Friday, July 14, 2017

Story: The Dropout

A new story from Mana Ray. Please follow her Patreon page if you like her stuff.


The Dropout

by Mana Ray

(Foot fetish, demotion fetish, F+/f, servitude)

Why did her mom always drop her off right in front of the salon?

"Thank you for the ride, mother," Leah said in an icy tone, still mad about the fact that the woman had grounded her for 'talking back.' 

Leah immediately regretted her choice of words – she knew exactly how much she sounded like a bratty teenager right now. If she could have afforded a rideshare, she would have taken it instead. Or better yet, she could have driven herself if she hadn't gotten that illegal U-turn ticket that resulted in her parents dropping her from their insurance. 

"You're welcome, dear. Try to smile at work today, okay? Don't look like such a sourpuss!" Leah's mother said as the girl shut the car door. 

As Leah approached Mrs. Kim's nail salon, she could only sigh. How could her mom expect her to smile when she was about to spend the entire day massaging woman's' feet and polishing their toes? And to earn barely any money, while wearing a degrading outfit all the while? 

Although Leah was a slender girl, the stupid pink ballet slippers Mrs. Kim made her wear had wooden soles, so each step was accompanied by a loud clacking noise that announced her arrival. The dreaded shoes also had long, pink ribbons that she had to crisscross up the entire length of her legs to tie off. She despised how girlish it all was, and people were always commenting on how 'cute' it looked. She was 22 years old, she didn't want to look 'cute!'

"Good morning Mrs. Kim," Leah said to the middle-aged Asian woman sitting behind the desk.
"Ah, Leah, good morning. You have very full schedule today. Take off your shoes and put on your apron please, the first customer is arriving soon."

Leah nodded, and sat on the nearby sofa to remove her ballet slippers. Per Mrs. Kim's request Leah wore them almost all the time, even when she was at home. They were custom-fit to her feet, and had special disposable plastic liners that fit on the inside -- Leah was expected to keep them full of expensive collagen lotion. The white gelatinous stuff would squish around the girl's feet with each step, causing a weird sensation that just made it easier for Leah to sit around and do nothing rather than go out. 

Well, she sat as much as she could, but at home she was usually busy doing one chore or another for her parents so she could earn her allowance. The thought made her frown – an allowance! It was like she was back in high school rather than 90% of the way through college. 

Leah often dreamt of quitting this job and doing anything else, but she was essentially trapped here. Mrs. Kim had helped her out by purchasing some of her enormous student loans when she was right on the verge of forbearance. The brunette girl was so excited to be out from under her crushing debt that she didn't ask a lot of questions about the internship that Mrs. Kim wanted her to do in exchange. 

Now here she was putting on the frilly white apron that, combined with her black dress, made her look like a maid. A barefoot maid: the salon had a silly gimmick that all the technicians remained barefoot during their shifts to show off the quality of their own pedicures. 

Leah glanced down at her size 5 feet, cursing under her breath at the hot pink varnish she had on her nails. Mrs. Kim only seemed to allow Leah to wear the most juvenile colors, on the reasoning that Leah could demonstrate what the salon could offer to its younger customers. Other technicians favored black and red lacquers – more mature colors. For Leah, though, the other manicurists always seemed to outdo themselves in finding some new way of making her look ridiculous. 

At least they didn't make her wear the sparkly polish today.

Leah's first customer stormed into the salon, a mature blonde woman in her 40s talking away on her phone about some important business deal. She took a seat before Leah and put her feet on the pedicure stand, looking at the brunette girl expectantly.

Leah winced, hoping the blonde woman didn't notice. She absolutely hated this part of the job. Mrs. Kim was watching, though, so Leah smiled and said:

"Hi, I'm Leah Snowden, I'm your... foot tender today. May I help you with your shoes?"

The woman nodded, and Leah leaned forward to remove the woman's high heels for her. There was an entire ritual built around this: Leah had to rest one hand on the woman's ankle, then gently ease the footwear off and place it carefully on the ground.

Immediately, Leah noticed the odor of leather and sweat fill the air – the woman had obviously been running around this morning. Leah started the 'inspection' that was the next part of the pedicure, leaning in to look at the woman's meaty soles more closely. How did such a ridiculous ritual catch on with people? 

The woman had wide feet, and her black nail polish had grown out a little. There was the slightest hint of callus on her otherwise soft soles. Leah cringed inwardly as she continued her routine: she ran her hands gently up and down the woman's bare feet, to 'greet the customer' as Mrs. Kim liked. Leah's touch was firm as she felt for more calluses, rubbing every inch of the woman's clammy feet. Some crumbly residue came off on her hands, and she suppressed a shudder.

The next part was the only time she was permitted to wear gloves – to use acetone and cotton balls to remove the woman's old nail polish. As soon as that part was done, Leah had to toss the gloves and use her bare hands to massage all sorts of expensive creams and oils into the woman's tired feet.

