Annabel and Mr. Nash Part Three
Copyright 2021 Lorenzo Marks.
Cover art permission by Fotosearch_u19270413
The right of Lorenzo Marks to be identified as the author of this book has been asserted in accordance with Section 77 and 78 of the Copyrights and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved.
Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.
All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.
ANNABEL—LIVE-IN MAID TO THE GENTRY
Sitting beside Barclay, her former butler, in his modest little Honda CR-V, Annabel stared with growing anxiety as they trundled up the sweeping gravel drive that led to a stately Georgian style country mansion. It wasn’t on the scale of Pemberton Hall, the huge estate that Annabel had grown up in, but having spent the past few months cooped up in Darius Nash’s pokey little brownstone, she now found herself quite intimidated by the size of this new and unfamiliar place. Not least because—as Nash had explained to her that morning—unlike her previous life at Pemberton Hall where she had ruled as the powerful and pampered young mistress, Annabel would soon be working here as a lowly maid. Furthermore, Nash had spitefully informed her just how far down the food chain she was going to be at her new place of work—right at the very bottom, to be exact!
Thinking back, there had been a strange, almost wistful look in Nash’s eyes as he had imparted the news that she would be spending a couple of months working at a posh residence on the other side of the city. It was almost as if he was afraid he wasn’t ever going to see her again, and not for the first time, Annabel had wondered if there more going on here than she had at first realized. The fact that Aunt Sissy had agreed to allow her to be left in the hands of a perverted sadist like Nash in the first place had never made any sense, and then her friend Alisha’s subsequent entrapment followed by her sudden departure had also raised questions in Annabel’s mind as to just how much control Nash really held over his girls.
“Come on. Time to meet your new employers!” Barclay said, opening his door.
Annabel duly let herself out of the passenger side and followed him. It wasn’t that long ago, Annabel ruefully recalled, that Barclay would have opened the door for her with a deferential bow. Nowadays she was no more than mere chattel to him, a sex slave with whom he had had his way on any number of occasions. And why wouldn’t she be? Barclay was by now intimately familiar with every inch of her naked body, as well as having witnessed her undergo the most humiliating of sexually perverted ordeals! Familiarity breeds contempt, and although his sexual desire for her was still plainly obvious, her easy access meant that he was no longer awestruck by Annabel’s beauty. How far removed from the days at Pemberton Hall when Annabel used to deliberately flaunt herself in front of him, secure in the knowledge that the old lecher would never have dared to lay a hand on her!
Employers, indeed! Annabel thought miserably as she followed Barclay up a set of stone steps flanked by neatly trimmed privet hedges. Even though she was the heiress to a fortune, Annabel hadn’t been permitted to handle so much as a single cent since she had been placed under Nash’s control—and she seriously doubted that there would be any financial compensation for whatever work she would be required to perform here!
“Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?” Barclay said while they waited on the front portico. “All those years that I waited on you hand and foot without a word of thanks—and now you are going to find out exactly how that feels!”
Annabel remained silent and stared glumly at the flagstones under her feet. She doubted if there was anything these people could possibly come up with that could match the degradations that Nash had already inflicted upon her. Even so, at least he was a known quantity. Now she would have to recalibrate her emotions once again. Being naked and humiliated had almost become second nature to her by now, and yet every time new people were introduced to her debasement, her shame and self-loathing always plummeted to ever lower depths. Who might be waiting for her behind that door? Was it a family? Would there be boys or girls of her own age, or perhaps even younger? What kind of people would they be? Would they treat her fairly or was she about to be thrown at the mercy of a new bunch of sadistic freaks?
As these possibilities tumbled around Annabel’s troubled mind, the door swung open and her heart immediately sank. A tall and stern looking woman glared down at her with such a withering expression that Annabel was immediately reminded of the terrifying and sadistic Nurse Ingle. Unlike the psychopathic nurse however, this woman was dressed in a crisp white blouse, a navy, knee length pencil skirt, dark tights, and highly polished black stilettos. Her black hair was shaped into an immaculate pageboy cut, and Annabel couldn’t help noticing the high thrust of the woman’s ample chest. She had to be in her forties, but her figure was still trim, her narrow waist flaring out into broader hips and thighs before tapering back down into shapely calves.
In her previous life, Annabel had always reveled in the envious looks that the other girls had given her as she had minced around in the latest designer wear. Now, with her own red tresses shorn into a ragged bob, and clad only in a simple blue and white checked tunic with cheap plastic sandals on her sockless feet, Annabel felt decidedly second-rate in the presence of this frightening but elegant woman. A little shiver ran up her spine as she contemplated spending the next two months under this woman’s strict rule, and she found herself almost missing Mrs. Craddock!
