Hinterlands Book II: The Stables (4 page)

The two women lifted each of Amelia’s legs, one then the
other, rubbing the sand thoroughly up and down her calves and thighs, pausing
only to douse her in buckets of warm water.
 
While they did so, the young man grasped
her small breasts from behind, causing Amelia to start, but he seemed not to
notice or care, simply continuing on with his purpose, rubbing the sand in firm
circles around each nipple, and under each small globe of flesh.
 
It was pleasurable and arousing, the
feeling of so many hands rubbing her flesh so diligently.
 
Finally, just when she didn’t think she
could take any more sanding, the young man produced bars of soap-fat, with
which the three began to lather her body.
 
She gasped as the women spread her legs, positioning them askance while
they lathered her tender sex, thighs and backside. They scrubbed and rinsed her
repeatedly, pushing the thick suds into the minute folds and crevices of her
body, running fingers and hands over her most sensitive places. Amelia felt
completely at their mercy, groaning and going almost limp as she was scrubbed
and prodded in the warm pool.

She had never been cleaned in such a manner in her entire
life, washed and rewashed, cleaned and re-cleaned, her blonde hair massaged
inch by inch by the attendants.
 
It
was unreal.
 
Finally, when they had
finished scrubbing and rinsing Amelia, and they led her out once again onto the
cool cobblestones.

She and a number of the others were then being led into
small alcoves across the courtyard and directly adjacent to the pool. The
doorframes were arched, simple wood, and without ornamentation. Rather than
doors at all, within these frames were hung thin linen sheets blowing softly in
the morning breeze.

Amelia was directed towards one specific alcove by her
attendants, and she peered inside to find nothing but a small wooden table
wrapped in layers of vermillion cloth. It smelled strongly of rose hips and
jasmine, and the source was a small porcelain incense burner, sitting on a
shelf in the corner, its tiny wisp of smoke drifting lazily toward the ceiling.
She felt some trepidation to enter the room, but her curiosity had now gotten
the better of her. After the enjoyable bathing experience she was interested in
what came next, fascinated with the purpose behind all of this strangeness.
Things had gone quite well so far this morning, and besides, rarely had two women
seemed so harmless as did these old souls. When the women encouraged her to
come into the room and lie face down on the table she did as she was told
without hesitation.

She felt the old woman’s seasoned hands in her hair,
pulling and twisting her blond tresses into small braids. In these she
skillfully wove many purple fragrant flowers and grasses, tying them tightly
behind Amelia’s head, and coating the braids in shiny beeswax to make them
gloss. Finally she placed sprigs of green leaves here and there, until Amelia
felt she must look like the pixies she had read about as a child.

Once this was completed they immediately set upon her
with their hands, massaging her back shoulders and legs, kneading her freshly
scrubbed flesh.
 
The sensation was
deeply satisfying and Amelia was glad that she hadn’t resisted. They began to
apply heated oils, some poured into their hands, and others they drizzled
directly onto her body. The warm oils exuded lavender, rose, and thistle, intoxicating
and hypnotic with their scent. In addition to these, there were also cooler
oils, viscously rubbed into her neck and behind her ears, their essence
impossibly complex, thicker and tinged with honey. In these she could also smell
the same scents as the surrounding fields, fragrant heather, sweet clover, and
alba flowers bursting with morning dew, and even more subtly, hints of the deep
green peat, giving up its perfume as it does in the light of the afternoon sun.
How had these been created, such oils? They had captured the very breeze itself
as it rolled across the moors on a sunny day.
 

They rolled Amelia onto her back and continued their
attentions on her stomach, her throat, her breasts; making sure her skin was
saturated. They poured a small pool in her belly button, overfilling it and
letting it run down her sides in small rivulets. They rubbed the lavender oil
through the small patch of hair between her legs, causing her to gasp and arch
her back, yet they continued on with purpose, almost holy in their
ministrations, running their fingers gently over the mound, and through the
triangle of fine, delicate golden hairs that lay upon it.
 
