He wasn't running, not exactly, but he was moving fast enough that when he wanted to stop he skidded slightly before his motion ended. “Um... Miranda, can I help you with something?”
Miranda continued to peruse the garment choices in The Closet, “Nigel, had I wanted your opinion I would have requested it.” Taking a dark power suit, complete with a white button down shirt, off the rack, she handed it to him.
Nigel took it automatically, barely registering its dullness, “Is there something I can help you find?”
“Doubtful.” Miranda continued to look through the selections. Two more outfits were chosen before Miranda gestured to the clothing. “Have a messenger get those to the studio, as soon as possible.” Raising one eyebrow, she moved toward the exit as she muttered, “That's all.”
Nigel blinked at the clothing in his hand, and thought about Miranda's order. Studio? He went to find garment bags for the outfits, to prepare them for transport. He just hoped Emily knew what the hell Miranda was talking about.
Andy and the girls walked into the ABC building, stopping at the security reception area. “Hello,” Andy smiled at the burly guard, “I'm supposed to meet one of the producers of Good Morning America this morning...” She chuckled at his bored 'yeah-sure-you-are' look and reached into her purse, retrieving the small post-it Emily had given her with the name scrawled on it. How Emily could possibly read her own handwriting Andy would never know. She tried to remember the way Emily had pronounced it as she looked at the note. “Raj...” skipping the first name she moved to the second. “Mahajani...”
“Oh,” The guard seemed surprised, “He's the promo guy...”
“Yeah,” Andy agreed, “I was told to meet him for some shots to promote my appearance on the show, Monday.”
Nodding, he picked up the phone, “Hold on a sec.” When the line connected he spoke quickly, “Yeah, Raj... I got a gal here says she's supposed to see you today?” He nodded into the receiver and looked up at Andy. “Your name?”
He passed the name on to the man and winced, pulling the handset away from his ear as the man on the other end squealed. When he was finally able to break through the producer's excitement, the guard tried very hard not to laugh, “Yeah, okay, I'm sending them up now.” He rolled his eyes and grinned as he hung up the phone. “I guess you guys are cleared.” He handed all three ready made Visitor's Passes and directed them to the elevators.
“Thanks.” Andy clipped the Pass to her lapel and made sure the girls had theirs securely fastened before they entered the elevator.
The girls moved toward the walls of the elevator but Andy reached out and held them to her sides in the center of the car. She pushed the button for the floor they were supposed to meet the producer and immediately pulled the small bottle of antibacterial goop from her purse. The girls exchanged glances as Andy covered her hands in the stuff.
Raj was waiting for them when the elevator opened. “Ms. Sachs?” At Andy's nod, he visibly relaxed. “Great!” He motioned them to follow him down the hall, “There is a dressing room here that we put the outfits in.”
“Outfits?” Andy wasn't sure why there was more than one.
“The clothes Ms. Priestly had couriered over from Runway this morning.”
“Ah,” Andy's eyes twinkled at the thoughtful gesture. “She didn't tell me she was going to do that.”
He opened the door for them and gestured inside, “There was a note for you as well.” He pointed to the mirrored dresser and the envelope with her name on it sitting on top.
Cassidy grabbed the envelope and handed it to Andy.
Andy smiled as she read it to herself,
While I certainly don't object to being the one to undress you, you are completely capable of dressing yourself. I have sent a few outfits from The Closet.
The choice is yours.
Sticking the note in her purse, Andy unveiled the outfits. She looked at the selections and studied each one, they all had good points. The dark pencil skirt and jacket with the white button down shirt would get the point across that she wasn't kidding around, the designer jeans were accompanied by a lower cut but longish cream colored shirt with a sparkling design around the collar was casual enough to put her at ease while still looking stylish, and the dark dress was kind of in between the two with a thin black belt to match the Christian Lou shoes. There were also black Jimmy Choos and a pair of white Prada running shoes to go with the other two outfits.
“Which one will you choose?” Caroline thought they would all be good on television.
Andy grinned as she ran her fingers down the lapel of the dark jacket, “All of them.”
Andy selected the cream colored shirt pairing it with the pencil skirt. She had just buckled the thin belt around her waist and was sliding her feet into the Christian Lous when Raj knocked. Cassidy answered the door and Raj looked Andy over quickly as she adjusted the shirt to puff out over the belt slightly.
“Great!” He gestured for her to follow him.
