The maid led me up the broad staircase and along an ornate, timber panelled landing until we reached a large oak door with a very heavy looking black iron handle.
She opened the door and stood back to allow me inside.
"This is your room, Miss Victoria," she said.
I stepped inside and stopped dead in my tracks. The room was huge. There were two large windows in the opposite wall, the top panes of which were stained glass. Between them was the biggest bed I had ever seen.
At school I was used to a comfortable but functional narrow cot. This, though, was a wide and deep four post bed with the coziest looking covers, thick and warm.
I scanned the room, trying to take in the sumptuous wall-coverings and drapes. The tie backs were gold fabric with long tassles and the drapes were thick and heavy. I imagined that when closed, not a glimmer of light would manage to penetrate them.
There were paintings hanging on the walls and I began to notice they were of a rather erotic nature. Various scenes of ladies in very little clothing. Nothing too severe but nevertheless, like nothing I had seen before.
My parents were practising Methodists and very staid in their ways. The only naked flesh I had seen in my life was my own! Even at school, we always washed under a robe and bathing was always in private.
I looked up and the ceiling high above me had the most amazing plasterwork and frescos. In the centre was a huge electric chandelier. This was another first for me as my school had been lit by gas and I was used to hearing the gentle hiss whenever the lamps were lit during the dark hours.
"If you would follow me, Miss Victoria, I will show the bathroom."
Melissa led me through a large, six panelled door and into the bathroom. It was bigger than my room at home had been. Tiled with dark green and black tiles which had a raised relief and electric lights along the walls with opaque white globes attached to brass fittings. A large green plant stood in a Chinese style pot in the far corner.
To one side of the room was a white enamel bathtub which had feet like lions paws and in the corner was not one but two toilet bowls. One with a high ornate cistern above it connected by a highly polished copper water pipe. The other appeared to have a tap.
A bidet! I had heard of those but never used one. I thought it very continental.
Melissa spoke as my eyes scanned the room in awe.
"I hope it is to your satisfaction, Miss Victoria."
I nodded slowly and whispered, "It is stunning."
"Your Aunt asked me..."
"She is not my aunt, Melissa," I interrupted, "She was a friend of my parents. I don't even know her really."
"I know Miss," Melissa replied cheerily, "Lady Helen has told us all about you but she wants you to feel at home here and asked us to refer to her as your aunt so you do not feel a stranger in your own home."
"She seems very nice. Very caring, my, um, 'Aunt'," I mused.
"She is, Miss. I wouldn't want to work anywhere else. She looks after all of us so well."
I wasn't sure, but did I detect a little twinkle in her eye and a slight pause before the word 'well'?
'Probably just my weariness,' I thought.
"How long have you worked here, Melissa?" I asked her.
"I was born here, Miss. almost fifty years ago." She paused, "My mother worked here as maidservant to Lady Helen's mother."
"You are almost fifty!?" I exclaimed, "You don't look it, I must say!"
"I told you, Miss," she replied with a smile, "Lady Helen looks after us well."
I returned to the main room and Melissa took my coat and hat and placed them in the closet that was like another room which was accessed through an equally large door in the wall opposite the bathroom.
"You may have noticed another door in the bathroom, Miss. That is the servants access when you need water to bathe, or anything else related to the bathroom," She seemed to emphasise that last part again, with a smile, "So that we do not disturb you in here."
I began to be aware that, as she spoke, there were faint sounds from the bathroom.
"Now then, Miss Victoria." Melissa stood before me. "I will assist you to undress for your bath."
"Assist me?" I said, "Why? I am quite capable of preparing myself. I am eighteen you know!"
"I am sorry Miss." Melissa seemed surprised. "I didn't mean any offence. Lady Helen did tell me you would not be used to being 'looked after'. I will leave you to undress yourself for today but this house is not like any other you have known."
"No, It is I who should apologise." I replied, feeling rather chastened, "You are right, I am new here. I am used to looking after myself,"
"That is all right, Miss Victoria. Now, shall I take your dress?"
"Oh, umm, I have never been undressed before. At least, not since I was a child."
"Never, Miss?" She frowned.
"No, never," I replied. "Is that unusual at my age?"
"Oh, no, I don't suppose so." Again, I noticed, she had a small smile playing on her lips as she began to unfasten the buttons down the back of my dress..
It felt strange but not unpleasant as I felt her fingers working lightly against my back until she undid the last one at the base of my spine.
