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Amateur

Author’s Note: The central fetish of this story is “a forced bath & a shave for a very dirty girl.” As such, there are some elements of reluctance and noncon, as well as lots of lesbian sex. If that is not your bag, then this story is probably not for you. Otherwise, enjoy! As always, I would immensely appreciate any suggestions and/or constructive feedback you may have for me. Like most authors on the site, my goal is to improve my writing, but I can’t do that without your help.

Disclaimer: While this story includes elements of noncon, it is not meant as an endorsement of those; outside the realm of fantasy, noncon is never okay. All characters depicted are 18+.

—LKN—

The sun was starting to set, which meant that it was cooler, but once night came, it would be cold—far, far too cold—and unless she found shelter now, Annabelle might have to spend another night shivering in the dark. Squinting her eyes against the hellish sunlight, she surveyed the landscape and there—just beyond the horizon—she could see an outcropping of sandstone: layer upon layer of pink and orange and tan, all rising up from the sand like the temple of some ancient god. It was still plenty far off—perhaps too far—but with hundreds of miles behind her and hundreds of miles ahead, there was no harm in trying and failing. Tightening her skirts about her waist, Annabelle trudged forward, her feet sore and her stomach empty.

How many days had it been?

No, wait, how many months?

At first, Annabella had been obsessed with counting the days; there were still scratches in her arm where she’d tried to mark them. But now, too many had passed and they no longer mattered. The months, on the other hand, were still few and she could count them on her fingers. It was a rough estimate, sure, but it was better than nothing. Out here, in the desolation of the wilderness, Annabella had learned to embody that singular phrase; she had come to be run and ruled by it.

Is it better than nothing? That was the only question she ever needed to ask, the only judgment call she ever had to make. Dirty water to drink? Or nothing? A ditch to sleep in? Or nothing?

It had been a tough road at first, but overtime, the desert had hardened Annabella. It had beaten her down, exposed her true self to her, and then mocked her for it. But it had also given her the chance to become something greater than what she once was. Every so often, memories of days past would surface—memories of cooking, and cleaning, and tending house like the God-fearing, loyal wife she had been—and Annabella would snicker. There was no going back to that life. Once a woman grows strong, how can she stand to become weak again? The mere thought enraged her and made her grow cold.

As the sun began to cast long, eerie shadows against the sand, Annabella picked up the pace. Once night fell, the coyotes would emerge and they were just as hungry as she was. The outcropping was getting closer now—a dark silhouette against a sorbet sky—and though her feet were blistered and bleeding, she broke out into a run, her heart warmed by the promise of a safe place to rest. Closer now…closer…but as she reached out to touch it—the warmth of it sinking into her skin—something else caught her eye. There, in her peripheral vision, she could see…no, it couldn’t be. Was it…a town? Annabella had to steady herself against the stone, the mere shock of it almost causing her to collapse. How many nights had she prayed to God for this mercy? And how many nights had he deemed she suffer instead? It seemed a cruel joke; perhaps that was why she was laughing.

It wasn’t far, not enough to warrant waiting until morning, and still laughing, Annabella stumbled on ahead. It was pretty small for a boom town, but it had everything a forty-niner might want, whether for stocking up or just relaxing his tired bones. There was a general store, a saloon, a few bars, and plenty of lodging, all lined up alongside a single dirt road. As dusk finally fell and the stars came out, Annabella could hear piano music and swearing beyond the lighted windows. The hitching posts were packed tight and occasionally, the horses would snort and whinny into the night. The few men who stood outside, smoking and smack-talking, would stop and stare as she walked by, clearly startled by the sight of a dirty, ragged woman limping down the roadway. But Annabella didn’t care; she had only one goal in mind.

“Water,” Annabella croaked, stepping into the saloon and pushing her way onto an empty bar stool. “Water.”

The bartender—a middle-aged man with a handsome beard and a fancy red vest—turned toward her with a look that was, at first, more than slightly annoyed. But when he saw her—sunburned and covered in dirt—his face dropped and he very nearly lost his grip on the glass he’d been cleaning.

“In god’s name…!”

“Water,” Annabella begged, her voice raspy. “Please.”

“My dear, what happened to you?”

“Water!” Annabella bahis şirketleri shouted, this time banging her fist on the counter. “For god’s sake, water!”

“Oh, oh…!” And frantically, the bartender rushed off to fill a glass. “Yes, yes, of course! I’m sorry!”