She squeezed her thighs together to hide
the feeling of arousal that had overcome her, but this was to no avail. The determined
old women merely pulled her legs apart, plying and twisting the tender muscles
of her inner thighs. Curiously, they declined to massage her sex directly, but
simply strayed everywhere near it, likewise stroking and tugging her small
breasts with their skilled hands, avoiding the nipples yet making sure to rub
the oils deeply into the soft flesh.
 
Their actions were therapeutic and sensual, intent on bring pleasure,
yet not overtly sexual. This was most tortuous, raising Amelia’s pulse, and
setting her into a fever.
 
She was
impelled to focus directly on her body, bolts of delight discharging from
wherever they placed their hands. Her state of arousal had become almost
unbearable, a storm of desire she could not assuage.
 
The urge to stroke herself was almost painful,
and she felt her body quivering under each touch.
 
Finally, they ceased their massage, the
old women kissing her hands and feet delicately, and muttering in a language
she couldn’t understand. She was allowed to regain her feet. She felt libidinous
and lightheaded, and her body ached deep inside for an as yet unnamed pleasure.

 

“And just how are my little creatures doing this
morning?” Ms. Farstone appeared exceptionally energetic and evil as she
sashayed back and forth across the cobblestones.
 

The group had gathered together in the courtyard after the
morning massage; all of the girls in Amelia’s stall, as well as 20 or 30 other
girls that she had never seen before. Apparently there were many servants here
in various stages of training. It was easy to tell the groups that had been
here longer, as they looked toned and natural, their skin tanned and glowing,
their muscles smooth and taught.
 
In
fact, Amelia thought they looked just like the goddesses that were carved in
marble standing next to the pool, each of them with their hair woven in
different, unique patterns, with entirely original flowers and plants
intertwined and fresh.
 
The girls
had whispered that it was the style of one’s trio of attendants that determined
the pattern.

Apparently everyone’s attendants weren’t as mute as
Amelia’s and many of the girls had been talking. They were whispering that
these rituals happened
each
day, the
bathing and massage, even exercise and contests. Apparently there were good
trios and bad, and every trio had their own oils, their own flowers, their own
rituals- and their own girls whom they prepared. One’s trio meant the
difference between success and failure here in the stables and towards many
things Amelia’s group hadn’t even encountered yet.
 

It seemed impossible to Amelia that so much effort could
be expended over so lowly a group of servants, but then again very little had
made sense to her since arriving at Hinterlands, from the first depraved dinner
service to her experience with the beautiful Duchessa in her bedchamber.
 
All seemed too strange and unreal to comprehend,
and yet here she was, a young girl from St Giles, standing here naked amongst a
group of forty or so young women, thoroughly oiled and pampered, her hair
decorated with the most beautiful patterns of braids and flowers, glistening in
the sunlight. How many servants had undergone this training, Amelia wondered?

“You look good enough to eat my lovelies.
 
I think some of you are far too
spoiled.”
 
Ms. Farstone paused to
look at one amazingly tall and beautiful woman with brilliant black hair that
was standing confident and strong.
 
The
hair lay in one single, long, French-braid over the girl’s ivory shoulder. A
white Calla lily was woven tightly behind her ear. Her smooth curves looked
amazingly strong and healthy to Amelia, and her dark eyes practically glowed
against her perfectly creamy skin.
 
In fact, Amelia had never seen such a healthy-looking a young woman in
her entire life.
 
She appeared to be
the goddess Diana incarnate.
 
Her
beauty and confidence seemed to anger Ms. Farstone.

“Ms. Eleros.
 
Are you enjoying your time here?” She hissed, fiercely looking the girl
directly in the eye.
 

“Most assuredly Ma’am.” Amelia could swear she saw a
slight smile playing across the girls face.

“Well, we’ll have to see what we can do about that won’t
we?” These words were delivered so quietly scarcely anyone could hear them, but
the sheer menace in the woman’s voice was unmistakable.
 
She glared at Ms. Eleros for another
moment before turning away.
 
Amelia
was stunned by the girl’s poise.
 