They all filed out of the room and followed him down the corridor to the GMA set. The show was over for the day so the studio was empty. Raj motioned to the interview area. “Just have a seat there and I'll light it up so we can get some shots.”
“Okay.” Andy sat, Caroline and Cassidy stood just off to the side. Andy spoke nervously to the man, “I didn't realize this would all be necessary.”
“Well, normally we have clips of whoever they are going to interview, from whatever movie or show they are on, or from press interviews.” He manipulated the lights and nodded to himself as he moved to the camera. “But in your case there just isn't any of that. All we have are still pictures.” He moved the camera to center her in the shot and asked. “Ready?” Andy took a deep shaky breath and nodded. He motioned with his left hand as his right hand manipulated the switch on the camera and the red light on top blinked on. “Okay then, smile and wave at the camera.”
Andy stared into the camera lens and froze for a long moment. Her heartbeat pounding in her ears was all she could hear. She caught some motion with the corner of her eye and glanced over at the girls. They smiled and waved at her so she smiled tentatively and gave a half-hearted wave in return, Oh God, I'm going to suck at this... The light went off and Raj sighed.
“Okay, let's try it again... try and be a little happier about being on TV.” He spoke to her seriously, “You know a million girls would kill to be in your position.”
Laughing at that, Andy nodded, “Sounds familiar.” But it also put her more at ease, this was something she knew and she knew what to do. “Okay, I'll try it again.” The light went on, and this time when she looked at the camera, she imagined Miranda was getting the feed directly. Smiling her trademark dazzling smile, Andy waved enthusiastically as though Miranda was going to wave back at her. The light went off again and again Raj sighed.
“Okay, um... one more time, only...” He didn't know exactly how to put it so he just said it, trying to ignore the children as he did. “Can you be a little um.. sexier?”
Running her fingers through her hair, Andy shifted her shoulders slightly and with an apologetic glance at the girls she nodded to Raj. “I think so.”
The light on the camera went on again and this time when Andy looked at the camera she still imagined Miranda there, but this time when her dark eyes hit the lens she smiled wickedly. Wanting Miranda to know that at this moment Andy wanted nothing other than to be with her fiancee in every way possible.
The light on the camera went off and Raj stepped out from behind the equipment. “Uh... yeah, that will be good.” He wiped the sweat that had appeared on his forehead. “You can either take that outfit with you or leave it here, but be sure and label it,” he pulled a tag out of his back pocket that obviously attached to the hanger. “I can send the other stuff back to Runway later today.”
Nodding, Andy took the tag and she ushered the girls back toward the dressing room. “Um... can the girls come with me on Monday too?”
He nodded, “Sure, you can bring anyone you want, they'll have to wait in the Green Room during taping though...”
“That okay with you guys?” Andy looked at their wide grins and knew it was. “It's gonna be early in the morning,” She warned, “You up for that?”
“How early,” Since school let out, Caroline was enjoying the luxury of sleeping in.
Raj spoke up, “You'll have to be here by five.”
“In the morning?!” Cassidy snorted, “No way!”
“Yeah...” Caroline agreed, “I'll pass.” Even the excitement of Andy being on television couldn't get her up at five am. It was still dark then!
Andy laughed, “Suit yourselves.” She ushered them back to the dressing room, removing the outfit she'd chosen, to quickly change back into the clothes she'd arrived in. It hadn't taken that long so they still had a little time to kill. “What do you want to do until it's time to meet your Mom for lunch?”
The girls glanced at each other briefly then turned to face and and replied, in stereo.
Andy swallowed hard and widened her eyes. Uh oh... But then she realized this could be an opportunity for her to get an idea for a birthday present for the girls. “Okay then,” she carefully filled out the label and attached it to the garment bag with the outfit she'd just been wearing. “Where?”
“We know just the place,” Caroline assured Andy. Cassidy chimed in.
“Yeah, you're gonna love it.”
Jean-Paul opened the door to his hotel suite and greeted his visitors warmly.
“Miranda!” He threw open his arms to hug her, the only time he would ever get away with that particular show of affection. Apparently he wouldn't get away with it this time either as Miranda gracefully dodged the outstretched arms. He lowered his arms and cleared his throat, “Please, come in... I...” His speech stopped as he realized who was standing behind the fashion editor. “Mila?!”
“Mmm...” Miranda brushed past him, gesturing for the rest of her entourage to do the same. She settled herself on the couch with Mila next to her. “I requested Mila's presence since she will be the one wearing most of your designs in the layout, if I decide to use your work.”
