Lucien felt like a real heel, no surprise, he was constantly tripping over his own feet. Only this time he really did trip, well on his shoes. He rubbed his head, feeling the reminder of his lack of spatial awareness. The red mark on his forehead was embarrassing enough, but that Jean saw it. Well worse than that was that she tried to catch him and they both ended up falling. He looked down at his hand, the hand that had touched her.
"Jean I'm, I'm so sorry," he choked out feeling mortified as he looked down at his hands and then up at her blushing face.
Jean brought her hands to her lips whispering "Lucien." She looked down at his hands and back at him at a loss for words.
"I didn't," he tried to find the right way to apologize, but how do you say I'm sorry for touching you inappropriately by accident, "it wasn't on purpose."
"I know that," she brushed a hand down her blouse as if she was wiping him off of her. He couldn't blame her for that after what he'd just done. She shook her head, "It was an accident. It's fine." She turned away and scurried back into the kitchen to busy herself.
It was late, but Lucien thought there might be a chance that Jean would still be awake. He really wanted to apologize one last time. He wasn't entirely sure what he could do to make it up to her, if that was even the right thing to do. There was a part of him, buried deep beneath that wasn't sorry in the least. Well that wasn't entirely fair he was sorry for making her uncomfortable, but he wasn't sorry for the opportunity to touch her, to be that close to her. Over the last several months he'd had a handful of opportunities to admire her form, and even feel her soft skin. His mind drifted back to grasping her calf, feeling the taut muscle under the nylons.
He paced along the rug near the kitchen. Each pass he stopped at the opening to the stairway and looked up. Then shook his head convincing himself to continue on his forward path. Then he'd turn around and do it all over again. He heard a noise, or thought he did, that made him stop in his tracks. Perhaps Jean was awake after all. He heard something again, but it was so muffled at this distance he couldn't tell what it was.
Lucien gave his vest a tug, straightening it. Taking a calming breath he decided to climb the stairs. One step at a time. He felt his resolving strengthening as he moved further up the hall.
Lucien halted and looked around. He wasn't sure what he'd just heard, or whether it was coming from Jean or Mattie or even Charlie's room. He stayed still listening, but everything went silent again. He took another two steps up the stairs and heard another noise.
His curiosity was now piqued and the thoughts of the apology were slowly fading to the background as the sound repeated a second later.
It sounded like a woman's voice. That ruled out Charlie. Unless he snuck someone in. Lucien shook his head, the boy didn't know a soul in all the City, but the ones he did know he'd managed to quickly irritate. As he reached the landing the sounds became louder, something akin to a moaning.
Lucien looked down towards the end of the hall, at all the spare rooms - largely empty. Before he took another step he heard a deep, primal groan. His ears perked up as they indicated the noise was coming from Jean's bedroom.
"No," he whispered to himself.
The floorboard creaked with his next foot fall and he froze, petrified that she would hear the noise. He remained perfectly still, to the point of holding his breath for several seconds waiting to see if anyone came out of their rooms, but nothing. He let out the breath he was holding, then lifted his foot taking another step closer to Jean's room.
The moans were getting louder, and deeper. Lucien wasn't sure what was going on. They didn't sound painful. Actually they seemed to be pleasurable noises. His eyes grew wide the instant his brain connected the sounds together. "No—" he clasped his hands over his mouth halting the words from being spoken aloud. He shook his head, in disbelief. There was no way Jean was doing, what he was thinking she could be doing in there.
He remained still outside her bedroom door, avoiding the glass lest she saw his shadow from the other side. There was only a slight glow from a bedside light that shown through the window. She was obviously awake, so the noises couldn't be coming from her having some kind of dream.
She was a young widower. Why wouldn't she engage in certain acts to lessen the, err, tension one felt from time to time? He knew it was wrong to stay outside of her room and listen in to this quiet and immensely private moment, but he couldn't tear himself away from the door. He wanted to be close to her, in fact he wanted to help her alleviate those tensions. It wasn't right of course, she'd never allow it. Hell, he wasn't even sure if she found him attractive in that way. Occasionally, he caught her glancing at him but it was always quickly followed with an annoyed glare. It was more than that for him though, he felt a growing sense of love and affection for her. He wanted to do things to make her happy, to feel good, to feel safe — if she'd let him.
The sounds coming from her room became more muffled. He imagined her rolling her head into her pillow to hush the sounds of her pleasure. His body twitched as he thought about her running her hands over her pink nightgown and down her abdomen. He tried to stop envisioning how she might be touching herself, what she did to make herself feel good. He wondered how long it would take him to learn his way around her body, how he might drive her wild. His pants tightened at the impure thoughts he was having towards his housekeeper. That was the crazy thing though, she was never just his housekeeper, he didn't need one she was his partner in many of the ways that were important. Perhaps some day if she'd have him, she would be his everything in every way.
The moans died down and the room fell still. He rose his hand and withdrew it. Now was not the time to knock on her door and apologize for his inappropriate touch. She would be flushed from her activities and embarrassed to know he'd heard her, knew what she was doing. No, he'd wake up early tomorrow and make her breakfast or maybe at least make her tea as a groveling attempt of apology. She was surely still blissfully in the haze of her climax, now was the time to flee while he wouldn't be heard.
As he turned his foot hit the same creaky floorboard, but this time he didn't freeze he continued down the stairs as quietly and quickly as he could. After morning tea he'd fix the squeak.
Jean's head turned towards her door as she heard the creaky floor outside her room. She really needed to fix that. Her gaze drifted towards the clock on her nightstand half-passed midnight. She knew she needed to get to bed, but her mind was on other things at the moment. On another person. On where his hands ended up earlier today. A wave coursed through her body as she thought back to the feeling of having his hands, or rather hand on her in such an intimate way — even if it was by accident. Here in the privacy of her room she knew she couldn't deny how much electricity she felt, the desire she had for her employer. It wasn't right of course, it would never be a proper thing for them to be together in that way.
Her finger swiped the last bit of chocolate frosting off the plate resting in her lap. There wasn't really any chocolate left, she'd practically licked the dish clean. It was a weakness she knew, which is why she'd endeavored to give it up. She almost didn't make it either when Mattie brought home the extra slice of cake from a going away party for one of the nurses. The cheeky gal had saved it just for Jean and while she appreciated it, she knew she had to wait. Six more hours. She counted down, watching the clock until finally the grandfather clock struck twelve and donged loudly through the house. She'd picked up the plate and eagerly dug in, savoring each and every bite. Never again, she shook her head setting the empty dish on her nightstand, would she give up chocolate cake for lent.