Brandy collapsed onto her bed, an aged mattress on the floor in one corner of the illegal unit she was renting. She rolled over and buried her face in a pillow, then began to sob.
Fired. She knew it wasn’t her fault. Her manager had just been placating the customer, who had been angry that Brandy had tripped and knocked him over. At least she wasn’t being charged with assault, like he had been threatening... and she had to admit, she hadn’t exactly been the hardest worker there. It wasn’t that she couldn’t put the effort in, but it was just so hard to care about a job that barely paid enough to live as she sold her soul to retail.
She had no savings. She couldn’t even pay next month’s rent. Panic began to set in, a sinking dread that she had no options. She looked around the room she rented - just one - to see if she had anything she could sell... but she would be lucky to get $400, even if she sold everything in the room.
Sure, she had friends, but they weren’t the kind of friends she could rely on. They were work friends, the people she would repeat the same inane small chat with day after day, but nobody she actually knew. Nobody she could ask to let her sleep in their house. She doubted they would have even known her name without a name tag. She couldn’t afford a plane ticket back ‘home’ - and she preferred dying to going back there anyways.
She let out another sob. She blamed herself. It was her fault, for being lazy, stupid, selfish, and all the things her parents had called her. Had it really been worth it? Working three jobs to save enough to move away from those awful people, enough to buy a whole new wardrobe... enough to see herself in the mirror instead of a stranger.
Yeah. It was worth it.
She grabbed her purse off the floor and looked inside, through receipts and napkins, for a pair of pill bottles. Holding them up to the light, she guessed there was two weeks, being generous, left of her hormones. She could probably sell those to some desperate young kid, one like she had been, but...
“I’d rather be homeless than go without you,” she sighed to the pill bottles, and dropped them and her purse back to the floor.
She rolled onto her back, and grabbed her shoddy laptop from the plastic table that passed for her nightstand. For a moment, the screen stayed black. With a groan, she shook it a little, until finally the display flickered to life. Good. She needed a distraction. And nothing was more distracting than the internet.
The so-called ‘dark web’ barely deserved a name so ominous. Sure, there was the shit they warned you about - niche pornography, assassination requests, crypto currency for designer drugs, stolen surveillance footage of awful accidents - but a lot of that was just police stings, anyway. She scrolled through a forum, hoping to find something to distract her from the misery and fear of the future, at least for tonight.
Well, that’s... unusual. Or, more accurately, it was usual - a wanted ad. Why would someone post one of those in a place like this?
Wanted: Live-in Maid. Never worry about money again.Two rich, attractive ladies are seeking a personal maid to assist in the upkeep of their mansion.Please respond to this inquiry with your name, email, phone number, and a picture of yourself, and why you would like to work for us.NDA will be required upon acceptance of position.
It seemed far too good to be true. She scrolled down to the details, and nearly dropped the laptop in shock when she read the wage. There was no way this could be real. With that kind of money, it would only be months before she could afford surgery. She wouldn’t... well, she wouldn’t have to worry about money again.
Stop daydreaming, idiot. This wasn’t the answer to all her wildest dreams. It couldn’t be. Something like that wasn’t going to just... fall out of the sky, never mind out of the weirdest parts of the internet. This was probably just a scam. Even if the job was real - which it definitely wasn’t - and the mansion was real, and the rich women were real... the wage was almost certainly a lie. They would probably deduct the costs of living in their mansion from the wage, right? Even still... it was tempting. And she didn’t exactly have many other options.
Brandy forced herself out of bed, wincing at the horrible squeak of protest her mattress gave out. It had needed replacing for months. She walked into the ‘bathroom,’ if you could call it that. There was barely room to stand between the toilet, the cramped shower stall, and the tiny cupboard that housed all her toiletries. In the corner above the shower stall, where the wall warped a bit, there was some concerning looking mold. A scratched mirror hung on the wall above the cupboard. Looking in it, Brandy saw how red her face and eyes were, and sighed. She needed to dress up, get her face looking nice...