“She...” Jean-Paul's eyes grew wide as he quickly, mentally, sorted through his designs. “Oh, no... I cannot allow it...”
Mila began to bristle and Miranda casually laid her hand on the woman's knee, patting it gently. “I will see what you've done so far, Jean-Paul.” There was no room for discussion as she informed him of what everyone already knew, “I will decide what to allow.”
He narrowed his eyes at the hand casually placed on his girlfriend's, former girlfriend's, knee, but nodded and responded the only way he could. “Yes, Miranda.” He sighed and moved to open the door that connected this room to the next; the one the models wearing his pathetic efforts were waiting in. He glanced back at Miranda whose lips were already forming into the dreaded 'catastrophe' position. Unfortunately, he knew that was probably the best he would get today. With a sigh, he motioned the first girl forward and even as she walked toward him he could see that the outfit she was wearing was all wrong. In the time it took to parade her out, he had completely redesigned the garment in his head. As he spoke to Miranda about the material and thought process behind its making, he also told the fashion icon the changes he planned.
After three more models had shown creations that were to be completely redesigned, Miranda had had enough. She stood. “Obviously you have some more work to do.” She glanced at her watch, “I will give you until Monday.” Tilting her head, she spoke quietly, “Do not disappoint me Jean-Paul.” With that she motioned to the rest of her entourage and they all left quickly, including Mila.
“Mila...” The designer saw his former love in his mind's eye and nodded to himself. He promised the absent woman, “I will make clothes worthy of you, my Mila...” his mind supplied the rest of the thought, and I will not disappoint you, Miranda.
“How did you girls even find this place?” Andy was amazed and surprisingly appalled, she didn't think she'd changed so much that shopping in a thrift store would bother her. But it does, she thought as she avoided touching the edge of the 'bargain bin'. She also felt very out of place in her designer jeans and brand name shirt. Pulling a bottle of antibacterial gel from her designer original bag, Andy smeared some goop on her hands and insisted that the girls both do the same.
After a glance at each other, they submitted to the strong smelling gel but continued to search the racks and bins for something, anything, that caught their eye. Andy asked again, “How do you know about this place?” It was an old creaky building in a run down neighborhood. Even when she was a lowly assistant she never would have found this place. Andy took a good look around the store again, and thought, if I had found it I would have loved it. She also knew, Emily would die before setting foot in a place like this, Andy amused herself for a moment trying to picture the look on Emily's face at the mere suggestion of such a thing. She would have thought that Miranda would never deign to visit here either, before the trip to England, but now that Andy knew Miranda's background she could actually imagine the older woman visiting a few shops like this in her youth. Now though? Andy shuddered and asked again, “How did you guys find this place?”
“Allison told me about it.” Caroline offered and tried to sound casual, “We've had Dad bring us here a few times.” Twice. Speaking of Allison reminded her and the girl pulled her phone out, dialing quickly to talk to her friend.
“Why?” Andy didn't see the reason for coming here when they could afford other places. She decided to have a talk with the girls about it later. Now was not the time.
Cassidy shrugged, “Why not?”
Andy crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. It was a good question, why not indeed. She wasn't sure why, but Andy felt really weird being here and had a horrible sinking feeling in her guts, “I'm going to get in trouble for this aren't I?” She looked around the place, the one person that seemed to work here wasn't really paying attention. “Miranda is going to kill me for bringing you here!”
Caroline waved that notion away even as she spoke to Allison on the phone. “Relax... Mom won't do anything to you.”
“Says you!?” She dropped her arms to her sides, “I don't want Miranda angry at me... for anything, ever!”
“Easy Andy,” Cassidy glanced at her sister for a moment, Andy was really worried, Cassidy could tell by the tremor in the brunette's voice. “We won't be much longer. It's nearly time to go meet Mom for lunch anyway.”
With a deep breath, Andy nodded and stood back as the girls continued their treasure hunt. Caroline had put her phone away. Shaking her head, Andy watched the girls digging through the bins, although Caroline didn't seem quite as enthusiastic as before. Andy absently smeared more goop on her hands, Miranda is going to kill me.
They had almost made it through a very pleasant lunch when the subject of their morning shopping excursion was broached.
Miranda placed her fork, very precisely, next to her plate and blinked at the children. “You went, where?”
Andy pressed her lips together and swallowed hard, “Uh...”
“Oh, c'mon Mom... it was a thrift shop, they have all kinds of cool clothes really cheap!”
