(Republished with author's permission. Read the first part here. The caption that inspired the original is here).
by Belladonna The doors of the service elevator opened to the floor of the new home of Victoria's mistress. Victoria stepped out onto the marble flooring and gave its shine a smile as her chunky, low-heeled shoes clapped across it. It was in stark contrast to the clicks on the marble flooring that she had been accustomed to hearing when she accompanied her mother around similar buildings. The movers quickly passed by her to enter the service elevator themselves, paying her presence little mind. Victoria smiled at her anonymous state. Rather than being the one they were there to please, the movers simply ignored her as just another servant of their client. She walked through the open door to Julia's condominium. Her eyes widened at the well-adorned modern condominium that it was in stark contrast to the stately country estate where she had spent most of her life. "There you are," Julia bellowed while she saw Victoria staring around the large room. Victoria's head snapped towards Julia's stern glare. She froze as she awaited her mistress's instructions. "Where you have been?" "I'm sorry, Lady Julia. I had to take..." "I know that. What took you so long?" Julia snapped, not waiting to hear her former mistress's reply. "I didn't want to get in the way...," Victoria began to reply in a meek tone before trailing off. "You're not in the way. You're working! I need you to put away all my clothing. I will not stand to having any of those movers touch my intimate things. Do you understand me?" "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied while she felt a wetness returning between her legs before Julia guided her to the master bedroom. Victoria gazed around at the massive room before she stopped before the boxes of clothing that had already been dropped in front of the closet. Each item had been hand packed by her for the move. Some of the clothing was new, while other garments had been taken from her and some had come from her mother's wardrobe. Julia's loss of weight had allowed for her trim figure to fit the late women's dresses that had been shortened for her. Alterations had never even crossed Victoria's mind when it came to her mother's ostentatious belongings. She knew what her mother would have thought about her at that moment while she hung up the dresses and gowns that had skipped her to make their way onto Julia's lithe and curvaceous body. Her mother would be chiding her at her at that moment. She would be telling her to put an end to her game that instant. Even her father likely would have as well. Their imagined disapproval, however, was only making the game more alluring to Victoria. She continued to hang up Julia's luxurious belongings before she put away her silk, lace and satin undergarments in the ornate center island that had been constructed in the dressing room. In their new setting in Julia's dressing room, Victoria felt that they were Julia's alone. Nothing else about the room had a Lightfoot woman's touch to it. She never would have been satisfied with having white walls, but that was no longer a decision that was hers to make. Once the last item was carefully stashed away, Victoria went to the room that she had noticed her belongings being moved into that morning. She walked through the condominium that the movers were still busy scurrying around with various items under Julia's dominion. Victoria felt that the girl was striking an imperious pose as she ordered the movers about. Julia could not help but smile as the men did whatever she commanded of them. It was something that she had never experienced in her life. She had always bent to the will of men, now, she was making them do whatever she wanted by making them move things by fractions of inches. Victoria relished the thought of what the movers had to be thinking about her mistress but could not dare say in Julia's presence. Victoria did not want to receive more criticism from Victoria, so she stopped watching her after only a few seconds. She walked into her room, which was located off the kitchen. As entered the small room, she stared around the room before her eyes fixated on the one window. The bedroom contained only a single bed, a dresser, an end table, a closet and a small, attached bathroom. The furniture was clearly second hand and inexpensive even when it was new. The bed was covered by a cheap comforter with a garish, bright floral design. Her eyes drifted from the bed to the boxes containing her meager belongings. Just as with Victoria's room, the boxes had been placed before the closet doors. Before she even drew the closet door opened, however, she knew that that was where the similarities ceased. She drew the closet open, opened the first box and began to unpack her wardrobe. The first box contained her maid's dresses. The polyester dresses were in a variety colors, the only real variety her daily clothing choices offered. The styles were all the same with the white around the collars, cuffs and hem on the pink, black, blue and green dresses that were paired with white, black or gray aprons. The next box contained the secondhand outfits she had inherited from Julia for her private moments. They were as stylish as the girl could afford, which was several years behind the times. Although she felt that the dresses did not qualify as hideous, they were the kind of thing that a stylish girl would turn her nose at sporting. Victoria put her shoes away in the closet last. Each of the shoes was all black and austere in design. Some of them had low heels, while others were flats and the remaining footwear was white canvas sneakers. Once she put the shoes away, Victoria closed the doors to the closet and started towards the dresser. She reached into the box and removed the cotton undergarments, sleepwear and thick hosiery that had been passed down to her by Julia when they exchanged their places in the social order. Shortly after she packed away her last item, Victoria exited her room to glimpse Julia seeing the movers out of the condominium. As she closed the door behind them, Julia turned and caught sight of Victoria. "Maid." "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied while she moved towards her mistress with cupped hands. "I'm going out for lunch. You can eat while I'm gone and, then, I want you to start cleaning this place. I want all the filth from those filthy Neanderthals gone by the days end. Am I clear?" "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria responded to her mistress's orders. "Good. Now, come with me." Victoria nodded dutifully while she followed Julia into the kitchen. Julia opened the refrigerator and pointed her towards the foods that had been set aside for Victoria's consumption. There was a far smaller selection there than what was set aside for Julia. The same was true of the foods in the pantry and freezer. Once she finished showing her the food, Victoria was shown where the cleaning supplies were to be kept. Shortly thereafter, Julia headed out the door, leaving Victoria to her labors. With her mistress departed, Victoria made a quick sandwich for herself and had a cup of tea with it before she began to clean the condominium. She scurried from room to room with the mop as she wiped away the dirt that the movers had tracked into the condominium during the move. Her back ached the longer she was hunched over. She tried to give her back a break by pausing to dust the moved furniture before proceeding onto cleaning the floors of the next room. She had nearly cleaned every room in the condominium by the time that Julia returned. Julia inspected Victoria work, while her maid cleaned a bathroom. Julia shook her head at the streaks on some of the floors. She was not about to let the evidence of Victoria's haste and lack of attention go without rebuke. She moved behind Victoria and shouted, "GIRL, WHAT DID YOU USE TO CLEAN THE FLOOR IN THE KITCHEN?" "Cleaner..." "I SEE STREAKS ALL OVER THE FLOOR IN THERE. HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THAT THERE FOR ME TO FIND?" "I'm sorry," Victoria replied as she continued to hold a brush in the toilet bowl she was kneeling before. "YOU CAN'T BE THAT CARELESS. I EXPECT MORE FROM MY HELP."' "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied. Victoria's face went flush as she cowered next to her mistress's toilet, internalizing her criticism about her sub par work. "When you're done cleaning this room, RIGHT, go back and clean the floors RIGHT!" "Yes, Lady Julia. I'm sorry," Victoria replied in the face of her mistress's demands before Julia stormed away from her. Victoria broke into a nervous sweat as she went to back to scrubbing. Once she finished cleaning the main bathroom, Victoria scurried into the living to begin cleaning anew the floor she thought she had already finished. Julia shook her head while she watched Victoria's duplication of her labors, her arms seemingly growing slower with each progressive movement. As the soreness overtook her, Victoria knew that she could not make the mistake of moving too quickly from room to room again. As the evening came, Julia interrupted Victoria's laborers. Victoria's eyes widened as she saw her mistress dressed in one of her mother's elegant evening gowns. Victoria struggled to believe how glamorous Julia appeared in the sleeveless, light pink, satin slip gown. She remembered the looks her mother got in the surplice front gown with a slit that ran from the floor length hemline to her upper thigh. She had always wished that she could wear it as well, but she knew that she would look ridiculous in it. The gown was not for girls like her, but it was for those like Julia. Julia noticed her former mistress's admiring gaze and gave her an inquisitive look. Victoria hurried to give her mistress a curtsy that made Julia laugh. "Keep that up," Julia said, enjoying the sight of her ex-mistress giving her a curtsy, something that never would have crossed her mind to give to her when their positions had been reversed. Victoria nodded with blushing cheeks before she asked, "Where are you going?" "It's none of your concern, but if you must ask, I'm going to the Van Hamel Charity dinner." Victoria nodded, knowing the name well. Her mother had frequently donated to the charity in order to be invited to its events. It had been Victoria's idea for "Julia" to start donating as well. It involved little more than some fund transfers to make it appear that Julia was the legitimate donor and conceal the familiar surname of the money's true source. Victoria watched while her mistress glided out the condominium unit's door. She kept her hands cupped in front of her and head slightly bowed until Julia closed the door behind her, leaving her maid with her thoughts. As Victoria stood alone in the condominium, she paused to look around it. She had been working all day; every joint ached with her labors largely finished until the next morning. She toured her mistress's new place and strolled towards the floor to ceiling windows that lined the exterior walls of the non-bedrooms and bathrooms. Her eyes widened as she gazed around the panoramic view of the city that she was paying for her pretend mistress to enjoy. As that thought crossed her mind, she shook her head as she affirmed to herself, "No! Lady Julia is my mistress." Repeating that mantra in her head that she was reinforced by the aches of her position she sensed, she stared down at the neighboring park. Her eyes then rose to inspect the skyline of towers beyond it. This was the kind of place that her mother had been prone to purchasing after father's death. She never liked to stay in one place for long. The newness wore off and she moved onto another shinny abode to impress her friends with. It was only their country home that was kept in their constant rotation. If Victoria had her way, she would never have been forced to leave it to begin her nomadic city life at the start of every school year. Victoria wondered if she ever could enjoy the city the way that Julia seemed to. She felt that the girl was not burdened by baring her rootless scars. She moved about private schools, depending on which were closer to their temporal home so that her mother could make a periodic visit to demonstrate to the other mothers that she was not an absentee parent. Still, that never stopped the backbiting Victoria heard about her mother. Her reputation was well established by the time that Victoria started hearing about it from her peers. The teasing she took about her mother's loose behaviors made the school year nearly intolerable. Her girlhood friends abandoned her to join in the mockery. Meanwhile, boys flocked to her, hoping that she was just a younger, less attractive