Friday morning, just before 9, and not entirely sure what she was doing or why she was even there in the first place, Aelflaed Larsdottir, Crusader of the Argent Dawn, stood in front of a noble house of Stormwind and was, with great politeness, shown in.
Escorted by an older man who pretended not to notice her accent, she found herself once again in what she could only assume was Rain’s room, for the moment unsupervised.
The huge array of dresses was gone, leaving only the purple and cream silk gown Rain had “selected” for her the previous evening, with it’s gold embroidery. Her new lavender “slippers” were there as well.
Laigh’ – I’m apt t’ look like a pig inna dress…
On the table, instead of finery, there was, well, more finery. This time in raw form. Silk, lace, some heavy canvas, pieces of thin boning, and some soft cotton batting. And three measuring tapes. In a small box, Aely found an assortment of thin stockings and some other items she was entirely unsure of.
A tray rattled in the hallway and she dropped the box back on a neighboring chair in time to see Rain’s serving woman – Esme? – pushing a cart full of breakfast and followed by a plump, pleasant looking woman with yet another measuring tape draped around her neck. The latter stopped to eye her up and down, tutting quietly as she circled, every once in a while making a “harrumph” noise.
Then the poking began. Plump fingers began worming their way into places they shouldn’t have been worming.
“Oh look at you,” the woman said. “Beautiful skin. I bet you have LOVELY breasts. Take your clothes off, dear? I need to get a look at you. And look at these LEGS. They go for miles.”
“I . . . oi! ‘at hurts.”
“Let her have breakfast first, Lucia. Honestly,” Esme said beneath her voice. “And do keep it down? Her ladyship is about today. Rain’s trying to keep her busy in the library.”
“Aye, aye. A biscuit, but she can eat that WHILE she stands on the pedestal. Not that I think she’ll need to. You must be six feet, girl. What’s your name, again?”
How’sit ‘at twa wee biddies c’n be so intimidatin’?
“Well Aely, northern lass, aye?”
Aely nodded as Esme stuffed a blueberry biscuit into her hand. Lucia walked around her and started unlacing her shirt, chattering all the while, like undressing a stranger was the most normal thing in the world. For a seamstress, it likely was, but Aely still found it odd. During the idle banter, Lucia kept commenting on Lordaeron noblewomen she’d outfitted, namedropping northern blood like it would mean something to the paladin, and Aely nodded enthusiastically, eating the biscuit slowly so she didn’t actually have to talk. That didn’t seem to phase anyone, though, as they just kept stripping until she was standing around in the plain cotton unders she’d put on that morning.
“Oh my light, you need this,” Lucia said, hooking her finger beneath the fabric. “Is that COTTON? Lovely in the summer, but it’s near fall and . . . oh you are getting the works, young lady. TAKE THOSE WOOL SOCKS OFF RIGHT NOW.” Lucia jabbed a finger into her face, her expression a study in matronly fury. “I will not . . . you . . . you’re a paladin, yes?”
“Well you’re not in armor now and you . . . you’re a girl, damn it. Wool socks are for boys. Young boys at that!”
“I ken! Bu’ they’re /warm/.”
“Mmm. I’m sure you ‘ken’. Horrible . . . oh your poor feet.” Lucia was tugging the second sock off now, tutting and grunting as she stooped. Sometimes Aely thought the noises were concerned ones. The rest of the time, though, she was pretty it was maniacal rage.
“Emma’s going to have a day with you. I hope Rain booked for at least three hours. They’re going to need bloody saws.”
“Four, actually.” Esme said, folding Aely’s clothes and putting them onto the table. “Four for the tall miss, one for herself.”
“Good. She’s got a brain, for all that you wouldn’t know it. Up! Up on the pedestal with you!” She ushered Aely over to the step-up near the windows, facing her towards the drapes, her hands settling on her hips. The tape measure started whipping about with purpose. Esme shoved another biscuit into Aely’s hand and insisted she eat, patting her on the back as she passed by.
“You’re welcome, dear,” Lucia said, not realizing the comment wasn’t directed at her. Esme didn’t seem to mind, though, instead smiling shyly into her shoulder and winking. Aely winked back and bit into the second biscuit – something fruity and buttery and far too sweet to be good for her.
“Now we need good posture or I’ll get you with my pins. Oh! Yes, just like that. The military taught you something that would . . . suck your tummy in. That’s a good girl. A nice narrow waist, there. I think I can peel it down to . . . twenty four inches? With good boning maybe twenty three. I’d recommend against long period’s of sitting though. Faint headed and what have you. Arms up!”
Aely did as she was told, still using her breakfast as an excuse to not voice her concerns over losing five inches off of her waistline. She was fairly sure the complaints would be ignored anyway.
“Oh, this is going to take quite a bit of silk and . . . stockings. You need stockings. And we’ll need something that won’t interupt the lines of the silk gown. Something with a t-back to it.”
“A t-back?” Aely said thruogh a mouthful of food before she could really think better of it.
“Yes. It’s like a string? More comfortable than it looks, dear. Turn to the left please.”
“Air y’talkin’ a thong?!” Aely shuffled leftish, stopping halfway to gape at the seamstress.
“I think that’s what the kids are calling it today, yes.”
“Oi. Y’r shittin’ meh.”
Lucia’s glower beneath her dark eyebrows was less than friendly.
“Oh no, no I’m not. And you will wear it young lady. Oh yes, you will.”
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