“You,” Cool blue eyes pinned Andrea's widened brown ones, “took them, to a thrift shop.”
“They wanted to go, Miranda.”
“Yes, Mom,” Caroline rolled her eyes, “We went to a thrift shop and it was fine.”
“Did you purchase anything?” Miranda knew there were no shopping bags in evidence when she arrived at the restaurant.
Caroline sullenly admitted, “No.”
“Good,” Miranda nodded, “At least there are no returns to deal with.”
“What?” Caroline was astounded, “You'd make us take stuff back?” She hadn't wanted to believe...
“Ro,” Cassidy tried to warn her sister, “I don't think Mom meant...”
“No, Cass,” Caroline tossed her napkin down on her plate, “Look at her, the clothes she's wearing probably cost as much as all the clothes in the whole thrift shop combined!” She went on with her rant, gesturing to the restaurant in general then to her plate, “Look at this place, this food. It's all the most expensive crap, it's not normal!” She turned hurt young eyes on their mother, Allison was right... “Why do you have to be such a snob all the time?!”
“Caroline!” Andy was almost as upset at Miranda's haughty attitude as Caroline was, but she certainly wasn't going to make a scene about it. Miranda always had reasons for her actions, “Modify...”
“No, Andrea,” Miranda held her hand up to stop Andy from speaking, but continued to look at Caroline intently. “I always encourage the girls to ask questions, otherwise how will they ever learn things they are ignorant of?” Without another word, Miranda pulled out her phone and dialed quickly. This was not the Dragon, this was the Ice Queen, “Emily, I have something to take care of this afternoon, push my schedule back at least an hour. I will be back in the office as soon as I can. That's all.” Disconnecting the call, Miranda matched her daughter's glare, “Are you finished eating?”
Caroline lowered her eyes and nodded. “Yes.”
With barely a glance at Andrea, Miranda called for the check, paid it and they all went out to the waiting car.
Andy remained quiet as Miranda gave Roy an address she didn't recognize but seemed vaguely familiar.
They were all quiet and Miranda did not speak during the ride. When the car stopped, Miranda did not wait for Roy to open the door for them. She merely exited the vehicle, leaving the door open for her family to follow. Andy was the last to enter the building and was surprised to hear Miranda calling for Emily.
With a glance that clearly requested Andrea not speak again, Miranda again asked the thin air for 'Emily'.
Andy openly gawked at the woman approaching them, this was definitely not the Emily they knew. She was pretty, but blonde, and much larger than even the size six that garnered Andy the 'fat girl' designation she'd acquired when she worked at Runway.
“I didn't know you were going to be here today, Miranda!” She gave the editor a polite air kiss which Miranda didn't seem to have any problem reciprocating. “To what do we owe the honor?”
Miranda smiled, a genuine Miranda-smile Andy noted, and gestured to the girls. “Caroline seems to think I'm a snob, because my clothes are expensive and don't come from a thrift store.”
Emily turned her attention to the embarrassed looking twin, “And what would you know about thrift stores?”
“I know they have perfectly good clothes at cheap prices,and I know that Mom doesn't want us to shop there.” Caroline was becoming angry now. It was one thing for her mom to reprimand her, but for this, stranger to do it...
Andy saw that Caroline was beginning to get angry and stepped in. She put her arm around Caroline's shoulders but looked around and spoke to the woman. “What is this place?”
Miranda answered. “Welcome to the Bottomless Closet.”
Emily nodded, “Why don't we all go into my office and we can talk.”
Miranda agreed and ushered the girls into the woman's office.
Andy trailed behind, unsure what to think about all this. Miranda was acting very strange and Andy knew, had seen, that when Caroline had called her a snob the older woman had been hurt. She had actually heard of the Bottomless Closet though and spoke to the blonde Emily. “You're in charge here?”
“Not exactly,” Emily smiled and gestured for them to sit.
“Emily is one of the founders of this organization.” Miranda informed them, “She has done many things since her tenure as my assistant at Runway twenty-three years ago.”
Andy gasped, “Emily?!” She swallowed hard, suddenly knowing. “You're the original Emily!”
The woman bowed and grinned jauntily, “At your service.” Emily laughed, and her eyes sparkled in delighted mischief, “Are you still calling your assistants Emily?”
“Why change what works?” Miranda shifted in the chair, “I would like you to explain to my daughter, what you do here.”