Her floor was a mess. Not because it was dirty - well, it was - but because there was barely any room for anything at all. That wouldn’t look good in a picture for a maid position, would it? She flipped her mattress up against the wall, and piled everything she could into the space that was made available. That left something that could be described, barely, as a suitable background. The cracked screen on her phone made taking pictures hard, but eventually it registered her tapping, and she started taking a few selfies.
It took many attempts before she managed to take a photo that seemed even halfway decent. It didn’t help that she kept seeing all the things in her face she hated, and scrapped the photo, even if the lighting was good otherwise. But eventually, she took a photo that didn’t make her heart ache. Much. She filled out the other information, and took a deep breath.
Sent. She stared at her ceiling for a while, letting her heart calm down.
“Okay. That’s enough fantasy. Let’s... try to actually find a job,” she sighed. She needed to spend the night filling out every online application she could manage, no matter how excruciatingly boring it was, before she collapsed.
She couldn’t sleep. Her life seemed hopeless. Job applications weren’t going to pan out. She knew that. The anxiety kept waking her up in a cold sweat. When the sun started to peek through her window, she gave up trying to sleep. She forced herself to get up, and try to wash off. The shower was out of hot water again. It was split between the four units their slumlord had made out of a single-family house. She didn’t mind, though. The cold water was refreshing in its own way.
Brandy took no hurry in drying off. She didn’t have anywhere to be. She sat on her bed, her brown hair still tied up in a towel - and her phone began to ring. That was unusual. Especially given that she didn’t have a job anymore. She took a look, and didn’t recognize the number. It was probably another telemarketer call. But why not humor it? If it was a job reply this quickly, maybe things would actually be okay. She tapped the ‘answer’ button.
And nothing happened.
“No, no, no, come on, you piece of junk! I need the job!” Brandy begged her damaged phone.
The phone rang again.
Brandy started to cry. Was this what would ruin her life? She pressed her finger harder and harder into the screen. On the last ring, the input finally registered.
“Yes!” Brandy cried, louder than she intended.
“Hello,” said a woman’s voice from the phone. Brandy quickly placed it by her ear.
“Yes, hi, hello, sorry!”
There was a momentary pause on the other line.
“Is this Brandy Thomasson?” The woman’s voice was curt, but maybe also a bit... tired? Brandy wasn’t sure. It belonged to someone who was a bit older, that much was clear.
“Yes, that’s me!”
“I am calling about your application. To offer you an interview. I understand this is short notice, but are you free this evening at six PM?”
“Sorry, yes, um... I applied for a lot of jobs yesterday, which... one is this for?”
“The live-in maid position.” The woman on the other end sounded... irritated, maybe? Brandy was kind of shocked that advertisement had given her any results.
“Y-yes, absolutely!” Realizing how emotional she sounded, Brandy took a second to steady her voice. “I’m looking forward to it!”
“Good. I like that enthusiasm. You will be emailed the address to go to.”
Brandy’s voice caught in her throat, surprised at the praise. “Th-thank you,” she stuttered, though she wasn’t sure it came through clearly to the woman on the other end. “Thank you,” she said again, to be certain it was heard.
“Goodbye,” the woman on the other end said, then hung up.
“Uh... bye,” Brandy said to nobody. She stared at her phone in disbelief.
Well, if I get murdered, this is how it’s gonna happen.
Nervousness twisted her stomach into knots, water tasted like dread, and she couldn’t bear the thought of eating. She’d spent the hours before having to leave trying to pluck out every errant eyebrow, checking the mirror repeatedly to guess if her makeup was presentable. Would she even have an idea if there was an issue? Her mother wasn’t around to teach her, and it wasn’t as if she had a lot of options. She used up an entire lint roller trying to make certain her ‘interview clothes’ - a button up white blouse, and black pants - were completely clear of any sign of mess. Finally, it was time to go.
The anxiety of waiting was nothing to the anxiety of travelling.