version of her mother. When she rebuffed them, it only led to further ostracizing for her standoffish behavior. The summers in the country, however, had always given her a sense of relief. She felt at home amidst the year-round residents and the children of the rich throughout the world. There, she was distant enough from her city peers to be able to form friendships. Those friendships, however, turned cancerous once her mother passed and the family's money became hers. She shook her head at the thoughts of how her former friends came to grovel for cash. Not being able to bear her thoughts anymore, Victoria turned away from the windows and began to think about her problems as those of someone else. They were certainly not the problem of a poor maid. She smiled at the thought that a maid was all anyone looking through the windows would see if they looked upon her. Victoria started out of the living room and towards the halls. She stepped into the kitchen and ran her fingers along the edges of the marble countertops. She knew that she would be spending lots of time familiarizing herself with the room while she began to make herself a light dinner. The backlit backsplash cast an attractive light on the pre-approved food she had put upon the countertop. She did not linger long on the food. She was expected not to spend much time on herself and did not want to behave otherwise, even without her mistress's presence, for fear of falling into bad habits. After quickly eating, Victoria cleaned her plate and put it in the dishwasher. Once she closed the door to the machine, she cleaned the countertop and restarted her tour of the home. She bypassed her own room, knowing that there was nothing more to see. She went through the guest rooms and guest bathrooms and took a mental inventory. Even the smallest guest bathroom made hers look cramped and utilitarian. The idea of being restricted to using the worst bathroom she had ever paid for her in life made a shiver run up her spine. She put her head down as she approached her mistress's corner suite. She knew that there was little reason to enter it again. She figured that Julia might even be unhappy with her for entering it for any purpose besides cleaning. Her head dipped even lower as she entered the room, feeling like a trespasser. The room was as immaculate as she left it, but she had not entered the bathroom yet. It was the only room that was left for her to clean and setup. As she took to cleaning it, Victoria felt that the heated limestone slab floors and baseboard gave the room and elegant, if almost ostentatious touch. The cleaning went quickly and she noticed that her mistress had already taken it upon herself to setup her toiletries. Victoria cursed herself for her stupidity in not anticipating that Julia would need it setup far sooner than the other rooms she had spent her day toiling in. She kept her calloused fingers away from Julia's toiletries, wanting to avoid her mistress's potential wrath about touching her most intimate things without her express permission. After she finished cleaning the bathroom, Victoria walked out of the master bedroom and headed back to her quarters for the evening. She closed the door behind her and began to disrobe. The air on her body felt good while she removed the polyester dress. She folded her soiled uniform before she sat on the edge of her bed to remove her damp pantyhose. As she rolled them down her legs, she stared around her quarters. The maid's quarters appeared to be in conflict with the rest of the unit, but she was certain that was the point. It let the help know that their role was limited in the home. The only other room on par with it was the laundry room that was also off the kitchen. She nodded to herself that it was an appropriate place for a girl like Maria before she went into the bathroom. Once she finished washing herself, Victoria turned in for the night. In the days that followed, Victoria grew accustomed to her new routine. It largely mirrored the routines she had fallen into at her home when she began to work as the maid. She continued to work on her speaking habits, while she watched her mistress's ongoing training in how to speak appropriately for her position before she left for private workouts at the building's residents' only gym. She was happy that Julia seemed to be striving evermore to fit the role, while Victoria became accustomed with being the help. Victoria spent her days tidying the condominium. Unlike her country mansion, she no longer had to break up the task of cleaning the place. The condominium was far more limited in area and was an easier task. While she no longer had to spend as much time cleaning, Victoria found herself put to work by Julia in other ways. With the change of her appearance and the physical distance from those she associated with, Victoria was able to take to grocery shopping for herself and her Mistress. At first, it was an odd thrill for Victoria. She had never been responsible for shopping in such places. She was certain the city offerings were smaller than the one's she passed by at home, but it was a new experience for her to walk through a store that was not selling designer goods. Despite the grocer's limited offerings, Victoria was surprised by the selection at her fingertips. She glanced down at the list of foods that Julia had jotted down for her to pick up and set about searching for each item. She meandered around the store carrying the basket she had picked up near the front door of the establishment. She tried not to smile while rushing people whisked past her to pick up their own items. She sensed that they had no patience for being stuck behind a sauntering, uniformed maid. Once she finished collecting every item, she headed for the cashier. She waited on the line as the basket began to feel heavier while she held it up. She put it down on the floor for a moment, while the two cashiers rang up the purchases of other patrons. She made it closer towards the cashiers with incremental steps. She smiled as one cashier called her forward, "Next customer." Victoria felt oddly nameless to be referred to in such a way. During all her other shopping ventures, the staff had been catering to her. Now, she felt that she was just another consumer. The cashier did not offer her a smile. The drained looking man merely rang up her items before he told her the amount as he put the last item in a bag for her. Victoria reached into her pocketbook and retrieved her credit card. Her eyes widened as she saw her real name on the card. She feared that it would somehow expose her. The man, however, had no interest in the name. Once the receipt printed, he told her in a monotone, "Sign here." Victoria nodded before she signed her real name, feeling that she was somehow disobeying her mistress by not signing it 'Maria.' With that, the cashier called the next patron forward. Victoria put away her card and collected her bags. She struggled to juggle the bags until she pinned them to her chest and pressed them together with her hands beneath each bag. With each passing block the bags grew heavier in her increasingly wary arms. She cringed as the bags strained her muscles while she made her way back to her home. Victoria pushed her way inside the servant's entrance of the building before she started towards the elevator and pressed the button on the wall. Once the doors opened, she struggled with the bags to press the button for her floor. As the number clicked off, Victoria sensed that the trip up the building was taking longer than ever. Her arms were starting to shake from the weight of the bags by the time the door opened. She rushed as fast as she could in her flats towards the door to her mistress's condominium. She set the bags down to fetch her key from her purse. As she did so, she felt instant relief and began to rub her arms before she forced the key into the lock. Once the door was opened, Victoria pulled in one bag in at a time before she saw Julia glaring at her as she locked the door behind her. Victoria gave her a careful glance as she waited for whatever criticism would come. "What are you doing?" "I was shopping..." "Why was my food on the ground?" "It's in a bag...," Victoria began to defend herself in a low voice. "My food shouldn't touch the floor," Julia criticized. "I couldn't get it through the door." Julia shook her head as she said, "I'll purchase you a trolley." Victoria had no idea what her mistress meant. Julia did not bother to explain before she walked away to let Victoria place away the food in the kitchen. By the time of her next trip to the grocery, Julia had made good on her promise. The foldable trolley cart struck Victoria as a personal shopping cart. She was happy to have it, however, and found that it made her increasingly mundane shopping trips to the grocery store easier. In addition to her shopping trips for Julia, Victoria found herself catering to Julia's more immediate needs more often. The bell Julia had purchased allowed her to summon Julia from anywhere in the home. Unlike Victoria's country home, Julia knew that there was no chance that Victoria could not hear the ringing bell as she worked around the condominium. The ringing bell became a frequent sound within the condominium's walls. Victoria knew that the sound meant that she had to drop everything and follow the sound to her mistress. Julia stretched out when she first rang the bell. She enjoyed seeing her former mistress rush to her with a bowed head. Victoria came to a stop and stood dutifully still as she awaited her order to refill Julia's water glass. No matter how minor the request, Julia made sure that she never raised a finger for herself. It was too much of a joy to watch Victoria scurrying about to do it for her. Victoria loved how it made her feel to fetch her Mistress's water, tea, coffee, fix her a snack, get her food and hand her a tissue. Her nose turned at the first used tissue she was handed back, but as she discarded it, she felt a tingle running through her nether regions. She smiled at how lowly being her mistress's snot courier made her feel. The more Julia forced upon her former mistress, the realer their circumstances appeared to Victoria. To Julia, it seemed that Victoria was born to be a maid. If Victoria had been born for the position, she wondered if she had been born to be of the leisure class. She felt that she was far more suited to it than Victoria had been. She had none of the hang-ups about it that the mousy girl demonstrated. The newness of the situation, however, quickly dissipated for Victoria. It became a new routine for her. Accordingly, when Julia came to Victoria with the news of a party to plan in the condominium, Victoria found it to be a welcome respite to do something new. Julia had the ideas for the party. She attended to every detail, while Victoria was tasked with making the arrangements to ensure that they all came to fruition. Once the day of the party came, the caterers came and started to setup. Victoria directed them through the condominium into the kitchen before she went to attend to her mistress. Victoria joined Julia in her bedroom to help her dress for the party. She froze as she entered her mistress's dressing room and saw Julia in the nude. From behind, Julia was a sight to Victoria's eyes. While she was never heavy, she was more curvaceous and lean as a result of her strict dieting and fitness regime. Every penny she had paid to physically transform the girl had been worth it in her mind. That her mistress had taken her etiquette lessons to heart had only served to make Julia's appearance that much more of a work of art in her eyes. Victoria knew that if she disrobed, there was no man that would make her his choice to gaze upon at that moment. While their bodies had started out as more or less equals, the pounds she had added since she stopped exercising and eating a lean diet would have put an end to that even if Julia had not begun working with a personal trainer. Julia smiled back at Victoria with her chemically whitened teeth as she said, "There you are, girl! I was wondering when you were going to attend to your most important duty." "Sorry, mistress," Victoria responded, aroused by the knowledge that she was growing accustomed to apologizing to her onetime maid. Julia did not respond, letting Victoria's though linger on her plea for her forgiveness instead. Julia focused on her reflection, while Victoria gathered her outfit. She bent down at Julia's feet with her lacy panties, garters and nylons. Julia did nothing more but raise one foot and then the other before Victoria brought her mistress's black panties to her hips. After she smoothed the waistband out in place, she attached the garters and remained kneeling while she bent down to place Julia's