To Train A Wild Rose

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Chapter 29 - Hors-D'Œuvre

I spent much longer than usual getting myself all dressed up and I even tried to do something with my hair, even though it was still a bit too short for anything fancy. At least I made sure it was all brushed and tidy. And when I was done, I sat back and sort of had a look at myself in the mirror and was… like… totally shocked by what I saw. The person looking back at me was definitely a young lady, rather than some kind of scruffy kid, and, without any of the whole false modesty type stuff, she really didn’t look too bad at all. I guess the funny flashes of blue through my hair were really the only reminder of the old Ro that I used to be.

And they even matched the flashes in my lovely dress!

And then, for some reason, I found myself sort of wondering about whether my master would like what he saw.

And… basically… really hoping he would, I guess.

I sort of studied myself for a couple more seconds and decided that I probably ought to think about makeup or something but I didn’t have any of the stuff and, even if I did, I wouldn’t of had the foggiest clue what I was supposed to do with it.

I mean… it was stupid but, even with that, Mr M probably knew more about the whole thing than me! I giggled a bit as I found myself vaguely wondering whether he used mascara on his eyebrows or something!

I slipped on the shoes that he’d bought to go with the dress and then, after checking myself in the mirror one more time, I decided that I was just about as ready as I was ever going to get.

So I took this deep breath and set off down the corridor to see whether Mr M thought I was good enough.

I… like… paused for a moment at the entrance to the living room bit and then, doing my best to sort of walk like a lady, I stepped inside to see what Mr M thought of the shiny new me.

But then I was basically brought to this… like…. crunching halt.

Everything was so… wow… like… totally different… pretty much magical. It took me a couple of seconds to work out that, apart from a single spotlight in the kitchen, everything was… like… lit by candles. Even our television window was playing along and all the mountains and things were sort of shining in this amazing moonlight.

The table had already been set with this shiny, white table cloth and there was this… like… totally crazy collection of plates and glasses and cutlery and stuff laid out. And it was all sort of sparkling in the flickering light.

At last I got my head back together. “What can I do?” I asked, wandering over to my master who was putting a large pan of water on to boil. But really, inside my head, I was still sort of screaming, ‘Am I good enough? Please tell me I’m good enough.’

“Everything’s under control here,” he answered, turning round. And, in spite of everything, I had to sort of smile when I saw he was wearing this really smart shirt and tie but he had this… like… stripy apron, over the top of them… with a picture of a chicken on it. It just looked a bit funny.

But he sort of froze when he saw me. “Good evening, Beautiful!” he said. He took my two hands but held me a bit away from him so he could sort of inspect me. “Who are you and what have you done with my little babygirl?”

And I could have pretty much cried with relief.

He stared at me basically forever until I was basically dying of embarrassment. “I probably need some makeup, or something,” I mumbled.

“You don’t need anything,” he told me firmly, meeting my eye and sort of holding it so I couldn’t look away. “You look perfect… you are perfect.”

I sort of wanted to protest but I guess he’d trained me pretty well and at least I knew how to take a compliment now. So I forced myself to sort of look him in the eye and reply, “Thank you, Master.”

“Now you say it,” he told me.

I did my confused puppy thing at him.

“You have to tell me that you’re beautiful,” he explained. Of course he’d worked out what was going on inside my head. “You have to truly accept it when I tell you that you’re beautiful.”

And he was doing his ‘master’s voice’ thing… and his eyes were basically staring into my soul… and so I just didn’t have any choice and so I had to believe him… to accept that it was true, I guess. I really was beautiful… and he really did think I did look good enough for him.

Pretty much melting with the whole relief thing, I met his eye and said it for him. “I am beautiful.”

He leaned in, still holding me back, away from him, so he didn’t get any mess on my lovely dress, and gave me a little kiss on the cheek. “There’s something for you on the coffee table,” he told me. “Go and take a look and I’ll be with you in a moment.”

So I went across to the little table by the sofa whilst he tidied away the last couple of bits in the kitchen and there I found this… like… beautifully carved wooden box sort of waiting for me. “What is it?” I asked, excitedly, sort of dropping to my knees to have a bit of a closer look.

“Only one way to find out!” he answered as he wandered over to join me; he had taken off his chicken apron and popped on a jacket and looked properly smart now. He sort of stepped behind me and sat down on the sofa with me between his legs.

I opened the box and found this incredible silver necklace in it with a sparkly pink and white pendant in the shape of a rose. I just stared at it for… like… ages and then these stupid tear things started to flow down my cheeks.

“What’s the matter, Babygirl?” my master asked. He hauled me up onto his lap and kissed the tears away.

I had to do one of his silence things to kind of get my head back together before I could manage to give him an answer. “Nobody has ever given me jewelry before,” I told him at last. Then I had to take a couple of deep breaths before I could go on. “Thank you, Master. It’s really beautiful.”

“Then it’s just right for you,” he said. He took it out of my hands and fastened it around my neck for me. Then he sort of sealed it in place with a kiss which sent this delicious shiver down my spine.

And I sort of knew what I had to do.

I put my arms round his neck and said, “I’d like to give you a kiss… if that’s alright.”

“I can’t imagine many situations in which it wouldn’t be alright,” he answered with a bit of the eyebrow stuff.

I’d basically never kissed anyone… like… properly before and I really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do as I leaned in towards him… but then I guess… like… instinct sort of took over. My mouth kind of locked onto his and used it to thank him for the lovely necklace… and the lovely box to keep it in. He put a hand on my back to balance me but I could sort of tell he was letting me take charge and, before I knew it, my tongue was sort of in his mouth and I think I managed to let him know how grateful I was.