After giving Annabel a cursory once over, the woman’s eyes softened ever so slightly as she said to Barclay, “Hello, Alastair. It’s been a while.”
“Hello yourself, Veronica,” Barclay said. “You’re looking well.”
The fearsome looking woman almost smiled then, and in spite of her growing anxiety, Annabel couldn’t help wondering if they had ever been lovers. The fact they were old acquaintances was of no comfort to her of course, because it increased the likelihood that this grand house was going to serve as yet another venue for acts of depraved cruelty at her expense.
“You’re looking rather rejuvenated yourself,” Veronica said.
“Well, you know what they say,” Alastair said. “You’re only as young as what you feel.”
And to Annabel’s embarrassment, he promptly reached over and squeezed her right buttock!
“Quite,” Veronica said stiffly, before turning her steely gaze back to Annabel.
“I’ve been well briefed about this wanton little hussy,” she said. “Well, I’ll brook none of that behavior in Mr. Van Hook’s household. Strict discipline, absolute cleanliness, and many hours of hard work will soon cure this little tramp of her lustful ways. Come on, young lady, don’t just stand there.”
At first, Annabel couldn’t make her legs move, so Barclay gave her another pat on the ass and said, “After you, my lady!”
As Annabel haltingly entered the house, she heard Veronica say, “Where do you think you are going?”
She looked up nervously, only to discover that Veronica was addressing Barclay. The lecherous butler paused mid-stride on the threshold, and said, “I thought you might be needing my assistance.”
“Not at all,” Veronica said curtly. “I’m perfectly capable of taking it from here. I’m sure you have other duties to attend to at Pemberton Hall.”
In less forbidding circumstances, Annabel would have grinned at the crestfallen look on Barclay’s face. How the old pervert must have been looking forward to watching Annabel suffer another humiliating ordeal.
“But I could—” Barclay stammered.
Cutting him off, Veronica said, “It was very nice to see you again Alastair, but I want to get Annabel settled in before the master of the house comes home. Now good day.”
After closing the door on him, Veronica turned briskly on her heel and said to Annabel, “Follow me.”
Trailing behind the daunting woman, Annabel watched the seductive sway of Veronica’s hips as she clip-clopped in her heels across the polished floor. There was no doubting her innate sensuality, but it was tempered by the aura of power she exuded. This was not a woman to be crossed lightly, as evidenced by Barclay’s meek capitulation. Yes, Veronica was clearly a strict disciplinarian, and now that Annabel was totally under her control, she wondered what the next few weeks would hold in store for her!
Looking around at the opulent decor, Annabel couldn’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia for Pemberton Hall. She had grown up in surroundings such as these, and up until her enforced tenure under Darius Nash, had taken them pretty much for granted. Now it almost felt as if that life had never really existed and she truly felt overawed by the high ceilings, twinkling chandeliers, and marble floors.
Veronica led her through to the back of the house, out through a French door, and onto a patio dotted with ornamental statues. Beyond, an expansive lawn surrounded by ancient trees enveloped a large kidney shaped swimming pool. Annabel gazed wistfully at the sparkling clear water as she recalled the many idle hours she and her friends had spent sunbathing by the pool at Pemberton Hall. But even those cherished memories had now been tainted by her latest poolside experience at Helen’s house, and she cringed inwardly as she thought afresh of the humiliations she had been forced to endure in front of her former friends.
They followed a brick pathway around the side of the house and through a wooden door into a spacious utility room. Two male cooks were chopping vegetables at a kitchen table on the left, while over on the right, two Asian girls loaded a washing machine with white sheets. Everyone stopped and looked up when they came in, and to her dismay, Annabel felt herself blushing.
“Staff, I want you all to meet Annabel, the new scullery maid,” Veronica said, clapping her hands. “She will be working here for the next few weeks. Annabel, meet Ivan and Milo who are the chef and sous-chef respectively, and the two maids here are Rita and Cornelia. Later on, I will introduce you to Rafael the gardener, and Higgins the chauffeur. As scullery maid, you rank the lowest in the household staff, and you will do exactly as you are told by them. Is that clear?”
The old-fashioned title couldn’t have been more appropriate considering the stark contrast between this barren room and the lavish furnishings she had just passed through. Even the pale blue house coats worn by the two maids, and the white uniforms of the two cooks looked outdated. It was almost as if she had just stepped through a time portal back to the Victorian era!