toes and feet into the nude nylons. After Julia put her toes to the seams, Victoria began to unroll the hosiery up her mistress smooth and long legs. Victoria felt that they were taking on an elegant sheen as they were covered by the delicate nylon before she stood up to get her mistress's evening dress. Victoria retrieved the V-neckline, cocktail dress with a cross front detail that she had given Julia the money to purchase specially for the party. It struck her instantly as something that her mother would have bought if she was still alive. Victoria tried to shake thoughts of the imperial woman from her mind while she returned to tending to her mistress. Victoria helped Julia step into the dress, both knowing that it would mess up Julia's makeup and hair if they pulled it over her head. Julia contorted her body while Victoria brought the navy blue, stretch fabric of the dress up her soft sides and helped to guide her thin arms through the three-quarter length sleeves. As she did so, Victoria felt an odd intimacy with the girl that she had never known with another woman. While it was not a sexual feeling, it felt good to her. Once the dress was covering Julia's shoulders, Victoria fastened it in place. With her mistress's dress zipped, Julia turned over her shoulder and dismissed Victoria from the room to help assist the caterers. "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied with a bob before she started out of the room to let Julia apply her final touch up to her makeup and hair. Victoria went and helped the caterers continue to setup for the party until she heard a knock on the door. She hurried towards the door to let in the first of Victoria's guests and froze as she saw the familiar face staring back at her. The man looked through her to survey the home. The man began to take off his coat with Victoria's assistance without even visually acknowledging her assistance. Victoria took the man's coat without a word and hung it up before she was relieved from her duties by one of the waitresses that Julia had hired, wanting a more presentable woman to greet her guests since she felt that her shorthaired maid was too unsuited for the task. Victoria turned and hurried away from the man. While he had not given her an inkling of recognizing her, she was fearful that the next person that entered the condominium may give her a more inspecting look. She had no doubts that one would see her for who she really was. She shook her head as she thought about the changes to her appearance and muttered, "I'm not that much different from her." She shook her head again, not realizing that she had distinguished the heiress she had been from the maid she had become. She was too concerned with the prospect of being discovered to take notice of her thought process. Victoria crossed her arms over her white apron and polyester uniform while she moved with ever quickening steps towards her Mistress's bedroom. The door was slightly ajar as she approached it. She knew that she had to put an end to their arrangement right then. There was too much risk now. She took a deep breath as she opened the door slightly. She moved inside the room to tell Julia that she would be hiding out in the room until the end of the party. She walked slowly through the room in light steps while she approached the open dressing room door determined to say her piece. As her eyes focused on Julia, however, her knees went weak. With wide eyes, Victoria stood frozen while she looked upon her mistress. She gasped as she watched Julia putting on the final additions to her outfit. She was locking one of Victoria's mother favorite bracelets onto her slender wrist. The gulf between them appeared wider to Victoria than before their positions had been reversed. She had resisted wearing her mother's jewelry and a tight fitting dress like the one Julia was wearing since they had never seemed to fit her right. Julia had no such problems. Her cleavage nearly spilled out of the plunging neckline. The makeup on her face was impeccable and made her look flawless. Her long, layered and highlight blonde hair delicately brushed against her back and shoulder. Victoria squirmed at the sight as she caught sight of her own appearance in the mirror. She could not help but compare the two figures reflected. While Julia was the picture of femininity and sophistication, her appearance was plain. Her skin was a muted light brown, her hair short, dark, flat and mousy and her outfit utilitarian. Julia's head snapped towards Victoria as she noticed the girl's reflection in the mirror. Victoria quaked while Julia fixed her glare on the girl. Victoria quivered as she forced herself to say, "Lady Julia, your guests have arrived." Julia gave her a cold stare before she rejoined, "I'll be out when I'm ready." "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied in haste before she began to back out of the room. Julia stopped her former mistress before she exited, "Girl." "Yes, Lady Julia. I'm sorry for bothering you," the words gushed out of Victoria, who was unable to stop herself from saying them. She cursed herself as she heard her begging tone. She had come to put an end to their dangerous game, but the mere sight of the Julia's elegance had drained her will completely. Julia smiled at the girl's cowering obedience. She struggled to believe that she had ever once deferred to such a meek and plain creature. Julia forced the smile from her face as she said, "Please bring me my shoes." "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria rushed to say while she hurried across the dressing room to the white shelving that been had built into the dressing room walls to hold rows of shoes. Her eyes came across the pair that her mistress was planning on pairing with her dress. Victoria took them between her fingertips and brought them to her mistress. Without prompting, Victoria dropped to her knees, feeling the hem of the maid's dress between her pantyhose covered legs and the wood flooring. Julia lifted one foot and watched Victoria slide the shoe onto it before she did the same with her other foot. Once both shoes were on her mistress's feet, Victoria got to her own. Julia gave her a glance before she turned and focused on touching up her makeup again. Victoria nodded in the face of Lady Julia's thanklessness for her work. Victoria wanted to protest, but she felt too excited by what was happening to put a stop to it. Hating herself, Victoria gave her a mistress a curtsy before she started out of the room. She turned back to close the door to the dressing room to ensure her mistress's privacy. As she did so, she caught a smile on Julia's face. Not having much time to dwell on Julia's enjoyment, Victoria found herself put to work at the party. Victoria moved around the waitresses from the caterers while she set up the food at the stations for Victoria's guests. Victoria scurried around the condominium as more people entered. She caught their faces in the sides of her eyes. While most were strangers, some of the faces struck her as familiar. Indeed, she had seen a number of the guests during her school years, while others she had met at society parties and her debutante ball. Even beyond those that teased her, she hated the others' stuck up nature. Her father had always told her that she needed to humor such people, including her mother. Victoria, however, lacked her father's self-discipline and had no desire to treat their inanities and trivialities as profound and important. Now, she was helping to serve the very people that had looked down upon her or been looked down upon her as an heiress. As she moved about, she was increasingly certain that someone would notice her facial structure. Even those that looked at her looked through her though. Victoria began to relax as she felt beneath their notice. It was something that she had never been before with them, but she knew that it was inescapably true at that moment. She struggled to keep up a professional appearance until she saw Julia on the arm of Monroe Tanner. She had met him at a number of society parties before. The man's plain looks were a perfect marriage for his dull and arrogant personality. She found him utterly detestable. He was even duller than most of the others. She could not help but call him by the name that her father had for such scions of his societal associates, Prince Valium. Victoria struggled not to smile at the memory of watching the movie that her mother scolded her father with sharing with her time and time again. It was the type of film that her mother felt was beneath her family's dignity, despite it being one of her husband's favorites. She wanted to cease her mistress's attention to the man, but Julia kept her on her toes by sending around the home to make sure that each waitress and server was doing their part. Once the party came to an end, Julia saw the last of her guests out the door. She turned to Victoria who was beginning to clean up the condominium and said, "You can tend to that later. I need to get ready for bed." "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied while she smelled the scent of the wine that was wafting off her mistress's tongue. Victoria followed a few steps behind Julia as they entered her room and went into her dressing room. Julia turned and watched with a smirk as Victoria dropped to her knees to remove Julia's shoes. Victoria slipped Julia's feet out of each shoe before she stood up and began to assist with removing her jewelry, careful to place each piece away in Julia's jewelry boxes before moving onto the next. Once Victoria began to unzip Julia's dress, she could not bite her tongue any longer about her feelings for Monroe. She cleared her throat before she said, "Lady Julia, I saw you on the arm of Monroe Tanner..." "So?" Julia replied. "I've known him for a number of years." "I somehow doubt that a man like Monroe knows a lowly girl like you," Julia retorted, enjoying remaining in character by enforcing the separation between Victoria the heiress and Maria the maid. Victoria blushed at the correction before she said, "My mother tried to set me up with him. He's such a bore." "A bore? Do you know how wealthy that man is," Julia retorted. Victoria nodded before Julia continued, "A girl like you could never even hope to get a man like that!" Victoria's cheeks burned red. Julia had hit on a nerve with her. She had heard similar words from her mother. Her mother had always criticized her appearance. She did not meet her exacting standards. In her mother's eyes, Victoria should clasp onto the most socially desirable and richest man she could land, regardless of her personal opinion on the individual. Victoria cast her eyes from her mistress while she helped her out of the dress. Julia gave her a glare as the girl dropped to her knees to help Julia step out of the dress. While Victoria stood back up and started to help Julia out of her bra, Julia turned her head towards Victoria as she said, "Lady Julia, you can do better..." Julia did not let the girl finish before she snapped, "Who do you think you are, girl? Monroe is your better, and you're speaking of him as if he's beneath you!" "I'm sorry," Victoria said. "Do you think the opinion of a girl like you matters to me?" "No," Victoria admitted in a sheepish tone. "Then, why do you open your mouth about such things?" "I'm so sorry, Lady Julia." Julia stood in silence while Victoria looked mortified before her. She could sense how weak and foolish the girl felt. Victoria struggled with her quaking knees, even as she felt excited by being dressed down in such a way by Julia. Julia nodded at her pleading maid and said, "Don't ever do it again." "Of course, Lady Julia. I won't," Victoria hurried to reply, aroused by being spoken to like a small child before Julia dismissed her for the night. Victoria crossed her arms across her body and clutched them as she walked towards her bedroom with her head bowed. Her mind was struggling to contemplate how so many people she had known in passing had looked right through her. She figured that she was nothing to them. She wondered if Victoria Lightfoot had always been held as beneath them as she considered them. She had to be even lower to not even merit their recognition in her new status. She was sure that they would have spotted her otherwise. She walked into her bedroom and closed the door. She moved towards the mirror to examine her face. The structure was still the same that they had looked up. It was slightly distorted by the additional weight she had put on, but only barely so. She was hardly obese, only a little plump. Her cheeks were partially obscured by the fringes of her darkened hair. The thick frames of her glasses obscured her facial structure. Her face looked different without makeup and