I started to write this in the hope that a publisher may be interested in it. Couldn't find anyone who was but I don't think it's all that bad! This is chapter 1. If people like it then I'll think about carrying on with the writing.
God, how she wished that money wasn't so tight nowadays! She would have liked to have spent a few more weeks looking for work. She was good at office and computer work but there were so few openings at the moment. Almost in desperation she had applied for a few less-academic positions. Most prospective employers automatically dismissed her as being over-qualified but the neat, hand-written letter that she held in her hand did not. The letter invited her to an immediate interview for a position as a lady's maid. In a short job-description it stated that her ability to think and learn would be an advantage and that wages would reflect this. Andrea had never thought of herself in such a position. Still, work was money.
Having a couple of hours before she had to go Andrea decided to spend some time getting ready to look her best. She ran a bath and lay in it for a long while, allowing the warm water to relax her and the bath oil to soak into her skin. She ran her hands over her firm body, her fingers sliding silkily as the oil lubricated her movements. Her hands glided over her neck, massaging tense muscles, then moved gradually over her full breasts, tummy and thighs. Moving back they eased the oiled water through the soft down of her pubic hair and she smiled as her fingers slid against the lips of her pussy. She lay back, enjoying the warm and sensual feelings but then, determined to focus on the task ahead, she reluctantly stepped from the bath.
Dried and perfumed she considered her wardrobe options. After some thought she settled for practical but demure; white, brief panties and matching seamless bra, skin-coloured tights and a black, square-cut dress that loosely hugged her lithe body and stopped halfway down her thighs. She looked at herself in the mirror, noting that her cleavage was evident, formed by her 36C breasts, but not too prominent. A small gold chain around her neck and open-toed shoes with two-inch heels and fine straps completed the ensemble. Checking that her shoulder-length black hair was tidy she glanced at her watch; she was ready and it was time to go.
The journey took about half an hour and she watched as flats turned into suburban houses which, in turn, gave way to hedgerows and secluded, detached properties. Reaching her destination she sat for a moment, a little awed by the large, ornate gates ahead of her and the driveway, lined by trees that meandered out of view beyond. She had pulled up by a security intercom and, pressing this, was asked her name and she watched as the gates swung silently open. Slowly she drove the car up the long driveway, catching glimpses of vast lawns and flower-beds beyond the trees. She parked to the side of a large house and stepped out to admire the well-tended gardens bordered by high hedges. She mused that her prospective employer must be well off and enjoyed a secluded existence.
The door was answered by a woman who seemed in her mid forties. She was dressed in a dress with the top cut like a bodice and the skirt of fine material ending in an irregular hem above her ankles. Her black hair was long and flowing and her face a little stern and diffident. Andrea smiled to herself as thoughts of the film character Elvira entered her head. Glamorous yet severe was the description that came to mind.
Andrea smiled. "I'm here to see Mrs Hammond," she said, "about a job?"
The woman's face softened. "That's Miss Hammond actually." she said with a small smile. "That's me."
Andrea was surprised, "I expected a housekeeper or butler to open the door." she explained.
"Oh, I only keep a very minimum of staff just to help out." she replied, "I don't like to be surrounded by too many people. Come on in and we'll talk. You're Andrea of course; that was me on the security intercom but I'm sure it makes me sound like a Dalek!"
Andrea smiled and followed her into a large sitting room.
"Coffee?" questioned the woman. A tray holding a silver set was already prepared for two. "The benefits of a long driveway;" She explained seeing Andrea's surprise. "I can have the kettle boiled by the time you've driven up! Would you pour for us?" She sat on a sofa next to the coffee table holding the service.
She watched as Andrea bent at the waist to pour the coffee. "A test!" she thought and tried not to spill a drop. She could feel the woman's eyes on her and assumed that they were judging her ability to serve. In fact Ms Hammond's eyes were travelling up the length of Andrea's legs and appreciating the round curves of her bottom as she bent.
"Milk and sugar?" asked Andrea, glancing up to see the older woman's admiring look. Ms Hammond drew her eyes slowly away from Andrea's bum. She smiled, unabashed.