And he seemed to be enjoying it!

At last I had to come up for air and, when I had recovered, I noticed that he was giving me a bit of a funny look.

“What?” I asked in a sort of protest, “or rather… would you mind aaawfully explaining,” I was using my most over the top posh accent for him, “what your concern might be?”

“Not bad,” he told me, “but I’m afraid you’re going to need a little more practice.”

For about a millionth of a second, I was sort of a tiny bit hurt but then I managed to work out that he was teasing me. He could sort of keep it out of the rest of his face but by now I knew him too well. His eyes basically gave it away!

So I let Ro out of her box.

“That’s quite alright,” she told him, still doing my best talking posh bit. “Just inform me on whom I should practice, and I shall attend to it straight away!”

Of course he squidged my bottom, making me squeak, but we both knew that I’d won that one!

“Would you be so kind as to pass the hors-d’œuvre, please, Babygirl?” he asked me, sort of leaning me over sideways so I could grab the tray with our little pastry shells off the lovely, coral-filled glass table. The tray glinted beautifully in the candle light and I just sort of knew it was silver.

He gave me a little kiss of thanks, spread a sparkling white napkin across my lap and then popped one of the avocado shells into my mouth.

And I guess my eyes must have kind of drifted closed as I enjoyed it because I was sort of startled by a loud pop as he opened a bottle of fizzy wine. Somehow he managed to do it without all the fuss and the spraying everywhere and stuff. I guess he’d done it before.

“Is that Champagne?” I asked.

“No, in fact it’s a German Sekt. It’s a terrible thing to confess but I’m not actually all that keen on Champagne! I much prefer either this or Prosecco. Would you care for a glass?”

“Wine? You treat me like a kid and then you offer me wine.”

“I only treat you like a child when you behave like a child. Right now, you are doing a perfectly passable job of behaving like a sophisticated young lady.”

“I don’t really mind one bit but…” I did one of his silence things - I’m sort of learning his tricks… “you are feeding me like a little baby!”

“That is pure self interest!” he laughed. “Were I to allow you free use of your hands, all the guacamole shells would vanish before I saw a single one!”

I guess I have to sort of admit that he might not have been totally wrong there. I mean… they were, by miles, the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten.

“Anyway,” he went on, “I’m offering you a glass of Sekt. I am not suggesting that you guzzle an entire bottle of cooking sherry and then pass out in a public toilet.”

He decided that that comment needed a little bit of eyebrow work… and I had to giggle at it. It sounded like he knew Tozza and the rest of the crowd that I used to hang out with round college.

“Then yes, please, Master. I would love a glass of… Sekt.”

“So, Babygirl, our future,” he said as we chinged glasses.

“Our future, Master,” I sort of echoed.

And I guess that, in a way, I was kind of a bit curious about what he thought our future might be.

“Just take it gently!” he told me as I put the glass to my lips. I sort of smiled at him with my eyes and took a bit of a sip. It wasn’t anything like as sweet as I expected and the bubbles did kind of funny things to my nose… I guess they were a bit different from the bubbles in the ordinary kind of fizzy drinks I knew. I had a little think and then took another sip.

“So, do you like it?” he asked.

“It’s different…” I answered… “but I could definitely get used to it!”

“I believe it will go rather well with one of these,” he said, popping another of the shells in my mouth… roast beef this time.

We sat like that for quite a while, not talking much, just sharing our shells and drinking our Sekt and generally sort of enjoying each other’s company… appreciating it, I guess you might say. With the tray and the glass, my hands were full, so his thing for feeding me came in really handy for once!

But at last the big pot of water on the stove started to boil so he had to pop me down and scurry over to the kitchen. I tried to do the whole ‘elegant sitting’ thing for him as I kind of enjoyed the night time view out over the mountains.

“The moon’s really lovely tonight,” I said at last.

“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” he replied.

I didn’t bother saying anything. I mean… I guess you sort of got used to that sort of stuff from him after a bit. I just sat there and sort of practiced his thing of giving a bit of a very hard stare without even looking at him. It was a handy trick!

He gave a little bit of a laugh which meant he must have noticed.

Yay! Go me!

“It’s a quote,” he explained, “or, rather, a double quote, I’m quoting Sting who’s quoting Shakespeare. He fiddled with his phone and some smooth, jazzy singing type music came out of nowhere. It wasn’t the kind of stuff I would ever normally listen to but I guess it sort of suited the atmosphere perfectly… and, though I couldn’t quite make out the words, I could hear it had something to do with the moon.

“You’ve not encountered much Shakespeare yet, have you?” he asked.

“No,” I answered, doing my best not to sound grumpy… in fact doing my best not to be grumpy. Of course I hadn’t ‘encountered much Shakespeare’. I hadn’t encountered much of any of that sort of stuff until Mr M decided to take over my life for me.

“Well we can easily put that right,” he told me. “I’d been intending to watch all his plays for a while but I’ve never got round to it. This is the perfect opportunity. We’ll watch them together.”

I sort of wanted to get grumpy at that too. I mean… from the little bit of Shakespeare that they’d forced Ro to look at in school, I basically knew that the language was so old fashioned that it was pretty much impossible to understand what they were going on about. And this whole wave of feeling totally stupid and useless and stuff came bubbling back out from not very deep down inside me…

And with it, there came the whole worry thing that… like… sooner or later, he was going to work it all out… and then he wouldn’t want me any more.

But luckily he was too busy with his German noodle things to notice.

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