She slipped the fabric from my shoulders and I stepped out of my dress which she laid on the bed.
I just stood still, in my petticoat and stockings now, expecting Melissa to leave that to myself but, instead, she began to unfasten the buttons on my underdress. I tensed at this, aware that I was naked beneath it and she would see me.
I didn't wish to offend her again so I let the satin slip from my shoulders and quickly lifted my arms to cover my small breasts.
I stepped out of the slip and shivered as I felt Melissa's cap brush against my lower back as she bent to take it from me after I stepped out of it.
"No, wait!" I gasped. Melissa had slipped her thumbs into the waistband of my large satin knickers and was about to slip them down.
"I... I will do that, please," I said nervously. I felt strangely excited and yet afraid of these new sensations.
"As you wish, Miss," she said. Stepping back and waiting.
My arms still covering my breasts as I looked back over my shoulder to see her still looking at me.
She must have read the pleading look in my face.
"One moment then, Miss, I will get you a robe."
She was back in moments with a red silk kimono from the closet room which she draped about my shoulders, allowing me a little privacy.
Slipping my arms through the fabric, I pulled the sides around me and slipped my knickers down and stepped out of them.
Immediately, before I had the chance to move, she had bent and retrieved them. She seemed to pause before placing them with my other clothes on the bed.
"Your shoes and stockings, Miss?"
I had not thought of those as my mind was reeling due to the situation being so unexpected for me. I sat on the chair by the dresser and bent to undo the buckles.
"Allow me, Miss Victoria." Melissa knelt before me and unfastened the strap holding my shoes.
She removed one then her hands ran up the inside of my thigh.
I jumped at her touch.
"What... what are you..." I didn't finish the question as the answer was given immediately.
"Your stockings, Miss."
I closed my eyes and clenched my teeth. I had never been touched like this before and the sensations I felt did not only seem to come from my legs. I could feel a million butterflies all fluttering around the pit of my stomach.
Melissa gently parted my legs so she could roll my stocking down from the top. I relaxed for a moment then, as she removed the second stocking I suddenly remembered I had already removed my knickers and she must have seen my nakedness!
I pulled my robe tighter around me and tucked it between my thighs in such a way, I thought, that she would not think anything of it.
She didn't appear to notice and she she stood and took my shoes to the closet, leaving my stockings on the bed with my other clothes.
When she returned she looked at me and frowned.
"Are you all right, Miss Victoria?" she asked. "You look a little flushed."
"Oh, umm, yes, thank you," I replied, with a little hesitance, "I think I am not used to being in such a state of undress in front of anyone. It is embarrassing."
"Oh, I see," She said. "Well, don't you worry about that, you will soon get used to it."
Again, that twinkle in her eye and the little smile.
"Will I?" I ventured.
"Oh yes, Miss," She smiled widely now, "You are just not used to having someone serve you," and this time she winked.
"I believe your bath is ready now, would you like to give me your robe?"
I began to tremble deep inside. Naked? in front of someone? I was not ready for that yet.
"Thank you, no, I can manage," I told her, hoping beyond hope that the timbre in my voice would not give away the myriad of feelings I was experiencing at that very moment.
"As you wish. Miss." If she had any idea about what I was feeling she made no indication. Instead, she stood and led the way to the bathroom where the steam rose lazily from the hot water that had been poured into the tub whilst I was undressing.
"I will leave you to take your bath. I am here to bathe you, but I expect you would prefer to be alone this first time?"
I told her yes, I would and, as she turned to close the door, I called after her.
"Thank you, Melissa."
"You are welcome, Miss. There is a cord beside the bath tub and another by the wall mirror." I had noticed the full length mirror when she showed me the room, "Just pull either if you need anything," and with a smile, she closed the door.
I looked around for a minute before slipping my robe from my shoulders and hanging it on the stand beside the tub then stepped into the pleasantly warm water.
As I slid down into it I relaxed and let all my fears wash away, the heat almost massaging me.
I lay back and closed my eyes, thinking about the events that had brought me here.
My parents were well off but not so rich that they had servants to look after them.
We had a housemaid and a nanny when I was too young for boarding school, but that was all.
I never really knew what my father did for income, but they both used to travel to America often, although whether this was business or pleasure, I was not aware.
They often mentioned the friend in the big house in Suffolk and about their visits there while I was at school, but I never met her.