It took the last of her loose change to afford a trip on public transit. The destination was far outside of any route Brandy would normally have taken. It was so isolated from the rest of the city, she doubted she could scream for help and be heard by anyone, if this was a trap. Not that people come to help people like me, she thought bitterly.
Surprisingly, the mansion was real, and so large that Brandy couldn’t even properly take in the scale of the place. Or maybe that was her hyperfocusing thanks to the anxiety. The rest of the world faded away as she walked towards the door, exhausted from even twenty minutes spent walking with her heart beating out of her chest. She nearly tripped up the steps to the door, her body felt so distant. It was like walking in a dream.
She was standing at the door. She was staring at the door. She saw the buzzer next to the door.
“Deep breath, Brandy,” she whispered.
She hit the buzzer.
A moment passed, and a garbled, robotic voice sounded from the speaker.
“State your name and purpose.”
“Hi, um, I’m... Brandy? I’m here for a job interview?”
The door unlocked. “Come in.”
The inside was, somehow, even more incredible. It was the sort of thing Brandy had only ever seen in movies, the sort of thing she’d associate with queens and legends. Beautiful, framed art, shimmering chandeliers, gorgeous furniture. She suddenly felt ashamed. Even in her nicest outfit, she was not dressed for this place. Any of the items she was looking at probably cost more than everything she had earned in her entire life.
Holy shit, it’s real, Brandy thought in stunned fascination. Then, she realized her mouth was hanging open, and quickly closed it. There was a reception desk in front of her, with an accompanying receptionist. Brandy realized, distantly, the woman had been trying to get her attention for a while now.
“Sorry, I was just... overwhelmed,” Brandy said quickly. “What did you say?”
The woman at the desk sighed. “Please sit down. You’re early. The Mistresses will be with you when they are available.”
“Sorry, public transit, it was be early or be late, you know how it is, right?” The secretary looked up at Brandy, rolling her eyes, then made a gesture towards one of the sofas.
“Oh, right, um, okay!” Brandy tried to find the seat that looked the most unobtrusive. She was almost afraid to sit in any of them, as if her touch would ruin the expensive furniture. But she had been told to sit, and she didn’t want to seem rude, so she tried to sit just on the very edge of a seat, back straight, to look as ‘professional’ as possible. But even like this, the furniture was comfortable. What kind of furniture was comfortable to sit on like this? And as the minutes passed, she found herself sliding back, and fully enjoying how plush and soft all the cushions were. How deeply she could sink into it. It was more comfortable than even her bed by far.
Brandy didn’t want to risk falling asleep, and having ‘the Mistresses’ come upon her like that. But... it was so comfortable...
She sighed in relief as something else to focus on came into view. A pair of maids were rolling a cart with all manner of different cleaning supplies, carefully organized, into the room. They had maid outfits, but they weren’t ‘sexy’ maid outfits. Actually, they looked pretty practical. The clothes covered everything from their necks down, pressed aprons tied around their waists. The only unprofessional thing was the little bows she saw on their stockings... but it made the pair of maids look demure, almost innocent in a way. The little hats tied in their hair were adorable, too.
The pair split up and set to work, making sure everything in the immediate area was spotless. They were efficient, clearly well practiced. Was Brandy supposed to be as good as they were? Precise, elegant, and absolutely silent, they didn’t disturb a single item as they moved through the entryway, leaving behind spotless perfection.
One of the maids - one with short, vivid red hair - caught Brandy’s eye, and gave her a smile. It wasn’t just an empty ‘retail smile,’ though. This was... warm. If they liked the job well enough to smile like that, it couldn’t be such a bad place to work. Brandy smiled back. Did the redhead know what was going on? That Brandy might become a servant, just like her?
The moment passed, and the maid returned to her focused work. Soon, the two maids returned all the supplies to the cart, threw their used cloths in the bag hanging from the front, and went onto the next room.
