I stand in front of the building, hearing both Yvonne and Lady Lance talking inside, no Yvonne and my Lady. Their words are too low in volume to overhear.
Their surprise this morning, when Princess Celyz arrived without making a sound in warning, seems to have affected them because they spoke together much louder yesterday.
I lift my leg to take a step forward and enter the building but my traitorous brain engages in the exact line of thought I tried to avoid with this speculation about the reason why they would whisper.
They’re discreet because the subject of their discussion is a weird peasant that’s always a drag on the group, the weak little thing that slowed them down so much that they all got caught.
My foot drops back to the ground, frozen while my insecure, paranoiac, thoughts impede my capacity to make a decision. It wasn’t my fault.
“Hey, you’re back! Did you get lost the whole morning because you’re so small you need to jump over the spaces between pavement stones?” Yvonne doesn’t even take a pause between acknowledging my presence and picking on me.
I could have hugged her for the casual attack towards my height. I decidedly walk inside, moving forward like I never paused.
“At least my head isn’t lost in the clouds!” I reply, walking towards them and stopping a few meters away.
“Oh, Jessica already has you pegged pretty well!” Lance exclaims with a teasing smile.
I startle a tiny bit when I hear her voice, my panic and cowardice rising anew. I close my fingers in a tight fist at my side. I’ll find a moment alone with her today or tomorrow, it doesn’t need to be now.
“Of course, go ahead! Gang up on the poor, defenseless, sword-sworn bodyguard!” Yvonne abruptly brings a hand up to her chest, miming the impact of an arrow straight to the heart.
“You might not want to advertise how defenseless you are right before saying you’re a bodyguard.” I warn Yvonne with a serious tone, but my concerned expression is so poorly faked that it is obvious that it must be obvious to them both that I mean to mock her.
“You said it: her head is in the clouds. Yvonne’s priorities have always been all messed up.” Lance shakes her head sideways in disapproval several times as she speaks.
“Her mother’s theory may very well turn out to be correct after all!” I exclaim with a theatrical gasp.
“No, such, such a thing cannot be possible! Yvonne, my good friend, my old companion, tell me that it is falsehood!” Lance joins along, theatrically placing her hands over her mouth.
“This isn’t fair, you’re not supposed to be teaming up on me like that!” Yvonne protests, making an irritated frown.
“Ah, the lamentations of the slow-witted, you’ve often warned me to steer away from such things, Yvonne.” Lance piles on with a mean smirk. Yvonne must have used that line against Lance several times in the past.
“Rhhaaaaa!” Yvonne growls in frustration.
Lance and I both turn to look at each other. I notice that she is also maintaining a stern facade to conceal her victorious smile. Our eyes widen when they meet. Our carefully composed expressions break and we both explode in mirthful laughter.
Yvonne rolls her eyes exaggeratedly in derision as she patiently waits for my Lady and me to finish enjoying the humor of the moment at her expense.
My amusement drags on and I try to catch my breath by taking short inspirations in-between each of my chuckles, reflexively tapping at my chest with the flat of my hand as my laugh turns into a staccato giggle.
I take a deep breath to calm myself as one last snicker escapes me. “Aaaaah.” I let the large amount of air leave my lungs in a long contented expiration, the satisfied sound seems appropriate.
“So, what did you do this morning? Your clothes are dirty.” Yvonne asks.
“Looked around the area and then I moved my body a bit. It was relaxing to do something without my life depending on it. Can we talk about all that later?” I suggest, afraid that if we go into more detail, we will inevitably get around to what happened last night. As much as I like Yvonne, I would rather have that specific conversation alone with my Lady.
“Hum, sure. Okay. … What do you have to do other than talking right now?” She asks with curiosity. Talking is exactly what I’m trying to avoid doing.
Now to find something that I have to do… What do I have to do… Need an excuse, quickly… Right! Clothes, dirt, unclean.
“I was going to change clothes. I am a bit messy right now like you mentioned.” I feel the dryness of my mouth as I speak and it gives me another excuse. “I’m also going to try to find a well with actual water in it, I’m kind of thirsty.”
“Where are you going to find new clothes?” My Lady asks.
“You haven’t checked in that closet?” I say, pointing at it, still laying closed against the wall. I walk up to it and open its two plain doors, finding several piles of fresh clothes on shelves inside. “There you go.” I say. “My Lady.” I add softly like an after-thought.
That probably wasn’t loud enough for her to have heard, I’ll have to do better than that. I take a fresh change of clothes out of the closer before turning around and making a small smile, directly heading towards the door to get down to it before they ask any more questions.
Before Ass-face shows up. Such a good self-explanatory nickname, not that he’s ugly for a dude … well, he is ugly inside.
On my way out, I throw the brown clothes on my shoulder but keep holding the knickers in my hand because I really don’t want to accidentally drop those. I pass by a pile of six empty bowls next to the door frame, I pause, staring for a few seconds, before making a complicated sigh and walking out the door.
The few workers that I cross paths with on the way to the lavatory building we used yesterday are all heading out of the city or walking inside buildings. I look inside some of them through the windows as I pass by and find that each building has a purpose and many tools inside that the workers use.
