The dry cleaner (a lovely woman from Belarus, I believe) had my order hanging near the cash register, waiting for me. She tried to brush away my tip, but as always she eventually conceded with a smile and daintily shoved the few extra dollars (as daintily as someone can shove something) into her vast brassiere.
Usually by 8:30, which my pocketwatch told me it had just struck, I’d be making coffee, but since my employer was “with guest” and the various grinding of beans and screaming of espresso making apparati would, I’m sure, be a less than ideal wake up call, I was out running the errands which I usually saved for later in the day.
The mornings when my employer had an overnight guest (or guests, as sometimes happens) were some of the most challenging in my professional life, I assure you. Still, in their own way, they were some of the most rewarding.
Most mornings my employer, Mr Leinhardt, and I would share some light banter on topics both political and scandalous while I gave him a shave, dressed him and attend to his breakfast. On mornings where Mr Leinhardt was entertaining I instead had to focus on the detailed movements and well thought out strategies of readying food, newspapers, clothing, and other essentials whilst not disturbing he nor his scantily clad (if that) visitor. I assure you this is no small feat and it takes all of my not unconsiderable skills.
After procuring the provisions for the day I made my way through the servants entrance and through the house, cleaning up a spilled cocktail and a pair of stockings in the hallway. I then entered the master bedroom silently and attempted to take the least amount of time possible picking up the scattered clothes and various detritus of my employer’s nocturnal activities, which by the look of things were both violent and sordid. It’s hard, I admit, not to steal glances at his guests. That morning specifically it was impossible not to notice the shapely legs of my employer’s acquaintance. The curve of her bottom, which seemed to my keen eyes to have earned a bruise or two, though one never knows if those bruises were collected in the scuffle and decadence of the evening before or, like so many objet d’art one picks up in one’s travels, she simply came that way.
There was a single breast exposed by the tangled limbs and wrinkled sheets of their morning tableau. It was pert, economic even, not the full hand heavy bosom I am fond of, but a perfect example of a flavor that is not my favorite, yet so lovely it gave me cause to question my preference.
I only paused a moment to take in the sight, feeling a bit foolish standing there holding a handful of her silk under things and a feather duster.
It was half past nine and by my employer’s orders he was to be up by ten even in the most extreme of cases. I started some bacon, I washed fruit. I did it all quietly, but banged and bumped around just enough to let them know someone was in the kitchen.
I had already steamed the young lady’s fetching silk dress (last season’s Givenchy?) and laid out her shoes (thankfully not Louboutin) and undergarments when I heard shower start. Mr Leinhardt did not like to dine until he was clean and fresh. As well, when having company, he often enjoyed entertaining his guest in his large, almost cavernous, shower. That, I’m sure, was a sight.
Since they were up I could grind the coffee beans, prep steamed milk and warm the cups. I had soy milk on hand in case his guest was vegan. One never knows these days. The table was laid out with plates and silverware, cloth napkins quickly twisted and folded into the shapes of roses, croissants, fruit, a variety of jams, all of the various the accoutrements.
This story and two others are available in my collection, The Valet, through Amazon.