As soon as they had left, the silence was broken by the distinctive click, clack of high heels. That had to be one of ‘the Mistresses.’ Brandy stood up and straightened out her blouse, trying frantically to look as presentable as possible. Finally, she caught her first look at her potential employer.
If this was one of the women mentioned in the advertisement, she needed to add modest to the list of qualities, because attractive was an understatement. Dressed in a well-fitting and clearly personally tailored business outfit, her dark hair tied back, without a single strand out of place. Brandy found herself swooning for a moment, before she caught herself. She always had had a weakness for authoritative looking women...
“Miss Thomasson?” the beautiful woman asked. Her voice was the same one Brandy had spoken to on the phone. She just nodded, unsure how else to reply.
“Follow me.” The lady turned around, as if assuming Brandy would follow. They walked through the mansion down a long hallway, and Brandy caught glimpses of more maids and a few butlers busying themselves. She had to have seen more than a half dozen servants in just the small bit of time she’d been there.
Brandy kept following up three flights of stairs. Again, she was struck by the sheer scale of the place. At the top, the woman looked back at her, then nodded. Brandy was breathing a little heavily, but not much. She was glad for all the time on her feet. She might have a bit more than a few extra pounds to lose, but at least she could keep up.
“Hm,” the woman nodded again. She sounded... impressed, maybe? Brandy tried not to read too much into it. She didn’t want to get her hopes up.
Finally, they walked down one last hallway, and finally into an office. The glitz and glamor of the place hadn’t worn off. If anything, it had grown even more elegant. The patterns in the tile, the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, the beautiful dark wood desk with a faceted crystal pitcher of water on top of it. Behind it, sitting in a massive armchair, was a blonde woman that somehow managed to dwarf the mansion in beauty, flipping through a novel. Her dress was gorgeous, a soft peach color with floral patterns stitched into it. She wore a beautiful tiara, with shining, multifaceted jewels set in. The outfit was the sort of thing she would have liked to wear for prom... if she had gone to prom. If she could have worn a dress to it. And if she had been worthy of wearing something so beautiful.
“Dear, this is Miss Brandy Thomasson. She is here for the maid position.”
The blonde woman nodded, setting her book down on the desk and eyeing the prospective maid with a critical eye. The other woman gestured to a chair for Brandy to sit in, then walked around to the other side of the desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out two sets of paper. Both she and the blonde woman each took one.
“Thank you for coming on such short notice. Given the nature of the position, that was, in a way, your first test,” the dark-haired woman said.
“My pleasure,” Brandy said uncertainly. The businesswoman just raised her eyes from the paper to look at Brandy, then flipped to the next page in her stack.
“Before we get too into this, I would like you to sign this non-disclosure agreement. It states that everything you hear in this interview, even if you are deemed unsuitable for the position, is to remain confidential. If this is unacceptable to you, you are free to leave now.” She slid over a piece of paper and a pen to Brandy. She skimmed the contract, and didn’t find anything unusual. Just the standard rules about what she could and couldn’t talk about.
“No, that’s absolutely fine. I’m excited to be here,” Brandy said quickly. She signed it, then pushed the paper back across the desk. The woman took it and slid it into a folder with a satisfied nod.
“Excellent. Now, I am certain you have questions. You are to hold them until I ask for them. Until I say otherwise, if I ask you a question, you are to answer with yes or no only. Do you understand?” With that, the dark-haired woman set her papers down in front of her on the desk. The blonde woman set hers down on her lap.
“Yes,” Brandy said.
The businesswoman waited a moment before continuing. “Good. This mansion that my wife and I own requires a full cleaning staff, in addition to cooks, yard workers, maintenance workers, and personal assistants. I expect the question most on your mind is ‘Why look for maids in such obscure locales, instead of hiring professionals?’” Brandy had to admit that was the question forefront on her mind. She nodded, indicating agreement while remaining silent.
