A Bath and Talk of Loyalty

Kaits Bath and the Fuzzy Jacket

J. (jalen.francois) the bath girl returned to her post near the fountain, peddling her wares and body and talents as per usual. She smiled, a timid one, to the free woman standing near. “Enjoying your day, Mistress?” J inquired as she adjusted the basket of wares she was carrying with her – a sampling of what the baths could offer, for the right amount of coin.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) stared into the flowing water of the fountain. Unlike most days it wasn’t having its almost instant calming effect. Her glance swung to the left as she noticed movement out of the corner of her eye just before the slaves words, “I have yet to try the public baths. Are they worth the bother?” Taking a step closer, she peered into the basket curiously. “So far my day has not been going well.”

J. (jalen.francois) at the pit of her existence, J was a salesman. And she was good at taking coins out of the pockets of the Free, to faithfully return them to the ones that owned her. In this case, the bath manager. She lifted the basket of items and set it down upon the ledge of the fountain, turning a blue gaze to the woman. “You appear to be a Lady who would enjoy the soothing elements of eucalyptus and mint.” And then J lifted a smile sample vile of the oil and held it out in offer to the woman. “Uncork and hold it to your nose, Mistress, if you wish. Inhale the fragrance with your eyes closed. You see, this particular one is good for soothing the nerves, relieving stress in the bones. I assure you, the Baths of Kaelus are the finest in the lands. I’ve worked in many across our world, from Tharna to Ar to Kaelus.” And then J left the basket balanced there to kneel before the woman in a proper tower. Although she could be a total slut for the men in the baths, she knew how to please a woman’s expectations. Hands folded in her lap should she take the vile from her fingers, “I am 10 coppers for an ahn in the baths. The price hefty for I am the first girl of the baths, but I assure you Mistress – your day will be much better after a trip to the stone oasis.”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) knew the girl would believe she was talking about the services of the bath slaves but what she truly missed was the raucous sound of gossip one could find from the lowest to most luxurious baths in Ar. If one was canny enough you could sift through the half truths, tall tales and catty exchanges to find those kernels of truth that would benefit the pursuit of coin or influence. She arched a brow at the offer of the oil and decided to give the girl a test. With delicate fingers she pulled the cork free and slipped the vial beneath her veil. “This does indeed smell divine girl but tell me about the other patrons. Are they a tight lipped bunch or can the pulse of the city be measured inside your ‘stone oasis’? Is the silence soothing or will something entertain me in the hushed whispers one typically finds in the best baths? I do need something to improve my day.”

J. (jalen.francois) this question had been asked of J a multitude of times. In fact, a man not too long ago had promised her things – divine things – for the loyalty of her tongue. But he, like so many, disappeared into the night never to make good on his word to the slave girl. “I serve a variety of bodies in this City, Mistress.” J gazed up at her, in a bold way – sharing her intrigue of the woman’s question. “When days are slow in the baths, I have been known to slip into the streets and seek out the hungry hands of men. Great men, sad men, humble and lost men, intelligent and wise, foolish and proud. And to the women in the baths, they mirror a similar makeup of identities. Some there to beat me for being with these men in the streets, others there for my hands. Some for the ear of a slave girl to whisper into, others for the show – commanding my use of a bath boy while they watch. You see, Mistress, you are not the first to inquire of the world that a bath girl sees. I assure you, the silence of the baths can be welcome – but if one wishes a show, a show can also be arranged. For the right price, of course.” J was a product of boredom – and although she was a ‘good’ slave, she had the habits to push at the world around her due to the fact that she was a girl bored with her coin earnings, hungering for more. So to weave tales for the woman, to provoke drama in the streets for a bit of slave entertainment had become a sort of byproduct of her boredom after so long as a bath girl in the world.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren): Replacing the cork securely after sniffing her fill she lowered the mixture with seeming reluctance. Kaitlin had smelled better and she had also smelled worse, but it was the girl’s response that gave her more pause than the thought of washing the days grime from her skin. With an assessing eye her gaze slid over the slave kneeled girl at her feet. “First girl or not, are you worth 10 copper? Your words boast of experiences that hint that you might just be worth the coin but I’m not convinced.” Her hands slipped into the basket in search of other oils. “Do you offer anything with vanilla? I once had a delightful experience with a subtle mixture of jasmine and vanilla. It left my skin scented but not in the cloying fashion you might find on a slave. Not too much of either but just the right combination…and tell me something I might not know having been limited to the keep these last few hand. Something funny or morbid it does not matter but let us see if you can put those street jaunts to good use. I’m more interested in your words and hands than a sideshow.”