She looked fearless and strong, and her comportment reminded her of
Enza—Enza who seemed a world away. This girl was obviously just like
Enza; a person that those in power couldn’t really control, no matter their
station in life.
 
Amelia decided
then and there she would have to find out everything she could about this girl
with the Calla lily in her hair.

“Well!
 
Since
some of you apparently don’t know your place here yet, we are going to have an
exceptionally
rough afternoon.
 
To the dining hall girls.”

The girls who had been in the stables the longest knew
just what to do and they immediately scrambled to line up outside a massive set
of doors that led into the stables. Feeling suddenly ravenous, Amelia and the
others followed suit, jockeying for the best position into the dining hall.
Even though the wind had been blowing away from them, Amelia could still smell
the feint odors of roasting meats, and baking pastries, amidst the myriad
fragrances of the other girls gathered around; fragrances that had been deftly
applied and massaged into their respective skins to exude specific odors. Each
of them was relaxed and loose, thoroughly rubbed down and pampered in their own
fashion by their own trio of attendants, attendants who seemed to have prepared
their girls uniquely for what lay ahead.

Molly Jenkins had her red hair in two thick braids that
tied behind her head before falling down her back. Her flower was apparently
the daisy, planted twice amongst her scarlet braids.
 
Perhaps it was simply her state of
arousal, but Molly looked quite lovely for the first time in Amelia’s eyes. Her
skin was shiny and brilliant in the sunlight and her nipples stood out erect,
small and pink. Surely, she was still skinny and awkward, yet girlish and
pretty when she wasn’t talking. Amelia hadn’t forgotten that she had helped
keep her warm this past night embracing her and cuddling close, and they both
smiled at each other briefly before abashedly looking away.

Amelia watched the more senior girls talking to one
another, noticed the way they gazed at one another’s bodies openly, touching
eachother’s shoulders and chatting offhandedly.
 
They seemed to not care about the
nudity, perhaps had even grown immune to it. But beyond this they also seem to
gather about one another, brushing up against each other with a familiarity
that made Amelia blush.
 
She watched
them hold hands, and pat each other on the backside.
 
This was in stark contrast to the manner
in which her small group of women still regarded one other.
 
Perhaps this would change with time.

All of these thoughts and ruminations were quickly lost
in the face of an impending meal however, and Amelia felt her stomach growl
hungrily in anticipation.
 
She
hadn’t eaten since the previous morning’s breakfast at Hinterlands, and she
hadn’t realized until that moment how weak from hunger she truly was.

They eagerly entered the dining hall, wholly ignoring the
vast soaring ceilings and rows of towering cathedral-like windows; windows that
looked out upon the lush green valley below, and the swirling river gouging its
way through the white chalk canyon, and distant hilltops spattered with groves
of aging Ash, Oak and Poplar. They also didn’t see, or care to see, the iron
chandelier, bedecked with a hundred wax candles hanging high above them and
flickering in the airy space like some scattering of iridescent stars. These
things bore no importance to the girls, as they gazed out at the smorgasbord
laid out on split-plank wooden tables trailing off into the distance.

Silver trays of French pastries smiled at them, pastries
filled with nuts and cinnamon and drizzled in fresh honey that had been gathered
from hives that sat nestled upon the rolling hills surround the great house.
 
Great silver pots of tea steamed here
and there amongst hundreds of little dishes, each containing various jams,
jellies marmalades and preserves. Puddings, both black and white, great heaping
mounds porridge and bacon, fresh sliced ham with berry sauce, boiled tomatoes
and steamed mushrooms; these all dazzled their eyes, and overwhelmed the girls’
senses.
 
Amelia sat down in a frenzy
to eat, buttering large pieces of cinnamon bread and stuffing them into her
mouth.
 
She washed this down with an
overfilled cup of tea splashing it down her chin. Without even wiping it off, she
immediately devoured two warm pieces of bacon, feeling their grease begin to restore
her energy.
 
The other girls did the
same, eating the food ravenously, staring at each other in amazement as they
consumed sumptuous dishes that seemed to have been laid out for nobility.

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