A sequel to "First Kiss". Elenore and Margaret explore their recently established romantic relationship. Once again, the narration is made from Elenore's point of view.

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I woke up to the harsh sound of the alarm clock, early in the morning, momentarily unaware I wasn't in my room, until I felt her warmth and softness close to me, soon followed by her mumbled complaints to the much unpleasant and unfamiliar sound. I stretched my arm at the nightstand and turned off the alarm with some urgency, decided to enjoy my spot in bed at her side for a bit longer. All the events from last night slowly started to get back to me, as I stood there laying in bed, reminiscing in bliss at the fortunate, if quite unexpected outcome, looking at her as she quickly returned to a peaceful sleep. Everything turned out fine for the both of us and this was such a big relief for me, such a weight off my chest. We were both really happy about it and everything seemed so perfect.

I knew, however, that this could become complicated and some things might have to change. Though I certainly didn't want to worry about it right now, I still felt it was imperative that we address this issue soon enough and come to terms with some sort of agreement regarding the disclosure of our relationship. At least for now, I believe it would be wiser to keep it a secret from everyone else. Not like we have that many acquaintances anyway, besides Vanessa, but I worry about what kind of trouble Margaret could run into, if this came to be known to public. It's better to play it safe.

I can probably assume she wouldn't be the least concerned about how others perceive it. She is so blissfully ignorant about her own name and wealth's popularity around here. But the fact is, as far as everyone else is concerned, I work for her as her maid, and it would look anything but proper, either socially or morally, especially in this cynical elitist society, to give out any hints of a romantic relationship going on between us. People can be way too quick to pry into these matters and point the finger at what they perceive as improper conduct. As unfair as they might be, such accusations can still be harmful, and it is also my duty to protect her from these kind of threats.

I find my focus diverging from such worrisome topic, as the pleasant sound of a lovely soft sigh captures my attention. I can tell with confidence, from years of observing her sleeping patterns, that while on this particular state, her sleep is mostly superficial and she might wake up any moment now, though it often takes that extra little incentive from my part, especially in the morning. As much as I would love to stay with her like this for a bit longer, I knew I would have to get her out of bed and ready for school soon. I stroked her hair for a while and whispered to her softly, attempting to wake her up in the most gentle way possible. She opened her eyes slowly, but she was still pretty much half asleep as I snuggled closer, put my arms around her and pulled her into a tender kiss.

I'm not sure if it's due to sleepiness or if she's just still not entirely used to this intrusive feeling, but she seems at a loss over how to respond, as I prolong the kiss and tenderly start caressing her tongue with my own. She certainly seems to enjoy the warm ticklish feeling as much as I do, I attest from her muffled giggles, but she's still too shy about it and probably feels more comfortable taking a completely submissive role.

Though I long for more, which isn't helped any by her particularly cute and vulnerable state right after waking up, a prolonged session would only make her feel sleepier. And it's challenging enough to get her to keep her schedule in the morning as it is, so I figure it's best not to indulge in any further overwhelming distractions, for the time being. As our mouths part, I confirm she is considerably more awake now: a clumsy smile, blushing cheeks, those sweet blue eyes still blinking the sleep off her face, her racing little heart beating close to mine, as I keep caressing her hair gently. This is by far the best wake up method yet.

Elenore: "Good morning, Margaret."

Margaret: "Good morning, Elenore."

Elenore: "Did you sleep well?"

Margaret: "Yes, very well. But I don't like the sound of your alarm clock so much."

Elenore: "Well, how else did you expect me to get up on time every morning?"

Margaret: "Hmm… I never thought of that before. I always assumed you just woke up naturally."

Elenore: "What an unpractical idea..."

Margaret: "Did you sleep well, Elenore?"

Elenore: "I slept wonderfully, thank you."

Margaret: "Really? You didn't find it weird to sleep on a different bed?"

Elenore: "No, I like your bed. I could get used to it, actually."

Margaret: "Then… will you sleep here every night, from now on?"

Elenore: "What about the alarm clock?"

Margaret: "I could get used to it too, I think."