The dark-haired woman seemed satisfied with that. “The primary reason would be that my wife and I see no reason we should have to hide our way of life in our own home. In the past, traditionally trained professionals have found themselves... uncomfortable with the way we do things here. I will be blunt. We live a D/s lifestyle. We have slaves - a harem, if you will - and we treat them the way we please. They have agreed to this in contracts, willingly signed. As such, you may see my wife or me engaged in all manner of activities, including sexual ones, around the house. You are expected to clean up such messes too. Let me make this perfectly clear. If you are found suitable for and accept the position, you will not be taking part in these activities. If you attempt to interfere with what we are doing to our property, you will be promptly removed. Do you understand?” Both women were looking at Brandy now. Their eyes were scanning, judging Brandy for... what? Disgust?
Brandy, for her part, was just stunned. These women were saying they owned people. Slaves. What sorts of things did these two do to them? She felt herself getting slightly hard as her imagination began to whirl. With some effort, she swallowed, trying to compose herself.
Both women let out a near-imperceptible sigh of relief, and the businesswoman continued. “After accepting the position, you will work on a 6-month contract, which we can sever at any time. That will only happen if you displease us, of course. You will be compensated well enough that we expect that unless you are idiotically irresponsible with your finances, you should be able to take care of yourself until you find other employment.”
“If you are that irresponsible, I would suggest you use some of the money to hire a financial planner,” her wife cut in.
“Indeed. I recommend doing so. If, at the end of a contract term, you may choose not to renew your time with us. In that case, we will provide severance and a letter of reference. Our letter of recommendation can hold great weight, you might find.” She stopped, pouring a glass of water from the pitcher and taking a sip. The royal woman took over smoothly.
“Do you have any questions at this time?” she asked.
“No, uh... I don’t think so, at least.”
“Excellent. Then we will continue. Firstly, do you have any experience as a maid or cleaner in the past?”
Brandy shifted in her seat, somewhat bashfully.
“No, but I -“
“‘Yes’ or ‘no’ will suffice,” the dark-haired woman chided Brandy. Her tone seemed harsher than before. The blonde woman put her hand on the knee of her wife for a moment, then continued in her place.
“That doesn’t disqualify you,” she assured Brandy, who relaxed. She hadn’t even realized she had tensed up.
“Do you have responsibilities, personal or professional, that would interfere with your service to us?” Brandy thought about her parents, and scoffed before hurriedly trying to disguise it as a cough.
“Er... N-no,” Brandy stammered. The blonde woman poured a cup of water and slid it across the desk to her, which she gladly accepted. Suddenly, she realized how much she was shaking. Taking a deep breath, she took a sip. It was less than she wanted, but she was afraid of having a coughing fit. She bowed her head respectfully in thanks, and put the glass of water back.
“Do you have any medical conditions that might interfere with your service to us? If so, please elaborate.”
“Yes, er, maybe?” Brandy said sheepishly. The Mistresses of a BDSM mansion were likely to be more progressive than some other employers, but you never could be sure... “I, um, take some medications I will need to keep up, but they shouldn’t interfere with my work.”
“Did you bring those medications with you today?” the businesswoman asked, and Brandy nodded, feeling dread setting in.
“They’re in my purse, yes.” Trying to disguise her shaking, she reached into the bag beside her and pulled out the two bottles. The blonde woman picked them up, looking at the names on them.
“Is this your entire supply?” she asked absently.
“Yes,” Brandy sighed.
She looked at Brandy with a strange expression. It seemed... softer? Understanding? This woman was hard to read. Hopefully, Brandy wasn’t just seeing what she wanted to see. The blonde woman turned the labels towards the businesswoman, who almost seemed to be annoyed at her wife for some reason.
The blonde woman handed the pills back to Brandy. “We can provide those. Don’t worry. This does not disqualify you.”
The businesswoman took over again with some irritation. “Then we are in the final phase of the interview. Once again, yes or no answers only, Miss Brandy.” She held up her paper, tapping it for emphasis. “You understand that you will live on our property, will have your own room in the servant’s wing, will be provided food, and will receive free time as designated by the Head Maid.”
