I had worked in the house of Master Elrick for almost six months, when he came calling one night. For sixteen years, I had lived in a small village, where there were no servants. The people were quite simple, and helped one another during times of need. I was not accustomed to such a life. Our town was just as poor as it was simple. My father eventually found it hard to make a living in our area. Miss Eleanor, Master Elrick's head Servant, had passed through our village one summer day. It seemed that by fate, she had taken notice to me. Very determinedly, she had offered to have money sent to my father monthly, should he allow me to leave and work in estate of Master Elrick.
My father would have refused, but I convinced him otherwise. The money helped dearly for my poor sister who could not afford the right medicines. It also helped him replace his eldest horse, with a stronger and younger one. I had at the time argued all these things, and did not fail to add that with it he could finally pay to have my older sister transported home overseas. She had been gone so long, with no way to return, and tears had fallen from my father's eyes at the mere thought of seeing her again.
It took some time to get accustomed to the nodding of one's head or the curtsying, when passing Lord Elrick or one of his own friends and family. After many scoldings and lashings, I eventually caught on to their type of behavior. I knew that my family needed the money, and determination helped see me through for their sake. I spent most of my days cleaning, but when time allowed it, I was let go to help the gardener. That was the most wonderful of times. I can remember when I had first looked upon the gardens walls. The garden was a paradise on earth, with beautiful roses, sunflowers, fountains, and mounds upon mounds of flowers that I did not recognize.
The room that I slept in was cold and at the end of the hall nearest the basement. For a time I had shared the room with Barrette, a young girl about my age. She had moved on though with her family to a place farther away, for a man much like Lord Elrick. Even after six months, I had only been forced to speak to the man two times. The first was upon my arriving at the mansion, the second was when one of the servants was sick, and I had to bring him his afternoon spirits and bread. He was a rather fine looking man, with hazel eyes, and thick brown hair. His skin was not deeply tanned, but rather 'sun kissed' for lack of better word.
I had just undressed and brushed out my tangled mess of brown hair, when the knocking rang out through the night. I had lit the candle in my room, and sat at the small desk, where Barrette's desk used to sit. My feet were bare, and my eyes heavy as they longed for sleep. My senses tingled though as fear pricked my mind at the sound. The banging continued, as Lee, Master Elrick's guard, ordered that I opened the door. Had I done something wrong?
"Coming," I called hurriedly. I grabbed a ragged green robe from beside my bed and tied it around my body. No one beside's my mother and a few women at the mansion had seen me in anything less than my gowns and dresses. Nervously, my feet padded against the floor as I hurried to the door. I prayed that I was not in trouble. My heart thudded loudly in my ears as I opened the door slowly. I stuck just my head out as a nervous smile crossed my red lips.
"Master Elrick wishes to have a word with you in his quarters," said Lee as he stood, torch in hand. My heart literally rose to my throat and I held my breath as thoughts flashed through my mind. What on earth could I have done within my six months here to make him want a word with me, especially at this time of night? I nodded and asked for a moment to gather myself. Lee nodded and ordered that I make it quick, that the Master did not like tardiness. My heart pounded in my head, the tip of my fingers, and the heels of my feet as I raced to my closet. I wondered, should I dress up in my finest gown? Should I wear something more fitting for one of my status in his home? I had but one dress that seemed almost middle class. Eleanor had bought them for all the girls three months ago, when Lord Elrick had held a party within his home. He had wanted even the servants to look their best. Part of me dared to put it on, but the other part wanted to keep it simple.
"Hurry up in there," called out Lee as he ratted his knuckles against the door. I panicked as I searched through the small drawer of my belonging. I headed to the closet, and finally I settled on a green dress that had a blue tint. Eleanor had said it was one of my best looks. It matched my green eyes at least. Hurriedly, I took my mane of brown hair and tied it back with a white ribbon at the base of my neck. It would due for now. I gazed in the cracked mirror that I had by chance managed to get a hold of, while at the market. My eyes fell to the freckles that coated my nose and cheeks all too heavily for my liking. With one last check, I tied up the laces of my dress on my back and opened the door.
