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4 — Friday
Kim’s day started earlier than expected with a jolt and the odd sensation of falling into her bed. Tangled in the sheets and sweating, vivid flashes of yesterday’s activities ran like lightning through her, at once setting her mouth watering with Sylvia’s flavor and chilling her with the last words the woman had said. “You came in her.” A condemnation.
Had Kim screwed up their relationship by trying to be the maid they seemed to want? And then Rebeca entering the picture- in a hand full of hours, a wedge had been driven between the McKennas that made Kim’s entire being feel wary and indistinct. Something had been lost. Something integral to how they all fit together. She looked to her alarm clock, frowning when she saw she had another hour before it was supposed to go off. She was too awake to sleep.
“Ngh.” There was no point in getting up this early, but laying there only let her mind wander with thoughts of all the bad things that could happen to the McKennas which didn’t help anyone. So Kim did the best thing any sleep deprived writer could do: she started obsessing over the sales numbers for her projects.
What she saw in the readout surprised her. Her maid story had picked up a fair bit of sales in the last week when she wasn’t paying attention. Enough that it nearly matched the first couple of days of the wages she earned from the McKennas. Maybe not break out success, but definitely promising! It was a common enough belief that people thought writers made vast fortunes on the back of a single book, but the truth of self-publishing was usually an income spread over multiple books in a series.
Kim frowned thoughtfully. Sure, sales weren’t great but there was a market for. . . .for her experiences. “Oh boy.” She wheeled back in her chair covering her mouth and chin as she read through the earnings report again. If she had even a fraction of the success of the first story she’d released, she would have made enough to supplement her income nicely. Maybe even set herself on the path to parity with her current employment.
She could toe the line between fantasy and reality, couldn’t she? Sure she might err on the side of reality– not like anyone would believe she was an actual fetish maid for a family of well off suburbanites and their esoteric tastes, right? Kim felt a blush creeping over her face as she smiled coyly into her palm. Nobody would believe that. And it’d bring her a step closer to her dream.
It wasn’t betraying her masters’ secrecy to draw inspiration, was it?
“Mmm. . . .meow. . .” Her whisper echoed against the walls like a sacred prayer.
Bad sign number one: Elliot’s truck was gone.
Two: The chanting music Sylvia played in her studio was at full blast volume.
Three: The front door was wide open.
Kim might not have been the first person to assume the absolute worst out of life, but as she climbed out of her car window a sinking feeling punched deep into her gut. She edged her way up the steps to the patio and peeked around the lip of the doorway, scanning the hall with a sudden uncertainty. Was everyone okay? Did someone need help?
God why hadn’t she brought a phone or something?! She shouldn’t have gone in, if there was something wrong and someone was robbing the place then there was nothing she could have done but risk herself. But on the flip side of that, if someone was hurt then she had every obligation to lend a hand if she could. Kim swallowed, peeked again and eased herself in- peeking around the lip to the living room.
No signs of a struggle, no indication something was wrong. Kim’s heart thundered in her chest as she carefully shimmied her way up to Sylvia’s private studio. The door was cracked open and the radio blared from across the room, in the middle stood a new canvas with a vague outline of a tired looking child on it. But no Sylvia. Kim swallowed, pushed her way in to peek around the door.
Panic shot through Kim, her heart thudding harder than the bass drums keeping time with the chants. Shit where was Sylvia? It wasn’t like her to even leave the studio if she didn’t have to. Kim scoured the main rooms with a growing sense of dread that had her practically running for the second floor. Her heels clacked loudly all the way up. The hallway rolled out before her like the maw of some beast instead of the warmth and safety it had always offered– the doors could have hidden anything behind them.
Kim startled. Her senses bristled as she tried to zero in on the sound.
Rebeca’s room. Shit.
Kim slipped out of her heels and padded closer to the door, crouching low with an ear to the wood, already dreading what she would find. She hadn’t expected to hear laughing. Something thumped the floor.
“Ah, shit- no, no, no! Stop, in the name of the law!” Rebeca said in a boisterous tone. “Nuuuu.”
There was a moment, just one, where canlı bahis Kim considered barging in but a picture was starting to develop in her mind’s eye that had the loud music drowning out Rebeca’s noise. All the same, Kim checked the other doors. The shower was running across the hall and the master bedroom was empty– A quick check of the bathroom door showed it was locked. This was a case of battle lines being drawn.