the darker hue that resulted from the tanning cream, but the structure remained. Victoria's eyes veered towards her body. The maid's uniform was slightly boxy on her. It was very different from the form flattering clothing or elegant white gown that Victoria had been wearing when a few of the guests last saw her. She wondered if the totality of the changes had been enough to obscure her identity. She shook her head at the thought that was making her reach between her legs. She moaned as she began to play with herself and went to the bed. She stripped down and began to penetrate herself deeper as she thought about how great a mistress Julia made. She knew that she could never bring herself to reach such a standard. She only wished that the refined beauty would take it even further. Victoria moaned while she thought about kissing the luxuriously heeled feet of her mistress. The girl had more beauty than she could ever hope to possess herself. Her mother had long ago disabused her of any other notion. Sucking her lips into her mouth, Victoria began playing with one nipple as her other hand remained firmly planted in her pussy. Julia possessed a power among men that she had never imagined having herself. It was the very kind of thing her mother flaunted. As she felt the orgasm wash over, she felt nothing but shame about what she had let herself become. She pushed herself off the cheap sheets of the secondhand small bed that Julia had purchased for her. Victoria rushed into the bathroom and jumped into the shower. Her eyes clenched as she looked at the pouched belly that she knew had been far easier to put on than it would be to work off. "Fuck," she whined. She put her head down as tears started to stream down her cheeks while the water washed over her. She ran her shampoo through her short hair that served as another reminder that the trip back to being Victoria Lightfoot would be arduous. Conversely, cutting herself down to become Maria had been so easy. At the moment, it seemed to have been almost too easy. Victoria hung her head as she shut off the shower and began to towel herself off. The soft towel felt better on her smooth skin than her rough hands. She dried her hair before she put on the tanning lotion that Julia insisted she start using nightly. She then slipped on a cotton sleep shirt and walked back to her bed. Her mind began to think about what she had done that night. The excitement began to return as her post-orgasm clarity began to become clouded again. "She's the better woman," Victoria admitted to herself while she pulled the polyester comforter over her chest before she fell asleep, finding it difficult to comprehend show could think otherwise. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The following morning, Julia came into the dinning room to have breakfast. Victoria carried it to her the moment she sat down. She had been waiting three hours for her mistress to wake. She knew that the meal had to be ready the second her mistress rose from her bed. Julia took the meal with a nod before she began looking through the messages she received regarding her party the night prior. She was ecstatic by the uniform praise and felt a sense of confidence that her aristocratic façade was no longer a pretense. She felt that she had become the personification of what Victoria had set about creating out of her. Julia looked over at Victoria as she stood to the side of the table with her hands cupped, awaiting her mistress's every need. Julia struggled not to smile while she looked upon the dowdy girl she had once served. Everything about the girl had been different then. She knew that Victoria was certainly aware of it too. The familiar faces that failed to recognize hers had surely made that conclusion inescapable to the girl. Julia peered into Victoria's eyes. She felt a quiver as Victoria's eyes dutifully darted away to avoid meeting Julia's glance. "Girl, I want you to discontinue my etiquette and speech lessons." Victoria was surprised by her mistress's decision. She wanted to speak, but Julia continued, "I've learned everything they can teach me." Victoria nodded before Julia stood up and walked out of the room, leaving Victoria to cleanup the dirtied dishes, cutlery and cups. Victoria collected the soiled items and brought them into the kitchen to hand wash them to Julia's exacting standards. Once they were finished being washed and dried, Victoria made the call to discontinue Julia's training. She knew her mistress had made great progress in a short period of time. Victoria was almost shocked by what a willing and capable pupil the girl turned out to be after her initial resistance. She sensed that if the girl's family situation had given her half a chance, Julia likely would have proven herself to be a gifted student. Victoria was certain that Julia had proved herself to be a fast learner. Victoria doubted that she had ever been able to pickup things so quickly in her own life. 'Maybe she's smarter than me,' Victoria thought while she clutched at the apron she had traded her luxury clothing to adorn herself with. She grimaced at the thought that the girl could out maneuver her. She wondered if she had already. Those thoughts made warm feelings stir inside of her. The excitement that her fears might be realized only served to arouse her while she set about cleaning the condominium. As she cleaned the condominium, she heard a knock on the door. Victoria dropped what she was doing and headed for the door. She drew it open and saw the dead eyes of Monroe Tanner looking through her. Monroe stepped through the doorway without waiting for either Victoria or Julia to invite him in before he started taking off his coat. Victoria hurried to help him as the man her mother had pushed her to date continued to ignore her presence with his eyes, even as he handed his coat off to her. "Where is Julia?" Monroe asked while Victoria hung up his coat. "She's in the living room. I'll take you..." "No need, girl. I know the way," Monroe rejoined, cutting Victoria off as he started into the home. Victoria cringed as she saw Julia stand up and embrace the man. For all of his inherited wealth, finest schooling and social standing, she still found the man repugnant. There was nothing exceptional about his looks. They were slightly below average, if anything. He was not the kind of man she thought a beautiful woman like Lady Julia belonged with, even if his parents was her ticket into the most exclusive country clubs up and down the East Coast. The man sat with Julia and began to dote upon her. Victoria struggled not to steal glances at them while she cleaned up around the home. While Monroe continued to have nothing of any interest to say, his smitten eyes were telling her that there was more to the man besides callous self-interest. She had never seen his eyes show life for anything before that moment. 'This is dangerous,' Victoria thought to herself while a tingle went through her. Victoria bit her lip while she hurried to clean rooms as far away from the couple as she could, not wanting to take in the sight of Monroe's pale, thin lips upon Julia's glossy, full ones. As Victoria went to Julia's bedroom to clean it up, she wondered how the girl could find Monroe attractive in anyway. She wondered if Julia could look past his physical and charm failings to see the end game that he represented. It was something that she could never stomach, despite the constant pressure of her mother to do so. 'She's the daughter you never had,' Victoria thought as she lingered on memories of her conversations with her mother. The thought gave Victoria pause for a moment before she finished making Julia's bed and headed into Julia's dressing room. Her eyes focused on her reflection. While she had some of her mother's traits, she felt that Julia looked more like the woman than she did. She clasped at her burgeoning double chin that had always started to present itself below her weak chin whenever she gained a few pounds. It was only when she had the near anorexic figure that her mother drove her to achieve that there was no trace of it. The additional weight that had pouched her stomach had made the second chin more pronounced than it had been since she was a tween. Her fingers drew away from her chin as she stared down at the mess that Julia had left on the floor. Despite her casual appearance, there was a myriad of clothing choices that had been dropped in the dressing room before she settled on the outfit in which she wanted Monroe to find her clad in when he saw her that day. Victoria bent down and started to collect the tops, bottoms and dresses that Julia had tossed to the ground in her haste to find the perfect lounging outfit for Monroe's eyes. As she finished picking up the first half of it, she heard the sounds of Julia moaning. She froze while she saw Monroe place her down on her bed as he caressed her. Julia's smiling face caught Victoria's stunned gaze out of the corner of her eye. She pushed at Monroe's chest as she bellowed, "Girl, please leave our lunch on the counter and make yourself scarce!" Monroe's eyes widened for a second before Victoria put her head down dutifully and hurried out of the room. By the time Victoria closed the bedroom door behind her, she could hear that her mistress and Monroe had recommenced their physical activities. Victoria hurried into the kitchen to make them one of Julia's approved lunches. She worked quickly, not wanting to see their post copulation states. Once the lunch was finished, Victoria got her cheap, faux leather purse and trolley before she started out of the condominium to go food shopping for her mistress. She walked to the service elevator and rode it down to the main floor. She headed out of the building and walked down the sidewalk. She circled the building, since it was the fastest route to the nearest grocer. As she passed by the front door reserved for the building's residents and their guests, she saw the new doorman the building had hired. He seemed a far nicer man than the one that had greeted her when she first arrived. She marveled at his bulging biceps that were clearly visible, even beneath the jacket of his uniform. He gave Victoria a broad smile as he said with thick Polish accent, "How are you, Maria?" "Very good, Roman." "Wonderful," the towering, broad shouldered man replied while he looked her up and down. Victoria felt like a piece of meat within his lusty gaze. She had hated being on the receiving end of such looks as Victoria Lightfoot. They offended her notion of feminism that her teachers had endeavored to instill in her. She remembered their teachings as she processed his looks. The sort of leers that Roman was giving her was the kind of thing that was supposed to revolt her. It was the duty of all women to try to break men away from their baser instincts and to embrace an ideal that women were not something to be lusted after, but equal people, no different from men. As she continued past him, she turned her head back and saw that Roman's eyes had drifted to her expanded butt. She grinned and blushed, loving the look too much to walk on. She turned and sauntered back towards Roman. Roman grinned while he looked around, relieved that it appeared that no one was going to force him to his duties as he got a few more minutes with Victoria. Victoria smiled before she said a few words to Roman. Roman replied with a few compliments that made Victoria's stomach flutter. She ran her right hand through her short hair that she was wished was longer, pushing out her chest in the process. That Roman did not seem to mind the utilitarian length or natural flat color was not lost on her. They exchanged a few smiles as they talked about what they were doing. Their conversation was broken up only by Roman's duties while he opened doors for residents and guests, hailed them taxis and helped them out of limousines and town cars as necessary. Feeling better about her appearance than she could ever recall, Victoria left Roman to his duties as he went to help a resident with her luggage. Victoria walked down the street, rubbing the back of her neck as she pushed the trolley in front of her. She walked into the grocer and felt light on her feet. She felt a new energy. It was not the same rush she got when she was talked down to, but it felt something similar. It seemed almost realer to her. Victoria collected the goods her mistress desired and got on line. The cashier noticed Victoria's smiling appearance. He gave her a smile while he rang up her purchases before she headed back to Julia's building. She pouted as she saw Roman preoccupied with a few residents of the building while she walked by. She flashed him a smile that Roman reciprocated before Victoria headed to the rear of the building to enter the