Annabel nodded dejectedly, trying to avoid the curious expressions on the faces of her new superiors. During her years growing up at Pemberton Hall, a procession of staff from various countries of origin had waited on her and her aunt—and Annabel had treated them all like the lowlifes she believed them to be. She had never been unfair or nasty with them, but she had always felt it proper that everybody should know their position in the household. Now the tables had been fully turned, and she faced the awful prospect of having to jump to the commands of the very type of people she had once looked down upon!
Over the past few months of degradation and servitude at the hands of Nash and his cronies, Annabel had learned a lot about herself—in particular how much she was able to endure. She had already resigned herself to the fact that she would most likely be suffering many more indignities here, but the more she saw how much this place paralleled the surroundings of her own upbringing, the harder she knew this was going to be. Yet again, she held fast to her only hope of salvation—the knowledge that when this terrible year was finally over, she would be restored to her rightful place at the top of the social pecking order.
“Answer when I speak to you, young lady,” Veronica said. “And stop looking at your feet!”
Her cheeks burning even brighter, Annabel raised her chin and found herself looking straight into the eyes of Ivan the chef. He was wiping his hands on a towel and appraising her with a look that she recognized all too well from the various middle-aged perverts that Nash had already forced upon her.
Looking quickly away, she mumbled, “Yes, Veronica.”
Without warning, Veronica, lashed out and cuffed Annabel around the ear. Annabel’s head jerked forward and when she looked up again, her eyes were watering, and her ear felt like it was glowing.
“You will refer to me as Miss Veronica at all times,” Veronica snapped. “Is that understood?”
“Y-Yes, Miss Veronica!” Annabel stammered shakily, and to her chagrin, she heard one of the watching maids titter in amusement.
“Good. Very well people, now that you all know what she looks like, I’m going to take Annabel to her quarters. Back to work everybody—chop chop!”
Relieved at the opportunity to get away from the scrutiny of the others, Annabel followed Veronica through a doorway leading straight onto a dimly lit concrete staircase, and as they descended beneath the house, Annabel’s sense of foreboding increased. They passed under an archway at the bottom of the steps and after Veronica flicked on the light, Annabel looked around with dismay.
They were in a cellar about thirty-by-thirty feet, with wooden beams that supported a low ceiling and bare brick walls surrounding a concrete floor. Directly in the middle of the room was a steel frame bed and a thin mattress with some items of clothing on top, and beside it a plain, wooden chair. Along one wall was a metal locker, against the adjacent wall a simple porcelain commode with no seat, and a few feet further along a stainless steel shower head stuck out of the wall above a shallow step-in basin. The only other furniture in the room was a standing sink adorned with some basic items for ablution purposes, and beside it a plain full length mirror screwed to the wall.
That was it. No couch, no dresser, and certainly no television!
This is where I shall be sleeping for the next few weeks?
By comparison, her cramped room in Nash’s brownstone suddenly seemed rather inviting!
Looking around, Annabel then spotted a gray metal door that almost blended in with the bland concrete walls of the cellar. It had a single padlocked bolt and a small square window at head height. It looked rather like the door to a prison cell, and Annabel found it so sinister looking that a shiver ran down her spine.
“What’s through there, Miss Veronica?” she asked timidly.
“You don’t need to concern yourself with that,” Veronica said briskly.
Annabel’s stomach twisted inside as she instinctively deduced that her question had touched a nerve. Whatever did lay behind that door, Annabel suddenly decided she didn’t want to know about it now!
Veronica said, “As you can see, you have all the basic needs here. You should be comfortable enough. Now I want you to take a shower and then dress in the clothes provided on the bed. I’ll be back in half an hour, so you’d better be ready.”
Annabel listened to the sound of Veronica’s heels on the steps, and when she heard the door close at the top, she stepped out of her sandals. The concrete was cool under her bare feet and she felt rather vulnerable getting undressed in such a large and barren room. She raised her head as she prepared to tug her tunic off—and that was when she spotted the surveillance camera in the ceiling.
Annabel froze. She was no technology expert, but she knew enough that the dark glass globe in the ceiling directly above her bed was not a light bulb. Aunt Sissy had the same type of cameras installed in various locations around Pemberton Hall. She let go of the neck of her tunic and scanned the rest of the ceiling. There were two more tucked in opposite corners and another in the space between the toilet bowl and the open shower. No wonder they hadn’t supplied her with the privacy of an enclosed bathroom—somebody was watching her!