As he busied himself behind the bar, Annabella pulled a coin purse from her skirts and felt the weight of it in her hand. It made a lovely sound as it hit the counter—she’d be able to get a few meals out of it and some new clothes, at the very least. What a relief, to know that her efforts had not been wasted! She could still remember the night it had happened—when their wagon had been robbed and ransacked and terrified, she’d fled. Later that night, when she’d gone back, nearly everything was gone—even the cattle—but there had been canteens filled with water and preserves and yet, she’d chosen the purse. In less than a day—parched and dizzy—she’d realized her mistake and ever since then, the mere sight of that purse had filled her with regret. Even the jingling of coins was enough to make her nauseous. But having risked so much to get it, she hadn’t been able to let go, even after it’d grown heavy in her pocket. The bartender slammed a tall glass of water on the counter and in a few gulps, it was gone.

“Another,” Annabella told him. “And some bread. And some meat, too.”

“I can get you a room and a bath if you’d like?” the bartender offered, slamming another full glass down onto the counter. “I’ll even have ’em heat it up, eh?”

“Just the room’s fine.”

“Oh, but surely, a pretty girl like you deserves a nice soak.”

“Pretty?” Annabella hissed, with so much vitriol in her voice that the bartender actually took a step back. “Do I look like a pretty girl to you, sir?”

“Um…” The bartender was clearly uncomfortable. There was no way to be honest without causing offense and he’d always been taught to be mindful of his manners, especially in the presence of a lady. “I’m sure you’re being too hard on yourself, my dear.”

But truth be told, she wasn’t. Not at all.

Days of trudging through the sand and sweating under the summer heat had covered her in a thin layer of grime, clumping under her fingernails and turning her skin a dark shade of reddish-brown. The girl’s hair wasn’t much better. It resembled a bird’s nest, so tangled and filthy that it was impossible to guess the color it had once been. Worst of all was the stench coming off of her, sharp and gamey, like a wild animal. In fact, when he looked into her eyes, that’s exactly what he saw: a wild animal.

“Don’t make me repeat myself, sir,” Annabella told him. “Just the room and, if he’s available, have a tailor in tomorrow for a fitting. I’d like to buy some pants.”

“Pants, my dear?” The bartender frowned and now, Annabella could hear grumbling behind her. “For a lady?”

Narrowing her eyes, Annabella stood up in her seat and grabbed the bartender by the scruff of his shirt, pulling him down to her level. Suddenly, the piano music stopped and it grew eerily quiet in the room, save for the occasional sniffle and a cough. Everyone was watching, but again, Annabella didn’t care. There were worse things than being disliked, much worse things.

“I asked you once before, and I don’t like asking twice,” Annabella snapped, her eyes like daggers. “Do I look like a lady to you?”

“My dear, please, your manners—”

“I no longer have any use for manners!” Annabelle spat, and her grip on the man tightened. “I have been through hell and back! I have walked through fire and brimstone!”

“Miss, please, let go, I—”

“My wagon was robbed—my husband killed—and I was helpless to stop it. And afterwards, I almost perished in the wilderness. And why? For what reason? Because I’d never been taught to throw a punch, to fish, to hunt, to build…to be dirty. You men want us all pretty, quiet, and demure…all at our own expense! Leaving us helpless to defend or even feed ourselves! But I am not helpless anymore and I will never, ever go back to being one of your “pretty girls,” to be put on display and paraded around like a porcelain doll. So yes, just the room and yes, some pants too, my good sir.”

Releasing him, Annabella sat back down in her seat and began to sip her water, carefully this time, savoring it and eyeing the bartender warily. But he seemed to understand now and without a word he nodded, then scuffled away. The silence was over almost as soon as it’d begun and the air was once more filled with laughter and smoke and swearing. The piano music was lively and soothing all at once and closing her eyes, Annabella let herself be consumed by it. In the background, she could hear glasses and poker chips clinking.

“Excuse me, Miss, may I take a seat?”