Nodding, Emily spoke to Caroline. It was obviously the standard p.r. statement. “The mission of Bottomless Closet is to promote economic self-sufficiency to economically disadvantaged New York City women by providing interview skills, business clothing and ongoing career development and support programs. By enhancing their self-confidence and self-esteem, we enable them to enter and succeed in the workforce and transform the vision for their lives.”
She continued, “We help approximately a hundred clients a month.”
Caroline didn't understand, but Andy did. “You help the women help themselves, by giving them clothes and teaching them how to be successful in interviews.”
“Yes,” Emily nodded, “Because many of them can't afford the bare necessities of living, much less the clothing and expenses necessary for interviews that will win them gainful employment.”
Caroline was still confused and this time spoke up, “I don't understand, what does this have to do with us shopping at a thrift store?”
Miranda bristled and Andy reached over to lay a hand on her knee before speaking to Caroline again. “I used to shop at thrift stores because that is all I could afford, now I don't have to, so I don't.”
“But... why not shop there? If the clothes are good? Why pay more for what we need?” It was simple economics to Caroline.
Miranda shifted again and Andy realized what the problem was. Caroline said 'need'. Andy asked quietly, “What do you need, Caroline?”
“Need,” Andy questioned, “What do you need?”
Caroline opened her mouth to answer, but then closed it without saying anything. She blinked as Miranda spoke quietly. “There are hundreds of thousands of people in the city that need clothing at cheap prices, because they can not afford it otherwise. Cannot afford decent clothing for themselves to wear or their children to wear to school. And by decent I mean clothing free of stains and rips.” She tried to impress that fact upon her daughter and repeated, “Because they can not afford it otherwise.”
Cassidy gasped, “But we can.”
Miranda nodded, “We can, so we do.” She pinned her daughter with a glare, “Living in a manner your income allows is not being a snob.”
“No, I guess not.” Caroline sighed and admitted, “I shouldn't have listened to Allison.”
Cassidy rolled her eyes, “Oh my god, Ro, why did you!? She's the biggest snob of all!”
“Good grief,” Cassidy was exasperated with her sister, “Allison has been all pissy ever since her Dad got knocked off the top four hundred list, and Mom gained three ranks.”
“What?” Andy didn't understand the reference.
“Forbes,” Miranda chewed out the word distastefully, “They insist on that ridiculous list.” She absently, belatedly, reprimanded her daughter. “And watch your language, Cassidy.”
The girl in question just rolled her eyes, again.
“Your Mom isn't a snob, she just understands the need for thrift stores and who needs to use them.” Emily smiled at the children, “You should be proud of her. She's actually quite active in many charities and donates money to our organization generously every year. Plus...” Emily glanced at Miranda, “her clothing donations, and the donations she talks others into are a great help to our cause, not that she allows us to advertise it.”
“Spring cleaning!” Andy exclaimed and chuckled. “I remember Nigel talking about that.”
Nodding, Miranda confirmed that ritual at Runway, “The Closet is cleared of all the older, business appropriate clothing and sent here.”
“So,” Caroline struggled with the concept, “You don't have a problem with thrift stores. You were only upset because other people need places like that, to survive, and we don't?”
Miranda relaxed slightly. Lesson learned. “Yes.”
“I can't believe you took anything Allison said seriously anyway,” Cassidy had never liked the girl, but she and Caroline had seemed like friends. “She's always been jealous of us, of Mom, now with the Forbes thing and...” Cassidy's eyes slid to Andy. “Allison has issues.”
“You're just saying that because you've never liked her.” Caroline didn't want to admit her friend was not really a friend.
“She only hangs around with us because we're in the news and she wants to be too. Did you see her playing it up to the cameras last week at the house?” Cassidy sighed, “She only tolerates me because Mark is my friend and she likes him.”
All three adults exchanged glances as the girls talked to each other.
Caroline narrowed her eyes at that, “Mark couldn't care less about Allison.”
“I know that,” Cassidy smiled at her sister, Mark likes you, “And you know that, but Allison still needs to get a clue.” She cleared her throat, “I think she only told us about the store because she wanted to tease us about 'slumming it'.”
Gritting her teeth together, Caroline nodded, “We'll see how much teasing she does this afternoon.” Their group's meeting was supposed to take place at Allison's house today. Right now though, she knew there was something she had to do. She tried not to think about the virtual stranger in the room with them as she moved to stand in front of her mom. “I'm sorry, Mom. I shouldn't have called you a snob, I should have known better.” She wanted to hug her mother, but wasn't sure if Miranda would allow it in front of Emily. Apparently she was worried for nothing.
