Chapter 4: Dinner Etiquette
I take a hot shower as soon as I can. No matter how much I rub and wash them, I can still feel the words on my skin. On my breasts. Tits. They’re called tits. I can feel the letters so clearly, almost like raw skin too sensitive to touch. I could trace them perfectly with my fingers if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. Why would I want to? I don’t want to be a slut or a goddess. I want to be me.
I look down at my chest and see the word “slut” written in soap over my right breast, but it’s upside down now, facing me. I panic and let the water rinse it off, running down my legs and thighs. My thighs that are still sticky. Washing my pussy gets distracting when I keep turning myself on every time the water runs over my lips.
But of course, that must be it. I’m too turned on. I can’t repress this or pretend I’m not horny. Carl got me all riled up last night, and I need a release. Obviously, the last and most powerful sexual encounter I had was watching June in the bathroom. That’s where my mind went. It’s a dream. Just a dream.
I need to masturbate. I need to calm myself down and settle my nerves. I feel my hand glide over my thick hips to my pussy. It’s not shaved, but I keep it trimmed. The long hairs get caught or tugged on and drive me nuts. Two fingers spread my lips and expose the clit. I start to stroke gently, slow, just how I like it.
I think about Carl on top of me last night. How I wanted him to pierce my nipples. Wouldn’t it be great if he went with me to get them pierced? But he doesn’t want that. Maybe he’ll get clamps. Yes! I imagine him putting clamps on my nipples and kissing around them while I beg for release. I can feel him hard on my lap. I take off his shirt. He’s big, strong, hairy, soft. I take his nipple in my mouth and nibble. He lets out a moan. God, I love when he moans. I love how he starts to grind on my lap, giving me a little lap dance like a slut. Carl would be such a great slut. He loves being of use. I could think of some uses. He gets louder and my nibbles turn to bites. Moans turns to screams but I don’t let go. He’s mine. He’s all mine.
I hold onto the wall of the shower and almost double over as I cum, my knees getting weak and giving out on me. My skin shivers and sends flashes of heat like waves down my arms and legs. I feel everything relax and stretch, loving the hot water and soap. Everything is loose and feels good. That’s exactly what I needed.
When I get out and towel myself off, Carl is already gone. I’m not surprised. I get dressed and start to get ready for work. Technically, I don’t need to do either: I work from home. But I tend to be more professional and procrastinate less if I’m not in pajamas with a bowl of cereal at my desk.
Breakfast is interrupted with a text from Maria:
Maria: You awake?
Maria: You okay?
Me: Yeah. Why?
Maria: You freaked out last night. I’m sorry. I think it was a little too much.
I’d completely forgotten about it. The last time we talked Reyna was eating her out. Reyna was commanding her to talk to me and doing it for me. She knew I liked it.
Me: Yeah, sorry about that.
Maria: It was my bad.
Me: Forgive and forget?
Maria: Forget what? : P
I smile. It’s something we’ve always done whenever one of us is acting like a bitch. Forgive and forget. Move on. The relationship isn’t worth it holding onto baggage.
I can move on from last night, but yesterday afternoon is a whole other thing. I still need to talk to Jace today. I still need to help Maria. Even if she is feeling amazing by being her truest slut, she doesn’t belong to Reyna.
Maria: I had a question
Me: Ask away
Maria: What are you doing tonight?
Me: I think Carl is watching some game with some team tonight
Maria: Yay sports!
Me: Yay sports! Why? Do you have plans?
Maria: I have a little favor to ask you
Me: Yes …
Maria’s favors were never little or simple.
Maria: Would you and Carl like to come over for dinner tonight?
Me: Come over to your place?
I stare at my phone. Would I like to go to Reyna’s? Absolutely not. Even if it was that room with black sheets and walls so red they looked orange. I don’t want to go there, and I definitely don’t want to bring my slut there.
But a voice inside me, the voice that I know is the better version of myself, knows this means a lot to Maria. If I keep rejecting Reyna, I may lose my best friend in the process. Will I enjoy dinner? Certainly not. Will it help heal the divide between me and Maria? Yes.