J. (jalen.francois) lifted to walk on her knees back towards the basket, and procured a vile of something similar to the woman’s request. “I think you will find this one to your expectations, Mistress.” And then she moved back, on her knees, enjoying crawling for people. J, much like most slaves that were bred – very much enjoyed her slavery. And although she had a quick tongue and wit, she could be entirely physical. She could walk in silence for days on hands and knees, and never flinch or protest. The vile was lifted, “I do not pretend to know the value of coin to the discerning Free, Mistress. I am but a slave. Such notions of wealth are pointless for me, but I will say – gold and silver has often lined my coin box. Perhaps, that is the best testament to my skill…a girl who is only 10 coppers for an ahn, has been paid a silver or more for the same amount of time. Does that make me better or worse than other slaves? I do not know. Perhaps it is the allure of the baths. Perhaps it is the idea that I am never, singularly, Owned and therefore incapable of loving just them. Perhaps it’s the novelty.” J paused then, tongue sliding along her lips. “I am not sure how crude you want me to be in front of you, Mistress. Some women enjoy the racy tales, others smack me for them. So I will tell you of the man who pledged to me my freedom, for the loyalty of my tongue. His accent thick, as if of the Tahari. His words wise, and his anger for this world – the world of Kaelus and Ar strong. He wanted to know secrets, political and otherwise. I suspect for some sort of rebellious reasons, or criminal. But I am just a bath slave, what do we really know about such things in the world of the Free?” J was elusive with her words, promising details but never fully delivering. She wanted the woman’s coins. Nothing in this world was free, after all.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) was pulled into the tale as she suspected the girl intended only to be left wanting. She would have been annoyed if she hadn’t understood the girls tactics. She often gave customers small samples to ensure they produced coin for more. Perhaps it was the hinting at politics, intrigue or even the mans foreign origins that had her making up her mind even before she made a show of sniffing the proffered scent. The girls movements had also contributed to her affirmative decision. Something about the sight of a slave moving on their hands and knees always put her in good spirits as it was such a good demonstration of how low they truly were when compared to someone of her status. For a moment she considered having the girl crawl to the baths with the basket of goods in tow as she indulged in the bit of trite self congratulatory gloating before letting the girl know of her decision. “You are right girl…what is your name? I can’t keep calling your girl as I would need your name to tell your owner if you don’t please me.”

J. (jalen.francois) her tale fell silent, and she saw the intrigue in the woman’s eyes. J was quite close to a sale, anticipating the coin. Hungry for it. She drew back and grabbed the basket of items, and remained there in her kneel. Her name was a hard subject for her. For when the Slaver Owned her, she was Daya. With the bath manager – he was neither around, nor caring of what she was called. “I am simply J, Mistress.” Because, who was she anyways? And were names even really worth anything when one was a slave? “I enjoy being called, girl, though. And should you find me displeasing, you are welcome to beat me yourself. The Bath Manager is often busy. The guards, too, of the baths would enjoy whipping me for you.” And she paused. Was on her knees, crawling past the woman, cradling the basket in one arm. It was a difficult act, but she pulled it off with the grace of a girl used to a life beneath the Free. “But I will not displease you, Mistress.” She was confident, cast her gaze back to the woman as she began to make her way towards the baths – expecting her to follow. J was, at the end of the day, an actress. She became what others wished her to be, and that’s why she was an excellent coin girl.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) couldn’t help but laugh at the girls words. Indeed she had made the right decision. “On your feet girl. Take me to this ‘Stone Oasis’ and we will see if your skill matches your bold words. I don’t have all day. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that some free women are notoriously hard to please even when given the best service?” She paused a moment to wave her guard aside knowing he would shadow the baths until she reemerged safely based on her companions instructions and the influence of the regent. She fished out a silver and palmed it. “You can also be assured that I would beat you myself until my arm grew tired, perhaps call in my guard to add to my efforts and at that point tell your owner you displeased me and expect another sort of show when he followed with more of the same.” Her eyes scanned the entrance wondering why it had taken her so long to make a trip to the baths. “So why did he choose you girl? Of all the slaves why you J.?”