"Yeah I bought it for 1.5 million and sold it for 2.3. It's a bull market right now," the blonde woman said later, as Leah pushed back the cuticles on her toes. 

Leah felt the color rising in her cheeks as she thought of the unfairness of this whole situation. 

This time last year, she was living with her (now ex) boyfriend and attending fascinating college lectures. She had published a few papers, and felt like a rising star in academia. Then, at the worst possible time, her parents made a surprise visit and found out she was living with a boy. She tried to shut out the memory of the screaming match she had with her mother that day. What else was there for her to focus on though? This rich woman's bare feet?

"Sweetie, could you go over my cuticles again? I see a hangnail down there," the woman said, covering her phone's receiver with one hand and giving Leah a critical look.

"Yes, of course!" Leah chirped, reaching for the nippers again. 

Leah hated words like 'sweetie' or 'honey' or any other term that belittled someone in the name of affection. She had dedicated an entire chapter of her thesis to this: how language helps establish control in subtle but important ways. Now here she was, perched on a little stool, an utterly controlled servant tending to wealthy woman's' feet. Whenever they called her 'sweetie' or 'honey' she could only nod, and obey them that much quicker. 

The irony was enough to make her scream, but if she displeased Mrs. Kim the woman could easily sell her loans to a predatory lender and Leah's entire life would go up in flames. So she put on a fake smile – another thing she had ranted against in her papers – and did as she was told.

Now came the most challenging part: applying the nail polish. 

Leah had always assumed it was easy, but it actually required a steady hand and a great amount of skill to get an even coat. She had to stop drinking her beloved morning coffee to reduce the amount her hands trembled, and even then Leah's polish jobs were often uneven and splotchy. This time was no exception: despite Leah's best efforts, she had to redo the woman's polish twice, which ate up a lot of time. The woman was visibly frowning when Leah finally managed to get an even coat on all of her toes. After Leah helped her put on the disposable pedicure sandals, she didn't even say 'thanks.'

Leah was stooped over gathering her things when Mrs. Kim approached. As usual, she put one arm over Leah's shoulder in a way that really emphasized their height difference. She leaned a little too close to Leah's ear, apparently so that no one would hear what she said.

"Try to do better on this next customer, okay Leah? We can't have you remain an apprentice forever."

A quick glance around the salon revealed that two technicians were watching this little encounter with knowing grins. 

As an apprentice, Leah was only allowed to do pedicures. She could swear that Mrs. Kim and the other Vietnamese techs enjoyed having a white girl at the bottom of their totem pole. She suspected that they were deliberately keeping her there, but that could just as easily be blamed on her own poor performance. It also seemed like Mrs. Kim enjoyed pairing Leah with the wealthy Chinese women who would come in the salon, as some kind of role reversal. She stuck out like a sore thumb at the salon, and each of the Asian women would raise an eyebrow appreciatively when they realized a white girl would be slaving away at their feet.

"Oh, your next client is here." Mrs. Kim remarked casually.

Leah looked on in horror as she saw the blonde girl walk into the salon, flashing her dazzling smile. What was Meghan O'Conner doing here?!

Time seemed to slow down as the statuesque woman glanced around the salon. Leah thought back to high school and their old friendly rivalry. At this moment, she couldn't imagine anything more humiliating than Meghan O'Conner seeing her working at a nail salon. Well, except for --

"Leah? Heey! It's so good to see you! What, are you getting your nails done too? We can sit together!" Meghan said, loudly enough that the entire salon took notice. 

Leah blushed uncontrollably and, considering her pale complexion, anyone could see it quite clearly. It felt like everyone was staring now – Meghan always did know how to draw an audience. 
"Hey Meghan," she muttered. "Actually, I work here. I will be doing your pedicure."

Meghan furrowed her brow and made an incredulous expression – was there some disgust mixed in there too?

"What?" Meghan scoffed, obviously thinking this was a weird joke, "Come on, don't joke around! Take a seat, I'll pay for your service!"

Leah politely refused, and repeated that she was actually working here now. 

"Shut. Up!" Meghan cried out, like she had just heard some juicy gossip, "you're like a... a nail technician now?"

The way Meghan said 'nail technician' made it clear her low opinion of the work. She couldn't seem to do away with that curious expression on her face; and she couldn’t seem to process the fact that the great Leah Snowden was about to do her toes.

Mrs. Kim showed up to smooth things over, which was helpful because Leah couldn't bring herself to do much of anything right now.

"Please sit!" the Asian woman said, leading Meghan to her chair. 

"Leah is just an apprentice, but she works very hard. You two can catch up while she works on your feet."

Meghan shook her head and took a seat in the pedicure chair, stretching her impossibly long legs out towards Leah's stool.

"I'm like, amazed right now! What are you doing here?" Meghan asked as Leah moved to take her seat in the pedicure chair.