Kim sagged against the wall breathing out a long sigh of relief while her heartbeat trailed back to normal. She was just about to get started for the day when Sylvia opened the door stark naked save for a towel wrapped around her hair. The two women startled, eying one another as strangers rather than mistress and maid.
Kim set that right as quickly as she realized what was happened, lowering her gaze and performing a quick curtsy. She had to raise her voice over the sound of the music. “Mistress McKenna, good morning.” A beat passed in silence. “May I get you something to eat or–“
“No.” Sylvia’s brown and green eyes flit towards Rebecca’s door. When they settled back on Kim her gaze hardened. She started to turn away to her room.
“Mistress?” What was she supposed to say about yesterday. Was Sylvia still upset or was it just Rebecca’s noise? How did Kim even bring that up? Dammit. “Uhm. . .”
Sylvia paused just a few feet away from her bedroom. Among the cacophony of noises her soft voice was a thunderclap. “Go home.”
Kim blinked. “Ahm- M- Mistress McKenna?” The older maid fumbled for words, trying to find the ones that would diffuse the situation. “If- If I’ve done something wrong–“
But Sylvia wasn’t hearing it, she continued to the bedroom and shut the door. Kim felt a chill run through her as she stared, not entirely sure what shqe should do. If she’d done something wrong then she deserved the chance to fix it at least, but her mistress wasn’t going to give her that opportunity, was she?
Dread lanced through the older maid, she dived for the closed door and knocked. “Mistress McKenna, I–“
“I said go.”
“Go.” The response was flat and cold.
She was supposed to obey her masters, her employers, wasn’t that what it was to be a maid? To serve promptly and properly– including obeying when she was told to leave. Kim skulked her way down to her car, gripping the steering wheel tightly when she climbed in.
She fidgeted with her cuffs, frowning while the sense of dread growing inside bloomed to a new kind of panic; was she going to be fired? Sure, Sylvia obviously didn’t like Rebeca, and maybe the thing with Elliot emptying himself into the maid might have set Sylvia on edge, but did that mean Kim needed to be fired? Maybe there was still some way to recover this and set things right between them. She hadn’t done anything wrong, dammit, and she wasn’t going to be thrown aside because Sylvia got a wild hair up her ass. . .
Maybe Kim had too much pride in herself, but someone had to. She’d worked hard for her masters and there were expectations that she was supposed to meet. She’d be damned if she was going to fail them. She plucked the keys from her armrest and started the grumbling Pontiac.
Parking the car around the side of the house wasn’t deception exactly, it was more like a form of therapy for her mistress. Kim promised herself she wasn’t doing anything technically wrong as she crept through the house doing the dusting by edging around the house like a military unit might scout enemy territory: quick, quiet and always at the fringes until there was no other option.
She worked without shoes, tucking her heels into her waistband so as to make creping through the house easier. Between her careful steps and the pounding beat of eastern drums from Sylvia’s studio, Kim served her employers as best she could. When Sylvia retreated to her studio, Kim crept upstairs and turned the bedding down, bundling it all up with the laundry. Part of Kim wanted to be ashamed, but it wasn’t just Sylvia that had to be pleased here. Elliot had a say in this too, and so far as Kim knew she was still wanted. . . Wasn’t she?
She mulled it over as the laundry ran and she paced out the radius of the cellar. Hadn’t she done what her employers wanted? Hadn’t she done everything she could to the best of her ability? Was that what this was about to Sylvia? Being wanted by her husband? Was she afraid she was being replaced by Kim and Rebeca in some kind of war for Elliot’s affections? It made some degree of sense, actually; Sylvia was possessive and territorial like the dragon, somewhere along the line Elliot had calmed that part of her. Yet here they all were, threatening to take that away.
It was easy to lose perspective when no one was there to tell you it was okay. God knew Kim had plenty of those stories. “Mmm.” She piled the laundry into a basket, but instead of delivering it like she normally would have, she stowed it for now so as not to give bahis siteleri herself away just yet. She needed a plan.
A plan to soothe a dragon. There was a novel idea. Cats were pretty well known for their ability to calm the wary mind. To make someone feel appreciated and- despite appearances to the contrary- even loved by their feline companions.