I watch them work as I walk down the streets, sewing, woodworking, woodcarving, repairing baskets, making new ones, and so on. One of the structures with chimneys contains small forges that the workers are using to make and repair the small hand shovels that I saw being used in the mushroom pit field. How long have the Rykz been living here to have accumulated so much … wealth?
As I near the lavatory building, I stop throwing look inside the buildings I pass by. With my attention no longer scattered, I notice the sound of human steps following behind me. I throw a look over my shoulder, I find My Lady about twenty meters away. My head snaps back forward.
Wh … what? Wh … why? What do I do? Why is she following me? Is she going to join me inside? I just want to change clothes but I can’t do that with her in the room. What if she takes her clothes off?
I stop a few steps away from the lavatory’s entrance. The sudden thought turns out to be too much for my brain to process in its entirety. I remain frozen on the spot.
“Why are … why … wh …” I stumble, trying to find words. The fact that she is drawing closer and closer is not helping my brain recover, at all.
“Hey, I figured you would need help carrying one of those basins if you want to wash.” She tells me, awkwardly, stopping right behind me.
“Ok … ay. Thanks.” I answer without thinking.
No! Why did I say that?! I just wanted to change, this is ten times worse! Can I abort now? It’ll be too weird to turn around now, especially now that I agreed. Besides, I did sweat a bit this morning, but I can’t take my clothes off with her in the room!
“You, you aren’t, … You’re not going to look, right my Lady?” I ask carefully in a weak voice, still unwilling to turn around and look at her because my cheeks are beyond blushing right now, they feel so hot that I fear the heat might affect my head.
“I give you my word, I’ll stay outside with my back to the wall.” She answers. I hesitate, uncertain. Can I trust her? “I know you have good reasons to … doubt me. But I promise you that I will stay outside and not attempt to do anything other than talk.” She adds, apparently noticing my hesitation.
Why am I so easy to read?! Argh! I turn around because there is no point in trying to hide my red cheeks since she’s just too close to miss it. I might as well use it.
“Thank you, my Lady.” I answer while looking up into her light gray eyes, the red-hot blush spreading all the way up to my ears.
Her eyes seem to avoid mine, but it’s probably because she nods in agreement before walking past me and entering the lavatory. I remain outside, unsure what to do next, but Lady Lance walks back out soon after she entered with an empty copper basin held in her hands.
She heads towards the right side of the building, seeming to know where she is going. I follow her and she guides me to a water well located in the middle of a stone base of about twenty-five centimeters high. It was built right on top of the pavement.
I watch with a fuzzy feeling in my heart as my Lady places the copper basin right next to the well and starts pulling on the rope. She grabs the bucket filled with water when it reaches the same level as the edge of the well, throwing the bucket’s water into the basin.
She repeats the task three more times, up until water fills about two-thirds of the basin. I stare at her every gesture the entire time, fascinated beyond comprehension by the fact that my Lady would do such a normal, lowly thing for … for me.
“Th … thank you, my Lady, for doing this.” I tell her as she lifts the copper basin.
“This really isn’t a task that deserves such sincere thanks in return.” She replies with a smile.
We start walking back side by side towards the lavatory and she carries the basin filled with water along, effortlessly. Once inside the lavatory, I step over the small trench running through the middle to make my way to a corner.
I chose the spot because it is one of the corners joined to the wall that Lady Lance said she’s lean her back against, it would be very hard for her to see me if she did try to peek inside.
Is it too late to change my mind? I nervously wonder, but I know I won’t turn around now, it would just seem too weird, too cowardly. Maybe even insulting since my Lady gave me her word she’d respect my privacy.
As Lady Lance deposits the copper basin in the corner next to me, my cheeks blush once more. The whole situation is so … embarrassing, exciting, her very presence affects me so much when we’re both fully clothed, and now I’m going to …
I feel my lust rush at the forefront of my thoughts as I start thinking about the fact that I’ll soon be undressing so very near to where she’ll stand. That I’ll be naked and the only thing preventing her from looking, from taking advantage is her word that she won’t do anything, that she won’t look.
She already tricked me once, she could do it again, right now.
I don’t know how I feel about that. I realize. I’m so shy, afraid, at the idea that she could see the ruined state of my body right now, but I’m so very turned on by the idea of my Leomi walking in and taking advantage of my weakness.
My feelings twist and clash as my Lady leaves the lavatory. But in a very odd turn of thought, both sides of the argument agree on one thing, and one thing only. I need to shed my clothes off quickly, as soon as she walks out since I’m doing this anyway. I need to wash quickly, I mean slowly, and get dressed.
“Don’t worry, I gave you my word.” My Lady tells me as she finally walks out the door, her reaffirmed intent smooths my feelings over somewhat.
I ignore the pang of disappointment pricking at my heart and place the pile of fresh clothes that I am carrying on the edge of the nearest window. I manage to shed the dirty clothes that I am currently wearing with clumsy movements and throw them at a distance to make a pile on the ground.
Her reassuring words have calmed me enough that my lust recedes back to a corner of my mind. I take advantage of that fact and immediately kneel in front of the basin to use my hand to push water over the edge and all over my thighs.