Elenore: "Oh really? Does that mean I won't have to use... wake up method number three again?"

I smile teasingly, loosening my embrace, and slowly running my fingers through her back till they rest around her waist, giving her just enough time to realize my intentions before I start tickling her mercilessly. She immediately reacts to it and struggles in vain, breaking into giggles, as I take complete control. I tighten my grip just a little when she manages to turn away from me, hopelessly trying to break free. Her feeble resistance is so adorable, if downright unconvincing. Her laughter persists as I continue my teasing attack, which I intensify by kissing her neck in addition. I can't seem to get enough of her softness. But while my senses are temporarily distracted by these actions of mine she turns around, facing me again, and I'm brought to a halt by her playful protest, poorly disguising her own enjoyment.

Margaret: "That's not fair! I'm already awake! Just stop it, please! I surrender!"

Elenore: "Oh Margaret, you give up so easily. I can hardly consider it a victory. You have to give me more than that…"

Margaret: "I love how you say my name like that."

Elenore: "What? Are you trying to change the subject?

Margaret: "No, I mean… you call me Margaret now. Not Miss or Miss Margaret, just Margaret. I like it."

I admit I am surprisingly pleased to hear those words from her. I always knew she never really cared for the strict formality I imposed on myself, due to my position towards her, but I was still a bit unsure about how she would take this sudden change. This was just the incentive I needed. Yet, I must seize this opportunity to address that troublesome minor detail that was bothering me earlier.

Elenore: "I'm very happy that you feel that way. I want to say your name like this all the time from now on, at least when we're alone. But you do understand that, while in public, I must still address you as Miss, right?"

Margaret: "Why's that?"

I can't say her cluelessness surprises me. And I was ready and willing to explain this thoroughly to her either way, my only concern being that I can put it in a way that doesn't sound cold or harsh towards her feelings.

Elenore: "Well, you see, I'm still your maid, after all. And though you don't see me like that, that's what other people will see. And I know it sounds dishonest to put up an act like this, but I think it would be wiser if we don't let anyone know about our relationship. Just for now at least, until we can be sure this won't bring any harmful consequences."

I look apprehensively as she puts on a pensive face and seems to ponder my words in silence for a while. I'm not entirely convinced I made it clear enough, and the last thing I want is for her to feel rejected in any way. My insecurity gets the best of me and drives me to share my reasoning more vehemently than before, as I suddenly grab her hand.

Elenore: "Margaret, please understand. I feel really bad asking you this, but if some people knew you're in love with me that could be bad for you. People can be cruel, even with words, and I couldn't stand if you were hurt because of me! I just want to protect you from all that."

Margaret: "No, it's OK Elenore, I understand. And I don't really mind that you call me Miss Margaret. I'm used to it. I'll do as you say. I'm just worried I might give it away somehow, I'm not very good at concealing things at times. But I promise you I'll do my best and I won't tell anyone. Also… I guess we shouldn't kiss in public either then?"

I chuckle quietly over her question and sigh in relief as she seems to understand and accept the idea easily enough.

Elenore: "Yes, that would definitely give it away, Margaret. No kissing or anything that might give the impression that we're a couple, you understand?"

Margaret: "We'll just have to act like before?"

Elenore: "Well, yes. We've allways been close and we allways will, no one can take that from us. We just have to be discreet enough not to raise any suspicion."

Margaret: "Do we have to hide it from Vanessa too?"

Elenore: "No, I don't think she would be that surprised actually. She will tease us about it endlessly though. But we'll tell her when the time is right. Now, if I remember correctly, you still own me something..."

Margaret: "Hmm… do you want a kiss?"

Elenore: "Well, we kissed just a few minutes ago but you didn't seem so eager. Could you be a bit more… participative?"

Margaret: "I'm sorry, I was sleepy. Do I have to do it like you? I'm not good at it because I'm so ticklish..."

Elenore: "You don't have to do anything you don't feel comfortable with Margaret. But don't you like it too? You'll get better if you practice."

Margaret: "I like it, but… it feels funny if we do it for too long."

Elenore: "What do you mean?"

Margaret: "It's hard to explain."