My phone vibrates again:
Maria: I know you’re nervous. That’s why we want to host you two.
Maria: Reyna feels bad for the text last night and the way she left early yesterday.
I don’t think you got to know her at all.. I want you two to get along.
Me: I want to get along with her too.
Maria: I’m sensing a but.
Me: But I’m scared of her.
Maria: She has that effect on people, but she’s not like that when you get to know her. She can be gentle and kind and supportive when you serve her.
Maria: know* her
That wasn’t a typo, Maria. I know what you meant. And I don’t want to know her like that. Not at all. I want to destroy her. But I can’t destroy her if I destroy my friendship with Maria in the process. I’ll be careful, for now.
Me: Let me talk to Carl, but I’m good for dinner tonight.
Me: Should I bring anything?
Maria: Just Carl. Reyna and I both think you’ll feel more comfortable if Carl is there.
That’s probably true.
Me: What time?
Maria: 7. I’ll send the address later.
Me: Thanks. I’ll see you then.
Maria: Yay! Bye!
I call Carl and tell him about the change in plans; I don’t ask him about it. He whines about the game with the teams, but I tell him this is important, and he gets it. I’ll make it up to him later.
After a morning of answering emails and reading through some of my clients’ new manuscripts, I head off to meet Jace for lunch. I’m nervous, but I’m also excited. Finally, there will be someone who gets what I’m going through. There needs to be someone else who understands that what’s going on with Maria is not normal. The change is too sudden.
The restaurant he picked is much nicer than the one I went to yesterday. Here they serve only local produce and meats. The menu is seasonal. All the servers are fashionable, but there are no uniforms. It’s very hip and probably way out of my price range.
The hostess asks me how many, and I tell them I’m meeting someone. They ask a name, and when I tell them, they point me to a table in the back where a person is sitting, facing away from me.
I approach nervously. The person at the table, even though it’s from behind, looks nothing like Jace. The hair is styled. The clothes are too fashionable. Jace was a total jock, like Carl, but more fit and aggressive. The man I’m walking towards looks almost ... cute.
“Jace?” I ask.
He turns around and my heart almost stops. It is Jace, but it isn’t. He has the same green eyes. The same condescending grin and mischievous eyebrows, but his face is thinner and smooth; his beard is gone. He looks less like a jackass and more like a nice guy.
“Sarah!” He says with a big grin. He stands and gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. How … European of him. I slip into the seat across from him and stare.
“I know right? Big change, huh?”
“Yeah. You could say that again.”
“Big change, huh?” he repeats. He smiles at the bad joke. This is insanity. Who the hell is this?
“What happened to you?”
“Is this because of Reyna?”
“What?” he asks, genuinely confused. “Reyna? No. Not at all.”
“Then what? Is this about Maria?”
He nods slowly, his eyes cast down. “Let me tell you, Sarah. When someone you loved, someone you thought you knew, someone you were going to marry and spend the rest of your life with breaks up with you out of the blue and comes out of the closet, there are two reactions.”
“The first is ‘whew,’” he makes an overdramatic display of wiping his forehead. “Talk about dodging a bullet! Can you imagine if we got married and then she came out? I mean, the paperwork alone would be a nightmare.”
“You’re happy she broke up with you?”
“Not at all,” he says with a smile still on his face. “I’m happy that she broke up with me when she did, long before we progressed too far. We were about to cross the point of no return, and she stopped us.”
“I guess that makes sense,” I say slowly.
“Trust me. It’s good news.”
“”You believe she’s a lesbian?”
“Of course, she is. Have you seen her with Reyna? The two are all over each other.”
“But she showed no sign of being a lesbian before.”
“That’s culture and how she was raised, honey,” he says, waving his hand dismissively (and rather effeminately). She had no room to explore that or confirm it.”
“You don’t think it was too sudden?”
“It was sudden for me; I doubt it was sudden for her. I truly believe that Maria is now being her best and truest self. She’s happy, and I’m happy for her.”
