Season 2, Episode 1
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
“You look like you could really use a hand.”
Lily jumped at the words, then silently cursed herself for her overreaction. It was only Fiana. She turned to look at the kitchen maid.
Fiana was tall and pale of skin, but her deep brown eyes showed that her family was among the most common. Not that Lily cared. Her thoughts were on lighter eyes, darker skin, and a fuller frame.
“You are really pent-up!” Fiana exclaimed, then her rosy lips set into a smug smile.
Lily sighed. “Maybe so. What’s it to you, Fiana? You’ve got your young man now.”
Fiana’s smile widened into something more genuine. “Aye, Douglass is a catch, isn’t he? But what matters that? I’m just talking about a hand.”
Fiana had come to Lily for a hand often enough before she began screwing Duggie, at which point she’d dropped Lily entirely. She’d been nice enough when they ran across each other, but Lily had noticed how Fiana avoided her…or had she been avoiding Fiana? It was hard to say.
Feeling cross, Lily shot back, “An’ what is it you want from me?”
Sudden hurt flashed across Fiana’s face.
“Sorry, Fi,” Lily sighed again. “I guess I really am pent-up. It’s making me mean.”
Fiana reached out and placed her white-gloved hand on Lily’s shoulder. “I’ve seen you moping about ever since the snow hit. I meant to ask what ailed you, and it was just a wild guess. I didn’t mean no harm by it.”
“How’m I supposed to feel? The Prince and the Maiden both nearly killed, and no-one knows who done it.”
“You don’t think it was the witch?”
“Maiden, Fi. She’s no witch.”
“King says she is. You might not want to be too loud if you think otherwise.”
“An’ now the King’s ill too. I’ll speak my mind. I don’t care.”
Fiana sighed. “You’ve always been stubborn, Lil. How long since you had a regular?”
Fiana had been Lily’s regular for most of a year, before Duggie came into the picture, each knowing they could go to the other when they needed a hand.
“I ain’t had no-one, not since you.”
Embarrassed surprise flushed Fiana’s cheeks.
“It’s not like I was going sweet on you or nothing,” Lily hastened to add, aware that she was coloring as well.
“Look, Lil,” Fiana said. “Can I give you a hand? I still owe you more than a few, and I’m thinking you really need it.”
“Yeah, okay. The old supply room?”
“Sure. Did I tell you I took Douglass there our first time?”
“I dinna need to know that.”
“Whatever, Lil. Look, I have to dust the Greyghasts’ suite while they’re out, but I can meet you there at half-past.”
“I’ll be there. And Fi,” Lily forced a smile, “thank you.”
Fiana shrugged. “It’s just a hand, Lil.”
The small interior storeroom was windowless and little used, making it the perfect place for trysts. In the pitch black, Lily sat on a makeshift chaise improvised from sacks of grain, and leaned back against Fiana. The other maid had her back to the wall, her legs spread to allow Lily to sit between them.
Lily had pulled up her dress and single petticoat, and clutched the fabric in one hand. Fiana had taken one glove off, and her bare hand was between Lilly’s thighs, her fingertips moving amidst the thin brown curls with practiced ease.
Lily bit her lip to avoid making any noise. Memories of being Fiana’s regular flooded her mind. The other maid was a good kisser, though she’d said Lily was better, and their practice sessions had involved less teaching and more just being in the moment than many of Lily’s other pupils.
Fi liked to be touched up inside, and she always had trouble controlling her voice when Lily’s fingertips found the right spot. Lily quivered as she remembered the time Fi had almost given the both of them away by screaming and kicking over a rack of pans in the scullery. They’d barely gotten themselves decent before the scullery maid, a harsh women named Oma who looked far older than her years, slammed the door open in a panic. That had been the last time they’d been able to use the scullery.
“Oh my, Lil. Your pussycat’s really meowing for me today,” Fiana whispered.
Lily gave a small nod and squeezed Fiana’s thigh with her bare hand. Even as she did so, her thoughts drifted to Maiden Yelena, whose gorgeous large thighs she’d gotten to soap, but not linger on.
Re-imagining that evening gone wrong, Lily saw the Maiden’s hand, the color of roasted chestnuts, in her own. She kissed each fingertip, continuing to do so as she reached into the tub where the other woman was waiting to be given a hand. Did she like to be touched on the inside, like Fi, or prefer the outside like Lily herself? Maybe both. Lily imagined getting into the tub herself, getting a good look at that voluptuous body as she satisfied this powerful, amazing woman.
“Who’re you thinking about? Who’s caught your eye?” Fiana asked in a heated whisper, her breath tickling Lily’s ear.
“N…naaaaah.” Lily attempted to dismiss the question, but a low moan slipped out instead.
“You must have it bad if you’re having trouble restraining yourself,” Fiana teased. “Ol’ silent Lil, making noise?”
Fiana didn’t change pace. She knew that Lily needed steady, consistent stimulation at the top of her slit to get off. Lily herself knew she was close, and imagined it was the Maiden touching her, not this former lover—not a lover, you never were lovers, you aren’t like that, you mustn’t be like that.
Then, as if invited by the words lovers and never, Lily saw another face, one with muddy green eyes and freckles.
“Brinna,” she whispered, very softly, and then bit her lip again, as if to keep more terrible secrets from escaping. Oh, Brinna.
Lily came with a swallowed groan, bucking against Fiana’s hand and beginning to cry even as the pleasure took her.
Afterwards, she was grateful for the dark that hid her tears. If Fi had heard her speak a woman’s name in her passion, she said nothing of it. In fact, she said nothing at all. Lily was as grateful for the silence as the dark.
Eventually she broke the silence with a question that etiquette demanded, part of how you went about accepting a hand from someone.
“Fi, would you like a hand as well?”
The silence hung a moment longer before the response came. “Oh…no, I’ve got my Douglass now. Thank you.”
Lily stood and smoothed her dress, and was surprised when Fi gave her a quick, firm hug. That hug, as much as the more intimate touching, was something she’d learned from Lily.
They left the storeroom and bolted the door behind them before heading off in different directions. What am I? Lily thought, and not for the first time. This was an old trap in her mind. She knew how she felt about women, but to feel that way meant disgrace and death, so it had to be that she didn’t really feel that way.
Her usual rationalizations felt hollow and empty as she walked the cold hallways of the palace. Midwinter’s night. Brinna wasn’t just gone, she’d married some stranger. Maiden Yelena hadn’t just rejected her, she was now in a coma, and might die. Even Fiana—sweet Fi, whom she’d doted on—was no longer hers, had never really been hers.
Just then, she realized something was stuck to her dress. It was a single, large stocking. It must have been caught between two of the sacks of grain. That’s what I am, she thought. I’m a magnet for women’s undergarments.
Lily laughed at the thought, and felt better for it.
© 2012 Copyright Tof Eklund
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