servant's entrance. She took the servant's elevator up before she exited on her mistress's floor. She went back into Julia's home and removed the goods from her trolley. As she carried the first bag through the home, she saw Monroe and Julia lounging on the couch together. The two snuggled closely together and paid her presence no mind while they watched the television. It was the typical pretentious nonsense that she felt that a man like Monroe was trained to watch. It was the kind of thing she herself had forced on Julia when their shared endeavor had started. Now, it struck her as just as ridiculous as it was it was to Julia when she began to watch it in place of the reality television shows that Victoria took up watching. Once the final items were put away in the kitchen, Victoria retrieved her trolley and carried it above the floors that she cleaned daily. She put it away in her quarters before she heard Julia's shoes on the floor. "Girl," Julia called. "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria answered with downcast eyes. "Monroe and I are going to out to dinner and show. So, I need you to help me dress." "Yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied before she followed her mistress to her massive master bedroom suite. As she entered, she glanced at the tossed sheets and bedspread that she had made not long before they had relations upon them. She knew that she was expected to make it again before Victoria returned that night. The thought made her stomach churn as she figured that Monroe's sweat had probably contaminated the sheets. Victoria helped Julia out of her clothes. She gave her no advice as Julia selected the dress, heels, hosiery and jewelry without a word from Victoria. Victoria helped her into it all in silence. She knew better than to state any protest she had for Julia's activities. She figured that it would only drive her further into Monroe's arms. She assumed that he as going to become a bigger part of his mistress's life without any further prodding from her while Victoria walked out of the condominium on Monroe's arm. Victoria's reasoning proved prescient. Monroe soon became a regular fixture around Julia's home. Pursuant to Julia's instructions, Victoria's entire work schedule revolved around Monroe's presence. Whenever he was in the home, Victoria was forbidden to clean since she wanted free reign over every inch of the home to let Monroe take her wherever he wanted. While Julia did not explain it in such terms, Victoria quickly came to understand that goal was the true purpose for the rule when she found evidence of their relations on the couch, chairs, tabletops and floor. Part of her was revolted by having to clean up the mess, while another part was shocked that Monroe was adventurous with his sex life. The dullard's reputation was that he was limited to the missionary position in the privacy of his family's homes. Whenever Monroe was in the home, Victoria's duties were restricted to making them the appropriate meal, helping Victoria dress and shopping for her mistress. When she did not have anything to shop for, it was understood that Victoria was still required to leave the home and give her mistress the privacy she and Monroe desired when they embraced one another. The moments when she had free time often led to her reaching out to Roman. She had no friends in her guise as a Maria. He gave her someone to talk to for a change. Roman actually listened to her and spoke to her as an equal. He was the first person in her life that had treated he as having some value unrelated to her perceived net worth since her father died. That Roman had an ulterior motive was not lost on her. Part of her had the same motive. She was just playing it coy, believing that a woman, even in her reduced position, should make a man work for it, at least a little. She enjoyed his company and the way that he made her feel good about her dowdy looks too much to even think about walking away from the prospect of a relationship with the man. When she finally accepted his invitation for a date, Victoria felt that she had to go through with it. As she dressed in her loose, black peasant dress that she cinched to her waist with a belt, black, sheer pantyhose and mid-chunky heeled, faux patent leather, black pumps, the part of her that retained a little piece of Victoria Lightfoot's refinement was revolted by the idea of sleeping with an immigrant doorman. Still, even that part of her knew that maybe that act would finally make her see things more clearly. It had all gone way beyond what she had originally contemplated. Maybe sleeping with a man that was the best that a girl like Maria could get would be the thing to snap her out of it. At the least, it would finally release some of the pent up sexual frustration that had been driving her voluntary descent ever further down the social ladder. She met Roman at the end of his shift. They headed to the subway together, making small talk along the way until they got on the train bound for an outer borough. They talked while Roman's stroked her knee and sides, Victoria noticed that the suited businessmen and smartly dressed women were being replaced by people of more limited means the further they got away from their workplace. When they exited at the station that Roman lived by, Victoria looked around, unable to recall ever being in such an area. There was graffiti on many of the buildings, while groups of young men congregated on corners that Roman avoided while he led her to the restaurant he made reservations at that evening. Victoria walked into the restaurant and looked around. It was cheaply furnished and the waiting staff looked haggard and past their prime. It stuck her like an old age home for waiters and waitresses that could no longer handle the demands and expectations that came with working in higher end establishments. The restaurant was the sort of establishment that Victoria Lightfoot would never have walked into, but Victoria knew that it would be considered a treat by the girl that she had become. She took the menu from the leather-faced waitress with a smile before she listened to her smoke addled tone as the waitress told them their specials. It was nothing she wanted so she told Roman what she would order from the menu before the waitress came back. To her surprise, Roman ordered for her. She felt oddly turned on by watching him take the initiative to keep her from saying her own order. Roman and Victoria talked while they ate and drank the cheap table wine that he ordered for them. As they chatted, Roman kidded, "My mother won't be to be happy I'm dating a Latina." Victoria nearly spit out her drink as she thought about responding with the truth, 'What if she knew you were really dating an heiress of English, Scottish and German heritage?' She responded with another truth instead, "I'm going to be honest, my parents wouldn't be happy about me dating an immigrant." "Why not? Weren't they immigrants?" "They didn't think it was the right thing for an American girl to do," Victoria replied, avoiding the lie necessary to answer Roman's second question. Sensing Victoria's choice of tense, Roman asked, "Are they gone?" Victoria gave a sullen nod. Roman moved his hands over hers as he said, "I'm sorry for your loss." "It's okay. It was a long time ago for my dad." "Me too." "It's just you and your mom?" Victoria asked. "Well, me, mother, my three sister and my brother," Roman answered. "That must have been nice." "You're an only child, right?" Victoria nodded before Roman replied, "That's so unusual for...I mean isn't it?" "For a Latina?" Victoria asked with a laugh before she said, "That's a little stereotyping my Polack friend." Roman laughed before he apologized and said, "You just think these things." "Well, I enjoy not being a stereotype." "So, your blood doesn't burn hot?" Roman asked with raised eyebrows. "I didn't say I don't meet every stereotype," Victoria answered with a grin to Roman's arousal while they continued to eat. Once they left the restaurant, they began to make the walk back to Roman's apartment building. She looked around the streets and saw homeless people sleeping up against the building foundations, while sketchy men prowled the sidewalks. She felt vulnerable and started to shake. This was not the kind of place she ever envisioned herself walking. Her parents would have forbidden her from stepping out of a limousine in such a neighborhood. Now, she was dating a man living with such shadowy figures. The feeling of Roman's arm coming around her plump waist made her fears instantly dissipate. He held her closely to him. She could not believe the strength of his hand and arm. It mad her feel safe with him as her protector. Without his domineering presence, she felt that she could never feel confident walking through the neighborhood alone. To Victoria, it was as if his presence was keeping the predatory wolves away. They walked up to the door of his building before he pushed the keys into the numerous locks to let them in. Victoria figured that he lived up the stairs, but he unlocked the steel door to the basement staircase instead. Victoria struggled to keep a disappointed look off her face as they headed down the staircase that was illuminated by two bare fluorescent lights. Once they reached the basement, Victoria saw the Building Superintendent's room. They walked past it and the utility room before they came to Roman's apartment. He unlocked the door to his apartment. He pushed it open and motioned for Victoria to walk inside. Victoria approached it with hesitant steps. She paused in the doorway as she looked around the small studio apartment. The yellow walls looked as if they had not painted in decades. The studio had Spartan furnishings that she felt was appropriate for Roman's no frills personality. He had little time for frivolous niceties. Roman cleared his voice from behind her before he said, "I know it's not much, but I'm saving my money for something better." Victoria nodded. That it was not much was undeniable to her. The apartment that Julia had lived in before they swapped roles was her measure of her a hovel before she stepped into Roman's apartment. Julia's dingy apartment with its discolored wallpaper seemed like a palace by comparison to Roman's. Still, Victoria walked in and took off her coat. Roman took it from her before she said, "You always were a gentleman," trying to make him feel better about himself as she knew he must have noticed her initial disappointment about his living conditions. "Thanks. This place definitely needs a woman's touch." "Everything here does," Victoria said as she touched him and offered a smile that brought a grin to Roman's face. As Roman closed the door to the apartment, Victoria started to undress. She felt an unusual shyness while disrobing in front of the man. He was so unlike the boyish, immature lovers she had known as Victoria Lightfoot. Those boys had never appeared to be intimidating to her. She had not cared if they were pleased by what they saw. Victoria clenched her eyes for a moment, knowing that they had seen something far better than Roman was going to lay his eyes upon that night. They had her firm washboard abs to look at, but those were as far removed from her as her long hair and makeup enhanced looks. As Roman removed his shirt, she saw his slightly pouched stomach that mirrored hers. His arms, however, were more muscular than even the most athletic of her former lovers that had tried to weasel their way into a piece of Victoria Lightfoot's fortune. She felt a quiver while she looked at him. Her shyness and panic melted away as she saw the eagerness in his eyes that let her know that he felt that she was good enough for him. 