tagRomanceLacie Ch. 05

Lacie Ch. 05


Chapter 5: Lacie's Dinner

Lacie followed the girls into the dining hall, doing her best not to look timid, despite the fact that her heart seemed to be doing it's best impression of an African tribal drum. Her stomach decided to try out for the Olympic gymnastics team few moments later, flipping and jumping when Lacie saw the room before her. A single long table sat in the middle of the hall, it's sheer size dominating the space. The entire eastern wall was made of huge floor to ceiling windows, and the view of the grounds outside was spectacular in the twilight. Long stretches of green manicured grass stretched off into the darkness, a three tiered fountain sprayed water in beautiful arcs and multicolored flowerbeds sat just outside the windows, beyond the patio. A small outside dining area, complete with comfortable looking chairs, tables and chaise lounges, was accessible by sliding some of the windows aside, but it didn't seem as though dinner would be an outdoors affair, at least that night.

The hall itself was decorated with burnished oak and cherry, and the floor was covered in warm, tan colored hardwood, reminding Lacie of an old ballroom floor. A large glass chandelier provided a soft glow throughout the room, suffusing the open space with a cheery, warm feeling. A few paintings hung along the walls, lending some color to the room. The long, four foot wide table had ten place settings, a covered, white china platter placed before each chair. The table was covered by a huge lace tablecloth, colored slightly off-white. The plates all had small silver dishes covering them, like the kind Lacie knew they used to keep food warm in high class hotels. Small bowls sat just to the side of the covered plates, each containing an artistically arranged salad. Leafy greens, two perfect slices of tomato, a few dried cranberries, some crumbled almonds and a few other ingredients Lacie couldn't immediately identify all sat in the bowl. A thin layer of oil had been drizzled onto the salad, a few tiny pieces of flavoring spice visible within the glistening liquid.

Above the plate were two glasses, one tall, square and already full, the other empty, but it's inverted bulb shape told Lacie it was designed as a wine glass. The wine glass may have been empty, but the other glass had already been full for some time, Lacie noted, as she watched drops of condensation on the outside of the water glass drip down the sides. Lacie looked at the silverware, and immediately wondered why they had given her three different forks. Lacie felt Bridget's arm under hers give a slight nudge, and Lacie realized that she had stopped, forcing Bridget to do the same. Moving forward again, Lacie slid up to the table, mimicking the other girls, each of whom stood next to a chair, silently waiting for some unknown cue.

Bridget slid her arm out from under Lacie's, giving the younger girl a brief smile and nod as the gorgeous blonde moved off. Something seemed familiar about where the other girls were standing, teasing Lacie's memory, before she realized with a start that the girls were arranged by seniority, and that order also happened to be the same order they had chosen with their bedrooms upstairs. Proud of herself for grasping that small insight to her new life, Lacie smiled, looking up the length of the table. Each girl had a place setting identical to hers, though the center of the table was decorated with bunches of green and red grapes that flanked a candlestick shaped metal stand with a broad base, even though the stand was currently empty.

All of the girls stood silently, doing their best not to fidget, though anticipation was clearly written on their faces. Small, silent smiles and stifled giggles passed between them, but they all quieted immediately and snapped their eyes forward, looking over the girl standing opposite them, when a muted thud came from the far set of doors. Lacie, unsure of what to do, looked across the table, spotting Lindsey there. Lindsey stood, her arms demurely crossed in front of her waist. Her head was tilted back, displaying her black choker with the small ivory disk. Her eyes seemed focused on some point behind Lacie's head. All the other girls seemed to be holding a similar pose. Lacie did her best to mimic it, though she felt somewhat out of place, as Lacie, for some unknown reason, still did not have a choker of her own.

Slowly, the doors at the far end of the room swung towards the girls, opening as Lacie watched from the corner of her eye. A metal cart was being pushed into the room and several different wine bottles sat atop it's gleaming surface. A large, round, covered metal tray was nestled amongst the wine, and a small bouquet of flowers sat atop the tray's flat lid. Lacie, however, barely noted the existence of the cart, because what was behind the cart seemed so much more important at that moment. More accurately, who was behind the cart. Lacie felt her knees weaken again at the sight of him, and from the hushed gasps that seemed to suddenly fill the silent room, she wasn't the only one suddenly having trouble standing.