"This way," barked Lee before turning and leading me down the hall. Not a servant peeked out their head to check and see what was happening. But sure enough, tomorrow I would interrogated by the other women. Gossip was one the many things about this place that I had not liked. The only sound was that of our footsteps as we walked down the silent hall. Torches hung on old stonewalls, and rugs of green and gold hung for decoration. A few paintings here and there greeted us as we passed through. I did not have to worry about bowing or curtsying to others, for most were all ready in bed. As we neared his chambers, I began to wring my dress in my hands nervously.
"Lord Elrick," said Lee with a bow after opening the door. Elrick looked up from his place near the fire, and smiled with a nod as he waved me inside. "That'll be all for the night Lee, thank you for bringing her here," said Master Elrick as he went to a table by the window to refill his wine glass.
"May I retire then for the night sir?" asked Lee as he motioned one of his men to stand outside the room for watch. Elrick did not reply at first as he took a long drink.
"Yes you may Lee. Thank you and see to it that tomorrow morning our horses are ready for our trip to the wood," he said with a grand smile. Lee nodded with his goodbyes and shut the door behind. My heart was racing now as it all sank into my chest. If Lee was retiring, then who was going to escort me back to my room?
"Come closer my dear...Sit," he offered as he motioned to the two long backed chairs facing the fireplace. Underneath them was a rug that spread underneath them and all the way out to the fire. Numbly, I walked across the room and sat down into the nearest chair. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to wear shoes. The rug beneath my feet felt so soft and warm. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. His eyes were on me as I sat silent.
"Would you like something to drink, Colma?" he asked with a smile as he filled another glass. My throat went dry at the thought. I had never drank alcohol before.
"I...Thank you, but I don't drink," I said in a soft voice as I wrung my hands together on my lap nervously. I leaned back my head and tried to breath. The chair was the most comfortable thing that I had ever sat upon. The red fabric was soft against the skin and without tare or scratch.
"Come now, you're how old?" he asked as he picked up the glass and walked over where I was sitting. His eyes shined with excitement, but my body tensed at his closeness.
"I've only been eighteen for a month now," I said as I eyed the drink nervously.
"Awe. To some you would be considered old. It is hard to believe that someone your age would have yet to taste good wine. I myself am twenty nine," he said as he held out the drink. After a moment of hesitation, I reached out and took the drink. He continued to sip his own as he walked back over to the fireplace and stared down at the roaring flames. His room was quiet large, with a canopied bed, the fireplace, a desk by the window, a walk in closet, and a bathing tub in the far corner. A picture of the mythic Goddess Alya hung in one corner. Above the fireplace hung a single bow made out of white bone.
"There's been word about the halls that someone has been sneaking food out of the kitchen," he said in a lighthearted tone as he stared down into his cup. "You wouldn't happen to know who that is would you?" he asked as his golden eyes gazed at my face. I dared not look back up at him. I forced myself to gaze down at the drink he had given me, and with a shaking hand, I took a sip. The foul drink was sweet at the first taste, but it left bitterness on the tongue.
"I...I'm sorry," I gulped as I stuttered. My mind flashed with fear as I prepared myself for the anger that was surely to come. Yes, I had taken a piece of bread here and a blanket there. It was only to help the children of the servants of another Master's home. It was always for someone else in need. Sometimes if things were to be thrown away, if they were not 'good enough' for the Master's guests, I would take it upon myself to save them for people who needed them.
"Is it also true that you've been doing this with not just food, but other things in my home? Even the flowers, you have picked and given to those who do not even live here," he barked as he straightened to his full height. The only sound was of my breathing and his heavy footsteps as he came to stand in front of me. I sat and trembled at the sound as I gazed down at the drink in my lap.
He reached down and I flinched thinking it was to lash out. Instead, he took my drink from my hands and placed in on the small table that sat between the two chairs. He sat his own down, and put out his hands wanting me to put my own in his. "Please don't be afraid. I did not call you here to scold you or hurt you," he said as he breathed deep. He was wearing no shoes, but he still wore his pants and a light tunic of dark blue. He looked god like as he stood above me with eyes glistening in the fires glow.
