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Beautification Edification

Aida hummed soothingly as I washed the sweat and filth of my journey from Spokane, she even helped me wash my back, being gentle with the cuts and bruises there.

Stepping out of the water, I tried not to look at the color the water had turned, but I saw how beige it had become.

Aida held out a towel that was so large I had to wrap it around myself twice.

"Come," she said, taking my hand.

She let me to a nearby chair and brushed the tangles out of my wet hair while I continued to sniffle.

"You need to stop," she urged gently, "the more you cry, the more Lord Lothaire will hurt you."

I nodded, wiping the tears away, but more replaced them. No matter what I tried, I couldn't stop them.

When she was done brushing my hair, Aida twisted it into a tight braid weaving rings of gold and silver into the strands.

When that was done, she turned the chair and made me look up at her.

"I need to put some makeup on you," she explained, wiping my face gingerly with the sleeve of her shirt, "but I can't do that if you keep crying.

"Lord Lothaire is not the most patient of men, and when he calls for you you must be ready," she continued, looking worried.

"He will punish you if I'm not ready, won't he?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"Yes," she confirmed, her breathing shaky.

"Alright," I sighed, trying to take deeper breaths, forcing myself to calm down.

After a few minutes, I finally managed to stop the tears.

"How long have you been a pet?" Aida asked as she began brushing powder on my cheeks, forehead, and nose.

"I was caught a few days ago during the annual hunt," I replied, trying to stay as still as possible.

"A few days?" she asked, breathlessly.

"Yes, Lord Aric captured me," I explained, feeling my eyes beginning to water.

"I'm sorry," I sniffed, blinking them back. "I'm not going to cry."

Aida gave me a moment to collect myself before she began to apply layers of black and grey eye shadow and moist black eye liner.

When she was done there, she began lining my lips with a burgundy pencil before applying matching lipstick.

Stepping back, she inspected her work, making small adjustments here and there until she was satisfied that everything was perfect.

"Okay," she sighed, "we need to get you dressed."

Rising, I followed her out of the bathroom down the hall to another room.

This one was filled with all kinds of clothes, from ball gowns to what looked like a squirrel costume.

I opened my mouth to say something, but it seemed like Aida already knew my thoughts.

"We have to be ready for whatever a master wants his slave to be dressed as," she said over her shoulder.

"What does Lord Lothaire want me to wear?" I asked, really not wanting to know.

"Over here," she said, motioning to an area filled with lots of lace and leather.

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