I stare at him for a while. The waiter comes to our table, a man with long hair and a t-shirt that’s intentionally lengthy, almost going to his knees. It’s a good look on him, but I shoo him away with my hand. I don’t think I’ll be staying long. I don’t think Jace is the ally I was hoping he would be. Jace peruses the menu and frequently reminds me that he’s a vegan now. It normally limits his options, but here, he feels overwhelmed with choices.
“What’s the second thing?” I ask, breaking up his delight in discovering their selection of vegan cheeses.
“Huh?” he asks.
“The second thing you feel when you find out your fiancée is a lesbian.”
“Oh, right.” He closes his menu and leans in towards me. “The second thing is, what the hell is it about me that attracted a lesbian?”
“I thought she was conditioned?”
“Well, sure, she was conditioned. But we had sex, and I’m not going to brag, but I’m pretty sure she liked it.” She did like it. Sometimes we would pretend we were sports commentators, but instead of sports it was sex, and Maria would give me the play-by-play of their sex life in detail in a hilarious voice. She loved sex with a man. Before Reyna came. “So, I think,” continues Jace, “that there was a level of attraction there. But was it my masculinity that attracted her? I don’t think so. I’ve spent my whole life pretending to be macho. I go to the gym every day and watch sports I don’t care about and drink disgusting beers with friends. I do all of this so I can feel like a man. But that’s all a lie. That’s all a charade to make me feel better about myself. And it took Maria breaking up with me for me to realize. Maria wasn’t attracted to the masculine in me. She was attracted to the feminine in me.”
“The feminine in you?” I ask with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes! I have a well of femininity in me that I repress and reject so that I can fit in. Once Reyna explained it to me, it made perfect sense.”
I freeze. I know what he said, I probably knew he was going to say it before he did, but it can’t be true. “Reyna?” I ask, my voice cracking a bit.
“Yeah. She came to me after Maria moved in with her. She wanted me to understand. It wasn’t my fault Maria was leaving. In fact, there was so much good in me, so much femininity in me, that Maria was attracted to. I needed to celebrate that and bring it out more. Plenty of women would want that from me. There are goddesses everywhere.”
I get up from the table and knock over his glass of water. He gets up too, the cold water covering his crotch. He says something. I’m sure he says something. He says something, and the beautiful waiter says something. The slutty hostess comes over with a towel. They all say something. I’m sure they do. But I can’t hear them. Everything is fuzzy. Everything is static. My vision blurs, and I start to stumble out of the restaurant. They try to help me, to hold me, but I shake them off. My vision starts to go with my hearing, but my skin is freezing. And nowhere does it freeze more than on my tits. The letters. I can feel the words frozen onto me. Slut. Goddess. Goddess.
My vision returns, and I’m at my car. The keys are in my hands, but my hands are shaking too much to use them. I use both hands, one to steady the other and one to turn the key, and unlock my car. Once inside, I scream. I scream as loud as I can. My screams turn to sobs and hot tears run down my face. I run out of breath, catch it, take a deep one, and scream more. I scream until I feel something break in my throat, something tear. My voice goes hoarse. I scream until it’s gone completely.
Once I can’t scream, I cry. I cry because I’m all alone. Maria is gone. My best friend, the one person who got me in all the world, is gone. I don’t know how long I stay there. I see people walking past my car. Some look at me and notice, most don’t. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Maria is gone. I can see shadows of her in our conversations, but more and more it feels like she’s pretending to be her former self. Reyna is making her into something different. She did so much to Jace in so little time; I can’t imagine what she’s been able to do with Maria with weeks of intimacy. I haven’t lost my Maria’s time or her company; I’ve lost Maria herself. She is being hollowed out and remade one command at a time. I can’t convince her to leave Reyna. I can’t reason with her. I have to take her. I have to take her by force if necessary. I need to pry her away from Reyna and bring her back with me so she’ll be safe. She doesn’t deserve Reyna. Reyna has June. She probably has Jace and dozens more. She doesn’t need Maria. Maria belongs to me; Maria deserves me.