"I work for Mrs. Kim," Leah answered, mechanically sitting down. She knew what she had to do next, but the humiliation was almost too much to bear.

At first, Meghan reached for the clasps on her high heels, and Leah felt a wave of relief wash over her. But then, Meghan glanced around and seemed to remember something.

"Oh, that's right, here the technicians do this!" she said, placing both of her feet again on Leah's pedicure stand. 

Leah glanced down at Meghan's pearlescent high heels. They were brand new, name-brand things that probably cost $800 or more. She swallowed, and reached for the tiny golden buckles that went around Meghan's narrow ankles, removing the girl's shoes for her.

"So how did you end up here?" Meghan asked. "Like, don't take this the wrong way, but I thought you would be at Harvard or something. Now you're here as a manicurist?"

Meghan seemed oblivious to the cutting nature of her remarks. She smiled as Leah slowly ran her hands up and down her bare feet to greet her. Meghan had very high arches and long, slender toes – probably the nicest feet that Leah had seen at the salon so far. Leah cursed herself for observing something like that, and tried to focus on the conversation.

Leah explained her circumstances as she began Meghan's pedicure.

The blonde girl seemed genuinely sympathetic as Leah told her what had happened in her life that brought her here. As Leah filed Meghan's soles with an abrasive foot file, she unburdened herself and tried to ignore how the skin always seemed to fall onto from the women’s' feet and onto her own dress and legs. 

Leah explained how her parents considered her degree 'useless' and would not fund a master's in women's studies. She told Meghan how she had to drop out of college before even getting a bachelor's degree due to her mom's outrage to find her living with a guy --

"Wait, so you're a dropout?!" Meghan said incredulously, loudly enough that several of the women in the salon took notice.  

Leah blushed, and wished she were anywhere else right now. Laying her entire pathetic life in front of Meghan was the height of humiliation, made even worse by the fact that she was slaving away over the girl's feet. Leah had deleted all her social media profiles to avoid this exact sort of thing.

"Let's talk about you instead," Leah responded, trying to change the subject. Meghan nodded readily.

"Well, I'm here to celebrate my engagement!"

Meghan pointed to the ring on her left hand – judging by the enormous size of the diamond, her soon-to-be-husband was loaded.  

"My fiancĂ© booked me a half-hour foot massage, so we can talk things through. I want to find a way to help you, Leah – I really looked up to you in high school," Meghan said. 

Leah blinked. She would have to spend half an hour massaging Meghan O'Conner's bare feet and listen to the successful blonde girl lecture her on ways to improve her life?!

The years had been good to Meghan, but that had been clear from the beginning. Leah's former friend told her story, and although she was obviously being modest, Leah was still feeling incredibly jealous.

After Meghan graduated high school, she moved to New York City and pursued fashion design with dogged determination. Leah bitterly suspected that Meghan's stunning looks helped propel her meteoric rise: she had coltish legs, big firm boobs, and a tiny waist. All this, combined with her blonde hair and perfect complexion, made her look like a supermodel, or a movie star, or --

"So now I'm the lead fashion reporter for Vogue magazine! I'm the youngest woman to ever hold that title. Isn't that something?" Meghan asked as Leah kneaded her soles. 

Leah could only nod politely. He hands were covered in pomegranate oil, scented with grapefruit. Was she even the youngest technician at Mrs. Kim's salon?

"Honestly, though, it can be very stressful!" Meghan whined in a cute way, and Leah could understand how this girl had gotten everything she wanted from life.

"But there are perks," she went on. 

The girl had a lyrical way of speaking – some of the other clients in the salon were even getting pulled into her story. 

"Like, I have a personal assistant who basically does everything I want. She's a fashion designer from Ryerson: a skinny brunette fashionista and she's really desperate to make it up the ladder. She basically just follows me around and waits to do what I tell her. Like, that's literally her job! One day, I complained that my feet were sore from walking in heels all day and she actually gave me a foot massage right there in my office! Can you believe it?"

Leah was doing exactly the same thing right now, so she could definitely believe it. Meghan's feet were soft and pampered – Leah barely needed to trim her cuticles.

"She has that model's physique, you know super skinny and almost gangly? So sometimes I dress her up to see how certain styles look. It's actually very helpful to my work. I joked that she could move into my apartment and just dress up and massage my feet every day instead of paying rent."

"And then there's Declan," Meghan swooned.

"He's the most amazing guy ever. We met in Paris when I was on assignment at fashion week, and it was just... right. Like he's the right guy for me. I've met a lot of rich guys, and they're all the same: they want to show you off and expect you to worship them because they have money. But with Declan, there's something deeper."