Lady Helen had indicated, when we met on my arrival, that she knew me as a child, but I must have been only a small child as I didn't remember her at all.
My parents had many friends but none remained in my memory, I suppose because I was never allowed to join them, being sent to my room and kept occupied by the nanny.
My thoughts slowly turned to Melissa. She was still very attractive, not at all like the older women I was used to.
My teachers, for example. All staid, matronly types who, in some cases, were actually younger than she was.
I remembered how I felt as I undressed. I was excited. I found it kind of thrilling having someone watch as I disrobed but I had no idea why. She was a woman too. It was not as though I was being ogled at by a man, and yet...
I felt the thrill begin to reappear inside my belly as I dreamed and I pressed my hands between my legs, trying to control the sensation that was building in me.
I felt odd, peaceful and excited, like adrenalin rushing inside me, making my heart begin to beat harder and my breathing to become deeper.
I pressed my thighs together and the feeling seemed to increase.
"Miss Victoria." I jumped as Melissa knocked on the door.
I looked for a towel to cover me but could see none.
"I don't have a towel, Melissa," I called out, half panicking.
"I know, Miss. I have them here," she called back.
I heard the door open behind me, and I slid down into the water in a effort to retain a little modesty, trying simultaneously to cover my breasts and pubis from her view.
I glowed bright pink as Melissa appeared beside me, looking down at me and smiling at my attempt to cover myself in the almost clear water.
"Don't worry, Miss Victoria, You don't have anything I have not seen before." She held out the largest, fluffiest whitest towel I had ever seen. With her arms at full stretch it was still loose between her hands.
"You haven't seen me before." I replied sheepishly, "No-one has!"
My face was burning with embarrassment as she stood patiently, waiting for me to stand and get out of the bath tub.
"Please, Melissa, just leave it there. I know you are here to assist me but this I prefer to do myself... alone."
"All right, Miss. If that is what you wish."
She looked a little put out as she folded the towel and placed it on the wash stand then placed a smaller, but equally soft, towel on the floor beside the bath for me to step onto.
Without another word she turned and left, closing the heavy door behind her.
I stood and stepped over the side and onto the small soft towel, the water dripping from my narrow frame and leaving little spots on it.
I reached across for the larger towel and wrapped it around me after drying my legs and feet.
Then I stepped off the towel on the floor, picked it up and headed for the door to my bed chamber.
Back in my room, Melissa was waiting.
I passed the smaller towel to her.
"I understand that at boarding school things are a little different, less pampered perhaps," She began, "But the servants here will look after all your needs, Miss Victoria."
"My needs?" I queried.
"The towel for instance, Miss. Just leave it in the bathroom. The servants will take care of such matters."
"Oh, I see. Thank you." I paused, "It will take a lot of getting used to."
"Don't worry, Miss Victoria, There are many things here you will not be 'used to'. Lady Helen said to give you time to adjust. You will find our way of life very different I am sure."
Melissa just looked at me for a moment, a faint smile playing on her lips.
"If you will pardon my presumption, Miss, you are a very beautiful young lady."
I blushed deep red and felt my face burning again. I couldn't answer but just looked down at the floor.
"Now then, Miss, the towel if you please?"
"Erm, Melissa, I am naked under it!" I snapped suddenly back to reality.
"Yes, Miss, I am aware of that. You just stepped from the bath."
"I will get my robe from the bathroom." I said, turning back towards the door.
I sensed rather than heard, a faint sigh of resignation, or perhaps it was irritation,. I wasn't sure.
"No, Miss, I will get it for you. You wait here."
Without another word, she disappeared through the door, returning moments later with the scarlet robe draped across her arm.
Standing behind me, she held it open for me as I slipped first one arm and then the other into its loose sleeves, keeping a careful grip on my towel as I did so then, once covered, allowed the towel to slip to the floor and quickly tied the smooth cord around my waist.
Melissa bent and retrieved the towel before I had tied my robe then, indicating the chair in front of the dresser, bade me sit so she could brush my hair.
I followed her bidding and kept as still as I could as she began long careful strokes with the hairbrush that had been laid neatly on the dresser along with an ivory handled mirror and silver comb.
I closed my eyes and relaxed. The memories of my nanny brushing my hair as a child came flooding back but somehow, there was a difference. Melissa used long, slow, gentle strokes, as if enjoying it, whereas I remembered my nanny brushing quickly and counting:
"Ninety-five, Ninety-six, Ninety-seven, Ninety-eight, Ninety-nine, One Hundred," She would chant, patting my head at the end with, "Off you go now, Missy."