I feel my fists clench and tighten on the steering wheel. She’s been taken and I’m going to get her back. I have a plan. It’s not a perfect plan, it’s not even a good plan, but it’s a start. I feel my resolve building. Reyna tried to make this about me. She wants me to decide if I’m a slut or a goddess. Well, fuck her. I’m not a slut or a goddess, I’m a pain in the ass.
Reyna can have Jace. She can have June. She could have whoever she wants. But she can’t have Maria. Maria is mine.
I’m going to that dinner tonight. I’ll go into the belly of the bitch, if for no other reason than to show her I’m not scared of her. She isn’t a goddess. She isn’t’ my goddess. She’s nothing.
“Wow,” says Carl, looking up at the beautiful house, or rather, mansion. We’re standing at the end of the long driveway that cuts through the plush and vibrant estate that belongs to Reyna. Must be nice to be rich.
“Yeah,” I say, my voice is barely more than a whisper.
“Wonder what she does for a living.”
“You should ask her,” I say bitterly. It comes out more as a scratch, and I’d be surprised if Carl understands it at all. There’s no way this house is paid for by the little relationship counseling she does. She probably takes money from her sluts. How many sluts does she have? Does she take payment, she probably calls it tribute or some shit like that. Does she take from Maria? Fuck her.
“You shouldn’t talk,” says Carl. “You need to rest your voice.”
I give him a thumbs up and get out of the car. Carl follows. We go up to the large red doors, and I bang on it, loudly, imagining it as Reyna’s flawless face. Carl places a hand on me to stop me.
“I think they hear us,” says Carl. “Calm down.”
I puff a strand of hair out of my face. The door opens revealing June in a traditional French maid’s uniform. I’m surprised that it’s tasteful, as opposed to a costume for a roleplay or slutty Halloween costume. This is a uniform, and its primary function is to be practical. Regardless, the neckline is low and I can’t help but notice the swell of her breasts. It looks like Carl can’t help but notice either. June curtseys for us, and waves her hand, ushering us inside.
“Welcome, come in. Come in.”
“She has a maid?” asks Carl. I nod, not surprised.
“Damn,” says Carl. I go inside, brushing past June, and Carl follows.
“May I take you coat?” offers June. We let her take them.
“How are you doing, Sarah? Nice to see you again.”
I point to my throat.
“What?” asks June, confused.
“She can’t talk,” says Carl. “And you two know each other?”
I nod. June says nothing as she leads us to the dining room. It’s a cozy room lit by candles and a soft glow from the chandelier above. The table is long. It seats about eight or so, but the room is small. Nothing fits in here except for the table.
“Would you please wait here?” asks June, “Madame will be with you momentarily.”
I stand by my chair awkwardly, waiting for Reyna or Maria to show up. Carl seats himself.
“Can I get you an aperitif?” asks June.
“A what?” asks Carl.
“A drink,” explains June. “Before the meal.”
“Tea,” I croak, pointing to my throat.
“With honey, Miss?” adds June. A light thrill runs through me from her question.
“I’ll have a beer if you have one,” adds Carl.
“As an aperitif I recommend champagne or port,” says June. “I apologize, no beer.”
“That’s fine,” adds Carl, but it’s clear it’s not fine.
“My mistress suggests the port.”
“Fine, whatever,” says Carl. He hates wine, but I think he’s uncomfortable in the new space and is desperate for any alcohol in his system. June bows and exits the room. Carl watches her leave a little too closely. I smack his arm. “What?” he laughs. “Can you believe that outfit?”
“It’s slutty,” I say, but it hurts like hell.
“It’s not that bad. I should probably stop asking you questions.”
I nod and an awkward silence swells around us. I feel like an idiot standing next to my chair and Carl looks like an idiot sitting in his and playing with the silverware.
“This is weird, right?” he asks, smiling. I nod. “I feel like I’m in the game of Clue and soon we’ll have a murder mystery on our hands.”
I laugh and the laugh turns to a cough. The cough gets hoarse, and soon I’m hacking and feeling more rips and tears in my throat. Carl stands and leans over the table, grabbing my glass of water and offering it to me.