"But I don't understand," I said as gazed back down at my empty lap.
"Just take my hands. I promise I will explain," he said as he waited patiently. I could feel my heartbeat as it throbbed against my forehead above my left eye. My breathing quickened, and nervously I put both of my hands into his large ones. His muscles tensed as he lifted me from where I sat. My skin tingled at his touch as we now stood only inches apart.
"You my lady have done a great deal...From now own, if you should find need then you have my blessing to take what is needed to those inside of my home and outside of it...As long as you do not get too carried away," he laughed as he took my hands and brought them to his lips. A grand smile crossed his face. The smile was a mixture of pure orneriness and something that I had never seen in a man's eyes. They glowed in the firelight as he let his lips remain on the backs of my hands.
"Thank you my lord," I smiled hoping that he would let me go now. Instead, he let go of my hands, and placed his left hand upon the side of my face. He held on tightly as he stared straight into my eyes. My hands grew sweaty as I longed to break our gaze. "Please, if that is all you needed, may I return to my quarters?" I asked as I sniffed all too loudly.
"Ever since you first stepped foot onto my land," he said as if I had not even spoken. His hands felt rough on the tips, but they were gentle as they grasped the side of my face and jaw line. The two longest ones intertwined through my brown hair that had fallen out of my ribbon. I bit my bottom lip nervously as he continued to speak. "That day Eleanor showed you too me, then and there I wanted to make you mine...All this time I did not dare approach you as I waited. However, I cannot...I cannot keep away from those green eyes that are glowing as I am speaking. That smile just lights up your whole face and those freckles," he said as he leaned in closer. "I just want to kiss every one of them," he whispered as he let his lips fall to the tip of my nose. I closed my eyes for a moment as a spark shot through my body. Tension gripped at my feet as my mind said back away, but my feet were frozen from fear.
"Please sir," I said nervously as I finally took a step back. His hand held tight to my face as he followed. Of all things, I had not expected this.
"Shhh...I brought you here, because I want to make you my own," he whispered as his hand moved down my jaw line to my chin. With one swift movement, he released my chin, and took hold of my waistline as he pulled me up against his body. Tension filled my bones as I threw my hands against his chest. His body rippled against my own as he shook from what must have been excitement.
"I don't know if I'm ready," I whispered in a trembling voice as he leaned down to press his forehead against my own. His other arm wrapped around my body as he held me tight.
"Trust the master...I won't hurt you I promise," he whispered as he let his hand run up and down my back. He was tracing my spine with the tips of his fingers. His scent hit my lungs as I breathed fast. The smell was a musky mixture of man and the wine that was upon his breath and my own. My fingers dug into his tunic as I tried to push myself away. He noticed my struggle and before I could beg to be let go, he planted a firm kiss against my dry lips.
A gasp escaped my throat but was muffled by the kiss. He pressed his tender lips against my own. I had never kissed a man before, and to my surprise he was all to intoxicating. After a few seconds, I found myself closing my eyes as I leaned into his kiss. My mind screamed against my actions, but his lips were so soft against my own. His bottom lip was larger and bitable it seemed. I had heard this expression from one of the other young servant girls. She was the first to tell me about sex and the pleasure of sleeping with a man. She was the one who had first described the art of kissing. Without thinking, I slowly moved my lips downward and tugged gently on his bottom lip.
His arms tensed around my body, and before I could react, he shoved his tongue into my mouth. I gagged and he pulled his lips away from my own. A look of worry crossed his eyebrows.
"I'm sorry...I wasn't expecting you to do that," said as my cheeks turned bright red.
"Likewise, I wasn't expecting you to kiss me like you did," he laughed as he leaned back in for more. Before I could argue, his lips were on my own. My hands gripped his tunic but this time it was not to push away. His breathing suddenly increased as his lips pushed harder against my own. Once again, he pressed his tongue against my lips, but this time he was gentler to the touch. I let my lips part way and entered my mouth. I sucked hard on his tongue and pulled him even closer which seemed impossible. His hand moved farther down my back as he grasped tightly to my bodies curves.