J. (jalen.francois) rose to her feet, instantly, at the command. J smiled. The glint of silver catching her eye. Other slaves sought love, J sought coin. “I know, Mistress. I was bred in the pens of Tharna under the intentions of the Silver Masks. I am well aware what the cruelty of women feels like.” And they walked, J ahead of her, leading her to the stone oasis. Her own skirts flowing around bare feet – ankles that sang out with slave bells as she moved. When they arrived, the slave girl nodded to a nearby guard standing at the door. They had an understanding. He opened the door for the Lady, and J looked over her shoulder. “Why does any man buy a slave girl, Mistress? Because they are for sale.” Long ago, J gave up trying to understand the paths of her life – and why this or that or the other had happened to her. Such could destroy a slave. She moved into the bath house and over to the woman’s bath, opening the curtain for her. “Right in here, Mistress. I would be lying if a part of me didn’t want to know what your beatings and ire felt like. However, I want your silver more than your whip, so I shall perform for you.” J liked games. She thrived under them. The bath girl arranged towels and larger portions of lotion and oils and soap scented in what the woman had picked out earlier near the bath, before turning around to face her. “Do you wish me to help you undress, Mistress?” Some women enjoyed it. Others did not want a slave girl to touch them. So J asked, as she always did.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) smoothed the soft strands of leather with appreciation before slipping the garment from her shoulders carefully in response to J’s question. The leather worker had outdone himself with the aid of the dressmaker in creating the short coat in such a fashion with hundreds, perhaps a thousand tiny strips treated stiffened just enough to hold the desired prickly form to resemble the long-tailed porcupine. She enjoyed the outrageous, exotic and rare in most things including even her clothing. “Perhaps you can store my coat for me safely while I see to the simple fastenings of the robes beneath.” She scanned the room giving a brief nod to the various patrons at various stages of their bath. The pools looked clean and refreshing and a variety of scents filled the air. “Were you sworn to silence in this tale you mean to share?”

J. (jalen.francois) stepped forth to take the woman’s cropped and ornate coat. It was beautiful. J, herself, was adorned in elegant things for a slave. The baths made sure she was presentable for female attendants. She took the jacket and placed it on a rack near, lined with the hanging gowns of other patrons. J only had briefly smiled at them when she entered, but she was under the service of Kaitlin – and she would harness J’s full attention. “What is the loyalty of a coin girl, Mistress? Without personal Owners, we are no more sworn to silence by one man, as we are paid to speak by another. Where does our loyalty, then, really fall? To the highest coin? To the managers that oversee our territory? To the Gods? What is slave loyalty, really?” J returned back to Kaitlin’s side, kneeling before her once more. As she worked on the straps of her garments, J knelt and helped her out of her slippers and stockings. Each article of clothing was taken, smoothed out and folded. Each was dusted with a light sprinkle of the scent she was about the bathe in before being hung up – just enough to freshen the fabric, but not enough to overpower like a slave’s perfume might.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) did as she had indicated she would, letting the robes slip to the floor in a pile of brocade silk the color of late spring grass to be given the same attention her other clothing had already received. Her companion would not have been pleased at her color choice but what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him…or her. She missed wearing the putrid color she had always complained of to her brother or perhaps she missed what it signified. Her agitation of earlier resurfaced and she kicked the pile with a now bare foot thanks to J’s attentiveness before she settled and stood there in just a brief slip. With only that last barrier to standing there nude as the day she was born she paused to ask the girl a question. “Are the women of Kaelus modest? I find it is not at all slave like to admire the form one has been blessed with but this opinion seems to vary.”