Leah did her best not to scowl. She couldn't even remember what it was like going on a date with a guy. Leah's own ex-boyfriend, whom she had thought to be so smart and dedicated, had dumped her almost immediately after she had left school. Leah still remembered fighting back tears when she looked at his social media profile and saw him partying with some blonde bimbo in a little bikini a week after he had changed his relationships status.

Leah wasn't allowed to date now: part of her overbearing parents' rules.

Any visit from a boy had to be chaperoned, and Leah's parents made it clear that if she were caught sneaking around again they would send her to her aunt's house in Montana. Almost no guy wanted to deal with that kind of baggage, so they opted for easier-to-get girls while Leah stayed at home, waiting for something that increasingly seemed like it would never happen. Leah's parents even had her logins to her social media accounts; yet another reminder that she was not in college anymore and lacked the sorts of freedoms she had taken for granted. 

"Hey, I have an idea!" Meghan said, drawing Leah's attention back to the present.

"I'm having a bachelorette party at my mom's house and Declan said we can hire someone to do beauty treatments. Would you want to do mini manicures or something? He said we can pay up to $400 for the job, and it'll only go for like 4 hours!"

Leah's eyes widened – with that kind of money, she could afford her car insurance again! But then she thought of all it would entail: working Meghan O'Conner's party as a manicurist, a lowly servant, in the eyes of everyone she went to high school with. After some deliberation, Leah came to the conclusion that the money was more than worth a night of embarrassment.

"Okay, sure! Thanks," Leah said, and Meghan clapped her hands together and beamed a winning smile. 

It reminded Leah of the way Meghan would smile back when she was a cheerleader, and it actually did manage to lift Leah's spirits a little.

Then Meghan handed Leah the nail polish, and the girl's spirits fell immediately. Meghan wanted red nail polish on her toes which as all manicurists know, is the most difficult color to work with. Leah struggled for a long time trying to put a perfect coat on Meghan's toes. It took her nearly half an hour, and she was deeply ashamed of the lumpy coat she had done.

Meghan inspected her pedicure, and frowned a little. There was an awkward pause between the girls, which made Leah feel even worse.

Mrs. Kim approached to inspect Leah's work – something that Leah dreaded because of the woman's blunt and almost rude demeanor.

"Ooh, Leah, you need to do this again! Such a pretty woman can't have a bad pedicure," Mrs. Kim lectured, putting both hands on Leah's shoulders and using her body as leverage to lean down as she examined the girl's work.

"No, it's okay!" Meghan began, but Mrs. Kim cut her off.

"No, Leah must learn – please let her do it again. It will be much better next time, I promise!" Mrs. Kim insisted, adding:

"I will get you some champagne, sit!"

That was all it took to convince Meghan, who took a phone call from someone in her office as Leah began painting her toes yet again. Truthfully, Leah did a much better job this time, and was actually proud of her work.

"Aww, thanks Leah! It's good running into you. I will be in touch about the party – it's this Saturday," Meghan said. 

Then the girl handed Leah a $5 tip, but something about taking the money from Meghan was profoundly demeaning. It cemented their new relationship: Leah slavishly tending to Meghan's feet for a small pittance compared the blonde girl's vast fortune. 

Mrs. Kim sent Leah out to Meghan's car, to open the door for her so she wouldn't smudge her manicure. Although Meghan was gracious about everything, something about her smile made Leah suspect that she savored this sort of treatment. Leah could put all this aside: was more focused on how great it would be to have that four hundred dollars!

As Leah marched back to the salon to sweep up the nail clippings and foot filings, she mentally calculated how much the money would help. The mousy girl was in such a good mood she wasn't even bothered by the fact that Mrs. Kim made her use a nail brush and a little dustpan to sweep up her pedicure station. 

While it was going to be a challenge for Leah to do beauty treatments at Meghan's party, she really believed this was the first good thing that had happened to her in a long time. 

**
Leah's mom dropped her off in front of Meghan's place, but they didn't speak much on the ride over. 

Leah was still mad that her parents wouldn't raise her allowance, despite the fact that she was doing practically all of the household chores at this point. Every morning consisted of her waking up, making breakfast for everyone, doing all their dishes, then making her parents' bed (!) before beginning whatever chores they assigned her that day. Sure, they would make comments on how 'helpful' Leah was and how they liked her 'new attitude,' but they refused to give her more than $20 a week for what Leah had calculated to be over 20 hours of work. And as an apprentice at Mrs. Kim's nail salon she wasn't paid normal wages, and only kept a small portion of the tips her clients left her.

Leah focused on the four hundred dollars as she walked up to Meghan's house, knocking on the carved wooden door. 

As Leah knocked, she observed the stupid white gloves that Mrs. Kim recently began making her wear, also full of collagen gel. Mrs. Kim explained that Leah's hands needed to be soft, to be more pleasing on women’s' feet. Leah didn't argue, although she couldn't believe that she was basing so much of her life now around how she could be better at servicing women’s' feet.