Annabel’s heart began to beat faster at the terrible implications of this latest discovery. Even though she had already endured dozens of humiliating and often painful tests of her sufferance, she was ill-prepared for this unfamiliar new game. Although Nash had gradually expanded the circle of witnesses to Annabel’s descent, she had at least been able to see who she was dealing with. But now she was utterly clueless as to the identity of her peeping tom. Was it the owner of the house? Perhaps all of the staff members she had just met were huddled around a monitor at this moment waiting for her to strip naked and shower for them. Or worse, could the cameras be linked to a computer which was right now streaming her live to thousands of paying customers around the world?
It was absurd that after having been debased in the worst ways imaginable, that she should be so terrified of exposing herself in front of a hidden audience—and yet she found herself rooted to the floor with a paralyzing attack of stage fright!
With Veronica’s parting words still ringing in her ears, Annabel knew that she had no choice but to comply with her instructions. Regardless of who might be watching her, if she wasn’t showered and changed by the time Veronica returned, Annabel knew she would undoubtedly incur a punishment. Her ear was still throbbing and Annabel was willing to bet that a cuff around the head was the lightest of sentences that could be dished out by the hard-faced bitch.
With a sigh of resignation, Annabel once again grasped the neck of her tunic, and this time she reluctantly pulled the simple garment up over her head.
In his sumptuous office on the penthouse floor of the high-rise building that housed the law firm of Bale, Thomas and Farringdon, David Van Hook watched the adorable redhead remove her tunic. He was impressed. Not just because of her feminine loveliness, but also because after several months in captivity, she was apparently still in control of her mental faculties.
He had observed with interest how she had hesitated after spotting the ceiling cameras—they were deliberately not concealed from view because that was what Van Hook had intended. For him, her knowledge that she was being scrutinized in intimate detail was vital because her mental and emotional torment was every bit as important as the physical suffering she would soon be enduring.
He touched an icon on the monitor and the camera zoomed in on her half naked body. She was braless, although she was denying him the chance to scrutinize her breasts by crossing her forearms over them. Van Hook smiled at her endearing attempts at modesty. Although he had never met the man, Van Hook had used his lofty position within Apex to procure a dossier on Darius Nash, and from what he had read about him, it was certain that young Annabel would by now have become accustomed to performing various depraved and shameful acts that she could never have previously conceived of in her former life.
Van Hook could probably have obtained all of Nash’s digital evidence of these pornographic depravities, but that would have taken the pleasure of discovery out of this moment. The beautiful part was that despite all that Nash must have put her through, here she was in a brand new environment, acting just as coyly as if she were starting her ordeal all over again. And in a way she was, because as he lustfully watched her bend forward and work her cotton knickers over her thighs while covering her breasts with her other hand, David Van Hook had already decided that he was going to turn this lovely young specimen into his personal plaything!
Stark naked and feeling as if the eyes of the whole world were upon her, Annabel stepped into the exposed shower stall. Nervously, she picked up a block of pink soap and its tar-like scent immediately took Annabel’s mind back to her last horrible assignment at the Mercy Clinic and Shelter for the Homeless. At least today she wasn’t being forced to parade naked in front of a bunch of dirty old hobos with the soap jammed into her mouth!
Turning her back on the spartan room, Annabel opened the old-fashioned faucet and then yelped as her body was engulfed by a cascade of icy water that took her breath away! Resisting the impulse to jump out of the stall, she quickly began to soap herself. Acutely aware that there was a camera almost directly above her, she tried to angle her body so that her breasts weren’t on display to whoever might be watching. The absurdity of her attempts at modesty weren’t lost on her considering the manifold depraved acts she had recently been forced to perform, and yet she felt compelled to protect herself as best she could. Whoever these people were, they were strangers who had never seen her most intimate parts, and just the idea of exposing herself to a different audience made her cringe with embarrassment!
She didn’t want to stand in that cold shower any longer than was necessary, so she set about washing herself briskly, bending as slightly as possible when she lathered her calves, and making sure not to touch her crotch or breasts. When she was rinsed off, Annabel closed the faucet and grabbed the only towel from the nearby rail. The thin cotton towel was so small it was little more than a facecloth, and Annabel was beginning to realize that everything in this room had been put there only to maximize her vulnerability. Gamely, Annabel toweled herself as dry as possible before returning to the bed with her hands across her breasts and the damp towel covering her pubes. Now it was time to find out what they wanted her to wear today.