His six foot, three inch frame dominated the doorway as he stepped through. Master's broad shoulders made him look imposing and powerful. His dark hair had been gently combed, the soft brown locks seeming to beg Lacie to run her fingers through his hair. He wore black patent leather shoes, and matching pressed black slacks. A simple, thin, black leather belt was snugged around his waist, and his plain white button up shirt was tucked neatly into the hem of his slacks. His dinner jacket was tailored to fit his impressive frame, it's shape hinting at a trim, muscled chest and broad shoulders. His huge, powerful hands gently pushed the cart in front of him, maneuvering the awkward load with skill.

The thing that Lacie's eyes fixed on though, was his face. Master's face was broad, but unmarred by worry lines. In fact, as he entered the room and beheld the women in all their beauty, a dazzling, disarming smile graced his features. The skin around his eyes crinkled as well worn laugh lines creased the corners of his eyes and mouth. Lacie could tell that this man smiled a lot, and that fact made him seem all the more charming. The caring look in his eyes made him seem the most gentle man in all the world.

Pushing the cart into the middle of the hall, Master set the flowers aside before lifting the metal tray on the cart and carrying the circular covered dish to the table, setting it gently and carefully atop the broad based metal stand in the center of the table. Turning back, Master picked up several bottles of wine and placed them in various, seemingly random, places on the table. None of the girls reacted, waiting for some cue that Lacie didn't know. Finally, the cart was empty, save for a long, tiny black felt box. Picking up the box, Master walked around to the head of the table, the farthest seat from Lacie. Master set the box down carefully, then pulled out his chair and lifted his hands silently to the girls. He sat slowly, waiting as all the girls in the room stirred into movement, pulling out their own chairs before sitting silently. Master nodded once to Bridget, then lifted his elbows to the tabletop, lacing his fingers together and lowering his head.

The girls all mimicked his movements, bowing their heads for prayer. Bridget began to speak, her melodious voice filling the otherwise silent room.

"Lord, we thank you for this meal, these people and the safety and happiness we find here every day. We think you for setting aside your small piece of Heaven for us here, where we may live in peace. Thank you for this food, this company, and the opportunity to better the lives of those we care about, those people you have blessed us with by bringing us together. Thank you for the safe delivery of the newest member of our growing family into our arms, she will be cared for here and cared for in your Grace. Amen."

"Amen." Echoes of the prayer faded around the room, as a deep masculine tone danced under the higher, melodious pitch of the assembled women, Master's soothing voice sent wonderful chills down Lacie's spine. Blinking away the mist that filled her eyes at the conclusion of Bridget's prayer, Lacie smiled at Lindsey as conversation seemed to pop out of nowhere across the entire table. Laughter and playful banter wafted through the air as Lacie pulled her salad towards herself. Nudging the girl next to her, Tatiana, Lacie pointed at her forks and the salad, a querying look on her face. Ana waggled her own salad filled fork and pointed to one of Lacie's, answering her question.

Lacie picked up the fork that Ana had indicated and took her first bite of her salad. Lacie groaned as delicious flavors danced across her tongue, her mouth seeming to rejoice in the cool, wondrous mixture of tastes. Lacie identified the Italian dressing easily, but there was a hint of raspberry to it as well. Almond slivers and dried cranberries added subtle undertones to the crunchy treat. Lacie noticed a small wedge of soft white cheese on the edge of her salad and took a small bite. Moaning in rapture, Lacie leaned back in her chair, letting the flavors mix and blend together into a delicious medley while she chewed.

Concentrating on her food, Lacie suddenly realized she had no idea when she had last eaten. It took all her willpower to keep herself from simply shoveling the delicious food into her mouth. After a few minutes the gnawing edge of her hunger was gone, though Lacie still felt like she could eat everything on the entire table in one sitting. It was then however, that Ana and Lindsey began tossing innocent questions at her, sating their long confined curiosity about Lacie and her past. Soon, Claire, Marie, Tara and Callie were involved, all chatting with Lacie as they ate, acting as if they'd known her forever. The camaraderie soothed the last of Lacie's discordant nerves, finally allowing the nervous brunette to relax, letting some of her natural playfulness shine through.