Elenore: "Please try. Tell me, how does it feel?"

Margaret: "It makes me feel all warm and soft, as if I'm sleepy, but it's different. My heart starts beating really fast and I feel a knot on my stomach. I get anxious and I don't know why. I never felt anything similar. It feels good but it's a little scary at the same time."

As Margaret manages, in her own innocent way, to describe to me her adorably awkward sense of arousal, the nature of which she seems pretty clueless about, I do my best not to feel nor appear overly pleased with myself, struggling to hush away the naughty thoughts running rampant through my mind. Coming across as a pervert is the least of my intentions, yet, hearing her admit she feels this way when I kiss her is not only rewarding but encouraging, and quite an arousing thing on itself.

I get my act together, being perfectly aware that it's way too soon to get into these sort of details with her. But I certainly look forward to clarify, when the time is right, all these perfectly normal and healthy sensations she might be experiencing. And while I usually tend to support the idea that some things are easier said than done, I guess I started to believe, as of yesterday, that when it comes to Margaret and this particular subject, nothing could be more elucidative than exemplifying rather than explaining. But I diverge… As of now, I'm expected to say something and I figure a simple reassuring statement will have to do.

Elenore: "Don't worry. It feels odd because it's something new to you. But you'll get used to it. There's nothing to be afraid of, I assure you."

Margaret: "I know. I don't want to feel uneasy with you. You're the one I trust most in this world, Elenore. I love you so much!"

She finally decides to take the initiative and I collect my prize kiss at last, with not as much action as I remember having specified, but enough warmth to my heart's content. For how can I resist, when she says such unbelievably cute things, so spontaneously? I feel a soothing sense of fulfillment build up in my chest. I can really admire her reckless honesty at times. I always had the habit, out of principle and education, to keep most of my feelings to myself and rely mostly on formality and politeness to get my point across, if needed. So deep have I fallen into this pattern of behaviour that I feel like I'm unable to be this honest anymore. Yet, the more I allow myself to indulge on such pure unrestrained affection, the more I feel there must be something terribly wrong with my previous approach.

Lost in these thoughts, I eventually realize some good fifteen minutes have passed already, since the alarm clock went off, and there's no way to delay our morning routine any longer, so I must break our close hug, unfortunately.

Elenore: "We must get out of bed and hurry now, or you'll get late for school."

Margaret: "Do I really have to go?"

Her sudden change of mood and daunted expression tell me that this is more than just her usual reluctance to get up early. It just now occurred to me how much the events from last evening might still upset her, even with everything that happened between us. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if she still feels sensitive about it. That bastard was such a brute. He deserved far worse than what he got, if she's still bothered by this. But I try to sound reassuring and put aside my latent anger, as I reach for her left wrist and caress it gently, trying to comfort her.

Elenore: "Does it still hurt?"

Margaret: "No, I'm fine."

Elenore: "But it's because of that boy, isn't it?"

Her silence and desolate face were all the confirmation I needed.

Elenore: "Don't worry, Margaret. You're safe at school. I doubt he'll be there anyway. And I can make sure he gets expelled for good, as soon as today. It only takes a phone call, and you won't have to see his face ever again."

Margaret: "Really?"

Elenore: "Yes! I won't let him, or anyone else, hurt you ever again, so please don't fear. If it makes you feel any better, I can walk with you to school this morning, and come by in the afternoon to pick you up."

Margaret: "You would do that, Elenore? I don't want to trouble you this much…"

Elenore: "But it's no trouble! Not at all. We can spend that much more time together. I would like that."

Margaret: "Thank you! I would really like that too."

Of course this quick change of affectionate words would only get us back to tender cuddling, as much as I knew it was getting late. At this rate, I'll be needing a wake up method number three every morning aswell. How very ungrateful it can feel, having to be the responsible one at times like this, if that means I must put an end to such bliss, too soon for my taste. Much to our disappointment, I managed to get out of bed and left to get ready in a hurry, making sure Margaret would hurry aswell, instead of drifting back to sleep. I'll be sure not to make a habit out of this delay, but if I can wake up like this every morning that'll make me a happy person.