Van Hook leaned in a little closer to his monitor as Annabel perched herself on the edge of the bed, knees together, arms across her chest, and the inadequate towel strategically placed on her lap. Her uniform was laid out beside her and she contemplated it for a moment before picking up a pair of black panties. Van Hook zoomed in the camera to get a better look.
He had given Veronica plenty of latitude as to how she should handle their newest acquisition, but he had set out a basic set of guidelines, and he had every confidence that his kinky, lesbian housekeeper would not let him down. And by allowing Veronica to punish and humiliate Annabel in her own way, Van Hook was afforded the added voyeuristic pleasure of surprise. Step one of this adventure was all about watching from afar, reveling in the discomfiture of his unbalanced young prey while building up anticipation for the infinitely more personal encounters to come.
Even so, Van Hook was the producer of this show, and everybody in the household were his players. His role was to create the setting and circumstances, and then sit back and enjoy the outcome. It was like watching a sexually twisted version of Big Brother!
As the creator of his own show, he had personally selected Annabel’s kinky maid’s outfit, right down to the black panties that the young woman was now holding out in front of her. And unbeknown to Annabel—or even Veronica—those innocuous looking panties were going to be the centerpiece of this episode of his show. To the eye, they looked like a regular pair that would fit snugly around Annabel’s around buttocks and vulva. No doubt the hapless girl would feel humiliated enough having to show off even these bland panties in front of the staff—it was underwear, after all, and women were very private about that sort of thing—but after the sequence of events that he was expecting to come into play, she and everybody else involved would be amazed at what would happen next.
It was the material that was the key. Using his money and a contact at a private research center, Van Hook had commissioned a little personal development of an as yet unpatented fabric that was specifically designed to shrink when wet. Its original purpose had something to do with diaper linings, but Van Hook had succeeded in acquiring a quantity of items of clothing manufactured from an enhanced version of this fabric—which would shrink considerably faster than its inventor had originally intended!
He hadn’t mentioned any of this when he had handed Annabel’s costume to Veronica, of course, but he had provided her with strict instructions to make sure that the underwear got wet, no matter what else happened. How Veronica planned to do that was up to her, but she knew from past experience that whenever Van Hook scripted a particular scenario, she had to make it look as natural as possible—it was all a part of the show.
Now he watched eagerly as Annabel contemplated getting into her unique underwear as modestly as she could. Although she had successfully managed to keep her front side averted from the cameras when she was showering, getting dressed with the same level of decorum was sure to prove more difficult.
By now she must have convinced herself that she was being observed by persons unknown, as evidenced by the look of apprehension in those pretty blue eyes. Indeed, notwithstanding the obvious delights of her curvaceous body, it was Annabel’s eyes that captivated Van Hook the most. Her body language displayed a certain degree of, if not defeat, then resignation to her plight, but in those fathomless eyes Van Hook saw shame and misery, as well as the unmistakable glint of defiance! Oh yes, the young heiress was still holding on to something of her former self deep inside, and that was what thrilled Van Hook about the prospect of testing her to her very limits!
Vividly recalling the humiliating maid’s outfit that Darius Nash had previously forced her to dress up in, Annabel held up the black panties cautiously. She was a little surprised—and relieved—to find that they weren’t more revealing, particularly as a quick glance at the rest of this uniform told her that whoever was in charge of her wardrobe was clearly cast from the same ilk as Nash.
With a resigned sigh, she couldn’t help glancing up at the nearest camera before leaning forward and threading her right foot through one of the leg holes. After maneuvering her left foot into the other opening, she awkwardly worked the garment up her legs while managing to keep them together with the towel in place over her crotch and keeping an arm across her breasts. She quickly sought out the black bra and wasn’t entirely shocked to discover that it was a push-up job. Now she moved quickly, briefly exposing her nipples before pulling the cups in place and then fastening the bra strap. She looked up straight at her reflection in the wall mirror and saw that the snug-fitting bra had pushed her bust obscenely up and out! Still, at least she was now relatively decent and could finish dressing with a little more composure.
Just like the uniform she had worn at Nash’s house, the black dress was so small that it stopped short at the tops of her thighs, and the neckline was so low that her thrusting breasts almost popped out of the top! Worried that Veronica could return at any moment, Annabel tied the white apron around her waist and then slipped the single white garter belt up over her right thigh. All that remained on the bed was a white lace headband which she guessed was supposed to serve as a demeaning little cap. There were no shoes under the bed, and although there was a selection on the rack by the wall, Annabel had learned if nothing else over the past few months, to obey instructions exactly. That meant, she sadly concluded, she would be carrying out her duties barefoot and Cinderella-style.
