“Hm,” she mumbled, “Later…” She was just too tired.
“Then I will clean you up,” said Alan gently, “I have drawn the bath and all you need to do is get in the tub. I will take care of the rest. Is that okay?”
Siana was so exhausted and her eyes were closing. She didn’t really hear him, but she murmured something incoherent and nodded just so he would go away and leave her alone to sleep.
She was almost on the threshold of sleep when strong hands lifted her up. She woke with a start and gripped his hands. “What are you doing?” she asked, stunned.
“Taking you to the bathroom,” he said.
“Why? Put me down,” she said frantically.
“It’s alright Siana,” he said, “I will just clean you up. Sleep if you want to.”
Alan carried her and walked to the bathroom. It was almost comfortable…No! Siana thought. Not this! Siana felt embarrassed to be carried like this, n*ked and prone.
“Let me down,” she protested.
“We are almost there,” he assured her.
She was just going to firmly demand to be let down on the floor again when they arrived in the bathroom. Before she could say it, Alan placed her in the big tub. The warm water cocooned her body and she just wanted to go to sleep.
Alan took off his robe and joined her in the tub. She felt shy feeling his body next to hers. “Are you going to wash together?” she asked, scandalized.
“No, I will wash you first,” he said, “Then I will bathe after.”
“Then why are you also getting in?” she asked.
“Because I need to clean you,” he said.
He said it so flatly as though it was completely normal. Siana couldn’t find anything to retort with. Alan spread her legs and she felt his fingers cleaning her down there.
“Ah…I don’t want to…,” she mumbled.
“I won’t do anything Sia,” he said, “I will just clean the flu*ds that’s all. I promise.”
“Yeah,” he said, “The liquid that came out of you.”
“The one you…,” she grimaced.
“The one I ate, yes,” he said, nonchalantly.
Unlike her, who was so very embarrassed to utter it that she blushed deep red, Alan’s expression didn’t even change. He just continued to move his fingers, cleaning her. Siana, though, bit her lips as she felt his fingers and tried to withhold the m*ans that were threatening to burst through. She gripped the edges of the tub.
“Alan…,” she mumbled, “Are you done?”
“Almost,” he said.
However, his fingers touched her in the most int*m*te parts until all fluid flowed through. He then removed his fingers. Siana felt herself finally relax. She took the soap and tried to wash herself, but Alan grabbed her wrist. She jumped back.
“I will wash you,” he said reassuringly, “I will give you a massage too.”
“Aren’t you tired?” she asked.
“No,” he said, “Not really. I still have energy left.”
“What?” she asked, surprised.
“Don’t believe me?” he smirked. He moved in the water and Siana could see that he was still ar*us*d. She tried looking everywhere else but there.
“That’s just impossible,” she said.
Alan shrugged. She felt awkward. She moved to sit comfortably but she couldn’t. Everything still felt surreal. She was worried Alan might want to do it again. He spread her legs and began washing the inner sides of her thighs. His large hands were gentle. Her drowsiness came back with a force. Her eyelids drooped. She tried to stay awake but the sleepiness was so heavy. Before long, she fell asleep. She vaguely recalled Alan wiping her and carrying her off to bed.
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Click, clack. Cheerful footsteps filled the corridor. It was Siana, five years ago. She was in a good mood and running down the corridor, smiling. She had hiked her skirts up a little and her legs showed as she ran. If her tutor, Mrs. Bethel, had seen her like this, she would say, disapprovingly, that it was very ‘unladylike’ of her. But her tutor wouldn’t be here today! She could run around as much as she liked.
Siana felt the eyes of the maids and servants on her as she bolted past them. She jumped and ran and skidded to a stop right in front of Alan’s room. Young Siana knocked on his door, eagerly.
“Alan!” she called, as she knocked, “Are you inside?”
A rustling inside, then footsteps and the door swung open to reveal a boy still trying to dry his hair with a towel.
“Alan!” Siana squeaked, “I have something to tell you!”
“What is it?” he asked.
“It’s the biggest news I’ve got,” she continued excitedly, “You will be stunned! Anyway, did you go to training this morning? Your hair is all wet.”
“Yes,” he said and stood aside to let her in. Siana squeezed through the space between the door and him, into his room. If her tutor could see her now! She would have a fit that Siana casually sauntered into a boy’s room.
Siana plopped down on his bed and removed her shoes and then fell back on the bed and splayed her arms wide. Alan, familiar with his friend’s antics, didn’t seem to mind. “So, what’s the news?” he asked, still drying his hair.
“Oh right!” said Siana, sitting up. She cleared her throat and clapped her hand. “Yulia is in a relationship!” she declared.
“Yulia?” asked Alan, confused.
Siana, twirling a strand of her hair, said, “My friend! You know her too!”
“I do?” said Alan, frowning.
Siana rolled her eyes. “Of course, you do!” she said, “The one with the slightly slanted eyes and red hair. Eyes darker green than mine.”
“Hm,” mumbled Alan, “I am not sure.”
Siana rubbed the bridge of her nose. “You really don’t know?” she asked, exasperated, “You have seen her with me a bunch of times. Just two days ago!”
“Oh, I guess,” he said.
“Honestly, Alan,” she said, defeated, “You need to pay more attention to those around you.”
“I pay plenty of attention to the people I need,” he said flatly.
“That’s not what I mean,” said Siana. She sighed and studied his face. “Well anyway, she has found a boyfriend.”
“So why is the news so great then?” said Alan.
“You aren’t even surprised?” said Siana wide-eyed, “It’s because we are at an age where we can be in a relationship. This has implications for all of us.” Alan shrugged.
Siana threw her hands up in defeat. “It made me feel weird,” she continued, “I feel like I want to be in a relationship too.”
“Well, you can if you want to,” he said.
“If it were that easy, wouldn’t I be in one already?” she scoffed.
“Why do you think it’s so difficult?” asked Alan.
Siana thought about it for a moment. “First of all, I have no contact with boys,” she said, “None whatsoever! You can meet boys either in social circles or gatherings or maybe a horse-riding club. Which is what Yulia did, she joined the horse-riding club. But both options are out of bounds for me!”
Alan frowned. “Well, social circles and gatherings are only for adults so that makes sense,” he said, “But you can still join a horse-riding club if you really want to.”
“I don’t have the confidence to meet people regularly like that, and much less for horse riding in general,” she explained.
“Why?” he asked, “Is it bothersome?”
“Yes!” she said, “I mean I don’t want to learn to ride horses, really. And I am not very confident because of my appearance.”
“Appearance?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said, “Handsome guys like pretty girls.”
“Not everyone is like that though,” he said.
“But most people are,” she insisted, “I don’t have the pretty kind of face like Yulia, with her red, shiny hair. Even you have nice blonde hair. Mine is just plain and brown.”
“You have green eyes,” he pointed out.
“That’s true, but it’s not enough,” she said, “Beyond that I am just ugly. All the other girls grow up to be pretty. Why do I have to be so short and ugly?”
“You aren’t ugly though,” he said, gently.
Siana blinked and looked at Alan, studying his face to see if he was joking. But he wasn’t. He meant the words he said, and it made Siana almost forget all her complaints.