Chapter 22Where A Little Skin Is Shown

The moment was so warm, but almost fogged over with confusion. Both of us kind of realized what we had just said and wondered about the implications for themselves and the other. Would I dare to say I liked her? There was just something about her, something I couldn't quite place, that made her so much more interesting than anyone else I'd ever met. There was so much I'd love to say to her, but didn't dare. I sighed deeply, noting a glance from Deirdre with a light smile on her face, maybe she felt the same as me... But it would be better not to think about that until we spoke about it. But when would that be? I closed my eyes and smiled, I always did this. Over thinking stuff and running in mental circles. I just tried to relax, let the heat of the water fill my body. Enjoying the slow cool of the water as well. To be honest, I was a little worried about the water on the floor, but I presumed that the idea was for the Maid to clean that up.

It wasn't easy for me to think that way though. I sighed again.

"It's okay." Deirdre spoke with a soft smile. It was really nice to see her skin in the soft light of the room. It looked so soft, I could almost touch it if I reached out. But I shouldn't.

My mouth just started blabbering on it's own. "I felt so silly for saying that out loud, but I was very happy that you felt the same way. I wouldn't have known what to do if you just laughed."

Deirdre giggled at this, while she still laid back. "It was a bit unexpected, but really cute." She turned her head to me. "Don't worry so much, Taran."

She took a deep breath. "I'm not completely sure why I've been so lucky. I mean, I've been found by a really nice guy that took honest care for me without asking anything in return. Most guys I've known would at least try to approach me or touch me if they did this much for me. And yet..." She smiled very lovely, a sheen in her eyes that drew me in. "... I can feel that you like me. You're very honest about it, as if you're incapable of lying."

I just looked at her dumb-struck. I've never heard anyone talk to me like that, or about me like that before. Her honesty felt like something that everyone else lacked, maybe it was that about her.

Seconds passed before I realized that I was supposed to say something. I kind of blundered my way through the next sentence. "Thank you... I just really like you."

If blushes could burn, the water would have evaporated from the tub in seconds. I couldn't believe I just said that out loud. Deirdre's face was a cavalcade of smiles as she bemusedly looked at my blush, my hesitation and, above all, my nervousness. I didn't even realize that she was also just really happy with that I'd said. What she did then surprised me even more.

She rose out of the water, slowly and very relaxed. Her movements were so calm and fluid, it was almost as if she had become part of the water, hardly making a noise at all. My eyes were fascinated by the many drops on her lovely skin, her curves, even the healthy muscles beneath her skin. Everything about her was like a mirage in front of me. She easily bent to the side to pick up the towel behind the bath on a little stool. The rustle of the fabric was all I could hear while I looked at her drying herself gently. She didn't rush or tried to dry herself particularly special, it was just a ritual very natural movements, as if I wasn't even here and she was just feeling calm, relaxed and free.

My eyes were transfixed on everything, the glistening tips of her darkened hair, the pearls of wet that adorned her nipples until the cloth took them away. Her legs and arms moving with such grace, soft skin that I would love to touch, to feel and to caress. Lips that looked sensitive and precious, begging to be kissed and eyes, though staring in the distance, were full of life. She never looked at me, she didn't need to. All my attention, all my focus was on her. It was almost as if she glowed.

"Beautiful."

Deirdre looked around with a soft smile on her face. I didn't even realize that the word had actually been spoken out loud until many seconds later. But by then the moment of blushing had already passed. It was just all nice and sweet.

"Aren't you going to get out?"

I blinked when Deirdre's voice cleared my thoughts. "Eh... Yes, maybe I should."

I wanted to get up but hesitated when I realized that my body had responded to Deirdre's beauty quite honestly. I didn't exactly want to hide it, but I did feel quite ashamed that it was... rather obvious that her body was quite appealing to me. Gathering a bit of courage, I stood up nevertheless, moving as if it didn't really matter. Deirdre smiled when she noticed it, but didn't comment. She just looked at me, as I had looked at her, while I got out of the water and moved to the towel. I felt completely calm again, it was all natural and completely alright. Both of us were, perhaps, naked, but that was no big deal. It just was. I dried myself very calmly and felt very sweet.

The world slowly got into my head again as I felt all clean and dry. "Deirdre, I think it's best if you wait inside the servant's room while I let the maid clean up here."

Deirdre nodded and walked, with nothing but the towel around her, towards the door and headed inside. I briefly wondered if I should get dressed, but decided against it for now and called the servant inside. She had been waiting outside of the door, politely, all this time. Even though I was dressed in nothing but a towel, Esmeralda didn't respond to it. She just bowed and politely stepped inside, dutifully opening the window and throwing the rest of the tub-water outside. I was slightly surprised she had the strength to lift the half-full tubs, but maybe they weren't as heavy as they looked. She walked out of the room with both the tubs, one in each hand, returning shortly with a mop, to clean up the water on the floor. All in all, it must have only taken her around five minutes.

Esmeralda bowed as she finished mopping. "Is there anything else you wished?"

I smiled. "Thank you, you still won't tell me who your master is?"

She shook her head and, to my surprise, took a few steps towards me, her hips swaying a little. "No, but I have been asked to fill your every desire tonight." To emphasise this, she really walked right up to me, touching my chest with her hand. There was still a very submissive tone to it, but it was absolutely clear what she meant.

I swallowed, I'd heard of this but I never thought I'd be at the receiving end. Lots of the rich kids boasted they had female servants that would do their every whim. I didn't think it was that sexy, I mostly just felt sorry for the servants to be guided by their masters' horribly bland imagination. Though these thoughts raced through me, I still wasn't sure what to do. Wait, that wasn't entirely true. I knew exactly what to do, it just felt so alien, somehow. It also didn't help that my skin was still very sensitive from all that just happened.

I blinked slowly and answered her. "No, that will not be needed."

The expression on her was not entirely clear to me. Part of it appeared almost disappointed, as if she'd been happy to play with me. Another part was satisfaction, as if I'd passed some test. A lot of it was amusement. I felt slightly younger than her and she seemed, somehow, amused that someone resisted her.

She bowed. "Of course, my apologies." She smiled and left, closing the door softly behind her.

Deirdre re-entered the room almost as soon as she left. She was still in her towel, which made sense as she hadn't taken any clothes with her, looking so soft and sweet. She noticed my flustered expression and giggled a little.

"What happened?"

I looked at her. "She offered herself to me, kind of."

Deirdre had a surprised expression on her face. "Why didn't you take it?"

I was dumbstruck. "Because I didn't want her..." I stopped when I heard Deirdre giggling. She didn't mean it but was teasing me in my flustered state. Despite myself I had to smile. I took a breath to calm myself down and let the fluster fade a little more. I looked back at Deirdre who was still smiling.

"You tease."