The businesswoman fought a smirk for a moment. “You understand that you will be expected to follow orders, including cooking, cleaning, reading, working out, and running errands?”
“Yes, of-“ Brandy stopped herself before she said anything more than Yes. Working out seemed odd to include. Maybe they had, like, company yoga events?
“You understand that you will also be of service to our friends, guests, and co-workers?”
“Yes.” That made sense too. Seemed pretty standard for live-in staff, as long as ‘service’ meant what she thought it did. Wait... are they actually considering me? “You understand that you will witness sexual acts that may make you uncomfortable, but will be expected not to say anything or interfere in any way?”
“Do you understand that you will sign a legally binding and irrevocable contract to never discuss with anyone outside of the mansion the things you experience or see while within our employ, and that there will be legal ramifications if you violate this agreement?”
“This is the last question, and will require more than a simple yes or no. Why do you want to work for us?”
“I... Um...” Brandy took a deep breath, closing her eyes to gather her thoughts. She could just answer the obvious way, the way that usually got you a job. But something told her that the right answer was just to be honest.
“I’m desperate,” she sighed. “I need a job, or I’m going to end up on the street. You both seem... so nice, and I don’t know if I can be... good enough to deserve this... but I really, really, really want to be! I promise, I would do my very, very best working for you.” The pain of the past few days started creeping back into her voice. “I bet that living with you will be... the nicest place I have ever lived... I’d... do anything, to just be safe for a while... and there are... things I want, and I’m sure you know that I’d never be able to afford them otherwise. This job would be... well, the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The woman in the suit looked almost embarrassed at the display of emotion, and there was something in the royal woman’s eyes that Brandy couldn’t quite place. She caught the attention of her partner, and pointed at something on the paper she had, gesturing for her to lean down. Her wife leaned over to let her whisper something, then responded with another whisper. The blonde woman nodded, and both women looked back at Brandy. The businesswoman looked irritated, maybe... and resigned.
Brandy breathed in deeply, forcing herself to hold in a sob. She’d ruined it. She should have just given the expected answer. She steeled herself as the businesswoman’s mouth opened.
“You’re hired... but on a trial basis. You will start tomorrow.” That couldn’t be right. She couldn’t have heard what she just said. Brandy was sure she heard ‘You’re hired,’ and that clearly wasn’t true.
The taller woman looked at her wife for a second, clicking her tongue, then flipped through her stack of pages. She selected one and slid it on the desk over to Brandy, who just stared at it mutely. “Sign this,” the businesswoman said with exasperation. Brandy practically jumped out of her seat, she was so startled. This... was real? She had the job? She skimmed the contract, but honestly, she knew she would sign just about anything at this point. Desperation and excitement were too strong a combination. So she signed.
“Oh, thank you, M... uh. What... should I call you?” Brandy blushed as she realized she hadn’t even considered the fact that she didn’t know the names of her employers until now. “The woman at the front called you ‘the Mistresses.’”
“I am your Mistress. She is Your Highness. You may refer to us collectively as the Mistresses, if you want. If we need to speak to you - and you had best hope we do not - that is how you will address us during your trial period. You can know our names when and if we decide you’re worth keeping around.”
“Well... thank you,” Brandy sighed in relief. She glanced at the royal woman - Her Highness - who she was pretty sure was the only reason Brandy was being considered at all. Her expression was hard to read, and it almost looked as though she was seeing someone else in Brandy’s face. Brandy nodded to her with a wide, grateful smile. “Thank you.”
The blonde woman smiled. It was among the most tender smiles Brandy could ever remember seeing... which, unfortunately, wasn’t saying much. “You’re welcome, dear.”
The dark-haired woman had already stood, and was gathering the paperwork together. “Hm. I appreciate good manners, Miss Thomasson, but don’t be too quick to thank us. We will give you a month to figure things out. Consider that the trial period of your trial period. I hope you’re a fast learner.”
Brandy hoped she was too.