"You're so beautiful," he moaned as he leaned back and kissed my forehead. He was shaking now as he began to rub his stubbly face against my own causing me to giggle. My laughing only encouraged him as he rubbed his stubbly cheek against my jaw. "God, I've waited for this day for so long...Please sleep with me tonight," he begged as he pressed his forehead against my own.
"Tell me this," I began as I ignored his question.
"Why me? Out of all the beautiful girls in your mansion you chose me," I said with a lick of my lips. He smiled as he rubbed his nose against my own.
"Because, you have a kind heart...You balance my own wild one. And I have a thing not only for brunette's but ah green eyed beauties. Some of those girls are way too skinny, I like a girl with curves something to hold onto late at night," he whispered as he let his hands fall to my waist as he gripped my hips and pulled me close. The heat of his body against my own caused shivers to run up my spine. I was excited but scared at the same time.
"I'm not that beautiful," I said not daring to look up at his face. He felt so warm, so comforting, and for the first time I really felt safe.
"To me you're the most beautiful...Let me show you just how beautiful you are," he laughed against my mouth as he reached back and pulled one side of my ribbon. It fell to the ground, and my unruly hair fell once again to my shoulders as it masked the sides of my face. He took both hands and grasped both sides of my face as he let his fingertips fall into my hair. He sighed deeply as he just stood there silent. Golden eyes met my own and we stood there staring at each other.
"I just need you to trust me," he sighed as he pushed his forehead back against my own.
"Please...I trust you, I, I just don't think I'm ready," I said as I tried to pull away.
"Shhh...Relax," he whispered as his right hand slowly moved down my body. He let it fall down my waist and towards the back of my body. Before I could react, his right arm scooped up my legs and picked me up off the ground. My fingers grasped his tunic, and I reached up with my right hands wound my fingers around the back of his neck as I pulled myself close.
"Please," I whimpered as his other arm held my body.
"Shhh...trust me love," he whispered as he carried me to his bed. He lay me down onto my back and leaned over top. Bright eyes stared down at me with a loving smile as he leaned down and kissed my forehead. I watched as my chest rose high and fell, and my heart beat wildly from his touch. He let his lips glide over my face and down to the tip of my chin. Then with a lustful smile, he buried his face into my neck and began to kiss gently against my warm skin. Then after a minute, I could feel the tugging of lips and teeth as he began to suck and pull on my skin. I gasped underneath him and felt my body lift off the bed out of reflex.
"Moan for me love," he whispered as he brought his lips to the front of my neck and down towards my chest. I flinched at his touch and he paused as he slowly let his lips fall closer and closer to my chest. He lifted his left hand, placed it over top of my breast, and began to rub gently. I felt my breath catch in my throat at the touch. I had never felt anything like it before. He rubbed gently as he brought his cheek to the middle of my bare chest and rubbed it gently against the skin. Something escaped my lips that I had never uttered in my entire life. Even I was surprised at my own reaction.
"That's it love breathe slowly," he whispered as he let his tongue run along my chest and the top of my breasts. After a minute of licking and sucking, he pulled me upward to where I was sitting up. His lips found my own and he began to kiss me softly as he tugged on my lips. His hands found their way to the back of my dress as he untied the laces. My left hand without thinking flew back to stop him. My mind panicked at the thought of him seeing me unclothed.
"Shhh," he said as he paused. Smiling, he stopped himself from untying my laces. Instead, he leaned back and tugged at his own tunic. Within seconds, he had pulled it from his body. His arms were not overly muscular, but that bare chest of his was broad and just the right size for holding me tight. I had seen men without their shirts on, but now it felt as if I was seeing it for the first time. His chest moved up and down as he controlled his breathing. He leaned back down and began to suck on my neck as his hands rubbed my back and eventually found their way back to the laces of my dress.
My hands pressed against his now bare chest. It was odd touching a man's chest, especially with no clothing to cover. His body was warm against my cold shaking one. His chest had hair, but it was not an overwhelming amount. I sighed as I leaned into him, and waited nervously for him to finish. After untying my laces, he stood and pulled me to my feet. My dress barely clung to my shoulders now that it was loose. His eyes met mine with a reassuring nod as he helped me pull the dress off my shoulders.