“Sorry,” he says softly. “Here, drink. This will help.” I take the glass and drink. I know the cold isn’t good for the throat, but the water helps soothe it.
“Is someone dying in here?” I hear from the hallway.
“Yes,” says Carl.
Maria enters the dining room. She’s stunning. She’s in a black dress that comes to her mid-thigh. The neckline dips past her breasts, but not to her navel or anything obscene. But you can see she’s not wearing a bra and only her erect nipples are keeping the silk from sliding off her perky and small tits. She’s wearing simple black heels with straps that wrap up over and past her ankle but not to her calf. The dress is sleeveless, with tiny straps holding it on her bare shoulders, but the whole thing is brought together with her thick, black, velvet choker. I’ve never seen her look so good. Normally she’s dressed like she’s off to some anime convention, but she looks sophisticated.
Like a call girl.
Yes. A high-priced prostitute. An escort. The kind you send a car to pick up. She shows up in your apartment, you fuck, and she’s gone before you wake up. You don’t pay her. You pay her agency. They own her. You rent her. Yes. It suits her.
Maria runs towards me as best she can in her heels, and we hug. She steps back and looks over my outfit. “You look … nice,” says Maria.
I blush in embarrassment. I didn’t know we were going to be so formal this evening. I came in simple slacks and a clean button-up shirt with flats. I’d wear this to work if I worked outside of my house. It’s not casual, but it’s not what Maria has going on either. It’s plain.
I nod and smile, trying to change the topic without being able to talk.
“What’s wrong?” asks Maria, giving me a disgusted look.
“She can’t talk,” explains Carl.
“You can’t talk?” asks Maria.
I shake my head and sit down. I hate being the center of attention.
“What happened?” asks Maria. She’s asking Carl, but she’s still looking at me.
“She lost her voice,” says Carl. “She came home from lunch without her voice. Simple as that. She’s resting it as best she can.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” says Maria, looking disappointed. “I was hoping you would be more conversational tonight.”
“She can still communicate and gesticulate wildly,” says Carl with a grin. I’d throw something at him, but everything in here probably costs a thousand dollars. No wonder Maria has been staying here lately.
“Well, whatever. At least you’re here,” says Maria as she takes her seat.
Just then, Reyna rounds the corner into the dining room. She’s immaculate. Her dress is gold, running down to the floor and pooling around her feet. I can’t see her feet, but I can hear her heels clicking on the hardwood floors. The dress is sleeved, clinging all over her body, but it has a deep neckline that goes well past her breasts and to her navel. Her hair is up in an intentionally messy and elaborate bun with two small twirls hang down in front of her ears. Her neck is bare, leaving no distractions from her beautiful breasts almost ready to burst from her dress. The gold in the dress brings out the amber in her eyes and the tan of her skin. She looks like she belongs on the red carpet or in a ballroom. She’s regal.
And she’s my enemy.
“Hello everybody,” she says, spreading her arms. “And welcome to my home. It is so good to see you both.” She walks over to Carl, who is standing now. He extends his hand for a handshake, but she brushes past it and gives him a hug. He freezes, unsure what to do, as she pulls back and gives him a kiss on both cheeks. “You must be Carl. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Reyna.”
Reyna steps back from Carl, who unfreezes slowly from her embrace. “Nice to meet you,” he manages eventually.
I grab my cloth napkin from the table and slowly twist it, imagining it as Reyna’s neck. She turns to me and smiles.
“Ah, little Sarah. I hear you are not feeling well. It brings me great sorrow to know you will not be able to speak much tonight.” Reyna approaches her chair at the head of the table, and June and three other girls all come out from around the corner. Each girl walks to a chair and pulls it back. I watch Reyna and copy her, stepping in front of the chair, sitting, and allowing the servants to push me into the table. “I am still eager to hear your answer to the question,” she says to me. The last word comes out like dirty talk in the bedroom. Carl must be confused, but does Maria know about the question?
“Come, let us eat,” says Reyna. The servants disappear, and Reyna sets her sights on Carl. “So, Carl, what is it you do for a living?”
“I work construction.”
“Ah, a big strong man,” laughs Reyna. “Bueno.”
