Disclaimer: See Part 1
Andy fell backward onto the bed with a contented, slightly inebriated, sigh and stared at the ceiling. “Wow, what a night.” She turned her head to see Miranda walking toward the bathroom. “Hey! Sexy lady, c'mere.”
“Andrea,” Miranda massaged her own stomach with the palm of her hand. “How can you possibly…you do realize it is three a.m. don't you?” There hadn't even been one reporter in front of the house when they had arrived home, thank goodness.
Propping herself up on her elbows, Andy studied Miranda carefully and grinned. “You want me.” She crossed the room walking up behind the older woman circling her shoulders in her arms. Finding a delicate ear, Andy whispered. “You want to kiss me, touch me…” Her tongue traced the outside edge of that ear, “taste me…”
Miranda shivered. “How do you…”
“This.” Andy's hand dropped to cover Miranda's smaller one, over the woman's stomach. “You always do this, when you want me and don't think you can have me.” Chuckling, Andy whispered low in Miranda's ear, “I know you better than you think.” She turned the woman in her arms so they were facing each other. “I remember the first time I noticed you doing that.”
“It was the day you reprimanded me for not being able to get you a flight during a hurricane. You were leaning against the front of your desk, hand rubbing your stomach, playing with your belt, not looking at me. My God you were sexy, the low tone in your voice rolled through me, had I not been so upset that I'd disappointed you, I probably would have jumped you right then.”
“I'm glad you didn't.” Miranda pulled them closer. “I was still married then, and I wouldn't have been able to stop you. Stephen would have gotten me on an adultery clause and the divorce would not have been nearly as…beneficial to me as it was.”
Andy blinked. “You wouldn't have been able to stop me?”
“Andrea.” Miranda smiled and brought their lips together for a long moment, her hand finding the back of the brunette's head, holding her in place deepening the kiss until air was an issue. “Even I don't have that much willpower.”
“You know what I want?” Andy asked, her eyes drooping because she was still feeling the effects of the six pitchers of beer their group had consumed. Plus, it was three o'clock in the morning.
“What?” Miranda was not the least bit drunk. She had always been able to drink large quantities of American beer having been raised on much stouter English, Irish, or Scottish Ale, depending upon whichever pub she and her friends had picked for the night's partying. Then there was the fact that she hadn't actually drank that much tonight, it just seemed that she had.
“I want to see you in your Karate Gi.”
Amused blue eyes stared at her for a short moment and Miranda sighed. “Wait here.”
Andy watched Miranda walk into the closet. Swaying dangerously, she decided to go sit on the bed and wait. Soon sitting became too hard and she stretched out on the end of the bed. Mmmm… I'll just close my eyes for a minute.
Miranda emerged from the closet still tying the belt around her waist. “I'm sorry darling, the belt had fallen down behind…” Miranda saw Andy's position on the bed and the young woman's soft rhythmic breathing. She let her hands fall to her sides and shook her head ruefully. “And she sleeps.” Feeling slightly ridiculous in the Gi, Miranda continued her journey to the bed.
She shifted Andy into the proper alignment and divested the unconscious woman of her uncomfortable clothing, unwilling to manhandle, for lack of a better term, Andrea any more, she left the brunette naked in the bed. Several nefarious thoughts passed through her brain and she spoke to herself quietly. “You are a wicked woman, Miranda Priestly…” Removing the Gi, she draped it over the dresser chair and donned her robe. She went to the bathroom and quickly performed her belated nightly rituals before sliding under the sheets next to the softly snoring woman.
In only a few moments she matched the soft breathing, in for out, and if anyone had been a fly on the wall from the sound of breathing alone, they would be hard pressed to say if there were two people in the bed sleeping, or one.
Andy groaned as the soft light shining in the window threatened to disintegrate her eyeballs. She threw her arm over her eyes and hissed as the motion jarred the bruise on her wrist. “Miranda?” she croaked, past her parched mouth and lips. She knew the woman was there, she could feel the familiar body heat next to her.
“Why do I feel like hammered shit?”
