Later that evening, after we had all completed our allotted chores and eaten a light supper, we began to make ourselves ready to retire for the night. Cissy and I closed and bolted the outer doors and the shutters on the windows, and drew the heavy curtains over the inner doors which led to the cellars and the larder and the scullery.
As usual, we undressed in front of the fire, Cissy and I helping each other out of the heavy and complex garments that convention demanded, with their strapped and laced bodices, and their voluminous petticoats, before the two of us performed the same services for Mother. After my husband's tragic death, I had returned to my Mother's house for comfort and companionship, and I had automatically resumed the duties I had performed before my marriage.
On this night, none of us felt any need to rush into the heavy nightgowns we habitually donned for bed. Despite her usual drive for domestic economy, Mother had earlier directed Cissy to add another, and then yet another, log to the fire, so that the parlor was especially warm and cozy. Mother spoke up just as Cissy reached for the ankle-length nightgown that lay in the top of the dresser.
"It really is such a shame that such fine young bodies should be covered up at all times," she said to me, looking over Cissy's nearly naked form, "Perhaps here, alone in this house, we should allow ourselves a little more freedom from conventions, and be prepared to remain comfortable and naked in our own home."
Cissy grinned at her, clearly delighted by the anticipation, then proceeded to remove the last of her petticoats.
"Yes, Mistress," she said, eyes downcast demurely, even as she carefully refolded the garments and placed them on the dresser.
Cissy looked exquisite, I thought, now quite naked and moving with astonishing grace and poise about the parlor. Her long blonde hair, now unwound from its elaborate daytime coiffure, lay tangled down her back. Her breasts, white and soft, swung and jiggled as she moved, and her hips and thighs were muscular and well-toned from the fetching and carrying she undertook daily. The downy blonde hair between her legs seemed somehow beaded with moisture, although whether perspiration or another more intimate fluid I was not yet sure.
Cissy moved to help Mother by unlacing her tight bodice and slipping off the other woman's voluminous petticoat. These items too she carefully folded and returned to the dresser. Mother's body was still slender and tautly muscled even after all these years, and her dark hair was long enough to reach below her waist and almost conceal her small but still firm breasts. She held her chin up and admired herself in the full-length mirror that stood behind the door, then moved to her favorite chair and sat elegantly, as composed as if she was receiving visitors in her finest Sunday best.
I too wanted to join my mother and my friend, to enjoy the freedom and frisson of nudity. In my urgency, I struggled out of my petticoat even before Cissy could help. We had been individually nude in front of each other before, of course, but not all at once. We would strip naked, often shivering, on bath nights, when we brought out the old tin bath and placed it in front of this very fire. But Mother had not directed me to fetch the bath nor Cissy to heat the water, so bathing was not our chore on this evening. She had something else in mind.
Our usual evening ritual at this point would be to brush each others' hair - two hundred strokes each. I sat on the foot-stool in front of the fire, as naked as the day I was born, while Cissy picked up the hairbrush. She ran the brush smoothly through my hair. As always, the sensation was pleasurable, especially when she reached the ends of my locks below my shoulder-blades. The feelings made me arch my back and lift my chin, causing my breasts to emerge further from the tangle of hair that Cissy was endeavoring to straighten.
Mother watched calmly as Cissy and I swapped places, the whish of the brush and the crackle of the fire almost the only sounds in the quiet room, although punctuated by Cissy's soft moans as she enjoyed my attentions at least as much as I had enjoyed hers.
"We all know that us women need to look after each other," Mother again addressed me, as Cissy relaxed under my ministrations, "We brush each others' hair, bathe each others' bodies, help each other to dress and undress. So I think it is only appropriate that we find other ways to help each other."
"I am not sure I understand what you mean, Mother," I replied demurely, not ceasing my brushing and intensely aware of the tickle of Cissy's hair against my own breasts.
Mother smiled. "There are some techniques and practices recommended by women, for women, for ages past," she went on, "Practices to tame the devil within our bodies: the demon which drives us into the arms and beds of unsuitable men, and then binds us to them so unreasoningly."
Cissy's hair was done, so I put down the brush and turned to face Mother, still uncomprehending.
"So, you will, think, know of the delights of a mouth against your breast, suckling on you like a babe in arms, yes?"
I nodded. I had enjoyed this sensation when, on occasions, I had persuaded my husband to favor me in this way. Cissy, who had been resident in my Mother's house much more than I in recent years, took this as her cue. She turned around on the stool to face me, then bent forward to cup a breast in one hand and run her tongue over my nipple.
I admit I cried aloud, more than once, as Cissy sucked harder on first one and then the other, squeezing my breasts between her fingers. After the longest time, she drew back, gently separated my legs and knelt between them. Straightening her back, she reached a kettle from the hearth and poured a little warm water into a bowl that she had previously from the dresser that stood to one side. Then, she took up a cloth that had been warming at the fireside, dipped it in the water and gently cleansed my thighs and my belly, and finally that soft oyster that nestled between my legs.
Cissy dropped the cloth and leaned forward again. She pressed her tongue to my lips, reaching instantly that most intimate and sensitive spot that had taken so long for my husband to find. As she licked at me, Cissy slid a finger inside me, releasing a sudden hot moistness, with a skill and certainty that made it clear than this was not the first time she had performed this service. I realized that this was a duty which she had undertaken on many an occasion.
Cissy's ministrations brought me swiftly to a shattering climax, crying out so loudly that I was glad that Mother's house stood at some distance from the rest of the village. I was barely able to remain upright on the stool, the muscles in my legs and belly suddenly beyond my control.
Cissy watched me, licking her lips lasciviously, apparently enjoying my experience at second-hand.
"There you are, young madam," she said with a glint in her eye that belied the servitude of her words, "I hope that you find my efforts satisfactory?"
"Oh Cissy," I gasped, still struggling to breathe regularly, "You are so skilled, so knowledgeable! How did you learn to do that?"
"Mistress taught me," she said simply.
"As she is to teach you," Mother added serenely.
My understanding now complete, I slid off the stool to my knees and allowed Cissy to sit in the place I had vacated. There was just a little dampness on the leather of the footstool. Cissy spread her legs unashamedly, used her own fingers to hold apart the delicate lips between her legs and cleansed herself, in just the same swift way that she had cleansed me before. Then, she guided my earnestly seeking tongue, my enthusiasm as yet outweighing my skill, to exactly the spot she desired. I knew I had found her center when I felt her muscles tighten, her body twitch and buck under my face. Her taste was a delight, the texture of sweet milk in my mouth. I now knew without doubt that the dewdrops decorating her blonde hair earlier was indeed her own intimate moisture. She must have known what to expect and, from frequent experience, the anticipation had engendered her bodily reactions.
Mother had been watching us both, her bright eyes reflecting the firelight, first caressing her own breasts and then touching herself between her own legs, her fingers exploring the very same sensitive spot that Cissy and I were enjoying. Cissy's eventual climax was as prolonged and noisy as my own, and I felt a gush of moisture against my chin. She collapsed over my back, her weight on my shoulder.
The other girl's breathing became more regular and I assisted her to sit upright. Mother gestured to Cissy and to me, beckoning us over to her seat by the fireside. She lifted her arms to toss back her long hair and spread her own legs even wider. We knelt together, side by side, cheek by cheek. I am sure we both knew what was expected of us now.
"Come," said Mother, moving to lie back in her chair, "Now you must press your services upon me, to help me in turn to tame the devil within."