Melissa didn't count. She lifted my hair from beneath and followed the brush with her hand, carressing it almost, never tugging or pulling, just easy gently strokes.
It felt wonderful.
She stopped, placing a hand on my shoulder.
I opened my eyes and turned to look back at her. She smiled, a dreamy, far away look in her eyes.
"I have laid out your clothes on the bed, Miss Victoria."
I looked for my trunk, puzzled as to where the clothes had come from.
Seeing my uncertainty, Melissa answered my unasked question.
"Lady Helen and myself picked your outfit from your portmanteau whilst you bathed. She told me to apologize for the intrusion into your personal belongings, but she had no-one to bring the trunk to your room as yet."
I smiled a her, thankful for some clean clothes.
"It is fine." I said, "I am grateful for her, and your, hospitality."
I took the beige satin pants from the bed and stepped into them, turning my back to Melissa as I slipped them up and over my buttocks.
keeping my back to her, I slipped off the robe and let it fall whilst covering my breasts, once again, with my arm.
She picked up the robe after passing my petticoat to me which I slipped over my shoulders and began fastening the buttons at the front.
I felt more at ease now I was covered, but my skin still felt hot and flushed.
Melissa held out the dress they had chosen. A long green cotton dress which buttoned at the back. I took it and stepped into it.
With my arms in the sleeves, she pulled up the fabric which sat loosely around my neck with no collar, then fastened the mother of pearl buttons which began at the base of my spine. She worked each one into the corresponding button hole precisely until she reached the last one at my neck.
"I did not bring stockings for you as I think Lady Helen expects you will wish to relax for the remainder of the day. I can get you some if you prefer."
"Oh, no, that will be fine, Melissa. Thank you."
I stepped into the little ballet style slippers which Melissa had thoughtfully provided, then stood.
She stepped back and smiled.
"Pretty as a picture." She said, admiring me, "Now, if you would care to follow me to the dining room, I believe Lady Helen will be waiting for you."
I followed obediently behind, through the door, along the landing and down the magnificent staircase into the main entrance hall.
She led me to an enormous dark oak door and knocked before opening it.
"Miss Victoria, ma'am." she announced, stepping back to allow me to enter.
Lady Helen was seated at the end of the large dining table. She looked splendid and powerful, regal even, and yet so welcoming. She stood as I entered and walked toward me.
"Oh, please La... Aunt Helen." I corrected myself, "Don't get up on my account."
She smiled and her proud face seemed to radiate a warmth I had never seen before in someone so much older than me.
My mother always treated me with warmth and happiness but then, she was my mother. Most of the people of her generation, who had grown up under Queen Victoria, after whom I had been christened, seemed so dour and humourless.
"My dear, I can see you have impeccable manners but you are not here as a guest or a servant. You will be almost like my daughter. The staff have been informed that they are to treat you as such."
I thanked her and accepted her as she wrapped her arms around me and embraced me.
"Welcome to Woolverstone, Victoria. I know I am not your real aunt and I also understand I cannot replace your parents, nor will I try to but you are welcome to use my home as if it were your own, to come and go as you please. Subject, of course, to all the usual social expectations."
"I understand, Aunt Helen. It is difficult for me and I am very grateful to you for taking me in when I have no other family to turn to."
Taking my face in her hand she raised it to her and kissed me gently on the lips.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement, I was used to being kissed by my mother, but that was just a peck. This felt different, slightly prolonged and a little concerning, but I accepted it with the thought that maybe this was how they greeted people here.
Releasing me as if nothing had happened, which maybe to her, nothing had, she indicated a chair at right angles to her own and I sat.
She returned to her seat and rang a small hand bell that was on the table beside her setting.
As the servants brought in a terrine of soup and some small triangular sandwiches my 'Aunt' explained.
"I am afraid you arrived too late for lunch, and it is too early for dinner, so I have arranged a few sandwiches and some fresh soup for you. I hope that is all right."
I looked at her.
"Yes, thank you... Aunt." That still felt a little strange, "I have not eaten all day, it is perfect."
I was pleased that she allowed me to eat and talk at my own pace. Not asking too much and answering all my questions, which, at this point, were not numerous.
I was sure though, that as my time here passed I would have many.
To be continued...
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/first-time/my-aunt-chapter2.aspx">My Aunt. Chapter2</a>