Disclaimer: See Part 1
When they opened the door to the Elias-Clarke building, Andy was relieved to see that a good half of the reporters who had been there for Irv's press conference were gone. The remaining people perked up at the sight of the couple but realized this wasn't a press conference and although they followed the women, the majority didn't ask any questions, most were satisfied just clicking a million pictures. The few that did voice questions only managed to think of things Andy's article had already answered.
Miranda ignored them, gripping her companion's hand tightly to keep the young woman from holding her hand up in front of her face. Even that gesture would acknowledge the followers and she had no intention of doing that in even the slightest way. “Where should we go?”
“There's a nice little deli just up the street.” Andy grinned. “You like their salads.”
“Is that where you get the Greek salad I adore?”
“Yes, Miranda.” Andy winked.
Miranda rolled her eyes and laughed relaxing almost totally for the first time today, oblivious to the people trailing along behind them.
They had given the stuttering waiter their order when Miranda's phone rang. She answered immediately. “Hello Bobbsey… is everything okay at school?”
“Yeah, Mom… everything is fine.” Cassidy took a deep breath. “The principal let us watch the press conference, and…um… Caroline and I just wanted to tell you… well, thanks for sticking up for us…and, we love you too.”
“Don't thank me so soon.” Miranda sighed. “I shouldn't have said what I said.” She explained to her stunned daughter. “It was like a challenge… now the reporters will probably try to talk to you and Caroline more than ever.”
“Ha!” Cassidy sounded amused. “Let ‘em try. Neither of us will say anything, if they were smart they'd know that.”
Miranda grinned at the tone in her daughter's voice. “The point is I didn't want them to speak to you at all.” The older woman shook her head. “You've dealt with people like that enough in your young lives.” Somehow Miranda knew Cassidy was rolling her eyes.
“Muh…ooommm.” The girl laughed. “Remember when all those reporters kept trying to get us to say what a dick Stephen was?”
“Cassidy! Language!” Miranda was appalled at the girl's seemingly sudden use of the word and narrowed her eyes at Andy.
“It's true, Mom.” Cassidy brushed over the slip. “But remember… even though it was true, neither of us said anything to them. So even if they do ask us anything, we won't respond. We know how to handle them, okay?”
“Yes, I suppose you do.” Miranda felt badly about that, knowing that children shouldn't be as nonchalant about ‘handling' the press as her children were. “You should be getting back to class now I'm sure.”
“Yeah,” Cassidy nodded and grinned into the phone. “Try not to worry, Mom.”
Miranda felt her expression soften and answered, quietly, but firmly. “I love you too Cassidy. Thank you for calling.”
“Sure Mom, anytime.” Cassidy disconnected the call.
Miranda stared at her cell phone for a few seconds before looking up at her dining partner. “She's such a thoughtful child.”
“Of course.” Andy smiled at the softness in Miranda's eyes. “She is your child after all.”
Snorting at that, Miranda recalled a thousand tiny things Andrea had done for her simply because the young woman loved her and the editor shook her head. “Oh no… thoughtfulness? She gets that, I think, from you, along with a choice vocabulary word to describe Stephen.”
Andy couldn't think of a response to that, but her eyes did widen slightly as she realized what word Miranda was talking about, and a reddish tinge crossed her cheeks. There was no way she would tell Miranda that Cassidy had been the first one to call Stephen a dick. No Way.
No Way. Andy thought as she looked at the small stack of messages in her hand. Bethany had given them to her as soon as they had returned to Miranda's office after lunch. Apparently the phone had been ringing off the hook since they'd been gone.
“I think every talk show in existence wants me on their program.” Andy laughed. “It's crazy.”
Miranda turned an indulgent smile on her young fiancée. “Do any of them tempt you, even a little?”
“Actually, yeah… a couple of them do,” Andy smiled, “a little.” She shook her head, “But I'd have to fly to Chicago or Los Angeles…and I don't want to do that.” Not alone. “Can't actually, because of the trial.”