'Why wouldn't he? I'm Victoria Lightfoot,' Victoria thought with fleeting confidence that dissipated with a shake of her head. She knew she was not Victoria Lightfoot anymore. At that moment, she was Maria. She was a maid that did not even have a last name, let alone one associated with familial wealth. As that thought overtook her, Victoria began to slowly remove her bra. Her meandering efforts were halted by Roman who removed her bra with a skill that told her it was far from his first time. The thought of being another one of this immigrant's conquests made her wet. Victoria's damp panties were soon on the floor before Roman picked her up and carried her to the bed. Roman smiled at her as he she stroked her sides while shivers ran through her body. Roman began to caress her as he laid to the side of her. Victoria enjoyed every leer and touch the man gave her. Victoria closed her eyes and felt Roman's hands all over her body. Roman situated his body over her. As he pressed down into her, she felt his full weight. It felt crushing. She had never been with a man so heavy, but, at that moment, she knew she had never truly been with a man before. The others were merely boys who were legally deemed adults by society and nothing more. His hands pressed down into her hips. The strength and roughness of his hands was another wide departure from prior experiences. His lips pressed down on hers. She invited his tongue into her mouth, wanting the kiss never to end as his hands continued to fondle her body. Thoughts about the disaster she was courting by going further down the hole she had dug from herself entered her mind, but they were driven away by the man's rough entry into her wet pussy. Her rational thoughts were replaced by nothing but an impulse begging her to embrace the moment. To embrace what Roman meant to a girl like Maria. To enjoy feeling something for once, rather than a mere obligation to do what all the other girls were doing. Roman's hands continued to caress her as he thrust repeatedly into her. He stole a few kisses on her neck, lips, chin and nipples to draw out the process longer for her. As her moans turned to a scream, she felt something she never had experienced before with a man. It was something she had feared she was not wired to receive. As the moment of bliss left her, she realized at that moment that she was not the problem. She had never met the right man before. Roman gave her a satisfied look a grin before he kissed her lips. He wrapped an arm around and held her close to him. Victoria wished that the moment never had to end while she fell asleep in his arms. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The following morning, Victoria made an early return to her mistress's home with Roman after a shower together to the knocking sounds of the pipes and Victoria's being pressed against the 1970's era tiled walls while Roman took her from behind. As Roman took his position as the doorman after a peck on the lips from Victoria, she made her way to the servant's entrance. She blushed as she got on the elevator, ashamed by how much she had enjoyed Roman's touch. That he was not the kind of man that her parents would have approved of only made him more exciting. When Julia got up, she took her breakfast from Victoria. She grinned while Victoria stood aside wondering if Julia knew that she had spent the night outside of her quarters. As Julia took her final bite, she turned to Victoria to ask, "So, how was it?" "What, Lady Julia?" Julia raised her eyebrows and flashed her toothy, bleached white grin at Victoria. Victoria put her head down before Julia added, "Don't think I don't know about you and the doorman." "I'm sorry..." "Don't be sorry. It's perfectly natural for a girl like you to date a man of his caliber." Victoria nodded before Julia continued, "And he's not a bad specimen of a man either." Victoria's blushing cheeks made Julia grin again before she added, "He's not my type, but I could see how he could be yours. A poor girl like you needs a big, strong protector." Victoria blushed again, loving how Julia was rubbing their change of positions in her face before she stood up and left the room without another word to her servant. Victoria hurried towards the table to retrieve the dirtied dishes, silverware and cups. She brought them into the kitchen to clean them before she began her morning routine of cleaning the home. With Julia's knowledge of the nascent relationship between Victoria and Roman, she decided to push them closer together. She arranged Monroe's visits around the times when she knew that Roman's shifts were over. Julia then pushed Victoria out the door, knowing where she would go without any chores to handle. There was only one person in her life besides her mistress and she sensed that Victoria would not be able to stay away from Roman for long. As Victoria's relationship with Roman grew deeper, it became obvious to both Victoria and Julia that Victoria was getting increasingly lost in her role as Maria the docile maid and doting, submissive girlfriend of Roman the doorman. Each time that Roman mounted her in his apartment, the role became more real to Victoria. She could not see how Victoria Lightfoot would ever allow such a man to take her in surroundings that never came fully clean despite how much effort she put into the task. The initial thrill she got out of doing the cleaning and cooking was gone. It had become simply the normal tasks of her employment instead of something that was alluring and forbidden for her to perform. The more she felt that she was a real maid, the more alien such excitement became. It was no longer a forbidden fruit to clean, it was a duty. It was her job. It was expected. The only rush she got from cleaning and cooking came when she spoke with Julia. The constant references to her as "Lady Julia" served as a constant reminder of the inverted chasm between them. No one had ever spoken to her as Victoria Lightfoot with such a reverent term. It would have been unthinkable for her to ask a servant to do it, given what her father had taught her about respecting each person's place and what he or she had to do survive in a harsh, unforgiving world. The longer she spent as Maria, the more being a maid for Julia seemed to be her true place in the world. The way that Julia spoke down to her only made it appear to be truer. Her every mistaken was pointed out without mercy by Julia. The embarrassment and arousal on her maid's face was enough to ensure that Julia never missed a chance to bring it up. Julia loved watching the former lady of leisure squirm. It was more fun for her than making rich boys beg for her attention and submit to her the way she had once submitted to the white trash callers that she had believed a girl of her checkered background was destined to find herself coupled with. Victoria wondered how a plain girl with such limited abilities and unrefined mannerisms could ever be the belle of high society that Julia had become in such a short period of time. She had a two-decade head start on the girl, and Julia had surpassed what Victoria Lightfoot had been in less than a year. If either was an imposter to the realm of what passed for American nobility, Victoria sensed that it was not Julia. Victoria knew that a real lady of the noblesse would never lower herself to the rank of a common domestic, not even for a day, let alone a year. She frequently reminded herself that elegant, sophisticated girls do not trade pearls for aprons. They do not let their self- respect be whittled away bit by bit by a maid posing as a mistress until they can find no merit in themselves. They do not give up leisure for servitude, nor would they submit to the sexual will of a poor immigrant. The more she thought about her situation, the more she was certain that Victoria Lightfoot had been a fraud. She was an embarrassment to a class that she never should have been born into. She was born to serve, not to be served. It was all so obvious to her now. She had been born to be Maria, every bit that Julia had been born to be "Lady Julia." It was only the cruel accidents of birth that had situated them in their errant stations in life. Watching Julia navigate her way through the high society scene in person only served to make their differences clearer to Victoria. As she served Julia at another party, Victoria watched while Julia more than held her own with the guests again. There was not a woman in the place that out classed her or showed more refinement or elegance. Victoria walked around the party, swooping up the soiled materials while she moved through the home. As she carried a few glass, a man bumped her side. The glasses fell from Victoria's hand and crashed against the floor. Victoria felt small, sensing that all eyes were upon her. She saw one of her former sycophants shaking his head in disapproval at her before she apologized to the man that had bumped into her. He accepted her apology quickly and turned away from her. As Victoria went to clean up the broken shards, Julia descended upon her. Victoria quivered as she saw the heels that she had put on his mistress's feet come into view. "What were you thinking?" "I'm sorry, Lady Julia..." "Get this cleaned up this instant," Julia bellowed. "Yes, Lady Julia. I'm sorry." "You can't be this clumsy, girl. I expect more from you." "Yes, Lady Julia. I'm sorry," Victoria replied with reddening cheeks, wondering how many more times her mistress would make her apologize in front of her guests. Lias sunk lower as she listened to Julia's continued berating words. She stole glances around the room and saw that none of her mistress's guests saw anything wrong with Julia's words to her lesser. Victoria felt aroused. She struggled not to smile as the insults continued while she cleaned. Julia paused and turned away from her with a shake of her head. She noticed the smile on Victoria's face and was in shock. She knew that Victoria was aroused. It had been driving her the entire time. That it was still there when she was terrified was shocking to her. 'That cow couldn't survive without me,' Julia thought while she went back to smiling as she talked with her guests. Victoria tried to avoid further notice throughout the rest of the night. Julia did not ask for her services at the end of the night while her latest lover retired to her bedroom with her. Victoria put her head down and went into her quarters. She showered and slipped into bed. As she lay on the covers, she reached between her he legs and tried remember every one of Julia's words that night. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The next morning, Victoria woke up early and got dressed in her teal uniform. She started making breakfast for Julia and let it simmer while she cleaned up around the kitchen and ate her own breakfast. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her mistress's lover saunter by the kitchen on his way out of the home. She figured that Julia would be up soon and the girl emerged not long after. Victoria had knots in her stomach while she put the meal down in front of Julia. Julia took it without a word while she checked her emails and text messages with respect to the comments her party had generated. She focused on their words while Victoria stood in thankless silence watching her eat the meal she prepared. Once she finished, Julia got up and went into the living room to text with some friends. Victoria breathed a sigh of a relief that Julia had not continued her tirade from the day before. After she cleaned up the traces of her mistress's breakfast, Victoria went to clean the main bathroom. She began to clean it. As she worked around the bathroom, she heard Julia stirring. Her eyes widened as she saw Julia enter the room. Victoria hurried to her feet on the wet floor and felt her left foot slip out from underneath her. She crumbled quickly to the ground and bashed her face into the vanity top. "Oh my, God," Julia shrieked as she saw a portion of one Victoria's front teeth fall to the floor before blood spilled out of Victoria's mouth onto the vanity and the floor. Victoria's hand pulled away from her mouth to pick up the large fragment of her tooth. Julia rushed out of the room to call her dentist and made arrangements for Victoria. "It's okay, Maria. It'll be okay," Julia said while she tried to comfort her. Victoria was thankful for her mistress's unusual showing of care and kindness as she helped her out of her home. Julia got the elevator for Victoria before she called down to the doorman to get a cab for Victoria without delay. Once Victoria exited the elevator, Victoria hurried out of the servant's entrance and around the building. One of the doorman that Roman rotated shifts with gave Victoria a concerned look while she came over to him. He looked down at her and asked, "What's wrong? Miss Jacobs sounded very upset." "I knocked out a tooth." "How?" "I fell," Victoria explained, not wanting to talk further about it. The concerned look did not leave the doorman's face while he helped Victoria into the car. Once she was buckled into her seat, he told her he would call Roman. "Please don't bother him. It's his day off," Victoria pled. "He'll want to know," the doorman replied while he closed the door and told the cabbie to drive. Victoria's mind raced while she was whisked to the dentist office. She knew that her tooth was unsalvageable. She feared how Roman would think about how she looked without a front tooth. Shortly after she reached the dentist office, she was brought in to see the dentist. He quickly confirmed Victoria's suspicions before he told her that he would put in an implant. "That sounds expensive," Victoria replied. "Don't worry. Your employee already advanced you the money for us to give you the cheapest solution." "What's that?" Victoria asked as her heart