"Black. Thank you." she replied and held out a graceful hand for a cup. Her arm was extended very little and Andrea had to deliver the cup, understanding that the movement let her know her place. She decided to play the part, knowing that it was this that may land her the position that she needed. "May I sit?" she asked.
"Of course, my Dear...please, sit beside me."
Andrea moved and sat on the long sofa. She faced her prospective employer with knees together and hands gently clasped on her lap. For a while they talked about Andrea's experience and her reasons for wanting the position. Ms Hammond nodded sagely, understanding the young woman's need for work and admiring the sacrifice of pride that had brought her here. They also talked about the details of the position and Andrea came to understand that her prospective employer needed not a housekeeper but a personal aide; dresser, manicurist, secretary, confidante and companion. At least it would be a job with variety!
After more than half an hour, coffee finished, Andrea felt a little easier in the woman's presence; she seemed a nice lady, gentle but firm and Andrea felt she would have no trouble working for her.
"Andrea," began Ms Hammond, " you seem very able and we seem to get along well. I would like to offer you this position..." Andrea smiled thankfully, "...and there are many benefits, but there are also certain conditions." She paused, waiting for her words to sink in and then resumed, "The position is well paid but it is also a live-in one; I do not need a maid who works from 9 until 5 and then rushes off to boyfriend and children." She smiled, knowing from their conversations that Andrea had neither at present. "I would think that this may suit you; you have no ties and I would suggest that living here would allow you to give up your flat in town and so would be an extra financial advantage as you would have to pay no rent."
Andrea's thoughts tumbled amongst feelings of sadness from having to let go the little flat that she rented in town to thoughts of the extra money that such a situation could bring.
Ms Hammond continued, "You would be required to be at my call seven days a week but " she added quickly seeing the look in Andrea's face, "I guarantee that your work will not occupy you for more than a few hours each day. I require companionship as well as the work to be done but would hope that that particular need will be one of mutual satisfaction." Andrea smiled back at her as she felt that they would get along very well. She liked this woman's firm and direct manner and she seemed to want a friend as much as a servant.
"Thank you Ms Hammond," replied Andrea, "the position sounds fine and I would love to take it if you are offering it to me." She looked hopefully at the older woman, seeing the sun glint in her dark eyes and on her moist, deep red lips. It wasn't until then that she realised how good looking her new employer was.
"One more thing." The stern tone in Ms Hammond's voice made Andrea glance up quickly. "If you take the position it will be for one, full year, you will be trained into the position by myself and..." she paused and stared hard at the other woman, "..you will always, always, call me 'Mistress'."
Money, rent free and a lady, whom she already liked, to work for. The addition of the title was neither undeserved nor inadequate. Andrea did not hesitate.
"Thank you Mistress." She replied, "I accept."
They shook hands and the deal was struck.
A few hours later Andrea was back at the flat with her suitcase lying open on the bed. Ms Hammond had said that a uniform would be provided so Andrea was choosing a few items of casual and night-wear, underwear and anything else that she felt she may need. They had discussed the logistics of moving from the flat and had decided that Andrea should bring the essentials for a week or two and, in that time, arrangements would be made to clear the flat and store the items in one of the many outhouses on Ms Hammond's property. Andrea's new Mistress had a number of contacts and seemed more than happy to arrange for the collection of her employee's belongings. The more Andrea thought over the situation the luckier she felt that had found such a considerate employer.
With her final haul of suitcase and sports bag she headed for the door. She had already packed another case and bag in the car. She stopped before leaving, looking around at her home. She felt sad to leave but excited at what would be a new and interesting challenge. Her heart was heavy with emotion; her home was her security and she loved the freedom that it allowed her. The choices of when she could get up, go to bed, what to watch on TV and what to eat. She loved the way the sun shone into her bedroom in the mornings and the way she could watch it go down from the lounge in the evenings. The colours and choice of furniture were hers and the flat stood for independence and self-expression. She felt a tear trickle down her cheek. She knew she would see it again, but only to pack a few more things or to direct the removal people. It felt like goodbye.
