"Leave it there, my man."
"Very well, Ma'am." (He had to call her Ma'am, it was part of his contract).
She stood and contemplated the awful twisted rusty iron sculpture that she'd just bought on the advice of her great friend Rupert. Rupert is a twit who thinks he knows about art and who thinks that his inane wittering will one day gain him entrance to the only gallery he's really interested in. Some hope. The Princess doesn't open the doors of her most private collection for anyone.
"No, I liked it better in the other room. Take it back."
The other room was, of course, half way across the palace, and no-one else was around to help.
She wandered around in front of him as he grunted and strained shifting the oxidised monstrosity from room to room. She spouted a line of incessant chatter and whims which she wanted him to do once they've finished this. Repaint the hallway, white this time. Hang that old tapestry in a different room. Polish the frame of her portrait. Her long blonde hair shimmered around her back, revealing a white silk blouse through the haze.
"Oh, come ON! If you don't much faster I'll sack you! Shame I can't have you whipped, like my ancestors could!"
She turned around and glared at him. He seemed to be muttering under his breath, she thought: how disrespectful! It might even be treasonous. She stomped a petulant foot, then kicked him in the shin. He was taken by surprise and dropped the statue. It cut a deep gash in his thigh, from which blood started to ooze.
"Oh, for Fuck's sake!" he says, exasperated beyond all endurance.
"I beg your pardon? That does it, you're sacked! Fired! Finished! And if I had my way I'd chop you block off!"
He didn't speak, just stared her in the face. She stepped back, afraid. No-one was allowed to look her in the eye. She didn't like the seething anger she saw. His blood was staining the carpet as he grabbed hold of her wrist. She was so shocked that this SERVANT has laid hand on her that she didn't even start to scream until he clamped his other hand over her mouth. He frog-marched her into the nearest room, which happened to be a disused guest suite. He had her arm twisted so far up behind her back that she thought he was going to dislocate it.
He let her go as he shut the door behind them, locked it and pocketed the key. She was standing in front of him, trembling, trying to decide whether to be scared or angry.
"What are you doing? Once this gets out you'll be bloody arrested! You can't just grab hold of princesses like that!"
He stepped up to her and slapped her very hard across her face. She flew backwards a couple of feet and landed on her backside. She looked terrified, finally, at her predicament. There was no-one else in this wing of the palace at all. No-one could hear her even if she did scream. She whimpered to herself as she raised her hand to the hot red mark on her cheek.
"Your Royal Highness is in serious need of several lessons. Clearly your tutors were not permitted to teach you these lessons, so you will have to learn them the hard way. You might as well know that I am leaving your service soon, because I've got cancer and may not survive the treatment. So I have nothing to lose. You, on the other hand, are in serious danger of losing everything. I could quite fancy going down in history as the man who murdered the last royal princess."
The look in his eye was that of a mongoose sizing up a particularly virulent cobra. He knew she was not physically strong, but she had a stubborn will that would be hard to break, and he'd better not let her get her hands on anything sharp.
"Get up. I am going to teach you what it is like to be in another's power. If you survive this lesson, you'll have a bit more sympathy for those whose lives you control."
She stood before him, eyes downcast, legs shaking, the hint of tears sparkling in her eyes. Her face was half covered by the crimson mask of his hand print.
He reached out and pulled her blouse out of her skirt, pushed her resisting hands out of the way. he took firm hold of the silk and ripped upwards along the seam to her armpit. He repeated the process the other side, then tore the rags off her. She was wearing just a light bra underneath, and he ordered her to remove that herself. When she hesitated, he slapped her again.
All that was going around in her head was a single thought. "I don't want to die!"
As if in a dream, she watched herself bare her breasts to appease this creature in front of her. It was as if another moved her hands down to the waistband of her designer skirt, popped two buttons, slid black material down over hips, silken thighs. Knickers followed, finally shoes.
She, a Princess of Royal Blood, could not possibly be standing here naked in front of a servant! It must be a dream! No servant would be doing these things. No servant would order her to lie on her stomach on the bed, legs tight together, heels off the floor. No servant would look down on her with that mixture of lust and pity. No servant would remove his trousers, unthread the belt. It must be a dream. It must be a dream. It...
The sound of his broad leather belt on her unprotected buttocks, and the scream which followed it, echoed through the dusty magnificence of the bedchamber. He stood over her, exulting in the power and strength he had found, that he though had been lost to the slow death of cancer. Again and again he whipped the broad belt down on the princess' prone body. He screams of anguish told of betrayal, of torment and pain.
Her back was a mass of red welts. Her buttocks were bruised and ridged. Her legs were covered with crossed and re-crossed bands of scarlet. The pain had taken away her last refuge and she was naked in soul as well as in body before him. She was not a princess any more, but a naughty little girl, being punished for bad behaviour. The little girl turned over to face her tutor.
"Please, sir, I'm so sorry! Please don't hurt me any more!"
"Princess, you have only just begun to be sorry."