sank. "This," the dentist said while he held up the silver cap. Victoria grimaced. The dentist cupped his hands and said, "I know it isn't much, but getting a real implant that looks like a tooth is $5,000." Victoria nodded. While she appeared to accept his explanation, she wanted to scream who she really was. Julia was not advancing anything for her. It was her money. She was Victoria Lightfoot and deserved only the best. At the least, she certainly should have been given a white cap. Those words, however, never passed through her lips. She certainly did not look like an heiress. It would have sounded crazy to claim that she was. She put her head back on the headrest and outwardly accepted the decision that had been made on her behalf. As the man went to work, Victoria grew more aroused as she thought about how she would look with the new tooth. She knew it would be noticeable. It would be further confirmation of just how lowly her status was. It would be proof that she could not even afford proper dental insurance. Once she the dentist finished, Victoria was shown out of the dentist office. She hailed her own cab and got into it and took it back to Julia's building. As the cab drove down the block, she situated herself in the center seat and gazed into the rearview mirror, trying to get a glimpse of her new smile. The shinning fake tooth was obvious in her mouth. She was mortified that it was marring her smile, but she was excited by it as well. She knew that the thought of having a silver tooth would make any of the girls she had gone to school with wretch. It would be unthinkable, but she had it in her mouth. That thought gave her pause as she thought about Roman again. What would he think when she saw light shining upon her new smile? Once she got out of the cab, she headed into the building. She hurried to the servant's elevator and rushed to her mistress's door once the doors opened. As she went inside, she was relieved to see that Julia had gone out. She did not want to face at her that moment. She went into the bathroom and saw her dried blood on the floor and vanity top. She was surprised that it was still there, but she knew that she could not expect Julia to have cleaned it for her. Victoria bent down and started to clean it. As she pressed into it, it started to smear. "Damn," she muttered as she put more weight into the scrubbing. It took some hard scrubbing, but she cleaned it off before she finished cleaning the rest of the bathroom. Shortly after she finished cleaning the bathroom, she heard a knock on the door. "Who can it be now?" Victoria muttered. She straightened out her apron while she approached the door and drew it open. She stepped back as she saw Roman looking down at her. "What are you doing here?" Victoria asked. "I had to see you. I was worried." "It's your day off. You should be..." "I don't care about my day off," Roman said while he cupped her chin. Victoria turned her eyes away from him, not wanting to show him her damaged smile. "Maria, look at me," Roman commanded. Victoria's eyes darted to meet his. The man looked at her. He brushed her hair with another hand before Victoria gave him a smile. Roman noticed her silver cap, but did not bring it up. He leaned down and kissed her before he said, "Can I take you to lunch?" "I think so. I don't know...I..." "Is Miss Jacobs around?" "No. She has an event today." "Then, let's go," Roman prodded. "Okay," Victoria replied as he removed her apron and carried it through the condominium. She hung it up in her quarters and hurried back to Roman. They went to the servant's elevator and took it down to the ground floor. They started out of the building and walked a few blocks before Victoria saw the name of the place that Roman was taking her to for lunch. Victoria followed him into the chain eatery. Victoria knew that it was a fast food restaurant that dressed itself up with slightly more expensive offerings. She had actually wanted to go to eat there before, but her mother's chiding that it was beneath a Lightfoot's dignity to step into such a place had kept her away. As she consciously tried to hide her silver tooth from others in the restaurant, such thoughts seemed absurd to her. The place was not beneath Maria. If anything, it was a rare treat for her. Roman gave Victoria's order for her before they sat down and talked. Roman did his best to put her at ease by calling her beautiful and telling her how much he loved her. She reciprocated in kind as they exchanged touches throughout the meal. Once they finished eating, they walked back out of the restaurant and began to head down the sidewalk back to the building they both worked at. Victoria and Roman held hands on the walk, exchanging loving glances and types of statements that had made Victoria want to gag when she heard other couples speak them to each other, thinking that they could not possibly reflect how two people could feel about one another. After Victoria dipped her head and pulled on Roman's arm for a moment, she opened her eyes and saw the faces of two of Victoria's Lightfoot's lackeys walking straight towards them. The smile left her face while she moved towards the safety that Roman provided. She burrowed her head down into the teal uniform and looked down at her body. This was not like the people she had fooled in her mistress's home. These were two men that she had more than fleeting interactions. She knew them well. They had been in her home, at her invite. They had spent time with her at the beach and around her pool. One of the men, she had even slept with. His inexperienced efforts were no comparison for what Roman gave her, but that short, fitful and thoroughly unsatisfying intimacy was enough to fill her with dread. There was no way that he could look through her. She cast her eyes down at her low-heeled black court shoes and nude pantyhose. Victoria Lightfoot would never be caught dead wearing those shoes or pantyhose. She was mortified by what was about to come. Her cheeks burned red while she waited to be confronted and exposed in front of her lover as the fraud she was. She would be simultaneously shown to be undeserving of being a mistress and a charlatan as a maid. She would be neither, an outcast in both worlds, held up to justifiable ridicule for her ridiculous, dangerous game. The two men looked exactly as she remembered them. They were both dressed in designer clothing with gel styled hair. While their families combined wealth paled by comparison to her own, no one would have mistaken her for the richest person on that sidewalk. She trembled as they approached one another. She had always felt that they were beneath her. She was not as vain as they were. She was not as obsessed with money or power. She felt that she was the normal one and they were just the dregs of high society. Now, they seemed superior to her in all ways. Her nervous hands burrowed deep into the side pockets of the dress to hide her calloused palms and self-manicured, cracked, short nails. Her cheeks remained flushed, knowing that it was no use in hiding them. The other evidence of what had become of Victoria Lightfoot was all too evident and on display. One of the men glanced down at her. She trembled with fear as she thought, 'This is it.' Her hand shook in Roman's, causing him to glance down at her. He was surprised by the mortified look on her face as two men passed them by without giving her a second glance. Victoria let out a sigh relief as she realized that her old lackey showed no hint of recognizing her. She felt it was if he had looked through her as though she was invisible in her uniform and glasses. With a glance over her shoulder, she noticed that neither man had turned to give a glance back at her pouch-stomached form. Roman wrapped his arm around Victoria tight. He wanted to sooth her concerns about her new tooth. She was a woman after all, he figured. They were all vain, even a girl on the level that he could obtain. He held her close as he said, "Don't worry, babe. You can barely notice it." Victoria grinned at Roman's fumbling attempt to console her in his second language. She hugged him back while she nestled her head to his chest as they continued to walk back to the building. "Is your boss going to need you tonight?" Roman inquired as they reached the servant's entrance. "I don't know yet," Victoria replied. "If she doesn't, call me." "I will," Victoria responded to her boyfriend's directive, loving it when he took charge despite everything she had been taught by everyone but her mother about the idea of a man taking charge. After a goodbye kiss, Victoria walked into the building and headed for the elevator. She tried to force the smile from her face by the time she returned to Julia's home. Victoria mind started to wander as she wondered how she could have possibly fooled them. Her hands touched her oily, mousy, dull, short brown hair before they moved to the bud of her double chin. She wondered if the changes were really that total that she could fool her former intimate companions. Her head stayed in its normal downcast position as she stared down at Julia's old uniform that was an imperfect fit for her given her recent additional weight gain. 'Maybe all they saw was the uniform,' Victoria thought. It was an oddly comforting thought. As long as she wore it, maybe the concerns and doubts that had weighed down Victoria Lightfoot would not apply to her. She felt secure in who she was as Maria the maid. She wondered if that was all she meant to be as she went back into the condominium unit to work. Once she finished her cleaning for the day, Victoria saw the newspaper on the table. With her mistress gone for the evening, she saw no reason not to take it into her quarters. Victoria walked into her quarters and sat down in the seat as she opened the paper. It had been a while since she read a paper. She wondered why her mistress had gotten one that day. As she thumbed through the paper, she stopped at the social pages. Her eyes widened as she saw Julia on the arm of one of the richest men in the city. She knew his name well. Her mother had tried to seduce him, but he was much too old for Julia as far as Victoria was concerned. 'How can you touch that old geezer?' Victoria thought as she looked at the face of the shaved bald headed man. 'He probably wouldn't touch an ugly fatty like you,' a voice retorted in her head. Victoria scrunched her face, knowing it was true. She was, now, beneath the attention of wealthy older men. She was fine with that though. Their occasional attempts to seduce her had been somewhat revolting to her, even as they flattered her. Her eyes retuned to the social pages that she became more acquainted with over the following weeks. It was a rare occurrence that two or more days passed before Julia's name appeared in the paper. Victoria marveled by how quickly Julia had been accepted into high society. She knew, however, that money mixed with beauty opened more doors than any other combination. Part of her was excited by how Julia was making the scene at wealthy events. The young girl was busy socializing with the rich and the famous on one man's arm before she traded up for another wealthy man. It was not lost on her that Julia's hours were consumed with the frivolities of conspicuous consumption that she had forsaken and would be unwelcome to partake in her new identity as anything but a cleaner or a waitress. Based on the papers, the art shows, charity galas, societal parties that Julia had worked her way into with her well- trained charm and the arms of rich men that she frequently was escorted about town upon took up nearly all of her mistress time. The papers gave Victoria far more of an insight into what her mistress was doing than the girl would offer her. On most days, the few moments they got alone were limited to Victoria serving Julia breakfast and dressing her mistress before she headed out the door to leave Victoria to her labors. Julia became increasingly detached from Victoria as she grew fully into her role as mistress. Their only verbal interactions came when she gave Victoria an order or berated her for substandard work or speaking out of turn. Julia sensed that Victoria was slacking off intentionally or making an ignorant statement simply to make her mistress take notice of her existence. While she found it sad to some degree, she could not let such actions by the help stand. If anything, it made her tongue more acidic when she dressed "Maria" down. Victoria internalized the insults. She felt that every nasty word Julia spoke about her was true. She had always been plain, but now she was plump and long ago stripped of all glamorous pretenses. She had always been an underachiever, but now she was in the place a girl with her youthful work ethic belonged. She