Irritably, Annabella opened her eyes. Sitting beside her was a dark-haired woman with even darker eyes. She didn’t look to be much older than herself, really—probably in her early twenties—and bahis firmaları yet, after everything Annabella had been through, she seemed so much younger. The woman was wearing a tight red corset that squeezed her breasts together and showed off their perky manner, and a long black skirt that swept the floor. Drawing everything together were a pair of long, black gloves—rolled up onto her slender arms, contrasting with her pale, milk-white skin—and there were matching feathers in her hair. Back in Missouri, Christian women never painted their faces, for fear of deceiving their men, but this woman’s lips and cheeks were painted bright red and her lashes were dark. The poor thing looked like a spring bird in heat, with her tits hanging out and her naked skin showing. It was pitiable, really, and Annabella shook her head. A life in devotion to men was a life wasted. Yes, at one time, she might have envied the woman’s beauty, but she knew better now. Beauty was an extravagance, one that would inevitably lead to dependence and then weakness. But she didn’t say so out loud.

“Sure, you can sit here,” Annabella shrugged and she turned back toward her drink. “Nobody’s stopping you.”

“I’m Susey Gray, honey, what’s your name?”

“Annabella, but that’s a mouthful. Call me Anna.”

“Anna, honey, how long have you been out there?” Susey asked, pursing her lips and scooting closer, far, far too close for Annabella’s liking. “It must have been months. You look a right fright.”

“Two months, almost three. But not quite three.” Annabella shrugged again and reached for her glass, but suddenly, Susey’s fingers were in her hair and instinctively, she jerked her head away. “Miss Gray, whatever are you doing to me?” Annabella snapped, but Susey just laughed.

“A bird could be living in your hair and you’d never even notice.” And before Annabella could stop her, Susey had reached over and pulled a twig from her locks. “See, look at that! I could sell a stick this size for lumber way out here.”

“Would you ever laugh at a man for having dirt under his nails and sticks in his hair?” Annabella growled, no longer amused. “I did what I had to do to survive and I’m stronger for it. What hardships have you ever faced?”

“Honey, I am sure I don’t know what fresh hell you’ve been though,” Susey told her, more sympathetic this time. “But you need anything, and you just ask; I was only being friendly is all.”

Annabella narrowed her eyes at first, but then nodded her head. Perhaps she’d been too hard on the girl. It wasn’t her fault she’d lived such a sheltered life.

“Your room’s ready, honey, and there’s a hot meal waiting for you,” Susey continued, standing to her feet and brushing her skirt off. “Follow me and I’ll show you.”

Without a word, Annabella gathered up her coin purse and followed the girl—past wooden tables stacked with cards and poker chips, past grisly men with unkempt beards and guns, past whores and their customers—all under the warm light of flaming chandeliers. The saloon was big—bigger than any building Annabella had ever seen, besides her old church—and they had to travel upstairs and then down a long hallway before Susey opened one of the doors and gestured inside. Eager to enjoy a hot meal for once and to go to bed with a full stomach, Annabella nearly skipped past the doorway, only to find nothing but a wooden tub and a towel rack on the other side. The rage that followed was nearly instantaneous.

“I’d said, many times, that I only wanted the room!” Annabella hissed, turning toward Susey with fury in her eyes, but the woman ignored her and shut the door behind them. “Did you hear me? Are you deaf?” Annabella cried, even more insistent now. “I told you, I am not interested!”

“Girls, listen up, the poor thing’s disoriented and hurt,” Susey told the room and suddenly, Annabella could feel the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. “The sun’s gotten into her head. Either that, or she’s had a fall. So be gentle.”

There was a rustling sound behind them and, turning around, Annabella watched as two other girls emerged and gathered around the tub—both in their early to mid-twenties, like her, and wearing button down, white dresses. It hadn’t been possible for her to see them before. There was only a single light in the whole room and they’d been hiding in the shadows.

“What are you doing?” Annabella spat, and she wheeled around to face Susey once more. “What is this?”

“Honey, we’re only giving you a bath and shave. You’re a right mess, dear.”

“No, absolutely not, I refuse; I will not pay a single cent for this!”

“It’s on the house, honey. After all, we can’t let you waste away in your own filth.”

“Go to hell!” Annabella cried and she ran for the door, but Susey was strong—much, much stronger than she looked—and though it took a good bit of effort, she caught Annabella before she’d made it even halfway and wrestled her to the ground. “No, no, stop! Let me go! Please!”

“Come kaçak bahis siteleri on, girls, help me here!” Susey called and soon, Annabella was surrounded on all sides. “Gracey, get her legs! I got her arms.”

“No, please, this is who I am now; you can’t take this from me!”

