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The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 5457

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:07

Only Jaspin had not reacted in the least, not even a flicker of a smile. It was as if he hadn't heard them speak at all. As if he were in a world, completely on his own.

'My lady' Gael bowed at Lilith sombrely, placing a hand upon his heart as Reuben and Aski beside him began to calm down. 'You are just too cruel.'

'Well when you make it so easy…' Lilith said.

'Oh' Gael said, grimacing and clutching at his heart, '…the pain.'

'I'm sorry for this trouble' Reuben spoke over him, addressing the receptionist, 'but we have travelled a very long way, and as I'm sure you can tell; we're all in desperate need of your services, so…if you don't mind…'

The lady behind the counter straightened, slipping the coins she had been handed into the till before addressing them. 'Gentlemen through the door to my left' she said. 'Ladies through the door to my right. We hope you are pleased with our services and have a pleasant experience.'

'We will try our best to enjoy ourselves' Gael beamed at her.

'We'll meet you here later' Reuben mumbled to Lilith as he and the others moved off towards the door.

'Farewell until next time' Gael gleamed at her. 'My little seraph.'

Lilith watched without expression as the four of them vanish through the gentleman's door. Once they were gone, she turned and headed to the ladies door, walking alone.

Lilith went to a private cubicle to undress, leaving her clothes folded neatly on the side along with a comb that she happened to be carrying with her, a pocket watch and a few meagre coins.

These were all the things she owned in the world now.

Lilith brushed her white hair back over her shoulders, nowadays she always left her hair down, always, even when she had lived and worked on the farm for nine long years. She hadn't tied her hair up since the day she worked as a prostitute. She remembered how Dan, the young man who had found her sleeping in the barn all those years ago, had always complained of her long hair being a health hazard around all the machinery. She had never listened to him.

Dan she thought miserably. I'm sorry to have done this to you. I know you harboured deep affections for me…I only wish I could have made you understand.

Around her as she made her way, other women walked back and forth and bathed and talked and minded their own business, all completely naked. Lilith averted her eyes from them, having chosen to keep her underwear on to preserve her modesty; she found a separate bath connected to the larger pool in the middle of the hall. Most of the woman had chosen to bathe in the larger communal bath alongside many others. The smaller baths on the edges, separated by a low wall but sharing the same water, was

where smaller groups of women gathered, or those in pairs. Lilith found a small bath that was unoccupied, and tentatively slipped into the water.

It was warm, pleasant. Not too hot and not too cold. The water that entered the bathhouse was one that ran from a great river that came up from a cave at the foot of the mountain the town was built against. Further back in the bathhouse, in a part of the building the guests were not allowed, was where the water was heated by great fires that burned constantly thanks to the machines that kept them going. The water that ran through the building was always fresh, and pleasant, running through the town in tunnels underground once it left the bathhouse, and out into the open sea.

Lilith sat back against the bath, breathing a heavy sigh.

The water felt good against her skin, felt soothing, especially after walking for so many hours, she had begun to dream of this moment.

She picked up the soap and a fresh cloth sitting beside the bath in arms reach. These were often replaced with fresh ones by the 'keepers of the pool', who entered regularly to check on the guests. Lilith dunked the cloth into the water and began to wash her face, and used the soap to wash her hair, her long beautiful white hair. She remembered briefly a time when it used to be grey, and filthy, like the air in the city she once lived in.

She minded herself as she continued to clean, after a few minutes she noticed another woman watching her, one a few years younger, with light blonde hair tied up and bright green eyes. She was a slender figure, with a look of mischief about her.

The woman noticed Lilith had spotted her. She smiled, and glided through the water towards her. Lilith began to grow tense.

'Hello stranger.'

Lilith stared reluctantly at the woman who drifted towards her. 'I'm Sammy' the woman said, leaning on the wall that partially separated the small bath Lilith sat in from the rest of the pool. 'Hey, why do you still have your underwear on?'

'I'm shy' Lilith replied shortly.

Sammy smiled kindly, an expression of genuine happiness.

'I've not seen you around here before' Sammy said. 'Are you a traveller?'

'I…suppose' Lilith spoke slowly.

'My parents own this place' Sammy went on. 'I come here often, you meet a lot of new faces, and a lot of old ones too.' She giggled happily.

'What about your parents? Do they live around here?'

'Not really.'

'What is their profession?' Sammy asked. 'What do your parents do?'

'I…I don't know.'

'You don't know what your parents do?' Sammy repeated loudly.

Lilith's brow knitted together, feeling a simmer of annoyance within her as she hugged her knees, glaring at the water.

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