The girl who opened the door looked like a younger, meaner Meghan. The teenager snorted as she saw Leah's uniform, eyeing her up and down subtly. Leah dimly recognized her as Meghan's little sister. 

"You must be Leah," the girl said plainly. 

Even in bare feet she was quite a bit taller than Leah, and a little intimidating in her haughty beauty. She wore a tank top and short shorts that really emphasized how long her legs were –apparently that trait ran in the family. The girl didn't offer to shake hands and ushered Leah in the house right away, apparently in a hurry to get back to whatever she was doing before.

"I'm Kara, Meghan's sister. She's busy right now, but could you help clean the kitchen? I'm a little busy giving directions," Kara said.

She didn't really wait for Leah's response, and went to sit down on the black leather sofa, picking up her cell phone to resume talking to whoever was on the other line. Leah wasn't really comfortable asserting herself here – she wanted that money – so she showed herself to the kitchen and started doing the considerable dishes in the sink. Judging by the tone of Kara's phone call, she was mostly just chatting with her friends.

"Leah! Could you bring me a water?" Kara called out, and Leah rolled her eyes as she got a glass of water for this snotty teenage girl.

Kara didn't even bother saying 'thank you,' and just waved Leah back to her work. It became apparent that Kara wasn't going to help with anything – she seemed very content to sit on the sofa and tell Leah what to do. Over the next hour, Leah was hanging decorations, setting out refreshments, and even emptying the trash as Kara just sat there barking out commands. Leah resented taking orders from this girl who couldn't have been more than eighteen years old, but without Meghan present she didn't have much leverage here. 

To make things worse, Kara had a habit of pointing at things with her feet instead of her hands. And the only personal conversation she made with Leah was pointing out that she needed a pedicure and she was happy that Meghan had hired a girl to do that for her. But wasn't Leah just hired to do 'mini manicures'?

Soon Kara got up from the couch, to change into something more appropriate for the party. Leah was taking a much-needed break when Kara came back down, dressed in an eye-catching red dress that emphasized her trim, athletic figure. She had something in her hands that she thrust into Leah's – the girl couldn't contain her disappointment when she saw that it was some kind of maid's cap!

Leah looked at the thing like it was radioactive. It was a dome-shaped white hairpiece with long ribbons hanging from it, and a band to secure it beneath Leah's chin.

"I dressed up as Chun-Li for Halloween, and when I saw this I thought it would look really cute on you. Try it on!" Kara said, and Leah cringed as she put the thing atop her head. 

Maybe on a different costume this thing would be cute or stylish, but on Leah it just gave her the unmistakable look of a maid. Kara laughed and complimented the look, but it did nothing to lessen Leah's embarrassment. 

Then there was a knock on the door.

"Oh, go answer it!" Kara announced, looking at Leah as though a brilliant idea had just struck her. 

"Tell them 'welcome to the O'Conner house' then send them in. Try to call Meghan Mrs. Davenport – she loves using Declan's last name."

Leah nervously approached the front door, aghast at how this would appear. To her dismay, it was none other than London Bechtold. The mocha-skinned girl was sipping a frost beverage, and gawked openly at Leah's appearance. London was speechless as Leah welcomed her to the party. 

"Leah?!" London asked in her prissy voice, "are you like, a maid now?"

"No! I'm--" Leah tried to get out, but Kara interrupted her.

"London! Come in! No, Leah's not a maid. She's just doing nails at the party today. Here, come try these coconut shrimp, they're delicious!"

London disregarded Leah, but the girl's ears were burning as she imagined London telling Kara about their history in high school. Leah didn't even begin doing nails right away – Kara seemed happier to have her answering the door and giving the appearance that she was the maid of the house. Leah recognized several of her former classmates such as Tanya Day and Kelly Davis. Literally everyone thought she was Meghan's maid, and what could she say in response? 

Soon, Meghan came down the staircase looking breathtaking in a white Valentino dress she must have snatched from the runway. Her hair was amazingly well-done, curled and primped in a way that gave her a regal appearance. After greeting the other guests Meghan came over and said 'hi' to Leah and thanked her for putting up with Kara. 

With her usual poise, Meghan promised Leah that she would get a little bonus for dealing with her annoying sister. Kara laughed – apparently taking no offense at this comment.

"Well, are you ready to do pedicures?" Meghan asked. 

Leah tried to object – she thought it was only going to be manicures!

"Yeah, I was thinking about it and manicures don't really make sense," Meghan explained, "like, ladies are going to be using their hands. But if you do their feet, it's a lot easier. Do you mind?"

Kara and London were both listening into the conversation and looked at Leah expectantly. Now she felt way too self-conscious to object.

"Yeah, that's fine," Leah muttered.

"Awesome! Thank you, Leah. I really appreciate this," Meghan said, before another friend pulled her away.

"I get first dibs!" London called out, dragging Leah over to the black couch.