was being absent minded and not thinking straight when she cleaned, but if she had thought straight she figured that she would never be taking orders from her former maid. The only thing that gave her any confidence at all was the safety provided by Roman's loving arms and the lustful looks he gave her. At least, she knew that she had value to one person in the world. That seemed enough to her, even though she pitied him for having to stoop to dating a girl like her given the circumstances that fate had thrust upon him. Victoria found herself spending more time sleeping with the doorman as Julia brought around more rich men into her home. That the men ignored her only made Victoria aroused as she reveled in her fallen state. She felt that she beneath them too and that was what she enjoyed, with Roman getting the benefit of her tendencies. When yet another party came, Victoria was forced to spend a night away from Roman. She hated the fact, but she knew that it would give her the rare opportunity to interact with her mistress, even if all she would get to say was "Yes, Lady Julia." Victoria worked the party as she had the others. Another former minion from her past life made the guest list. Just like with all the others, however, she passed without any hint of the person taking notice of Victoria Lightfoot masquerading as a maid. The conclusions were unavoidable to Victoria. She was certain that her former lackeys never truly liked her nor even looked at her. She was nothing more than a means to an end for them, since she already had her inheritance. The dismissive treatment that she took throughout the party made Victoria's cheeks burn at times. She could not help but to feel frustrated by the mix of embarrassment and arousal coursing through her. Once the party ended, Julia went to her bedroom. Victoria went to help her undress, but her mistress's latest boyfriend had stayed after. She took to abandoning the task as Julia dismissed Victoria with a look. Victoria nodded and curtsied before she hurried through the room. Victoria closed the door to her mistress's chambers and started down the hallway. She paused as she caught her reflection in the mirror. She looked over her haggard appearance. She was exhausted from the full day's labors under Julia's boot. Clenching her eyes for a second, she thought about ending it all. The ruse had gone on too long. It had become more than she thought she wanted, but it was not. She wanted to give it all up to become someone else. There was no doubt in her mind that it had come to pass. It was an unavoidable conclusion every moment she gazed at what Julia had made of herself before she looked down at her apron-clad body. She opened her eyes and saw no trace of Victoria Lightfoot. She could not decide to end things and just resume her life. Sure, she could get liposuction, fix her teeth, start using moisturizer and get hair extensions, but that would be nothing but external dressing. She felt it would be akin to putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how she dressed herself up, she knew that she would still feel the same. She did not feel like a wealthy heiress. She felt like a servant. A tingle went through her as she thought about how far she had willingly fallen. Before she had been turning away wealthy guys, now, she was clinging to the one poor man that gave her attention. While she had felt superior to the men she had been with before, she felt far less than Roman's equal. She felt lucky to have a man like him in her life. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- As another event came, Victoria helped her mistress into her sleeveless, tulle, mermaid gown. She pulled the black gown up Julia's lithe body. The fabric felt divine in her hands. She loved the soft, elegant feeling that was unlike the cheap polyester dress she was wearing. While she smoothed the floral embroidery of the gown out on her mistress's hips, Victoria's mind began to wonder. She thought about Roman. She had invited him to come up for dinner in her mistress's home. That Roman thought it was naughty and alluring to use Julia's furniture without her say so was something she found cute. Victoria wondered what she would think if he knew that her mistress had purchased everything that they would be using with her money. A smirk came across Victoria's face as he began to fasten the gown up to the bottom of the plunging v of the gown that mirrored the front. She thought about how cute Roman's arousal at the idea of being a pair of impish servants for a night was to her. "Ah...you absent minded, sow, you nearly twisted the zipper," Julia barked as she felt a pinch on her smooth back. "I'm sorry, Lady Julia," Victoria replied as she was snapped back to reality by Julia's harsh words. "Pay attention to your work," Julia chided. "Yes, Lady Julia. Sorry, Lady Julia," Victoria hurried to respond under his mistress's imperious glance. Victoria struggled to keep her fantasies about her evening with Roman out of her mind, while she continued to help Julia dress. Once the outfit was on, Victoria left Julia to touch her makeup and hair. Julia never trusted Victoria with such important finishing touches, feeling that the plain girl's skills were inferior to her own. Victoria walked over to Julia's purse and began to transfer the contents from the pocketbook she used that afternoon into the purse that went with her gown. As she put away each item in its respective compartment of the organizer that Julia insisted on putting in her purses, her mind drifted back to Roman. She knew that she had to break it off with Roman. She was getting far too deep into the relationship. Roman had been hinting that he was getting ready to propose to her. The intention of their conversation about engagement rings was too hard for the man to disguise using his second language. Victoria knew that she could not accept the ring. No matter how small the stone, she would feel like she was stealing it from Roman. She wanted to be the woman he loved. She was a fraud, however, a fraud that had fooled him and was trying to deceive herself into thinking that she could stay in the life and be his wife. She could not do that. It was absurd to think that she could turn her back on the legacy of her father and hand it all away to Julia. The one-year anniversary of their swap was coming up and that was to be the end of it. It was always her decision when it ended. She had said it would go at most a year or two. One was a definite point to end it. If she stayed on any longer, she knew what Roman would do. And if she accepted his proposal, she could not just announce that he was marrying Victoria Lightfoot and not his beloved Maria. She could not bring herself to hurt him. Roman meant too much to her, but it was too late to tell him the truth. How could he believe her? Even when she had the means to prove it, how could he think of himself as anything but a pawn in a rich girl's bizarre game of dress-up? She buried her chin in her bosoms, wondering how quickly that Roman would get her out of her dress and place his hands on them. She loved the feeling of him squeezing them with his powerful hands. She needed him more than he could ever need her. She was sure of it. "I'm Mrs. Roman Malinska," she said with pride as she tucked away her mistress's morning after pills and zipped her mistress's purse closed. She turned and walked towards the mirror on the wall. She flashed herself a grin and saw the metal tooth shinning from the overhead lights that Roman never brought up after he found out how it happened. Her fingers ran through her short, self-trimmed bob. She knew that his thick fingers and broad hands would be running through her hair soon enough. Her fingers left her hair to adjust her glasses before they ran down her plump tanned cheeks. She shook her head as she said, "He loves me this way." It was an amazing thing to her. Not only had a man fallen in love with her without any knowledge of her family's money, but with a version of her that was far removed from the one that rich scions had flocked to seducing. She could not even get one of those men to acknowledge her existence now, but Roman enjoyed the feelings of her slightly overweight body. She could not help, but smile as she thought about the man. In a way, he was exactly what she had wanted since she was a teenage girl. He was a man who loved her for her, but he did not know the real her. The smile left her face as she was too aware that if he knew the truth, the true love she felt would leave him. Julia walked out of her bedroom and came to a stop as she saw her maid looking over her appearance in the mirror. She had a nervous look on her face as she tried to straighten out her short hair. "Are you seeing Roman tonight?" Julia asked, breaking Victoria's concentration. "Oh, yes, Lady Julia," Victoria replied with an embarrassed grin. "I should have known where your mind was," Julia responded. "I'm sorry, Lady Julia." "Try to control yourself when you're in my presence," Julia retorted. "Yes. I will, Lady Julia. I'm so sorry," Victoria replied in pleading tone. "See that you do. Now, where is my purse?" "Right here, Lady Julia," Victoria answered as she picked up the purse to hand it to her. Julia took the purse and unzipped it. She looked inside the purse and took stock of the contents inside it. She gave it an approving nod before she zipped the purse closed. A knock on the door made Victoria pivoted in her one inch, block heeled, black clog shoes. She hurried towards the door as she tightened her apron to give her a neater appearance for her mistress's guest. The latest lover stood before the door with his head held high. She had read his name in the social papers and placed it to his face, but she had never seen him in person before. She stood aside as the tall, well-dressed man entered. He walked past Victoria and planted a kiss on Julia's lips, clearly enjoying the sight of her in a tight gown with a plunging neckline that ended below her pert breasts. Victoria put her head down, slightly jealous of Julia's boyfriend who was wealthy, well groomed and good-looking. Still, she felt he was no match for the real love of Roman. As their lips parted, the man asked, "Are you ready to go?" Julia nodded before they started towards the door. She paused as she reached Victoria. She turned to face her and said, "Girl, don't expect me before 3 a.m. You can go to bed after you're done with putting my new dresses away." Victoria nodded before Julia added, "And don't you fold them like last time! Understand?" "Yes, Lady Julia. I'm very sorry." "As you should be, girl," Julia replied while she checked her purse again. Victoria gave the bag a jealous glance. The bag was beautiful, but it was more than she could ever afford on her meager salary. Victoria caught herself as she sensed a reminder of the folly of such a thought. A voice screamed from within, 'You bought that purse! You're Victoria Lightfoot, you damn fool!' In that moment, everything that had happened came back to her. Every choice she had made from the moment she decided that she needed an escape from the expectations that came with being Victoria Lightfoot. All the trappings of that life she had given over to Lady Julia were within her mind's eye. From the luxurious furnishing within the condominium's walls that everyone thought were Lady Julia's to the evening gown, purse and heels only a Lightfoot woman had worn out for society events before. She seemed ill suited for what Lady Julia surrounded herself with now. As Maria thought of the yawning chasm that existed between the two, she realized that her thoughts that she could end it all were the true folly. She felt that neither of them were the women they were before. She would be every bit the farce as a woman of high society that Julia had been when she first put on a pair of Victoria Lightfoot's sandals. After she zipped her purse closed, Julia stared down at Maria. Maria averted her eyes from her mistress's glance as the imperious woman noted, "I'll wake you if I need help undressing." "Yes, Lady Julia. Have a great night out." Julia nodded as she stepped out of the condominium. Julia smiled as Maria closed the door behind her with her head held low, giving her mistress a good view of the bob cut she continued to sport at her mistress's insistence. In Julia's mind, Maria was looking every inch the domestic she had been, maybe even more, before the girl bit her lip. It appeared to be unbelievable to either of them that Maria had ever been Victoria Lightfoot. There was no fight at all in the girl. No sign of her sophisticated upbringing. Taking the arm of her date, Julia was certain that Maria and her husband were going to be happy serving Lady Julia and her husband for the rest of their lives.