Laughing, Miranda took a deep breath. “Well, maybe because you got hammered last night…”
Lifting her arm slightly, Andy narrowed her blood shot eyes at her bedmate. The narrow strip of light crossing Miranda's clear blue eyes didn't seem to bother the woman at all. “And you didn't?”
With a flash of white teeth and a chuckle, Miranda's low voice tickled Andy's ear.
“I have many skills.”
Miranda sat on the bed, in her robe, with her back against the headboard. Her glasses were low on her nose as she looked over The Book that had been delivered sometime last night, before they got home. Andrea had stumbled into the bathroom earlier and now Miranda was waiting for Andrea to get out of the shower so they could go find something for breakfast. She would have liked her favorite omelet but wasn't sure Andrea's stomach would be able to handle that. Perhaps oatmeal , she thought.
Andy walked out of the bathroom, wrapped in a large towel, drying her hair with another. “Miranda, how is it that…” She stopped mid-step and mid-dry. Lowering the hand with the towel in it she gasped and pointed at the chair in front of the dresser and the white fabric draped over the back of it. “Oh my God…” She waved her hand in the general direction of the dresser. “Did you… I mean… were you…” Andy was horrified. “You put on your karate Gi and I missed it ?!”
“Yes.” Miranda tilted her head and smiled. “You fell asleep.”
“You mean I passed out,” Andy scoffed at herself. “Oh my God… I'm never going to get drunk again.”
“Don't worry about it, darling. I'm afraid even if you had stayed awake…” Miranda set The Book on the nightstand and took off her glasses placing them on top. “What is the last thing you remember?”
“I remember telling Dougie about you kicking the gunman's ass…”
Snorting at that, Miranda mumbled, “Which of the hundred times?” She welcomed, Andy into the bed, wet hair and all. “What else?”
“I remember a cute waitress.”
Miranda cleared her throat, “Best you forget that .”
“No… I remember her. She was cute as a button, curly brown hair…”
“Andrea…” Miranda warned. “I mean it…”
“She had the most adorable little crinkle on her nose when she…” Brown eyes widened. “She was flirting with you!”
Miranda sighed. “I told you it was best forgotten.”
“I can't believe you would… would…” Andy's spluttering was cut off by warm lips capturing hers. When she pulled away, Miranda spoke quietly.
“I did nothing.”
Andy rested her forehead against Miranda's. “Of course you didn't.” Andy pulled her head back slightly and frowned. “You're hot.”
Miranda laughed. “Thank you darling…”
“No… Miranda.” Andy put her hand flat against Miranda's forehead. “You have a fever.”
Andy jumped off the bed and made a quick trip to the bathroom. When she returned, she pushed the button to activate the digital thermometer and gestured to the woman. “Open.”
Miranda glowered at the inconvenience and flared her nostrils at the wait.
It didn't take long for the beep indicating the final temperature had been reached. Luckily, Andy grabbed the stick before Miranda could. “A hundred and three… Miranda, you need medicine, now. I'm calling Doctor Dawson.”
“I feel fine, Andrea. No need to bother the Doctor.”
“No Miranda… you're sick.” Andy put the thermometer in its case. She took it into to the bathroom and brought back two aspirin tablets and a Dixie cup of water. “Take these.” She handed the medicine over. “I'm going to go make you some tea.” She sighed. “Don't give me that look. Tea is good for you when you're sick. I'll bring you some toast too.”
“Fine.” Miranda agreed, reluctantly, “but no Doctor!”
“Rest.” Andy kissed the older woman's cheek. “Be right back.”
“Andy! Where's Mom?”
Andy knelt down and hugged the girls, one in each arm. “Your mom wanted to be here, but she's home, sick. She has a bit of a fever.” Andy smiled at the girls. “I told her I'd come and get ya.” She ruffled Caroline's hair. “Did ya have a good time, Munchkin?”
“Yeah, Dad took us to the park, and the arcade then…we all pigged out on pizza.” Caroline glanced at Cassidy. They had both noticed Andy's wrist, but decided not to say anything, just another thing not to mention.
Andy saw the look and narrowed her eyes. She turned to Cassidy. “What's up?”
“Um…” She pointed at Andy's wrist. “You're hurt.”