J. (jalen.francois) the gown was carried off, as the other articles had been. Each given a meticulous care, as J was about the details of her life. She turned, again, kneeling. “Some are, Mistress. Some will not let me gaze upon them, and then others…” J paused. A fond smile formed upon her lips. “Some enjoy my use, as men might. For pleasure.” J then gazed at Kaitlin, “Do you wish to remain in your slip? Are you upset by nudity? If so, I will put brief undergarments on and wear them into the water while I bathe you. Some find a slave’s nudity offensive. Others, I think, find it intriguing to look at me closely, to try and understand what men see in a slave girl’s form.” J then tipped her head to the baths, steam filling the room, as water continuously trickled through the fountains filling the baths on repeat.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) found herself laughing for the second time at the girls question of her own modesty. In response she completed the task of removing her clothing leaving her wearing nothing but one of the gifts from her companion, a slender jeweled headband of gold and amber. She crouched to offer the slave the silver for the tale she would tell, the warm bath that awaited her, the hum of local gossip around and most of all the lifting of her mood to even be able to laugh. “Strip J. Whoever heard of a bath slave in clothing. Besides that I spend enough of my time examining the human body to not be offended by it in any form. Something told me the women of Kaelus would be odd birds.” She ascended the steps and settled herself into the first pool with an audible sigh.

J. (jalen.francois) stood, too, when the silver was given. It dropped into her box, along with so many others from the day’s efforts. Kaitlin was beautiful in her nudity. Perhaps the slave girl admired the free woman’s form, even as she walked by – no more ashamed of her nudity, and J’s proposed nudity than any of the others gathered in the baths. J stripped quickly. Lifting the lace tunic top, peeling away turquoise skirt to toss them into a slave bin nearby. J was not curvy, like Northern girls. Nor did she have the ample bosom of a pleasure girl. She was slender, with small breasts and the slight swell of an ass. She was bred in Tharna, by women. Her body was not meant to be a sexual object – it had just become so beyond the walls of her birth home. On her way into the pool behind Kaitlin, J grabbed a bar of soap and a sponge. She slid over to her in the water, circled her body for a moment before arriving at her back. Hands moved the soap bar over her skin, slowly, circularly. “The women are, indeed, odd here. Ambitious. It reminds me of home.” J said near Kaitlin’s ear, as hands and soap massaged over her skin. “A particular Arian woman I was smitten with for a time in these walls. I have lost track of her now in the City, but I do know she was often plotting with one figure or another.”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) eyed the slave from head to toe as she would not have been much of a woman if she didn’t do a comparison of the girls nude form with the image she saw each day in the mirror. Their similar jet locks were striking in this place where brunette, auburn and blond tresses seemed to be more common. The girls slender frame was different than the usual slaves offered for the use of men even in the baths. It was not unattractive but it did make her feel more conscious of her own full breasts and wide hips. Zander often told her that her body was built for slave use even if only to annoy her and receive a blistering response in turn. “I don’t doubt that even the women are firmly embedded in the intrigues of Kaelus. An unstable city seems to breed ambition.” By the time she finished speaking the scent of the wares the girl had chosen were already working their magic. She was looking forward to the long slow glide of the strigil but she had not forgotten about the tale. “So finish your tale girl. I didn’t just pay for the bath, it was the promise of more.” She eyed the girl to see her reaction in anticipation.