Still mindful of the cameras above her, Annabel stood and surveyed herself in the mirror. Her outfit was similar to the ridiculous cosplay uniform that Nash had dressed her up in, but when she turned around and looked over her shoulder, Annabel saw that there was actually one very noticeable difference—the dress had been specially cut so that the hem rode high up at the rear, completely exposing her panties!
After the numerous times she had been forced to expose herself publicly over the past few months, Annabel might have expected to develop a certain immunity to the embarrassment this caused her—but it wasn’t working out like that at all! The thought of having her rear end on display—albeit covered—in front of the other staff members made her wince. She reached behind and tried to pull the hem down, but she discovered that her efforts were a mere futile gesture at modesty. Reconciled to her fate, Annabel sat on the end of the bed and stared forlornly at the mysterious metal door in the wall.
At her desk in the small storeroom that also served as her office, Veronica watched with interest and growing arousal as Annabel awkwardly attempted to hide her privates while she showered and dressed. Mr. Van Hook had provided her with some background notes on the girl, and she had learned that Annabel came from a privileged background. She also knew that she had been at the mercy of Darius Nash for the past few months—a nasty little creep who Veronica had once had the misfortune to have worked with. However, as much as she despised the greasy lowlife, Veronica had to admit that they had a great deal in common when it came to their dark and twisted desires!
She could only imagine how many times young Annabel had been forced to copulate with him, and the thought of his fat hairy body writhing on top of this young beauty filled Veronica with disgust. Anyway, regardless of whatever else Mr. Van Hook had planned for Annabel, Veronica expected there would still be many hours available when their hapless young victim would be available to cater to her every deviant whim!
She focused intently on the screen, taking in every enticing detail of the pretty new scullery maid, her thrusting bosom, her angelic blue eyes, her badly cut mop of glossy red hair, and her shapely bare legs crossed demurely as she awaited Veronica’s return. Veronica had toyed with the idea of deliberately returning early to catch her out, but she had become so engrossed by Annabel’s unenthusiastic performance that it took her a moment to realize that the titillating little show was now over. Composing herself, Veronica stood, straightened her skirt, and then went down to the cellar.
Before she realized she had done it, Annabel was standing to attention beside her bed as soon as Veronica strode into the cellar. The unnerving woman stood before her, arms folded across her chest as she carefully appraised Annabel’s belittling uniform.
“Turn around, girl.”
Cheeks flushing furiously, and acutely aware of the ridiculous spectacle she must be presenting, Annabel did as she was told.
“Oh, very nice! A perfect fit that will ensure your plump ass is always on offer for a thrashing whenever you misbehave!” Veronica said. “Now turn back and face me.”
After Annabel completed her slow pirouette, she was surprised to find that Veronica had moved even closer to her, and due to the woman’s extremely high heels, Annabel was practically at eye level with Veronica’s prominent bust! It occurred to her then that one of the reasons she was being kept barefoot was to ensure that she remained at a lower physical height than everybody else—a symbolic reminder of her humble position in this unfamiliar household.
Embarrassed by the proximity of Veronica’s jutting breasts, Annabel averted her gaze, but Veronica gripped her by the chin, tilted her head up, and stared intently into Annabel’s eyes.
“Ah, yes,” Veronica said, her breath sweet and warm on Annabel’s face. “You appear to be afraid, but I still detect a glimmer of resistance in those sweet blue eyes. Somewhere in there, you are still clinging on to your former pride in anticipation of your eventual freedom, isn’t that so, Miss Annabel of Pemberton Hall? I think the master of the house has chosen well. You won’t be completely broken without a fight—which is exactly what he wants!”
She abruptly let go of Annabel’s chin and turned on her heel. “Come along, it’s time to put you to work!”
Watching the seductive sway of Veronica’s hips as she disappeared through the archway, Annabel tried to absorb the terrible implications of her mistress’s words. As she had feared, Annabel was indeed going to become a new pawn in somebody’s sick game of control and domination. And she had a very bad premonition that her life was going to become even worse than it had been under Nash’s control—if that was even possible!
Following Veronica’s echoing footsteps, Annabel hurried to catch up, the stone steps cool under her bare feet. When they reached the door to the utility room, the prospect of working shoeless in front of everybody inexplicably made her feel even more exposed than the absurdly high hemline at the back of her dress!
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