I drench my private parts in water to quickly hide the fact that I was already wet down there long before my knickers ever came off, to cover the physical manifestation of the intense lust that I occasionally … often feel towards my Leomi.
My mind’s fantasies and delusions about our actually platonic relationship are going to cost me something irreplaceable in the future if my Lady truly has no interest in me or my body. I’d accept anything she wants us to be at this point.
Whatever she wants of me she can take, I am that desperate for her touch. What wouldn’t I give for just a single real kiss from her? I shake my head off that track before my sexual urges start affecting me too much, especially with what I have to quickly get over with now.
I grit my teeth and take a deep breath. I take care to control my actions without letting my thoughts change their course in a monumental exercise of self-control. I reach down between my thighs with my hand and rub the day’s sweat off from the creases on the inside of my thighs.
I focus on my self-control and take in a breath of air before passing the side of my palm over my most intimate parts, only enough skin contact to wipe the water off. I let the breath that I held out slowly as I proceed.
I ignore the shivers, banish the thoughts of my Lady, so close to me while my hand is in such a compromising position. What if she looks now? What would she think? What would she do? My fingers twitch and the muscles in my stomach clench.
I hurriedly pull my hand away, as fast as I would to pull it away from a raging fire. I bite my lips shut to suppress a gasp of surprise when my desires break my self-control and a shaking shiver travels upwards on my spine, originating deep within myself.
That was … I was so close to doing something that could not have gone unnoticed. Rather, something that I wouldn’t have let pass unnoticed by my Lady if I did start doing it. I almost humiliated myself.
Another shiver travels down my spine but in the opposite direction this time. A cold shiver of fear at the realization that I could have ruined everything if I succumbed to my own lust.
It could have ruined all my chances of sharing something with her if my Lady heard me pleasuring myself after she gave her word she would stay on the other side of the wall without disturbing me.
My actions would mean that I abused her word, that I took advantage of the promise she made me and turned it into a way to gratify myself. It would also mean that I lack the most basic self-control that a civilized being should maintain within society.
“So, what did you do this morning, Jessica?” My Lady asks from exactly where she promised she would be. Her voice reaches me in such a way, at such an angle, that I know her face is indeed turned away from me.
She kept her word. A long sigh of relief escapes me. She didn’t see me … wash. I don’t think anyone would be fooled if they saw me despite the fact that it is true.
“Walked up a hill, just outside of the city.” I answer, using a deliberately short sentence to make it easier to control my voice. I can’t let her hear how short my breath is, or even a tremble in my tone, because it might give her a clue about my previous state of excitement.
This fucking situation is too stressful for my heart. Wait. This whole scenario reeks of foul play. Suspicion grows in my mind, wiping away the last traces of the hazy fog of desires that my Leomi can so easily provoke with her mere presence.
My Lady helped me out before today, but never anything resembling carrying a copper basin like a servant for me. Yvonne is the one who helped me with everything so far, why would … Oh. Oh, that … that was a dick move! A cunt play! Almost literally so! Fucking! Yvonne! You vindictive little … argh!
What we did is nowhere near as bad as putting us both in this fucking situation! Well, when I say both … I’m the only one who’s suffering from this! Lady Lance is calmly asking questions like it doesn’t even bother her. I notice, somewhat depressingly. That being said, she hasn’t spoken since I answered …
“And?” Lady Lance asks. Oh, she was just waiting for me to continue, right, of course.
Being within a few meters of a naked peasant she isn’t interested in would obviously not faze her. My shoulders sag and I splash some water on my legs, lifting my right foot and calf from the floor to pass my hand over the surfaces of skin that were touching the stone. My short breath is much calmer now that I’ve cooled down.
“I watched a few groups of workers throw that nourishing dust in the lake for the Queen to absorb. I tried counting the eggs on her tendrils and then I worked a bit in the field.” I give her a quick summary of my morning.
“We’ll have to talk about that a bit later with the others.” She says with a tightness in her voice. This many Rykz would worry even her, huh. “You don’t have to work you know. They won’t make you.” She adds the short remark after a small pause.
“I know, I saw work that I could do with a single arm and decided to do it. For myself.” I stop talking to continue cleaning myself of the morning’s sweat.
I splash my head and face with some water, rubbing my eyes. I finish by washing my chest, taking care to ignore my breast’s erect nipples because it is obviously just a reaction to cold water.
I don’t put the fresh clothes on immediately because it seems obvious that I need to let the water still hanging on my body dry out first. It is the sole reason for my decision.
There was no exhilarating temptation weighing on me during the decision-making process when I made that choice, nothing has colored my clear thoughts when I make the practical choice to wash my dirty clothes while I let my body dry. While my Lady remains so close, just a wall apart.
It is most definitely not a trap that I am laying at her feet because my Lady will keep her word even when she hears me washing dirty clothes in the copper basin.
My Lady will not assume that I covered my naked body with fresh clothes once I was done with washing.
And since she won’t assume that, she won’t walk in on me, naked, as I wait for my Leomi to break her word. I mean, as I wash the dirty clothes while coincidentally naked because I need to let the water dry before putting fresh clothes on.