Bridget, Heather and Master all held themselves apart, discussing other things between themselves. Finally, everyone had finished their salads, and Master traded his empty salad bowl for his covered platter. There was a clattering of noise around the table as everyone else followed suit. A veritable eruption of steam wafted up into Lacie's face when she lifted the tray's cover away. The wondrous aromas made her mouth water as she beheld her plate in awe. Lacie absently felt someone take her platter's lid from her hand, but she didn't see who it was. Lacie was too absorbed in looking at the luxurious meal before her. A large baked chicken breast sat atop aromatic rice, both covered in a thick, creamy, tan and white gravy. Four asparagus spears, each one dripping butter, lay along one side of her plate, more gravy lightly drizzled across their stalks. A small sprig of parsley lay atop the chicken breast, and a small slice of lemon sat at one edge of her plate, next to a warm, soft bread roll. A chorus of "ooh"s and "aah"s sprang from the delighted women at the sight of the decadent meal.

Ana reached over and placed the next fork in Lacie's dumbfounded hand, giggling slightly as she did. The Russian girl's laughter broke Lacie from her reverie, making her blush slightly as she grinned at the foreign girl. Lifting her silverware, Lacie began to cut into her chicken, amazed and humbled. 'This is probably the nicest meal I've ever had!' Lacie thought. Her knife sliced through the juicy meat with ease, allowing Lacie her first perfectly cooked bite. It was absolute bliss. Moaning to the ceiling, Lacie voiced her approval of Master's cooking skill. Looking back down, Lacie saw Lindsey pouring a small glass of wine for herself. The sparkling white alcohol seemed innocent enough, and when Lacie asked for some, Lindsey happily poured Lacie a glass.

Sipping the sweet wine gently, Lacie found it to be a wonderful compliment to her dinner. Smiling her thanks at Lindsey, Lacie turned back to her plate and began to eat. Conversation had ceased for the most part, due to the hot, delicious food. Minutes passed where the only sounds were silverware scraping plates and rapturous moans. Occasionally there was a whispered request to pass some item or another. Lacie was in heaven. The flavors dancing across her taste buds put everything else Lacie had ever eaten to absolute shame. Lacie looked and felt more beautiful and happy in that moment than in her entire life. When she said as much to the other girls, they shared knowing looks, remembering that feeling themselves. Claire cut in with a joke, making all the girls laugh. Lacie never remembered exactly what Claire had said, the wine having already had a small effect on her. She did know that it was something to the effect of, "And you haven't even had dessert yet!"

Slowly, the sounds of people enjoying a meal together slowed as plates were cleaned and pushed away. Conversation started up again, and the wine seemed to flow a little more freely. Laughter echoed throughout the hall as the newer girls traded stories and anecdotes. Master seemed to be taking his time with his own dinner, stretching it out for some reason. Finally, however, even he finished eating. Gently leaning back and wiping his mouth with his napkin, he looked up at his girls. Holding up his hand, he patiently waited for a few moments while they all slowly quieted. The soft thrum of his deep voice seemed to sink into Lacie's body, soothing and relaxing her, a gentle tone audible in his words as he spoke to the assembled girls.

"Tonight is a celebration. Tonight, we welcome a new sister for all of you into this house. She has conducted herself with grace and courtesy tonight, and she is as radiant as any woman I have ever seen." A warm smile graced his features as he looked directly at the suddenly furiously embarrassed and blushing Lacie.

"However, before we finish off our meal and head to our rest, I do have one more thing I would like to say." As Master spoke, he stood, picking up the all but forgotten felt box that Lacie had seen earlier. Walking around the perimeter of the table, Master stopped directly behind Lacie and lifted away her plate, laying the long box in it's place. Setting her plate to the side, Master placed his big, warm hands on Lacie's shoulders. The gentle touch was feather light, as if he feared hurting her. Lacie felt his lips gently press the top of her head as he stood behind her and whispered, seeming to speak to her alone.