Andy didn't buy that for a second. “Just a little bruise…” She watched the girl's exchange another round of looks and shook her head. “What's going on?”
“We can't tell you.”
“Whoa… what? Now you're gonna tell me, for sure.”
Cassidy pleaded with the woman. “We really can't… Dad says he wants to tell Mom himself…”
“Don't yell at your sister, Caroline.” Andy stood up and reached for her phone. “Get your bags, Roy is waiting outside.” Dialing quickly she smiled as Miranda picked up on the first ring. That meant she wasn't sleeping. “Hey, how ya feelin'?”
“Some better, fever's down.”
“Good. You aren't working on The Book are you?” Andy nodded as the girls indicated they had their bags.
Andy heard the distinct sound of The Book closing before Miranda answered. “No.”
She shook her head in amused tolerance and couldn't suppress a smile. And she thinks I'm stubborn? “I've got the girls and we're heading home, do you need anything while we're out?” They piled into the car, Cassidy first, then Caroline, and Andy motioned them to scoot as she sat down and closed the door.
“No, just come home.”
“We're on our way. I love you.” Andy winked at the girls as they rolled their eyes.
“And I you.”
Andy smiled at the phone then quickly dialed the next number she needed.
Widening her eyes at the distinctly feminine voice, Andy carefully asked. “Is James there?”
“He's in the shower.” The voice took on a decidedly jealous tone. “Who's this?”
“It's Andy…um.. Miranda's partner. I've got the girls from the train station and we're headed home.”
“Oh…” She was friendlier now, but the woman actually sounded like she had just shrugged. “okay. I'll let him know.”
“Thanks.” Andy blinked as the call dropped. She crossed her arms and twisted sideways to level a look at the girls. “So, what's her name?”
Cassidy answered. “Candie.”
“Cass!” Caroline sighed and decided to go with a technicality. “Oh well, Dad told us not to tell Mom, but he didn't say anything about telling you, Andy.” Come to think of it, he very specifically didn't mention Andy, at all. Caroline suspected her Dad was hoping they would let Andy know, so she would inform their Mom making it easier for him to speak to her about it. It was a sneakier than her Dad usually was, but Caroline shrugged then confirmed the name, and Andy's suspicion. “Candie is Dad's new girlfriend.”
Andy's eyebrows rose as she pressed her lips together. “Is she nice to you?”
“She tries…” Cassidy started.
“But…” Andy prompted.
Caroline sighed and leaned against Andy. “She's not like you.”
Automatically dropping her arm around the girl's shoulders, she tilted her head in question. “Like me?”
“She tries to be nice to us,” Caroline explained, “but, she isn't like you.”
Cassidy spelled it out. “She doesn't love us.”
Caroline nodded and rested her head on Andy's shoulder. “Not like you, Ma.”
Pushing the words past the lump in her throat, Andy spoke to clarify things in her own mind. “And she is what your Dad wants to keep a secret, until he can talk to your Mom himself?”
They both nodded. “He wants to talk to her about letting us come and spend a few weeks during the summer with him, so we can ‘get to know' Candie better.”
So he's serious about her . “Okay, so long as he talks to her soon.” Andy spoke quietly to the girls, trying to impress on them this one fact. “It's important that you trust me, you can tell me anything. The one thing that should always raise a red flag is when someone asks you ‘not to tell' because that is usually when you should. You are growing up so fast, I trust you to use your best judgment but secrets can get out of control really easily. That goes for your mom too. We are always here for you to talk to, okay?”
They spoke in unison. “Okay, Andy.”
Caroline still looked worried though and Andy called her on it. With a little sigh, the girl glanced at her sister then spoke quietly. “I think Candie is going to have a baby.”
Swallowing hard, Andy nodded. “Something else your Father wants to tell your Mom…” Then her eyes narrowed. James was slightly older than Miranda. “Um… how old is Candie? Do you know?”
They shook their heads, not knowing the information but Cassidy guessed. “I think she's a little younger than you.”
Andy's eyes rolled skyward. She wasn't a religious person, but in this instance she could use all the help she could get and she sent a quiet request, “Lord help me.”
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