“Mmmm…” Miranda looked through the messages quickly and handed them back for Andrea to respond to as she studied her companion. “Some of these originate in New York…are you sure the trial is the only reason you don't want to do the shows?”
“No,” Andy admitted, but smiled wryly. “It's a good one though.”
Miranda shook her head forcing herself to drop the subject, for the moment. “Are you going to stay for the run-through?”
“Oh no… I don't want another lecture about my choice in clothing…” Andy grinned, knowing the outfit she was wearing wouldn't get any criticism, Miranda had approved it before they left the house after all. She continued to tease the older woman, referring to the first run-through she'd attended. “And I certainly don't want to stand here and watch as you try to decide between two identical belts!”
“They were not identical.” Miranda chided. “The buckles were different.” Then she winked. “Do you know why I chose the one I did?”
“Miranda,” Andy exhaled. “I never knew why you did anything back then!”
“I picked it because; it was the first one my hand came into contact with.” Miranda chuckled. “They were different, but not enough to make a difference.”
“So you just…grabbed one.” Andy snorted with laughter. “Why does that surprise me?”
“Honestly, I do love watching you work.” Adoring doe-eyes gazed at Miranda. “But, I really should go in to work at some point.” She packed up her laptop and was a little disappointed with the amount of work she had finished this morning. When she thought about it though, she realized she wouldn't have gotten much more finished if she'd actually been at her own desk. Worry about Miranda and the reporters both in and outside her work would have been too much of a distraction. Slinging her laptop carry-case strap over her shoulder, she turned to face Miranda. “Meet you at home for dinner?”
Nodding, Miranda smiled and moved to embrace the brunette. “Yes, I should be home by eight thirty.”
“Great.” Andy took the opportunity to kiss Miranda lightly on the lips. “See you then.” She passed Jocelyn and three other girls pushing the carts with the clothing selections for the run-through on them and heard Miranda's dismayed voice. “Is this it? Where are all the dresses?”
Andy grinned all the way to the elevator. It made her happy knowing that Miranda was in her element and having a blast.
It was a sunny day and as Andy walked out of the building she put her sunglasses on. She was glad she did too because they helped tremendously with the flashes going off in her face. There were only a handful of reporters and photographers left now, but they were quite vocal. The problem she saw with their questions was the same one the reporters had been having all day, they never asked anything that hadn't already been answered. Holding up her hands, she silenced them. “I won't answer anything that has already been answered in my article.” She smiled at them, and continued on her way. One question was flung at her back.
“Is that an engagement ring?”
Turning, she narrowed her eyes at the reporters. “Who asked that?”
A woman stepped forward. “I did, Um… Sandra Gatten… New York Times…”
“Well, Sandra, that at least was an original question.” Andy looked at her for a moment then gestured. “Walk with me.” The other few were given a glare that warned them away. She almost felt sorry for them as they gave a collective sigh and went back to waiting for Miranda to exit. An event that Andy knew wouldn't happen until eight or so tonight.
They had taken a few steps toward the Mirror when Andy answered the question. “Yes.”
Sandra couldn't believe her good fortune and was so thrilled to be talking to Andy she almost missed the answer. “uh… huh?”
Turning to look at her walking companion, Andy almost laughed. “The ring… Yes, it is an engagement ring.” She grinned as the reporter's eyes widened and she scrambled for her notebook. “Miranda gave it to me on my birthday and asked me to marry her. I accepted.”
Sandy scribbled in her book. “Did she actually get down on one knee??”
“Your birthday?” Sandy smiled. “Did you get anything else?”
“Just yes? That's your answer?” Sandra sighed, she was actually talking to Andy Sachs and all she was asking were yes and no questions.
“You're new, right?” Andy smiled at the woman's shock.
