Whether it’d been a couple of minutes or longer, Jasmine broke the kiss, and Lydia snapped back to reality. They breathed heavily, now realizing what they’d just done.
“That was…,” Lydia started.
“…wonderful,” Jasmine finished. They looked at each other and laughed sheepishly. Lydia smiled, as she leaned back against the other side of the kitchen countertop, feeling relaxed for the first time in a long time.
Jasmine looked down at her dress, and burst out laughing.
“Oh my,” she giggled. “Looks like I’ve dirtied myself.”
Lydia look at her—the front of her dress was soiled with dirt. Her work clothes must have rubbed into her dress, and she couldn’t help but find it funny as well.
“I see that,” she chuckled. “Um, did you want me to get you a towel to wipe it off?”
“I don’t think it can wipe off easily,” Jasmine responded, trying to remove the stains with her hands. “Might need to be washed…”
It was nearing evening, as the skies were starting to darken. She had a feeling what the servant girl wanted to do, but she wasn’t completely sure, let alone wanted to give in to the idea.
“Will the Singhs’ be wondering where you are?” she asked her.
Jasmine shook her head.
“No, I have this weekend off. Madame is home to take care of the twins, and the family thinks I’m visiting Ben.”
She nodded, understanding.
“Would it be a bother if I stayed for dinner?”
Lydia immediately thought of Hannah, who would be returning soon. Still, she assumed that her cousin wouldn’t mind, perhaps even ecstatic, to see Jasmine. She shook her head.
“No, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
The servant girl smiled widely.
“Thank you, Lydia. If you need any help with cooking or anything else, I would be happy to assist you. But first, perhaps I could ask if I could change out of my dress to be washed?”
“Yes, of course,” she guided her to the back of the house where the laundry room was located. She let Jasmine change out of her dress behind closed doors before she came out in nothing but her under-gown. She looked much smaller without the pleated dress, but all the more childlike and beautiful.
“What is it?” she asked when she approached Lydia, who apparently had been staring at her for a second too long.
“Nothing,” she averted her eyes.
The servant girl’s lip curled, smirking slightly.
“I know that there is something you want to say, Lydia. What’s going on?”
“I, well, I don’t think I’ve seen you in anything else besides a dress…”
Jasmine giggled again.
“You’re right. I usually don’t change until I’m about to sleep. This is new for the both of us!” She gave a small twirl, and Lydia had to grin.
She then heard the porch door open and slam shut. She turned around and found that Hannah was home—her cousin was just about to put her coat on the hanger when she saw her, then Jasmine, frozen at the corridor of the house.
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence before Lydia spoke up.
“Hey, Hannah. This is, um, this is Jasmine…”
Hannah’s face went from mildly confused to grinning ear-to-ear.
“Yes, I know! Hi, how are you? I was actually at the Singhs’ today for a delivery and was wondering why you weren’t in. So great you’re here instead; how long have you been in here? Did Lydia invite you over…?”
Lydia breathed a sigh of relief. Hannah was talking a mile a minute, but at least she knew that she was fine with Jasmine’s presence.
“Yes, well, I have the weekend off, and I wanted to drop by for a visit. I hadn’t seen Lydia in a while, so I wanted to see if everything was okay…” Jasmine responded, giving her a brief, but tender glance. She was surprised how coolly she could reply to her cousin, especially after their intimate moment.
Hannah’s enthusiasm didn’t seem to fade.
“Ah, understood! Since I suppose you’re not working then, would you care to stay for dinner? Lydia and I can make something, although honestly, I’m terrible at cooking. Always nearly burn the house down, so Lydia usually makes dinner. I can make a mean egg salad, though, if you want…”
Lydia had to stifle her laughter, as she listened to her cousin ramble excitedly. She looked at Jasmine, equally amused, but still composed. She could tell that they would be friendly with each other.
“Yes, I’d love to. In fact, I asked Lydia, and she seems fine with it. Don’t you?” the servant girl turned to her. Her eyes looked at her innocently, although she detected a hint of a smolder, which made her slightly weak in the knees. The power she had over her was too much, but she liked it.
“Of course,” she replied as calmly as possible. “Hannah, why don’t we get ready? Jasmine, you can sit in the common room. Make yourself comfortable.”
“Thank you,” the servant girl responded. “If you need any help, please let me know.”
“Got it, kiddo,” Hannah grinned, flashing a thumbs up. “Come on, Lydia. You, I mean we, have some cooking to do.”
Lydia rolled her eyes, but smiled nevertheless as they headed to the kitchen to prepare dinner.
— The Finicky Cynic
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