J offers a bath and talk of Loyalty Focal Soften

J. (jalen.francois) as enough lather was worked into Kaitlin’s skin, J finally set aside the bar of soap. Sponge and hands replaced it. She touched the free woman, unashamed to do so. She enjoyed it, even. Found her skin smooth and beautiful, sliding it beneath her hands as she worked the muscles of her back. “Of course, Mistress. Where was I?” Pause. Hands sliding lower around hips, working the bones and tension that existed there from time standing, or sitting for long periods of time. J’s eyes concentrated on her work. She knew the body, as the woman probably knew bodies – but their knowledge was different. Her’s was for pleasure and relaxation, Kaitlin’s was for healing. “He came to me one evening in the baths, and I wanted him. As any slave girl might. He has a distinct goatee on his chin, long and twisted. Ominous, almost. He was not interested in a bath, but he allowed my hands to massage over his back upon the massage table. He spoke of wanting to know secrets, particularly those that might be valuable – or lead to someone’s ruin: a councilman, a wealthy merchant, the Regent, a General. Anything I could get my fingers upon, really. Or my tongue.” J smiled then, fingers trailing up Kaitlin’s spine, tracing the ridges as they glided beneath her fingertips. “In trade for this, he could give me coin. I told him I did not want coin, I wanted to leave with him. Why? He had asked. I said, because this stone cage is suffocating my talents, and I wish to go with him to his homelands. The desert. Where the sun sizzles across the sky, and men’s bodies are sculpted by the heat. He agreed.” J made her way around to Kaitlin’s front, grabbing up the soap again. They were eye to eye. J’s own impossibly blue as hands slid along her collarbone, massaging suds over her skin. “He had the kind of anger a man suppressed by society does. He spoke of debts needing to be righted. I suspect he aimed to tumble someone from their high place in this City, or worse. Did you know bodies have been found, murdered, and dumped in the poor parts of our City? Did you know that, Mistress?”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) had been lulled into a contemplative quiet as the girls fingers slid over her skin. They never failed in finding just the right spot to cause her to relax fractionally more with one soft gasp or sigh after the other giving testament to the effort being given. The steam had caused her skin to flush a warm pink reminiscent of the inner layers of a young larma completely at odds with her normal pale hue. J had warned her she would be pleased and the girl had spoken truly but she was still alert to the story that spilled from the girls lips. “Are there such secrets disclosed in the bath that could be so sought after that a man would offer to take you with him? You speak of being suffocated but based on your skill I would think you enjoyed your role or are you that good at putting on a false smile?” Catching one of the girls hands to stop her movement she lowered her voice to ask her next question careful that it was for her ears only. “And what if I were to offer you a deal of my own for similar information?”

J. (jalen.francois) hands continued to dance until one was caught, lulling J out of her duty of bathing the woman’s skin to gaze into her eye once more. “I have not seen the man since that day. Perhaps he misled as to the value of the bath girls in Kaelus. Perhaps I know more, too. Perhaps this world is simply overflowing with secrets, that places such as bath houses and tavern furs cultivate them and pass them along.” J licked her lips, again. She liked Kaitlin. J was fond of women – a product of her heritage in Tharna. She stepped closer, even, as the woman held her wrist. “You would take me away from here? To where? Another City? Your home? Where I would what, serve cakes to your guests and fold gowns all day? Would you buy my freedom? And then what – I live as a she urt, one step above where I am now. Actually, no, quite below where I am now. Because although the she urt is free, she is poor and hungry and without the comforts I currently am provided.” There was a touch of anger in her eyes, flaring there in blue as if the seas themselves were churning there. “I am just a bath girl, Mistress, who has pretty words. I suppose, if you paid me to tell you stories – then stories I shall tell you. If you paid me to kiss you, I would kiss you. If you paid me to fold your gowns for hours, or simply pretend to be a table that you placed your trays upon for your own amusement – I would do it. You do not need to bargain with me, Mistress. I am a slave.” And then J would attempt to go back to washing the woman’s skin, trying to pull her wrist from her grasp.