There was, however, another side to her emotion. Always one to seek opportunity she had, in the last few hours, felt more and more grateful to Ms Hammond. She saw her new employer as someone who seemed to care about her new charge. She seemed conscious of Andrea's feelings of leaving her flat, of how she had driven herself to the new challenge of this particular job, of her need to meet that challenge now that the decision had been made. They had talked of when Andrea would start and it was Ms Hammond who had suggested that Andrea should move in immediately. They were both aware of how Andrea would have to face the pain of parting from her known surroundings. Andrea was grateful for the direction and esteem for her Mistress was raised even higher. Her Mistress had become her lifeline and strength at this time and she vowed to herself to work as hard as she could not to disappoint the consideration that had been proffered.
As she gave her flat one last look she espied a small, metal case at the bottom of her wardrobe. A present from her sister and little used it occurred to her that the manicure set would be useful for the execution of her new duties. The case had many tools and bottles of nail-polish in many colours. A professional kit that she could put to good use for her Mistress. It would also be a kind of "thank you", a small thought that she could use to show her gratitude for her Mistresses' kindness. She moved away from the door and picked up the case. Then, suitcase in one hand, manicure case in the other and bag over her shoulder she locked the door behind her. Tears for the past still slipped down her cheeks but her smile was for the future.
She arrived back at the mansion as dusk was falling and, stepping from the car, she paused to watch the sun sink in a glorious wave of reds and oranges behind the hedgerows bordering the property. She turned as she heard footsteps approach and then a hand laid gently on her shoulder. "Beautiful isn't it?" Ms Hammond's question was answered by a nod and whispered "Yes, Mistress." as the sunset sparkled from the tear in Andrea's eye.
Ms Hammond smiled at Andrea and drew her towards her. Andrea felt herself in a strong hug against her Mistresses' body and she rested her head on the woman's shoulder as tears coursed down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Mistress." She said, feeling embarrassed by her fragility in this new situation.
"Please, my dear, don't worry." Replied Ms Hammond. "I'm sure all will be fine. It's just a very sudden and very hard break. After all, I've just enticed you to change the whole of your life in less than twelve hours! I think a few tears can be expected!" She smiled down at her new maid, understanding her fragility and enjoying the comfort that she could give. Even in this moment of tenderness though, the older woman was aware of the firm figure that she held against her, relished the ability that she had to nurture and define the lost soul. The attraction to Andrea was physical as well as mental and, in a way, though feeling sorry for the young woman, she was pleased as she felt that, with a little care and attention, she could use this to help her employee develop. Andrea, at the same time, was so glad to be held and comforted. She felt safe in her Mistresses' arms and it felt good to be pressed against her body. Fleetingly Andrea's thoughts assimilated the comfort of a mother and the care of a lover in her new employer but then, embarrassed by the random thought, she pulled away. Andrea smiled and wiped her eyes.
"I promise I shall be as right as rain as soon as I start work." She smiled. "I don't normally go to pieces when I start a new job!" They both laughed and then, despite Andrea's insistence that she should take the bags inside, they carried the suitcases into the house. Ms Hammond led the way and Andrea admired the way that her Mistresses' dress tightened against her buttocks as she climbed the stairs ahead of her. She noticed the elegant stretch of leg, perfectly balanced atop thin, high heels. "An elegant lady." Thought Andrea and determined that, as her maid, she should aim towards such perfect deportment. As she followed her Mistress along a hallway Andrea reflected on the lines of Ms Hammond's body, remembering how they felt when she was held against them. The thoughts were good ones and she wondered if her new employer had felt the same way about her. She dismissed the thought from her head. She had had several relationships with girls, preferring the sensitivity of their personalities and the softness of their bodies to those of men and so was unsurprised at her reaction to her new employer. She, was, however, very conscious of her position and, even more so, the need to keep it and fulfil her contract. She decided that anything other than a professional thought must be kept as fantasies to play with only when she was alone in bed.
They reached the room that Ms Hammond had designated to Andrea. "Your room is right next to mine." Her Mistress said. "It is so much easier if I require anything. There is a connecting door but that is for your convenience to reach me and not so that I can barge in with demands for a manicure in the middle of the night!" She smiled at Andrea who smiled back at the obviously extreme example.