"Welcome Home."

As he stood behind her and whispered, Lacie reached out with trembling hands and opened the jewelry box, revealing a black lace choker inside, a small circle of ivory on one end. Lacie's hands flew to her mouth at the simple piece of jewelry. Somehow she knew that this necklace was far more than just jewelry. All of Master's women had one. It was a symbol of his acceptance of her. A wordless pledge that he would keep her safe, care for her, love her if she wished, help her without question or judgment. Gently reaching out, Lacie slowly lifted the choker from the box, wanting nothing more than to have it resting around her neck. Lacie knew that in her whole life, nothing had ever seemed more right. She got it halfway before warm, gentle hands enfolded hers, gently lifting the choker away. Lacie felt a shudder of happiness ripple down her spine as she realized his powerful arms were wrapped, ever so gently, around her body.

"Allow me."

Tilting her head forward, Lacie allowed her Master to fasten both ends of the choker together around her neck, the tight necklace locking shut once he closed the clasps hidden behind the ivory. It fit perfectly. Gently sliding the lace around, Lacie positioned the small white disk over her throat, her fingers tracing the edge of the smooth decoration. Lacie could scarcely believe her fortune, her luck. Fighting back tears for the umpteenth time that day, Lacie looked up at the girls with whom she now belonged and smiled. Thunderous applause and cheers erupted from the table as the other girls fought back tears as well. Everyone seemed to be smiling and laughing, choruses of welcome resounded in Lacie's ears.

Sitting back down in his chair, Master held up his hands, smiling while calling for silence once again.

"Well, now that that little piece of ceremony is out of the way, I do believe we still have dessert to finish. Marie, if you would please." Master waved one hand to the young Hispanic woman, gesturing for her to take the lid off the tray atop the stand in the middle of the table. Lacie stroked the ivory circle adorning her throat as she watched Marie lift the lid away. Despite having just eaten a huge meal, Lacie knew there was no way she could resist the dessert that had just been unveiled. A creamy white cheesecake sat in the center of the table, thick drizzles of chocolate decorated the top, and fresh raspberries seemed to infuse the decadent cake.

Already sliced, the cake was soon placed on plates hidden within the cart and passed out to the diners. Lacie flushed again when Heather raised her half empty wine glass, the gorgeous redhead offering a toast.

"To our new sister, Lacie!"

"To Lacie!" The other diners chorused, laughter breaking through their cheers at the sight of the young girl blushing yet again.

Waving at them to quiet down, Lacie smiled and rubbed her cheeks. She wasn't if sure she'd ever stop blushing, or smiling. Finally, everyone quieted and sat back down, slowly enjoying the final course of their decadent meal The cheesecake was soft and cool, while the raspberries added a tangy zip, complementing the smooth, rich chocolate well. Lacie's slice was gone long before she wanted it to be, but she decided not to ask for another. Sitting back, Lacie felt full, warm and contented. The wine she had consumed was making her drowsy, leaving her relaxed and smiling. Conversation continued for a while, but all too soon, Master excused himself, giving the excuse of an early morning to quietly slip away, leaving the rest of the evening to the girls. Lacie sat and chatted, but after finishing another glass of wine, she soon felt the room begin to gently spin. The odd sensation was far from unpleasant, but Lacie's exhaustion was swiftly making her eyelids droop heavily.

One by one, the girls slipped away to their beds. About half the group had left, leaving Bridget, Lacie, Heather and Claire in the dining hall. Bridget excused herself and slowly made her way around to Lacie, finding the brunette girl half asleep in her chair. Gently coaxing Lacie to her feet, Bridget helped the new girl through the mansion and up to the bedrooms. The older girl pulling her along, Bridget and Lacie slowly washed off their makeup before slipping out of their dresses and drunkenly sliding into Bridget's warm, fluffy bed.

Bridget's gentle, even breathing gave testament that she was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillows. Lacie lay there, thinking about her day, as the fingers on her right hand gently traced the outline of the ivory coin decorating her choker. Clad only in her panties and the new necklace, Lacie drifted off to sleep, a smile on her face as her fingers still sleepily stroked her choker.

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