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) wasn’t sure how J. would react to her offer but the glint of anger was outside of the possibilities she had imagined. In almost a perverse way she enjoyed it. She supposed the girls acceptance all depended on what she offered. She puzzled what might compete with a journey to the Tahari and the attention of a man although the girl didn’t seem at all displeased with servicing the opposite sex as well. Now that would be a mouth dropping surprise for her companion if she were to indulge in such attentions and buy the girl outright. Her lips curled upwards at each corner at the thought yet she didn’t allow the girl to free her hand. Instead Kait held it firmly against her skin in what would appear as a caress to other onlookers enjoying their own bath. She titled her head closer causing the heavy cascade of curls to tilt precariously with a few wisps escaping. “I could not offer to take you away to another city as I doubt we will leave this place as long as the Arians remain in power but there are other ways I could offer you a better existence based on the stories you have to tell. A lovely start would be which Arians are known to bath together and which mingle with Kaelus citizens with ease. I’m sure your owner would enjoy the added coins to your box each time I visit to collect such information.” There were varied ways she could ensure the girl enjoyed their arrangement but she went no further detailing them until she gaged the girls reaction

J. (jalen.francois) they were closer, and J’s wrist remained firmly held. She enjoyed it, really, the way the woman’s hand gripped tightly. The slight pain of it. The meaning of it – although J could, in theory, break away she wouldn’t dare try. She was obedient. Her wrist growing lax, her arm giving in to the woman’s control. “For your silver today, I will tell you that the Mistress Lo, Sister to the Arian General Tiberius often meddles between those of Kaelus and those of Ar. I suspect, Mistress, given her heritage with her brother and her way of always being everywhere in this City, that there is something afoot there. Too,” J smiled then and looked Kaitlin in the eye, “I wanted to be her’s a long time ago. I suppose I would find some enjoyment in knowing her secrets and passing them along to you, for the right price.” J then paused, and this she wanted Kaitlin to understand more than anything else she had said since they started speaking: “I am not of Kaelus, nor Ar. I was bred in Tharna, but I was no more of Tharna than a verr or a rat. You see, Mistress, I was born a slave. I will always be slave. If you think me loyal completely to you, please understand that my loyalty changes with the amount of coin I am receiving. Should one of Ar come along and wish to know about you, I would tell them – for a price. This is the arrangement you make with a coin girl, Mistress. I am the bosk that goes to various farmers for a bucket of corn, producing my milk and fattening up for those who feed me. You are not my Owner. My Owner is an idea, as I am Owned by the baths. A place. Which was created by the City, an idea created by Citizens. Who do I call ‘my’ Master or ‘my’ Mistress? No one. I have no personal Owner, therefore, I am only loyal to these stones and copper, silver, and gold.”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) pushed the girl away without a hint of gentleness with enough force to cause her to stumble if she were not sure-footed. Her temper was legendary and at the mention of her Arian neighbor and the possibility of others having a similar conversation here in the baths with her name as fodder she was understandably annoyed…for a moment. Her humor returned quickly as she reflected on the girl’s bosk analogy. and a new plan revealed itself. Turning her back to the girl to hide the smile, she feigned continued disappointment. “I suppose I should not expect more from you J than a suitable bath and you are very good at that task. My back.” She motioned to one of the passing girls who carried a tray of fruit, cheeses and sweet meats. When the girl headed her way she moved to the edge to indulge knowing the girl would follow and continue the task she was skilled in. “Loyalty is an odd thing J and I find it can be ever changing even among those who are free.”

