19 Ivy Lane
Episode 2 by Anne Lange
Eloisa leaned over the scratched wooden table she’d polished to a high gloss, before covering it with the nicest tea towel she owned. She offered the gentleman a warm pastry wrapped sausage.
She managed to contain the eye roll as his gaze shot directly to her cleavage. She’d spent the morning cleaning and preparing, and all they noticed was her breasts. Not that she carried anything of great measure above the waist, but in the teeny tiny maid’s outfit her less than ample bosom was plumped high enough to create quite the spectacle.
She should be mortified.
Unfortunately, she’d lost all sense of humility long ago.
With no other options available, she’d taken matters into her own hands. She’d prepared herself, even before coming to Momence, to do whatever necessary. However, she preferred not to let her mind consider the worst-case scenario, no matter how dire the situation. She needed to pretend that the likelihood of that happening was beyond reason. Everything else she’d suffer through without complaint.
When she’d discovered the house on 19 Ivy Lane, it was like the Good Lord had heard her prayers and sent her a sign. Too bad it didn’t come equipped with the funds to cover the upkeep of the home. The maintenance company had done a fine job with the outside. But she hated that she also needed to worry about appearances inside the house.
Because she knew better than most, that appearances were deceiving.
They certainly fooled her.
What worried her most, at the moment, was that E.B. hadn’t responded to her many pleas. Where the hell was that man? She couldn’t decide if she should be angry or fearful.
In the meantime, the town’s curiosity would be their downfall. Why people couldn’t just mind their own damn business was beyond her. You’d think after all these years, she’d be immune to it.
A breeze blew across her bare behind. Did I leave a window open?
Something wet and a bit rough trailed a path up the back of her thigh towards her…
She spun on her toes, nearly toppling the tray of food onto the lap of another gentleman. She couldn’t remember that one’s name. Though his shy smile and nice eyes didn’t leave her desperate for a shower with scalding hot water.
“Mr. Taylor,” she spit out between clenched teeth. “I told you, no touching.”
He sneered up at her. His cruel grin set her back teeth to grinding. “I simply want to sample the merchandise.”
“I’m not for sale, sir.” How many times would she have to repeat that phrase in her lifetime? Oh, E.B. where are you?
“You may talk like a lady. You may even look like a lady most of the time. But with your ass bared in such a teasing way and your tits on display, you’re not much of a lady… Ma’am.”
If he only knew.
A shift of movement caught her attention, dragging her glare away from the horrid man kneeling at her feet, a grubby hand on his crotch and a dribble of drool running down his chin. The thought that she might be ill, coincided with a surprised gasp as her gaze met that of Victor Burnham’s.
His face, haloed by the setting sun filtering through the large oak across the road, stared at her through her front bay window. The drapes. I forgot about the drapes. His mouth hung open in a big “o”, his eyes round as saucers, his cheeks flushed pink and his fingers spread wide, palms flat against the pane of glass.
She turned her head. Her gaze swept the room seeing it as he did. Damn. She closed her eyes and sighed.
E.B. I could really use you right now!