Kim’s finger traced the outline of her satin choker as she considered it.
The floorboards above continued to echo that rhythmic melody of eastern belly dance music Sylvia used to drown out Rebecca’s very existence. Subconsciously Kim picked up on the beat and worked her body into that slow shimmy that her mistress had taught her.
And suddenly it clicked. The inroad. The first step on the path to showing her mistress how much Kim appreciated her and more than that, how she might be able to help them all.
But before she could even attempt to soothe her mistress, she needed to cook dinner.
Kim edged up the stairs and braced her hands against the door, listening for signs of Sylvia. Nothing. The music was still pumping full blast, so there was plenty of cover. All she had to do was sneak to the kitchen and make dinner. She could do this. She took a quick breath and slipped out into the hall, tip toeing past Sylvia’s studio and through the living room. She darted around the arch into the kitchen and peeked. Having made it, the older catgirl maid braced her hands against the wall.
The clock above the stove said there was only forty five minutes before Elliot was due home and she needed to not be there when that happened, lest she risk Sylvia’s wrath. Kim scoured the cupboards– no wonder Sylvia was upset with her, there was hardly anything left.
“Shit.” Kim kicked herself mentally. She’d fix it later. “Brown sugar, broccli, steak. . .” Noodles, too. For want of perfect, good could still be acceptable, couldn’t it? She’d worked hard to bone up on her recipes when she’d first started this job, and now facing a shortage of food and time it seemed that time spent between porn sites wasn’t a total waste.
More like a sound investment. Kim gathered up the ingredients for some stirfry and ran through the recipe in her head as quickly as she could, preparing the entire dish and desert before she turned the burner on. A quick check Sylvia hadn’t left reassured her until she fired up the burner and the sizzling started.
Speed was the name of the game and Kim was damned fast. She fried up the steak in olive oil while simultaneously cleaning the dishes she’d used for prep. Every passing second, every beat of Sylvia’s drum made her more cognizant of the bear trap she was tap dancing on with her patent leather heels. If Sylvia caught her before she was finished, she might as well have been fired on the spot.
Five minutes before Elliot was due home. Kim mixed her stirfry together and went through what she remembered of the recipe one final time to make sure it was right. The steak was probably colder than it could have been and the noodles a bit firmer than– no. “Stop.” This was no time for second guessing herself. Forty years of second guessing herself hadn’t seen her succeed at much, she could damn well try at succeeding as a maid.
And if she didn’t, then at least she’d have failed gracefully, dammit. Kim loaded up three bowls and set the table with everything she needed in hand, making one pass smoothly to lay out the food, another for the utensils.
She was gone by the third.
Kim just started to round the corner into the hall when Sylvia’s music cut off. Shit. Her heart clenched, she looked up the stairs, to the door and to the alcove between the living room and the hall. When Sylvia’s door started to open, Kim ducked into the alcove and crouched down. There was no way she was going to stay hidden. She should’ve run–
But it was too late. Sylvia walked by the living room, stopped and looked to the dining table. She stood there with her back to Kim for a long moment, crossing her arms over her paint spattered housecoat. She glanced up briefly as if she’d catch sight of Rebeca through the floor. “Not bad.” Casually she strode over and plucked a piece of steak from one of the bowls, munching it down on her way to the kitchen proper.
Kim saw her opportunity and took it. She darted for the front door. Just in time to see Elliot making his way up the porch stairs. Her savior- except that her being there undermined Sylvia’s authority and would no doubt lead to the very same problems she was trying to prevent.
God dammit, couldn’t she do anything right? Kim grit her teeth. She could probably skitter to the back door if it came to that. Or. . .
She could ask Rebeca for help. The older maid swallowed, but there was no other way. The last thing she wanted to do was drive that wedge any deeper, but there was only so many things she could do to get out unseen. As she made her way up the stairs practically at a run her heavy tail swayed bahis şirketleri back and forth tugging the plug this way and that, bobbing and pulling. Teasing her every step of the way.
It was a wonderful nightmare. Kim’s breathing came in hard sips and short gasps as she braced her hand against the wall and crawled towards Rebeca’s room. She waited. Half panting- half patient. The moment Elliot opened the front door, Kim knocked.