"I'm sorry in advance for the state of my feet," the girl said, stretching her legs out expectantly. Leah sighed – London didn't even bother removing her own shoes. First Leah took off her own gloves, then she unzipped the ankle-high boots that London was wearing, noticing that London didn't wear socks beneath. The girl had long toes with dainty little nail beds, and judging by how grown-out her polish was, it had been awhile since her last pedicure.

Leah set to work, going largely ignored by the rest of the guests. She immediately realized that she hadn't brought a water bowl to soak London's feet in, or any way to sanitize or clean them. The result was that she had to massage London's feet right out of her shoes, the smell of leather and sweat absorbing into her hands.

There were several people from her school there, and pretty soon they didn't even bother asking Leah about her circumstances. Although they were surprised at first, after some quick conversation they seemed to accept that this was her lot now, massaging their feet and painting their nails. 

Leah was beside herself with humiliation: Meghan had hired a professional photographer who snapped several photos of her working on girls' feet. As soon as she had finished with London, Tanya took her place and put her feet in Leah's lap.

"Give me the works," Tanya said, sipping champagne. She wiggled her toes playfully, as the flash of the camera went off.

"So, what got you into this feet thing? I mean, doesn't it bother you at all having to dig the gunk out from beneath my toenails? " Tanya asked, causing some people nearby to laugh.

Leah explained her situation lamely, but Tanya was barely interested in hearing her story.

"Oh, if all you need is money, I'm looking for some help around my house!" a mature woman said, breaking into their conversation.

She had aged gracefully, and wore an elegant black dress. Her thick black hair had only a few grey streaks, but this didn't take away from her beauty. 

"I will warn you, I fired my last housekeeper because she put my delicates in the laundry and ruined them all," the woman continued, "they need to be hand-washed. It's so hard to find someone willing to do that."

The woman sipped her wine, then gave Leah a thoughtful look. Apparently, she was quite pleased to see a girl willing to kneel in place for hours. Leah knew that her maid's look was apparently having an effect on how people treated her.

"You seem like a hard worker," the woman said.

"Would you like to stop by my place once or twice a month?"

Leah felt put on the spot. Something about the woman's condescending tone made her believe that she would be terrible to work for. Seriously, what sort of person expected someone to wash their soiled panties by hand??

"I don't know," Leah said, "I only have Sundays off work, and--"

"Sundays are perfect!" The woman said, "I have them off too, so I can be there to supervise you. Just think about it, okay? The pay is ten dollars an hour in cash, which is very fair considering the labor market."

Leah nodded, although she wasn't seriously considering it. When she finished painting Tanya's nails a bright pink color, the mature woman was next. She preferred to be called Miss Delaney, and had the most stringent requirements of any of Leah's clients so far. It felt like everything Leah did was wrong and the woman was quick to complain about even the smallest thing. Leah was glad when she had finished Miss Delaney's pedicure, but as soon as she was finished another girl took her place. 

Leah lost track of the amount of feet she worked on – it felt like while the party was raging around her all she could do was stare at women's' feet and remain in her uncomfortable position on the floor. Soon, the guests were all quite drunk, and playing the sorts of racy games that happen at a bachelorette's party. They were gathered around a table when it happened.

"Okay, this next question is pretty bad!" London announced, holding up a bright pink index card.

"What is your favorite thing to do in bed, that your fiancé isn't in to doing?"

The girls all squealed, and looked over at a blushing Meghan. She was seated in the hot seat, answering all the ridiculous and personal questions being asked of her. She was bright red – partially from the liquor and partially from all the attention but Leah knew she loved being the center of everything.

"Okay," Meghan began, "this is really embarrassing. But, I kind of like it when he kisses my feet!"

Everyone listening burst into laughter, and Meghan hid her face in her hands.

"Hey!" Tanya cut in, "I have an idea. Why doesn't Leah do that for you? It will be like a party game!"

Everyone looked over at Leah, who was sitting down with a girl's feet in her lap. She wished she could sink into the ground and disappear.

"I don't know." Meghan demurred.

"Seriously, Megs!" Tanya persisted. "She's already massaged your feet for like half an hour, she obviously likes them. What difference is a little kissing??"

Leah bit her cheek – did all these girls think she got pleasure out of being down here at their feet? She shook her head resolutely. There was no way she was going to kiss Meghan O'Conner's feet in front of everyone. But few people seemed to notice, the group seemed to be very taken with this idea. Already several of Meghan's friends were encouraging her, and the girl was starting to agree with some of their points!

"I mean, would it be alright with you, Leah? I know it's a lot to ask, but this is my last hurrah as a bachelorette. Then I have to live my whole life with a husband who won't kiss my feet!" Meghan said, sitting close enough that her bare feet were uncomfortably close to Leah already. Leah wasn't having it.

"Do it for me please? I'll pay you a hundred dollars extra!"