“Oh, no. That’s not me. It’s not a lot of lifting. I operate some of the vehicles and machinery, mostly.”
“That must require a lot of skill,” hums Reyna.
“It does,” says Carl, smiling. “A lot of people think it’s grunt work, but it’s not.”
“Grunt work?” asks Reyna. “What is that?”
“It means mindless work,” explains Maria. She turns to Carl, “she doesn’t get some of our expressions.”
“Ah, like slave work,” says Reyna.
I don’t know where this conversation is going, and I don’t like it. I start to speak, but I feel a terrible rip in the back of my throat. I break into a fit of coughing. June and another girl I’ve never seen before round the table. The servants, including June, enter with my tea and port for everyone else.
“You won’t be having the port?” asks Reyna, confused.
I point to my throat and take a sip of the tea. It burns my lips a bit, but does wonders for my throat.
“It is a shame,” sighs Reyna. “Let us toast then.” She raises her glass. Maria mirrors her. Carl and I share a look of confusion, but we each lift our drink. “To new ... hmmm … I do not know the word.” She turns and looks directly at me. “To new dynamics,” she says. We all raise our glasses (my mug) and take a sip. Well, Carl pretends to sip, but doesn’t really drink.
“Carl, you are going to love this drink, try it,” says Reyna.
“I’m not really a wine man.”
“It’s not wine. It’s port. You’re going to love it. Trust me,” says Reyna enthusiastically. Reyna leans over the corner of the table towards Carl and makes eye contact. A moment passes between them, and I remember June in the bathroom stall. Oh, shit. “Go. Sip. Try.” Carl looks skeptical, but takes a sip. His eyes widen, and he looks at Reyna in surprise. She nods at him, encouraging him to drink more. “See? You should trust me, Carl. I’m always right about these things. About most things. Go. Drink more.” Carl takes another sip, then a long drought, and drinks almost half of his glass.
“Wow,” says Carl with a sigh, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Yes. Wow,” says Reyna. Reyna glances at her servants. The servants all snap at attention, and I hear some dishes clink from where Maria sits. I look at her, and she stares devotedly at Reyna, anticipating her next command. “June, the salad please. Anna, more port for our guest please.” June leaves immediately, and Anna lets out something that sounds like a whimper, but she leaves as well. June returns immediately with a platter full of salads. Two servants accompany her and help place the salads in front of us. June leans over me a little too much when giving me my salad and I feel her breasts brush over my shoulder.
I look up, and Reyna is smiling at me. “Come, let’s eat,” she says, and we all obey.
Not long into the salad, we attempt small talk.
“There sure are a lot of women here,” says Carl.
“The cook is a man,” says Reyna.
“Oh, good,” says Carl.
“And why is that good?” asks Reyna.
“Uh, I just meant that, it would be weird to be the only man here,” says Carl.
Reyna lets out a laugh. Carl stares at me, but I shrug my shoulders. I look to Maria, who pays no attention to the conversation. She sits still, eating her salad. Carl and I look back at Reyna, who has stopped laughing but wears an amused grin on her face.
She leans towards Carl, and he starts to lean towards her over the corner of the table. Their faces never get close, but I can tell Carl is staring deeply into those wonderful amber eyes.
“Little Carl,” whispers Reyna, licking her lips, “do you honestly believe you are a man?”
“What?” snaps Carl.
I know what’s coming next, but like watching a car wreck, I can’t look away. I have to stop this, but I don’t. I hear Maria move at the other end of the table, but keep my eyes fixed on Carl and Reyna.
“Carl,” I try to say, but the hurt throat means it’s a hushed rasp. I try to stand, but I feel hands clamp down on me. I look up, and Maria is holding my shoulder, pressing me down into my chair. Her face is expressionless, and she stares at Carl and Reyna, hunter and prey staring into each other’s eyes. I try to squirm, to test Maria’s grip, but she’s strong.
“You said so yourself,” purrs Reyna, “you are not a big strong man.”
“I’m not a big strong man?” asks Carl, but his voice is vacant.