“How do you know that?” Sandy was shocked. She'd recently graduated college, majoring in journalism, but her uncle had needed to call in a favor with a friend in Human Resources at the Times to get her this job. No one at the paper took her seriously thinking she was too young to be a ‘real' reporter.
“I recognized the look.” Andy assured the woman. “I used to see it in the mirror all the time.” They continued to walk and Andy spoke quietly. “The best present I got, was time with Miranda. She took a vacation and we went to visit my family. We spent my birthday with them, and then had some time to ourselves, for a family vacation, just Miranda, the girls and me, at the house on Martha's Vineyard.”
Sandra blinked at the love in Andy's voice as she said Miranda's name. “Have you set a date for the wedding?”
“No.” Andy grinned as Sandy sighed over yet another yes or no question and took pity on the girl. “There is a legal matter that we need to take care of first, and we would love for the press to die down a little as well. Neither of us want any interruptions in the ceremony.”
“Understandable.” The reporter nodded. “Do you think it will be a large ceremony?”
Shaking her head, Andy indicated not. “Only family and a few friends for the ceremony itself…” she grinned, “but the reception…” Andy laughed. “I'm sure that will be huge.”
Sandy realized what Andy had said. “A legal matter? Does she want you to sign a pre-nup agreement?”
“That is not the legal matter I was referring to, I can't talk about that one, yet.” Andy shrugged. “As for a pre-nup, we haven't discussed anything like that.” She held up her hand as the reporter took a breath to ask another question. “We haven't discussed it, but I will sign anything she wants me to. I don't want her money, not now, not ever. I love her and only want to be with her. She has worked incredibly hard for what she has, and it should go to her children when the time comes… which I hope is a long, long time from now.”
Sandy stood with wide eyes, staring at Andy. “Wow.”
Shaking her head and chuckling, Andy ruffled the bangs on her forehead. “This is my stop.” She indicated the Mirror building just up ahead, with a flock of reporters and photographers hovering around the door. “Thank you for walking with me.”
Blinking, Sandy exhaled slowly. “Thank you for answering my questions!”
Andy turned a stern look on the girl, tapping the reporter's notepad lightly. “Just be sure and get it right.” With a wink, Andy chuckled. “And keep paying attention. You are the only one that asked me about the ring, observation like that, deserves a reward.”
Sandy nodded and watched as Andy continued walking, completely ignoring the camera flashes and inane questions being yelled at her. The Times reporter wasn't sure why they were asking those questions. Andy's article had already answered them all. Sandy grinned smugly when she realized none of this crowd asked anything about the ring. She had the exclusive on that bit of information.
“Sachs?” Greg shook his head in amazement. “What are you doing here?”
Andy shrugged. “Thought I worked here.”
“Well… yeah…” The editor chuckled. “I just didn't expect to see you today.” He ushered her into his office and gestured for her to take a seat. “So, how are you holding up?”
“We're dealing.” She sighed. “It's not easy, but we're managing.” Ruffling her bangs, Andy shook her head. “It's a pain in the ass to have to call the police to escort the girls from the house to the car.”
“Is it that bad?”
“There were ten remote trucks at our house by six this morning.” She slumped back in the chair. “We are trying to ignore them as much as possible, and I managed to take my morning run. Hopefully it won't impact our lives too much before they all move on to something more interesting.”
“More interesting that you two?” Greg looked doubtful.
Andy snorted. “I've got about a dozen talk show offers that tell me it will be a while before interest dies down.” She grinned. “Unless, you know, some celebrity decides to adopt a poor child from some desert country.”
Greg laughed, “That's the spirit. Think positive.” He waved her out of his office. “Now… go… do work.”
Laughing, Andy stood and saluted. “Yes, Mr. Caveman, sir.”
She was still chuckling when she reached her desk. When she finally got down to actually working she became aware of the stares. Screw ‘em . If I can ignore a horde of screaming reporters, I can ignore this silent crap just as easily, she thought and continued concentrating on the article she was finishing.
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