“Honey, I’m home.” Elliot announced to no one in particular.
A few seconds later Rebeca cracked her door and peeked with one eye. She looked as if she’d just rolled out of bed with her hair frazzled in every direction and eyes half-lidded. With a mournful yawn she scrubbed her face and put on a polite smile.
She wasn’t about to ask why the girl was sleeping into the evening, there wasn’t time. “Sorry if you were sleeping.” Kim whispered hurriedly. “Can I ask you for a really big favor?”
“Depends,” the girl said and blinked a few times. “Does it involve heavy petting and-or questionable life choices?”
Kim frowned. “Look, it’s complicated. Uh, dinner’s ready and I’m not supposed to be here. Can you distract–” your folks? Your dad and Sylvia? The masters of the house? “–them so I can sneak out the back or something?”
The girl stared at her for a moment like she’d lost her mind. “How about you give me like ten minutes to get up. I had a charity stream all night and–“
“Please? It sucks, I know, but I need to get out of here before Sylvia realizes I didn’t leave.”
That got her attention. Rebeca perked. “Well, why didn’t you say it was an emergency.” She turned on her heel. “Yeah, gimmie a sec.” She didn’t let the door close, that immediately set Kim’s respect for her a few notches higher than it had been; without the noise, there’d be no reason to expect either master to come up. Absently, Kim watched the hall while Rebeca got dressed.
If she was caught she could have probably just told the truth; her duty to her employers demanded she didn’t leave until her chores were done. She’d bear the consequences of that choice if she absolutely had to. . . .and if not? Well, who’d be none the wiser?
Rebeca emerged a few moments later with a bright t-shirt that hugged her curves more than the oversized sweater she’d been wearing the day before- for some reason Kim caught herself sneaking a glance like a horny teenager. Stupid, but the girl was chesty for her size, something Kim hadn’t expected. She glanced away, vaguely ashamed of herself.
“Right. Signal’s gonna be ‘I like cashews.’ Then you come down the stairs and sneak out.”
With that Rebeca bounded down the stairs and hesitated at the base of them. She stood there for a good few seconds before looking up at Kim and mouthing ‘You owe me.’
Kim nodded sheepishly.
Just like that the mask was on and the performance began: “Good afternoon party peoples!”
Elliot’s voice came out strong. “Hey, kiddo. You make dinner?”
“Despite what my detractors would have you believe, I am fluent in. . . .pretty much nothing relating to food.” She disappeared into the living room and out of sight. “That smells good, though.”
“Great, so we have mysteriously appearing food now.” The young man sighed. “Why’d you send her home?”
“Send who home? Oh, your neko maid?” Rebeca paused. When she spoke again it sounded like she had something in her mouth. “Get the feelin’ she’s looking for a bell for her choker.” The silence lingered for a few beats before the girl burst into a laugh. “She had one, didn’t she?”
“Look, just– is she okay?”
“Yeah, Sylvia? What’d you do?” Rebeca tossed in.
Elliot repeated the mistress’s name again, more firmly this time. “Sylvia?”
“I sent her home.”
“I got that. Why, though?”
More silence. Eventually Elliot sighed and his heavy boots clapped the hardwood flooring as he paced a bit. “Fine, but just. . . .she’s coming back, right?” Another beat. “We talked about this.”
“That’s before you–“
“Hey, hey.” Beca piped up. “Virgin ears. I don’t care, and I could really use a bite to eat. Do we have any cashews?”
“Y- yeah.” Elliot sounded exasperated. “Yeah, give me a second.”
The poor McKennas. Kim was going to set this right and find a way to make her presence more tolerable to all parties involved. She’d undo whatever happened and set this right come hell or high watter.
A few seconds later the signal came: “I love cashews.”
Kim snuck down as fast as she could, thankful for Rebeca’s choice of sitting position. She’d arranged herself so Sylvia had to take the chair facing away from the hall, thus allowing Kim to creep by without being seen. The older woman gave a thumbs up in passing. Even if she felt anything but celebratory.
# # # #
That night Kim burned through several hours watching videos on the Internet of how proper eastern belly dancing worked. She learned how to shimmy properly and how to undulate her body as Sylvia had instructed her. Every movement reminded her of the younger woman, of those powerful hands guiding the ways in which she expected Kim to move.
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