“You don’t do grunt work.”
“Do grunt work,” he repeats.
I try to jerk away from Maria, but she uses her other hand and shoves me down into the chair. She squeezes hard, pinching into my skin. I might be able to fight her off, but some of the servants stare at me from the hallway behind Reyna. Could I fight them all?
“Are you a slave?”
“No,” says Reyna. She reaches her hand out and runs it along Carl’s upper arm. “You’re not strong at all. You’re more of a thinker, remember?”
“And skills need to be used.”
“Directed,” says Reyna, running her hand over Carl’s cheek. I almost feel her hand on my cheek. My body hums, but I can’t decide who I want to watch more: the slut idiot slob melting under her control or the goddess setting her trap?
“Direct me,” intones Carl.
“Control me,” says Carl, and he’s almost begging now.
Reyna stops talking and slowly turns her head to face me. She smiles. I hate her smile. I avoid looking at her perfect eyes by staring at her tits. They’re wonderful. So soft I could sleep on them. I could lick them, taste them.
I jerk my head down and look at the salad. The salad is safe and boring. There is nothing dangerous about a salad.
“What do you think, little Sarah? Should he be controlled?”
“No,” I hiss, but it brings tears to my eyes to talk.
“No?” says Reyna. “It’s what he’s good for. It’s what he is. Someone ought to control this slut.” The word isn’t an insult in her mouth, nor is it a compliment. She says it in the same way she would talk about a salad or a chair. It is a thing to be used, but it is a thing. It is what Carl is, though he’s never been slutty for me.
Just then, the fire alarm goes off. I look up, past Reyna’s face, and see smoke coming down the hallway. Reyna looks down that way. When she sees smoke, she looks at Maria who lets go of me and runs into the kitchen.
I get up and go to Carl. He’s still staring at Reyna, immobile. I shake him; he doesn’t move. I take the port and splash it on his face. He lets out a moan and starts to lick it up all around him. Reyna lets out a giggle. I glare at her, but she shrugs and pushes back her chair. Without a word, she heads down the hallway towards the smoke.
I look back at Carl. He’s still licking himself, trying to get all the port, and I see his hips and pelvis start to thrust under the table. He uses his fingers to collect as much as he can from his face and licks that. He licks his fingers clean and moans more. It’s obscene and disgusting. He’s acting like such a whore, worse than June. I try to grab his hands, but he keeps trying to get as much of the port as possible in his mouth.
There must be something wrong with the port.
I grab my cup of tea. I hesitate for a moment, and then pour some of the steaming tea on his chest. He lets out a roar and stands up, shaking the table and flipping back his chair as he does.
“What the hell was that?!” he yells at me.
I don’t answer. I grab his hand and pull him towards the door. He hesitates at first, but when he sees the smoke, he follows.
We grab our coats from the closet, and I shove him out the front door. Our car is still in front of the house. Carl doesn’t need my guidance anymore, and jogs towards the car. I start to speed up to follow, and then stop in my tracks.
I need to get her out of here. I need to rescue her. Whatever fucked up palace of pleasure this is, I need to get Maria out of there.
I turn around and head into the house. The smoke has mostly cleared out. It must have been an oven or something smoking, not a full fire. I hear shouting coming from down the hallway, where I assume the kitchen is, and I follow the sound of the voices.
Smoke is clinging to the ceiling and seems to be coming from the stovetop. What burned here? In the kitchen, Maria is sheltering the servant named Anna in the corner, while Reyna inspects the stove.
“How could you be so stupid?” hisses Maria at June, who stands at attention near Reyna.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t –“ starts June, but Reyna finishes her inspection and turns around to face her servants.
“What happened?” she asks calmly.
“I was rushing, trying to get the next course. I left a cloth near the stovetop and it caught fire. It’s my fault, Mistress. I’m so -”
“Go,” says Reyna.
June steps back like she’s been slapped. The other servant girls give out small gasps of disbelief. “What?” asks June.
“Don’t bother getting your things. Get out. I’m done with you.”