“Girl’s lost her goddamned mind,” Gracey agreed, grabbing Annabella by the ankles and holding on tight. Like Susey, she was a buff girl, with wild green eyes and long, brunette locks, beautiful to behold and in some ways, equally terrifying. “We gotta get her clothes off if we’re gonna get her in the tub.”

“How dare you undress me! How dare you!”

“Tina, dear, get the knife by the towel rack, won’t you?” Susey ordered, and a mousy little thing with blonde hair and blue eyes nodded, then returned with a small blade in her hands. “Good, think you can cut these filthy clothes off of her?”

“No, no, no, no…!”

“Now, honey, hold still,” Susey warned, staring down at Annabella with a very serious expression. “I don’t want you getting cut, okay? Just hold still.”

“Please, please don’t!” Annabella begged and suddenly, a new emotion washed over her, not one of anger, but of fear. The grime wasn’t just an aftereffect of months alone in the desert, it was a part of her identity now. Annabella couldn’t stand the thought of becoming just another pretty girl, not when she had been through so much. “I can’t go back to the way it was, alright? I just can’t. I can’t!”

“Honey, it’s okay, we’re gonna take care of you. It’s gonna be okay,” Susey promised, offering Annabella a warm smile, but it only served to anger her further. Who did these women think they were? What gave them any right to judge her? Their kindness wasn’t just demeaning, it was infuriating. “Oh, come on, dear. Don’t scowl, you’re just getting a bath,” Susey soothed and then, turning to Tina, “Go on, she’s not going anywhere; just be careful.”

Annabella struggled and bucked, but with Susey and Gracey pinning her to the floor, it was impossible to gain more than an inch or two of traction. Tina was kneeling beside her now—the knife in her hands glistening in the candlelight—and Annabella winced as she angled the blade below her skirts and began to cut upward. Suddenly, she could feel cool air on her naked legs and then, with another swish of the knife, her blouse was gone and then her bra, exposing her voluptuous breasts. All that was left were her panties and desperate now, Annabella strained to close her legs, on the verge of tears.

“You’re not done, Tina,” Susey called, and she nodded toward Annabella’s crotch. “We gotta wash all of her.”

“Don’t rush me, Suz, I don’t wanna cut her cunt, alright?”

“Stop stalling. Gracey and I got her! You’re gonna lose your chance.”

“Well, she’s still wriggling around, ain’t she?” Tina spat back and, swallowing hard, she eased the blade as carefully as she could under Annabella’s panties. “Just hold her still for me, please, god almighty…”

As terrible as the urge to struggle was, the coolness of the blade against her flesh made Annabella stiffen and for a moment, she laid still. Tina pulled up then—sharply—and Annabella watched in horror as her magnificent bush was exposed for all to see. Embarrassed and humiliated, she could feel heat rising in her cheeks and tears swell in her eyes. She had only ever been so totally naked in front of God and her husband.

“I told you, she’s not stupid,” Susey told them, looking rather smug. “When someone’s got a knife to your bits, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the sun: you’re not moving.”

“Yeah, yeah, we get it, you’re always right,” Gracey sighed, and she nodded toward the tub. “On the count of three? We don’t want it to get cold.”

“Alright then, one…two…”

“…three!”

Annabella had barely enough time to regroup before she was being lifted into the air, butt-naked and covered in filth. In her peripheral vision, she could see the tub, filled to the brim with warm water and frothy with sweet smelling soaps. Once she was submerged, there would be no escaping and she knew it. With one final, monumental burst of effort, Annabella twisted in her captors’ arms and miraculously, she landed on the floor with a thud. The rest was a blur as she jumped to her feet and sprinted toward the door. In another instant, Annabella was out in the hall. She was almost to the stairwell—she could see it now!

“What’s going on?”

Startled, Annabella froze in her tracks. A gang of forty-niners had just come up from the bar and Annabella could tell by the look on their faces that they were as horrified by the sight of her as she was by the sight of them.

“Hey, are you girls okay?”

“We’re fine, gentleman, just trying to get her cleaned up,” Susey insisted, and before Annabella had the chance to make a break for it, she grabbed her by the waist and began to drag her back towards the wash room. “You pay us no mind.”

“Oh! Is that the lost little girl from the bar? The one yelling and cursing?”

“What do you think?” Susey sighed, rolling her eyes, and right on cue, Annabella began to scream. “Poor thing’s been out in the sun too long.”

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