Before I slot the keys in the door, I stare at the front steps of my house. The marble is cold, and covered in a thin layer of morning frost, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing myself onto it.

“Finally, a break”- I remark to myself.

The morning is incredibly foggy, yet I can just about see the first few rays of sunlight break through the clouds. My flight only touched down an hour ago, but my father made sure that I didn’t have to suffer in an airport for longer than necessary. The perks of having important diplomats for parents are many, and this was one of them. Alas, after my mother passed away earlier this month, I was forced to continue my studies in my home country and look after the house. I don’t understand why the maids and groundskeepers can’t do the job alone, but the airs and graces of high society continue to elude me.

“Madame, wake up.”

I wake up to a slight shaking. The fog from the morning seems like a distant memory, and the sun’s warmth envelops me. The shaking is coming from a figure standing over me – a young boy. A boy I learn is called Victor, after I hear what looks like the head maid rushing over with fury and rage in her steps.

“Vic, what on Earth are you doing, you idiot? You can’t touch the young lady without explicit permission!”

I realise I must have fallen asleep on the steps earlier today. I rub the sleep from my eyes to see the boy apologising to the head maid profusely, bowing deeper than necessary.

“I guess this why I have to be home,” I whisper to myself sarcastically.

Margaret, the head maid, turns to speak to me

“My lady, your bags have already been taken up to your room; I’ll have a lunch brought up to you as soon as possible. Would you like any other refreshments in the meanwhile?” she asks kindly

I shake my head, and walk through the door. Before I can start walking up the stairs, I hear shouting emerge from the front steps. The young maid boy runs inside after what feels like several minutes of scolding and looks at me. With red cheeks and tears threatening to run down his face, he bows again, and runs off into the maze of rooms and corridors. I contemplate running after him, but decide not to make things worse. Margaret walks in after him, and smiles after seeing me. But before she can turn into the hallway, I speak.

“Have the boy bring me my lunch.”

I start running up the stairs before she can protest.

After a warm shower, I walk tentatively over to my bedroom. The tile flooring is cold, and I try not to slip as I take big steps. I open the door, and I see the same figure from this morning setting out my lunch on my bedroom table.

He wears the same uniform as the other maids. The uniform lends the older maids a sartorial elegance, yet it makes him look endearing. The cat ears make him look especially cute.

He doesn’t notice me slip into my room, so I take a seat on the edge of my bed to watch him continue setting out the plates. However, my bed makes a slight noise as I try to take a seat. He whips around, but forgets the tray is still in his hands.

“Oh no!” he shouts

But it’s too late. My lunch is now on the floor, along with him.

His face burns with a crimson red as he tries to pick up everything. He tries to apologise, but I am not in the mood for conversation.

“Just get out” I say, with more authority than should be allowed for a 20-year-old.

He is about to leave, when I realise that there is cup of tea on my desk.

‘Oh no, what have I done?’

I rush after him, and see the steam coming off of his clothes. He must be in considerable pain from the boiling hot tea, yet the most probable cause of his tears is not pain. It is most likely embarrassment. I quickly grab his arm and pull him into bathroom. I turn on my shower, and I make it as cold as possible.

“My lady, I’m okay… really.” he says, whimpering.

But the lack of conviction in his voice makes me sure. I pull his thigh-high socks off, and sit him in the tub. I direct the shower head at his leg and notice him wincing slightly.

“I’m okay, my lady. Please let me go and get you another lunch.” he says.

I wonder how he has time for pleasantries when he’s in pain, but I have no energy left. I turn to him, and say,

“You can call me Eliza. No more ‘my lady’ or ‘madame’ unless Margaret is around.”

His glasses are fog up from the steam from my earlier shower. I slowly examine his face. His round features and high cheekbones make him look a lot younger than his stature suggests. His olive skin and slightly grown out curls add to his endearing look. I hand him the hose and tell him to continue running his leg under cold water. Before he can say anything, I leave the bathroom. I glance at myself in the mirror in my room, and realise the last few minutes have all taken place with me in my towel.

‘Maybe that was why he was blushing,’ I think to myself.

I giggle slightly and start to get changed. I drop my towel, and start to get changed, but just as I do, Victor walks into the room.

“Oh fuck,” we both exclaim.

Before I have time to process what just happened, he spins around to face the bathroom door.

“I am so sorry my lady Elizabeth” he says, his body shaking with fear.

Resisting the urge to be my usual sarcastic self again, I decide to mess with him. I saunter over to him, and whisper into his ear -

“Sorry for what?”

He turns around to see my naked body, and he burns with a darker red than I thought possible in humans. His slightly crooked cat ears make him look cuter than I also thought possible in humans.

A few moments pass, but he doesn’t answer. I go to put some clothes on, and when I’m finished getting changed, I realise his glasses have slipped off his face. I spot them on the floor, and I after picking them up, I place them softly on his nose bridge.

“There we go” I say softly. But my hands move before I can stop them.

I grab his face with both hands and plant a kiss on his cheek. I pull away and realise he’s looking at me in the eyes. We stay like this for longer than we should, before we both say -

“I shouldn’t be here”.

We both laugh at this, and he does something I could never have foreseen. He pushes me onto my bed and slowly unbuttons the top I carefully picked out mere moments ago. I try to open my mouth to speak, but he covers it with his hand. He moves in close and whispers to me

“If I let you kiss me, you’ll let me do what I want for the next few minutes”.

His sudden boldness throws me, so I relent. While his fingers continue to swiftly remove my clothes, I lie back and think to myself

‘So much for his supposed innocence.’

After he removes my entire outer layer of clothing, leaving nothing to the imagination, he catches my eye. He blushes again.

“It’s a bit too late now to feel embarrassed,” I say.

I get on top of him, and I rip his maid uniform off. He reaches to take his knee-high socks off as well, but I grab his arm.

“The socks stay on”