J. (jalen.francois) nearly fell from the shove, but the buoyancy of the water held her up. If they were not in the baths, though, J would have fallen to her knees. Perhaps Kaitlin caught the look in the slave girl’s eyes – how such a flash of anger, of her power, made J soften and lower her eyes. How, as she turned back to linger her attentions of her skin, her shoulders, her spine once more … her body was closer, this time, more needy. More compliant than before. “I had a Mistress in Tharna that I was fiercely loyal to. She Owned me. Not coin, or ambition. Not a slaver’s chain. I was her personal slave. You see, Mistress, slave girls are only loyal to the ones that own them – and as soon as their collar is changed, they become loyal to another. It is an odd thing, I agree. We propose we love someone, fiercely, only to love another after that first love has disappeared. Families, even, are destroyed over money, power, ambition.” J smiled. The bath waters continued to lap around their naked forms as they spoke, as J bathed Kaitlin once more. “I want to be more, but then I do not wish to be more. A slave that thinks they are more than a slave, is foolish in this world.”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren): The unexpected wisdom in the girls comment and the gentle knowing touch of the fingers on her back sent all thoughts of intrigue out of her mind for the moment. She bent slightly at the waist selecting another morsel, offering yet another angle of skin and curves to be washed by the slave now standing very close before commenting. “If your words are to be believed then you think a man would want the love and loyalty of a free woman over the love of a slave. It is not entangled with the scratchings of a name on an iron neck band. It is freely given and not coerced by the promise of full obedience and a sweet biddable nature yet such is not the case as I have witnessed.” There was a part of her that knew her words to be a lie but she rarely allowed that sliver of reality to see the light of day. She preferred delusion when it came to the status of women. It seemed the slave had her own conflict. She selected another choice piece of fruit and offered it to the slave in reward for her candor.

J. (jalen.francois) smiled behind the woman, fingers trailing over hips and the sides of her belly. Wrapping around for a moment, before disappearing to her back, massaging, working soap into her skin only to rinse it away again. J reached for the oil, pulling cork from the bottle to drip it over her body, making her skin slick with it. The scent wonderful. “No, Mistress, companions do not have collars etched with the names of their Owners, but they do have contracts. Their names are etched into parchment, sworn before families. These contracts can change, too, from one to another.” J then eyed the fruit held out to her, leaning almost over the woman’s shoulder as she opened her mouth to be fed by her fingertips. Because she was a coin girl, such novelties were allowed – she would eat from Kaitlin’s hand, like a pet. Black hair gliding near the free woman’s shoulder, silk strands brushing against her. And then she was back to her duties, no longer quite as close, fingertips tracing oil into skin. When she had swallowed the treat, she said sincerely: “Thank you Mistress.”

Kaitlin Riverstone (kaitlin.eiren) pushed the tray away and focused on the remaining caresses of the girls fingers as she gave her rear side the same thorough attention as the front. J’s words had brought to mind the recent free companionship renewal and she supposed the girl was right. If Zander were to tell it, he certainly spoke in terms of “his” when he spoke of her and their child. It was also difficult for her to imagine adding her seal to another contract while slaves were sold with the frequency of items in the market. The slick oil gave her skin a moist sheen and the smell of vanilla wafted into the air with a trace of jasmine and another scent she had not been able to place. “I will be sure to return for another bath J. although my pursuit of a reinstatement to the caste of Physicians may keep me busy. I hope to find you available.” She let the information drop easily. The girl was correct in that she could be paid for information and stories with each bath. No one said the information had to be accurate or comprehensive. She would test this little bit of a half story to see how useful the girl could be under the guise of just getting a bath. She padded to the steps and climbed them with a glance over her shoulder expecting the girl to follow. With a quick dip in the next pool she would be ready to dress and face Kaelus once more.

J. (jalen.francois) another client for the future, another volume of coin to continue her own ambition of being the type of bath slave that people spoke about in the streets, the type of slaves when others travelled they spoke about. J heeled Kaitlin into the rinsing pool, helping her wash away suds and any remaining grime from her body. Too, she would follow her out of the pool where both of their bodies glimmered with water pooling beneath their feet, and J would open a plush towel for Kaitlin to step into, and she would dry her from head to toe. “I will be sure to be available when you seek me, Mistress. I have enjoyed talking with you, greatly.” And it was true. The woman, although she was sure could be cruel to slaves, at least had intrigue for J’s words and what was inside of her brain. Some did not. J was still fond of them too, though, just in a different way. J helped Kaitlin dress, retrieved garments and smoothed fabrics over her body. And she would send her with a small bag, two small containers of oil and lotion to match what she had just bathed in. And then J would go about her duties in the bath – arranging things, awaiting another patron, a never-ending routine in her life in the City they shared.

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