Miranda reached out and held Caroline close, reassuring the girl and forgiving her all in one gesture.
Caroline pulled away slowly, “Why didn't you just tell me? Why bring us here?”
Miranda considered her response carefully then responded truthfully, “At first I was too angry to speak to you.”
“Had I given you a lecture in the middle of Nobu, would you have believed me?” Miranda asked, “Had I tried to speak to you about this issue in the back of the car would you have understood? Perhaps we should have returned to our luxury home for the discussion?”
“This place was more appropriate...” Caroline understood and knew her mom was right; anywhere else and she wouldn't have listened to a word. This place did what Mom always does, drove the point home.
Andy cleared her throat and spoke to Emily, “Um, would it be possible to schedule an interview with you?”
“Andrea is a reporter for The Mirror.” Miranda smiled at her fiancee, “Quite a good one.”
“Great!” Emily smiled at the young woman, “We can always use good publicity.”
Andy nodded, “I'll talk to my editor.”
“Excellent.” Emily smiled and stood. “'I'll look forward to it.”
They all stood when Miranda did, but the editor paused to produce a small packet of envelopes from her purse. She sorted through them quickly then took one, handing it to the blonde, “This is for you, Emily.” She paused, “I was going to mail it with the others, but since we're here...”
Emily looked at the envelope, her smile fading. “Wow, Miranda... I don't know what to say.”
“There is a number to call for your RSVP,” Miranda looked at the woman and spoke thoughtfully, “You were there when I became editor-in-chief of American Runway, when I became a new person.” She reached out to hold Andrea's hand and a tiny smile touched Miranda's lips, “I think it's only appropriate you should be there when I begin my journey into a life with the woman I love.”
Emily chuckled, “I never thought I'd see the day...” The woman's eyes twinkled at her former boss, “I'm glad you're finally happy.”
Twining her fingers with Andrea's, Miranda took a deep breath and nodded, “I am.”
That's where I knew this address from, the guest list...Miranda must have written her's out this morning... Andy moved a bit closer to Miranda, but spoke to Emily, “I'll be in touch about the interview.”
Nodding at that, Emily waved to the family as they exited her office. When they were gone she collapsed back into her seat and turned her amazed eyes to the invitation Miranda had given her. An invitation to Miranda Priestly's wedding... to a woman... half her age.. Emily tried to imagine that, based on her experience with Miranda as a boss, and failed miserably. Married to Miranda Priestly... With a grunt of amusement Emily thought about the young woman who was the other half of that couple, Andy Sachs, may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
“Mom?” Caroline broke the silence in the car, she swallowed hard when her mother's cool gaze landed on her, “Um... what... what happens to our old clothes, the ones we outgrow?”
Andy pressed her lips together, she knew exactly what happened to the girls' old clothes because it had been one of her duties when she worked at Runway to deliver them to their new home.
A small smile touched Miranda's lips as she answered the question, quietly, “The clothing you have outgrown is gathered and sent to Goodwill, to be sold in their Thrift Store.”
Caroline nodded and Cassidy smiled, “Cool.”
Miranda's smiled widened and she winked at her daughter, “Indeed.”
“How long has that been happening?” Caroline was a little dismayed that she hadn't known about this before.
“Since you were born.” Miranda's eyes twinkled, “You have always had an excess of clothing, when you were small you grew so fast often you didn't even wear some of the outfits you were given.” She grinned at the girls, “That changed when you became old enough to play outside, the nanny would have to change you several times a day for all the mud you acquired.”
The girls laughed and spoke in unison, “Mud wars!”
Caroline watched her mother's nostrils flare, but she didn't think it was because of the mud wars. Her own nose was twitching too and she turned to see Andy rubbing some gel on her hands. Before she could say anything about it, the car slowed and Miranda prepared to go back to work.
“I will see you at home tonight, my darlings.”
“Have a nice afternoon, Mom.”
Andy grinned at the editor, “Don't fire anyone.”
“Ha!” Blue eyes twinkled at her fiancee, “No promises on that!” That garnered her a dazzling Andy-smile and she winked before exiting the car.
Andy asked the girls, “So we have a few hours before your study group meeting, what do you want to do?” She was filled with a sense of dread as the children looked at each other for a moment then answered.
Andy narrowed her eyes at the girls and they laughed, “No trouble, Ma. We promise.” They gave Roy their destination and Andy nodded.
To be continued