The Highwayman Chapter 2: Upstairs, Downstairs


She was a new hire and was already terrified of him. Good, that was part of his job. He was taking her through the mansion, introducing her to the various servants living and working below stairs. As he understood it, this would be her first position in a house. She would hopefully be a quick study. Hand picked by the Lady herself no less; he would be certain to keep this to himself; favourites always received the coldest of welcomes. He also made sure she was aware of this, the last thing he needed was quarrels among the staff, what was her name again?”Angelica, M’lord.”He corrected her reproachfully, and delighted in seeing her cringe. He was not a lord, not a sir, he was a servant, just like herself, he was Mr. Bradley, and he was the head butler in this house. Mr. Bradley had a military background and kept a tight hold of the discipline of the house. Of this, he informed the girl. They moved through the kitchen and he introduced her to the cook. She was a plump woman in her mid to late forties with an air of command though her smile for Angelica was warm and welcoming. Angelica thought she was quite beautiful when she smiled. She quickly reprimanded herself for this thought.”This is where the staff will eat, promptly at six O’Clock, is that not true Missus Porter?”The woman nodded respectfully to Mr. Bradley, as one commander acknowledging another. Angelica was certain she had also winked at Mr. Bradley rather coquettishly before barking out an order to a scullery maid. There were now an even dozen staff working in the house with the addition of Angelica As they moved from the kitchen, Mr. Bradley made sure that Angelica noted where she was and how to return to the kitchen. He also paused to highlight some of the more important or interesting paintings and statues that adorned her new employer’s home a home she would share. Angelica could not retain any of this information and only nodded quietly feeling very small. At the end of a long corridor, he stopped in front of an ornate door and turned to her.”You are to enter the Lady’s chamber and attend to her now.”She looked up into his face with an expression of terror. Mr. Bradley was stern but the kindness he had shown her Beşevler escort bayan in the last hour was more than any man had ever shown her in her entire nineteen years. Casting a quick glance from side to side, Mr. Bradley took her hands in his and lowered himself until his eyes were level with hers. She had not seen how handsome he was until the mask of etiquette was removed. Again she reproached herself for such thoughts. He looked into her eyes and spoke in a whisper.”The Lady of this house is kind and understanding. She chose you not for your experience but for the merit of your person. You have nothing to fear. You are not her slave, my dear, you are her servant and to serve is a noble pursuit.”With that momentary lapse of protocol finished with, Mr. Bradley stood back up to his full height, stiffened his back, and knocked at the door. In the kindness of his words and eyes, Angelica found the courage she needed though she had to once again quickly banish the thoughts that began to form in her mind.”You will go in now.”She entered the Lady’s chamber. She could not drink it all in; there was simply too much to look at, too much begging to be seen. The bed dominated the room. Angelica had never seen such a bed. Beautifully carved posts held deep scarlet curtains. She fought the urge to simply lose herself in the luxury of it all. Her eyes wandered across gilded statues, paintings, and books. She had never seen so many books, every wall of the room had bookshelves. Her eyes wide, she tried to take everything in until she saw the bath and the woman lying in it watching her. The droplets of water on her milky skin shone like diamonds as they reflected the light pouring through a large bay window. Her hair hung in ringlets over her shoulders and down to her full breasts. She quickly cast her eyes to the floor as the woman smiled. She blushed hard and tried to remember the prayer the priests had taught her to keep the evil that was her body and mind in check.”Do you read, Angelica?”Her eyes glued to the floor she tried to steady her voice and the pounding of her heart.”O… only a little, M… M’Lady.”This was true; she had learned Escort Çankaya to read from her mother who had been taught by the nuns. Though she had not had much opportunity to read recently.”A little is good for now though we shall have to improve on that. Now come closer, into the light, I want to get a better look at you.”She moved forward, as if being dragged. Her eyes remained downcast; she did not want the temptation of seeing any more of M’Lady’s body than she already had. She had prayed that employment and honest labour would rid her of the evil thoughts. She stood in the light of the window less than a foot away from the bath. She wanted to look up; she longed to look upon her beauty. But she must not! The priest had said it was the devil’s work within her weak body and mind. That she would burn in Hell. She had to punish herself for these thoughts, she had been punished so many times… She felt the lady’s fingertips caress her cheek and then gently lift her chin. She was so beautiful. Why could she not stop herself from trembling like a leaf? Just as the first day she had met her, could that only have been yesterday? So much had happened since then…”Eyes as beautiful as yours were not meant for the floor, my dear. Besides, how will you ever find me my dressing gown if it isn’t on the floor?”Angelica drank in those dark eyes and felt the evil within her grow. “It is right there.”Angelica followed M’Lady’s pointing finger and quickly moved to take the dressing gown in her hands. It was soft and warmed from where it had lain in the sun. As she turned back with the robe in hand, M’Lady stood up. Angelica froze, holding out the robe with trembling hands. Trying not to stare at her, trying to keep her eyes cast down but she could not tear her eyes from her body, glistening in the sunlight. What she felt was wrong. She knew that. She had the lesson beaten into her repeatedly. If this kind Lady found out, she would certainly be back in the workhouse where she had found her. She knew that she needed to have these impure thoughts beaten from her just as the priest had said. A soft touch on her cheek snapped her back to the present. The Cebeci escort Lady had caught the tear that had fallen unnoticed. She tilted her head up, and her dark eyes were gentle and calming. She let herself drown in those eyes. It was more than she could stand, more tears started to fall. The Lady stepped into her robe and led Angelica to a chair a moment before all the strength left her. “Angelica, I know what you are feeling and why you try to fight it. It is the reason I picked you for this position within my house. I know of your past and the horrors you have lived through. I would give all that I have and more to be able to erase your past, though I intend to do everything within my power to ensure you a comfortable future.”Angelica looked up at her through the blur of tears not comprehending. The Lady wiped the tears from her eyes with the cuff of her dressing gown and gently kissed her cheeks. She blushed deeply and felt the heat travel through her entire body. She took Angelica by the hands and helped her stand. She brushed the stray hairs from her face and cupped her cheek in her palm. She leaned in and gently kissed her lips. Angelica thought she was dying. The pain that coursed through her body, the ache that kiss caused was unbearable, but all she wanted was more. And M’Lady seemed more than willing to grant her wish. The kiss deepened, she could feel M’Lady’s lips part as she gently pulled on her lower lip. She felt hot, feverish; she was sure she would die. M’Lady pulled away from the kiss leaving Angelica gasping. The robe fell to the ground. “Do you find me beautiful, Angelica?”Angelica could no longer look away; she looked into those beautiful dark eyes. Then, despite herself, her eyes strayed over the whole of M’Lady’s body. The soft curls of her hair, her full lips, her full breasts, her milk-white arms, delicate hands. Her breathing became faster as she looked back into M’Lady’s beautiful face. “Yes, M’Lady, I do.”M’Lady put her arms around her and kissed her again. The scarf was loosened from her hair, and she felt M’Lady run her fingers through it, sending chills all over her body making her nipples push through her blouse. The mix of chills and fever made her gasp. She stood unmoving as though in a dream as M’Lady removed her clothes. The air in the room was warm but every touch, every caress made her shiver more. Every hair of her body stood on end, her nipples ached.She stood back from Angelica who tried to hide herself and look away in shame. 

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