whoa… careful there…”
“Well I haven't seen you in over three weeks!” The man was practically beaming. “First… Are you really okay? The news last night was heartstopping.”
“Yeah,” Lily took a drink of her tea. “It was really weird because they were talking about a gunman and the people, then they were saying you were inside…” She shook her head, “not knowing if you were okay or not was really… ugh.”
“That about sums it up.” Andy laughed. “It was…close, for a minute or two, but,” She leaned closer and whispered, “Miranda kicked his ass.”
“What?!” Lily and Doug's jaws both dropped.
“Oh yeah, you should have seen it. Miranda swept his legs out from under him then when he tried to get up she kicked him in the side of the head and laid him out flat. I think she was going to go after him again, but Jo saved him by arresting him.”
Doug found his voice first. “Um… will…Miranda be joining us this evening?”
“I don't know.” Andy ruffled her bangs. “I told her the time and place but she wasn't sure if she could get away from work or not.”
She smiled recalling the conversation. When Miranda had found out where they were meeting she was dubious and Andy had assured her that they had very good steaks to which Miranda replied in a mumble that they probably deep fried them.
“Andy!” Lily reached over and gently held her friend's arm. “You're hurt.” She looked at the lurid bruises on the wrist she held. “What happened?”
“Oh, it's nothing, just a bruise.” Andy pulled her arm away from Lily's touch, resting it lightly on the table. “Miranda freaked this morning when she saw it.”
“I should say…” …so. Lily swallowed hard as her gaze moved to Andy's fingers. “Is that?”
“My engagement ring.” Andy nodded.
“Take it off, let me see it.” Lily tilted her head in question as Andy shook her head no.
“You can look at it on my hand all you want, but I don't take it off.”
“That is what caused the bruises to begin with, you stubborn thing.”
Andy spun around to see Miranda standing behind her. The older woman had even managed to change clothes. Andy was amazed at the difference the outfit made. She never thought Miranda looked old, but this outfit actually managed to make her look younger, even with her iconic, stunning white hair. The gray power suit she'd worn to the office earlier had been replaced with a burgundy silk blouse tucked into the waist of a pair of black jeans, the legs of the jeans tucked down into a pair of black leather boots. She wasn't wearing it, but Miranda draped a jacket that matched her jeans over the back of the chair next to Andrea's.
A bright smile threatened to crack Andy's face apart. “You made it!” Flinging her arms around the Editor's neck, Andy laughed and pulled back slightly as if just hearing what had been said. “ I'm stubborn?!”
“Mmmm…” Miranda looked at the other woman at the table. “You must be Lily.” She reached out to shake hands then turned to the man. “That would make you Douglas.”
“Yes, Ma'am.” He grinned all over himself at meeting, talking to, and sitting at the same table as the Miranda Priestly.
“Miranda will do.” Miranda's forehead wrinkled for a second and then asked Andy. “Andrea, is he going to…”
“Yeeeah… probably…” Andy laughed because no sooner had the ‘ly' escaped her lips, Doug let out a respectable ‘squee'. Not as good as Blair's, but still…
They all laughed, including Doug as he was apologizing. “I'm sorry, it's just so… Wow… to be here and then you are…there…”
“Dougie...” Andy patted his shoulder. “Easy… deep breaths…it's okay.”
Lily spoke up. “What do you mean, not taking off the ring caused the bruises?”
Andy sighed. “The gunman wanted me to take it off, and I refused… he grabbed my wrist, that is what caused them.” She didn't like thinking about the incident, it was too recent. She ruffled her bangs and brushed the spot between her eyes where he had pressed the barrel of the gun. There was a bruise there too, but she'd covered it with makeup, after the police had taken pictures of it. “Can we not talk about this?”
Doug couldn't take his adoring eyes off Miranda and asked. “Can we hear the part where Miranda kicked the gunman's ass again? Because I don't think that's ever getting old.”
Miranda sighed and wrapped one arm around her fiancée's waist. “I suppose Andrea forgot to mention, that before I did that, she had disarmed him.”
“What?!” Lily and Doug's jaws both dropped, again.
“Oh yes, you see, he was about to take her hostage in order to secure his escape. When he reached for her, she grabbed his hand and flipped him over her shoulder, stomped on his hand and kicked the gun away.” Miranda turned to the embarrassed young woman next to her. “I've been meaning to ask why you think Detective Jo encouraged the man to go for you as a hostage instead of me.”
“Remember I told you I'd taken a bunch of self-defense classes?” Andy waited for the acknowledging nod. “Well, she taught them, that is actually how we met, so she knew my capabilities.” Andy nudged the woman next to her with her shoulder. “She didn't know you have a black belt in karate or she probably would have let him go for you… or… if she hadn't known our capabilities, I have no doubt she would have tried harder to get him to take her as the hostage he needed. Basically she needed a distraction so she could get close enough to arrest him.”
“I'm not sure I like her taking chances with your life like that.” Miranda had come to have a small soft spot for the Detective, but to endanger Andrea…
“She was using all kinds of terms that she used in the self-defense classes…leverage… put your full weight behind it… the left and right hand stuff was from the lesson about disarming people… she looked to me to make sure I remembered the lessons and I gave her a nod that she should go ahead and let me try.” Andy reassured Miranda. “It wasn't as much of a risk as you think, and it wasn't Jo's call, it was mine.”
Shaking her head, Miranda exhaled slowly. “That's even worse.” She tangled her fingers up with Andrea's. “Why would you do that?”
Andy shrugged and spoke matter-of-factly. “To keep you safe.”
A flood of warmth filled Miranda and settled just below her navel. “We will discuss this later.” She motioned the waitress over. “A pitcher of beer if you would.”
“Beer?” Andy's eyes nearly bugged out.
“There is a lot about me you don't know, Andrea.” Miranda smiled, caressed the young woman's cheek with the backs of her fingers and brushed their lips together. “I think it's probably time you did.”
“Before we get married and all…” Andy grinned and leaned in for a slightly longer peck.
Doug rested his elbows on the table, his chin on his closed fists and watched the couple with something akin to awe. Lily clenched her teeth together when Miranda initiated the kiss and flared her nostrils as Andy returned the gesture. She did have to admit though; Andy seemed a lot happier at the moment than she ever had with Nate.
Miranda too was watching Andy. She needs this, Miranda thought, a night out with friends, just sharing drinks, bad-for-you-food, and listening to loud music… Miranda remembered her own youthful exploits and knew that looking back on tonight, Andrea would remember it with fondness. She needs memories like this, for later. Miranda took a deep breath determined to give Andrea anything and everything the young woman needed to have a great life. Good memories were important, because despite the promise she had made, Miranda was enough of a realist to know.
One day I will be gone .
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