As her Mistress walked around the room Andrea's eyes took in her elegant surroundings. The brightly patterned wallpaper, the two large windows, plush, velvet curtains tied back each side of each window. There were many draws in the dresser for her things, built in wardrobes with antique-pine doors. A full length mirror in the corner and a king-size double bed with a frame to match the other wooden furnishings in the room. She had expected a small room, just enough to be comfortable in and she said so to her employer.
"Well, there are many spare rooms in the house. Even this isn't the largest." Ms Hammond replied. "This used to be the guest-room but, due to the work, I thought this the best one for you. I do hope it will be alright?" The question was a little anxious, worried that her choice would not have suited the girl.
"Oh! Yes! Absolutely. I'm sorry, I was just a little over-awed. It's so unusual to find that, as an employee, I'm being so well taken care of. I guess I felt that the situation would so much "Them" and "Us". I feel like a guest rather than a servant."
"In my view that's a very out-dated idea of management." Explained Ms Hammond. "Everyone has their place in the scheme of things but I think that the happier people are then the more you will get out of them. Bear in mind that my motive has been quite selfish; I wanted you close so you are right next door. The room was free so the benefit is all mine. The only thing I needed to do was to ask Stephanie, my housekeeper, to make up the bed. You see, my dear," Ms Hammond smiled, "you are so pleased with your surroundings that your feelings to do the best job that you can for me are further enhanced. I have you at my beck and call all the time, exactly as I require. So I win on all counts!" Her smile was wide and brightened the fine features of her face. A rush of warmth flooded through Andrea and she again suppressed the physical attraction as it mixed with gratitude at her Mistresses' logic.
"Now, Andrea." Her Mistresses' voice took on a tone of command. "Your uniforms will be fitted tomorrow. I have a dressmaker who will have your size but I do insist on smartness and so they will be tailored if required. The uniforms will be ready tomorrow afternoon so that they can be worn from the day after. You will have a clean uniform for each day, one for each evening and a number of spares. Should your uniforms become marked during the day then you will change into a clean one. You will wear the uniform at all times whilst you are in the house or grounds unless otherwise instructed. Tomorrow, whilst not in uniform, I will expect smart dress." Ms Hammond paused to eye Andrea's cases. "In fact," She continued, "I should like to choose something that I consider appropriate for this evening and tomorrow once you have unpacked. Is this clear?" Her instructions, although direct, were not delivered with any abrasiveness, merely with an undisputable edge that would accept no question. It was the voice of authority that Andrea was beginning to learn and accept.
"Yes Mistress." Andrea replied, "May I ask about times when I will be required and meal-times?"
"Of course, Andrea." Ms Hammond replied, " I have, in fact, made some notes giving that information and further instructions that you should read later on." She pointed to a manila folder atop the dressing table. "For now, though, perhaps you could unpack. Dinner will be served at eight. Please come and find me at around 7.30 so that I can select some clothes for you. I shall be in the drawing room where we had coffee this morning. It's about 7pm now, does that give you enough time?"
"Yes, thank you, Mistress." Replied Andrea, "Anything that I haven't unpacked I can always finish later on."
"Excellent." Her Mistress replied, "I shall see you shortly then." She moved towards the door but, before leaving, she turned to Andrea. "I am very pleased that you are here, Andrea." She spoke softly and gently. "I think you will do very well and I do hope that your time here will be enjoyable and satisfying. Don't ever forget that employment is a mutually rewarding agreement and I hope that it will benefit you as well as benefit me." She smiled and turned to leave again but then, once again, turned back as she heard her maid's voice.
"Mistress?" She called, emotion making her voice catch again. Her head was a little lowered as though addressing a spot in front of the older woman, "Mistress. I was very unsure about applying for this job but you have made me so welcome and comfortable. I couldn't feel any happier about being here. I will try so, so hard to be exactly what you require me to be. And," She added, looking her Mistress in the eye, "I shall be very happy to try. This morning I needed this job. Now, I really want it."