Leah looked down at Meghan's feet, with the perfect coat of red nail polish on. Somehow the promise of money made it more acceptable, but deep down Leah knew she was basically turning tricks at this point. But Tanya did have a point – she had already rubbed Leah's feet and was this SO different from what she did at the salon?

"Okay," Leah finally said, and the entire crowd hooted to hear it.

"Let's go to your room," she said when the noise had died down a little.

"No!" Meghan said, her eyes lighting up, "do it right here!"

Meghan held her foot up expectantly. It was scant inches from Leah's face, and the girl could see how smooth her soles were. Blushing to her thighs, Leah leaned in and planted a little peck on the ball of Meghan O'Conner's feet. They were soft and smooth against her lips, but the psychological impact of it was nothing less than devastating. At first, Leah tried to plant the smallest kisses possible, but Meghan wasn't having it.

"Come on, Leah!" Meghan scolded her, "put your heart into it! Otherwise, I won't pay!"

Leah's heart sank – it was clear that Meghan was enjoying this degree of control over her, holding a few hundred dollars over her head. But Leah was already so deep in that she didn't want to quit, so she started kissing Leah's feet more passionately. The gorgeous blonde girl gasped as Leah kissed the space beneath her toes, then started planting kisses on the nails she had just painted the other day.

Everyone from the party was encouraging her to do more.

"Lick between her toes!" London called out, "I had a guy do that for me one time and it was unbelievable."

Leah darted her tongue between Meghan's big toe and second toe. It tasted salty and a little sweet, and her feet were very warm. Meghan moaned openly – she was enjoying this way too much. As soon as Leah had licked Meghan's feet, the pretenses were abandoned. The crowd was giving her endless requests, telling her to "suck on her toes now!" and "lick the entire length of her foot, from heel to toe!"

Leah had given up any claim to self-respect at this point. She put the flat of her tongue against Meghan's heel and ran it all up her long foot, feeling each individual crevice in the girl's soles. It wasn't a straight shot, either – her tongue had to travel into the valley of Meghan's high arches before emerging near her long toes. She could see Meghan's feet slick with her own saliva, and some of it was even coming off on her own lips and cheeks.

Sucking on Meghan's toes was another level of debasement. Meghan practically moaned in ecstasy, biting her inner lip and smiling. Leah had thought it would be a quick kiss, but Meghan obviously expected a lot more for her money. So, the foot worship (Leah couldn't even deny it was anything else at this point) went on for quite some time. 

"Oh my god, this is like the best thing ever. I want my intern to do this for me every day!" Meghan announced, and the inebriated crowd all laughed.

Minutes passed. To Leah's shame, Meghan even carried on a conversation about her sex life with Declan, ignoring Leah for a time. But she would always have another thing she wanted, looking down at the mousy brunette girl and saying things like "nibble on my toes a little now," or "suck on the balls of my feet!"

After a time, Meghan said it was too much, and excused herself to the restroom. The party dispersed a little at this point, although people were still commenting on Leah's enthusiasm and openly speculating on what their favorite things were in bed. 

Leah was sitting by herself, awash in shame from how she had just acted but she wasn't alone for long. Soon Miss Delaney had taken the seat Meghan had just vacated. She had a crisp hundred-dollar bill in her hands, and she forcefully put both of her bare feet in Leah's lap, making a silent demand of the defeated girl.

Leah sighed, and nodded her head. She looked down at Miss Delaney's milky white feet and hoped that her nail polish had dried as she lifted them up to kiss them for the very first time...

***
Leah knelt on the cream carpet, holding one of Miss Delaney's stilettos in her hands. She was scrubbing it with a toothbrush, slowly making her way through the woman's jaw-dropping collection of expensive footwear. Her knees ached. She had been at it for an hour.

Miss Delaney had shut Leah in her walk-in closet for this specific task. The brunette girl sat facing the mirror, appalled as usual at her own appearance. Miss Delaney required that Leah wear a uniform for cleaning her house, nominally so she wouldn't get her own clothes dirty but Leah knew she had other reasons. 

The uniform was a schoolgirl's outfit that the woman had serendipitously had lying around. Leah had on a pleated green skirt, a white blouse, and even a green tie that the demanding woman would always make uncomfortably tight against her neck. On her feet, she wore tissue-thin white socks, and never any shoes while indoors.

As she polished Miss Delaney's shoes, Leah thought about the turns her life had taken after Meghan's party. 

Meghan had raved about Leah's service, which Mrs. Kim was happy to hear about but still felt that Leah didn't deserve a promotion. Now, the other technicians teased Leah endlessly about her little foot escapades, and would openly ask her to give them the same sorts of treatments. In her weaker moments, Leah considered actually doing it. But she knew that once she did, they would nickel and dime her each time until she was worshipping their feet for next to nothing.