June breaks. Some string that was holding her up snaps, and she crumples to the floor, letting out pathetic whimpers. The servant girls step away from her like she’s diseased.
Reyna looks towards Maria and says, “Make sure she leaves. Don’t let her near me, no matter what.” Then Reyna walks towards me. I brace myself for something, some trick of her eyes or some condescending remark, but she walks right past me. I almost feel disappointed.
The servant girls follow Reyna out of the kitchen until it’s just me, Maria, and June. June is building up to a wail, and repeating “please” over and over. I expect Maria to pick her up, to comfort this poor girl like my best friend Maria would for anyone in such pain, but instead, she looms over June and glares at her with contempt.
June slowly crawls across the room and through the doorway, where Reyna went. Maria and I follow her. Each breath between gasps is a whimper or begging for Reyna to come back or take June back, but no one responds to June’s pleas.
June arrives at the front door of the house and the foot of the master staircase. She looks up the staircase, and I guess that’s where Reyna went.
“Don’t,” warns Maria.
June ignores her and starts to crawl up the staircase. Maria comes behind her and steps on June’s hand with her heel as hard as she can. June lets out a shriek of pain. She looks up at Maria, confused, but Maria has nothing but hate in her eyes. “Don’t,” repeats Maria. “Get out of this house, and never come back.”
June hesitates, but tries to take another step up the staircase. I see Maria pull back her foot, and look away before I hear the thud of Maria’s foot striking June’s face. I look back up and see June tumbling back and away from the staircase. I quickly glance at Maria, but her face is impassive. She looks at me, and I know I’m not leaving with her tonight. She’d do the same to me if I tried to take her, and I don’t have it in me to hurt Maria in order to rescue her. Maria turns, and goes back up the staircase, leaving me alone with June.
I rush to June’s side and turn her over. There is a cut on her cheek from where Maria kicked her or from the fall. The cut is small, and nothing is bleeding too bad. I think her hand might be broken. Her face is a mess of tears and snot, and I can’t get her to stop crying.
I manage to pick her up, and she collapses into me, crying. I hold her and brush her hair, cooing at her.
“She doesn’t want me,” she chokes out finally.
I pull back and look her in the eye skeptically.
“She left me. I failed her. She doesn’t want me now.” She breaks back into sobs and collapses into my arms. But she’s not crying because of her beating. She’s crying because she failed. She’s mourning the loss of Reyna.
I can’t tell if I admire her or loathe her, but either way, I can’t help her. I need to get out of here. I slip out of June’s grip and start to back towards the door.
“Please!” begs June. “Don’t go! Don’t leave me.” Then, in that moment, I know how I feel. I hate her. She follows me, broken, ugly, pathetic, and begging. “Don’t leave me.” I hate her weakness. I hate her neediness. This is what Reyna wants to do to Maria, to me, and it’s disgusting.
I turn, reaching for the front door, and when I try to pull it back, she pushes down on it as hard as she can, trapping me in the house.
“Don’t leave me, please,” she whines. “Take me with you. I’ll serve you. I can be your pet. Please. I’ll be a good pet. I’ll eat you out,” she grabs my crotch with her broken hand, trying to cup my pussy, but I step away. She’s gone from begging to hitting on me so quickly that it would be comical. Instead, it’s grotesque.
She starts to shrug out of her maid uniform and expose her cute tits. I’d love to see them, love to play with them, but not with her. Not now. She’s what I’m afraid Maria will become. She’s what I must stop.
Then I smell it. The musk and sweetness of a woman’s wet pussy. I reach down and lift her skirt. There, obviously, her white panties are soaked through. Not soaked for me; soaked for Reyna and her humiliation.
A fire burns in my belly. This girl, this pathetic girl, is everything I hate. She’s nothing. She’s desperate. She’s eager. She’s flinging herself at me like a whore. She is a whore. This is what Reyna wants. Reyna wants Maria like this. Reyna wants me like this. I will never be this girl. Maria will never be this girl.
I step towards June and slap her as hard as I can. My hand stings and aches with the strike, and June falls to the ground.
“Slut,” I say, though it kills my throat, and brush past her out of the house.