She was much busier now at the salon, thanks to Kara. The girl had a mind for business, and had partnered with Mrs. Kim to make her business the official nail salon of Meghan and Leah's old high school. Essentially, this meant that high school girls could get a serious discount on their pedicures with Leah, as long as they posted lots of photos to their social media pages. The offer only extended to students eighteen and older, but even then, Leah had more work than she could handle. Kara had also floated the idea of Leah doing mobile pedicures at the high school – something that Leah was sure she would never recover from.

The money from Meghan's party went way too fast – Leah never did manage to get her car insurance back. Meanwhile, she was barely earning anything from Miss Delaney, and the cruel woman worked Leah to the bone for what little she did earn. Leah glanced down at the clunky gold watch that Miss Delaney had gifted her. The woman would be home in half an hour from her workout class, and she usually expected a long foot massage when she got back. Leah was so cowed at this point, she didn't even mind – she had already been hand-washing the woman's socks, panties, stockings and bras for quite some time. What difference did it make to rub her feet too?

Leah's phone buzzed, and she saw a text message from Meghan.

"Leah! I have great news! Declan and I are looking for a maid and he said we can reach out to you! It doesn't pay much – room and board mostly, but we can take over your loans from Mrs. Kim! You would be debt free in three years."

Leah was thrilled to see this! It would be much preferable to work for Meghan alone, rather than to constantly be back and forth between her parents, Mrs. Kim's nail salon, and Miss Delaney. Just as she was about to accept the offer, Meghan sent another text.

"Only, I will need you to take care of my feet like you did at my bachelorette party. It drove me CRAZY – I had the best sex of my life that night! So, are you interested??"

Leah looked at her second-hand smartphone, and tried not to think about how far she had fallen. Then, with a resigned smile, she texted back:

"Okay."



13 comments:

  1. Leah's job isn't as glamorous as being the lead fashion reporter for Vogue magazine, but she certainly has more job security. I can't imagine that Vogue's circulation has anywhere to go but down, which will necessitate layoffs and other cost-cutting measures. Maybe in a few years Meghan will be unemployed and forced to take a job at Mrs. Kim's nail salon?

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    1. I like it a lot! I think if I went that route, I might make it a race thing. Like, Vogue would be bought up by a Korean competitor and Meghan would be re-assigned to a diminished role. Her boss would be some bratty Korean girl who would conspire to get her fired, but at the last minute there would be an intervention!

      Mrs. Kim or someone suggests that the magazine could use a girl to do their models' nails. Meghan would train at Leah's salon (reminded of her former status every day by the salon's subscriptions) then return to her office not as an editor but as a lowly nail girl.

      Of course, there aren't photoshoots all the time, and it is a predominantly female office. Well if Meghan's going to be here 60 hours a week she might as well do the nails for all the beautiful young Asian girls that the new magazine employs, not just the models! I mean, every woman who works in this office sports $2000 4 inch heels each day -- what better than a statuesque blonde to massage their feet to ease the stress of making so much money?

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    2. If you haven't seen it, O Magazine put out some racial role-reversal photos a couple months ago, one of which took place in a Korean nail salon.


      http://i.imgur.com/SSQikLi.jpg

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  2. Delicious story! Personally I would prefer having Leah alone in her misery, kept in extended servitude, humiliated also at the Davenport´s though still working for Miss Delaney and at the salon. How about having her brunette hair cut in a ridiculous short bob and making her become a cleaner at high school?

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    1. Yeah I like those notions a lot -- shuttling her from one humiliating scene to another. If I did the high school thing, I think it would be a very upscale high school and she would be required to clean the marble floors on her hands and knees. And detail the students' luxury cars as well.

      It's certainly a rich environment, the only issue I have with high school stuff is keeping all characters 18

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    2. It wouldn't be as classy, but you could have her service high school dropouts to keep everything above board. Make her come in after hours to do some community service on those older students taking night classes to earn their GEDs.

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    3. Perhaps there is a community college next door to the high school where many of the students are alumnae of the high school, but they are all over 18?
      Just trying to be helpful. Well, helpful to everyone except poor Leah....

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  3. Omg Mana Ray is a woman?! I'm one of her biggest fans!

    Personally my favorite part were the suggestions of Leah handling Miss Delaney's... intimate apparel!

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    1. Hey sorry to burst your bubble but I'm male. Glad to hear you are a fan though!

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    2. Oh it doesn't matter to me. Just the opening line reads, "A new story from Mana Ray. Please follow her Patreon page if you like her stuff."

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    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DofxovZWoqo

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  4. This is an exhilarating story, moving at just the right, ecstatically stately pace.

    I think people who like it may like this story, 'An Everyday Curtsey', a non-explicit piece about an old-fashioned ladies' maid - http://old-fashionedcharm.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/everyday-curtsey.html

    Ultancholia

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    1. A very interesting link! Thank you very much.

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