Athena could only sit nude, half-sprawled over the dirty table. The final words of Mrs. Devereux stayed ringing in her ears. She felt so shamed. She couldn't believe she could be so foolish as to loose her hated nanny-suit twice in as many days. If only she wasn't so turned on whenever she was near the Devereux children. What was it about them that got to her so? Innocent little children who were only playing games or even, in their own clumsy way, trying to help her from some fine mess she had gotten herself into.
She knew they liked her, and had fun with her. Even Mrs. Devereux admitted as much to her. But, for some reason. whenever they were around her, her body suddenly went out of control and would betray her. Athena knew that there could be only one rational explanation for it, but she hated even to think about it: S.O.!
"My God!" Athena said and sat up quickly. How could she ever function as an undercover reporter if the very fact of being one would cause her to climax at any time. It was an impossible situation!
Maybe it was an occupational hazard of being undercover, but one that no one ever talked about for obvious reasons. Either way, she had to see that doctor, and as soon as possible!
She wiped the drying tears from her face and blew her runny nose on a soiled napkin. After gingerly wiping the food off that was clinging to her chest with her hands, she bent down and picked up her nanny-suit from the floor. Athena held up the garment in complete disgust. It was filthy.
"I can't wear this," she murmured. Even back up the secluded servant stairs it would be impossible. The suit made her skin crawl just looking at it. Yet she had to wear something! Already members of the staff were walking through the dining room, on their way to the kitchen. All Athena could do during such times was to cross her arms over her chest, sit frozen in her chair, and hope that no one would notice the naked woman sitting at the messy table.
"Oh, God! The table!" she exclaimed. She had completely forgotten about having to clean the table.
Athena, after first making sure she was alone again, quickly rose from her chair and walked rapidly to each of the two entrances to the staff dining area. Being very careful not to expose herself to anyone outside of the room, she closed both of the doors.
Athena returned to were she had been siting and bent over to grab the bucket and wash cloths from the floor. As she was rising, she saw the large wet stain she had left on her seat cushion.
"Damn," she said quietly. She was such a slut lately she just couldn't believe it. Still bent over, her hanging breasts shook madly as she furiously attacked the cushion with rags soaked in the soapy water. Finally satisfied with the result, she straightened up and prepared to start next on the large table.
Even though the only area that was dirty was where she had been sitting ("It figures," she thought), she decided to do it right and carefully wash the entire table. Still feeling dazed from the events at breakfast, Athena could only think that here was a chance where she could redeem herself. Pleased with the idea, she said, "This will show her!" She would finally have a chance to prove to her formidable employer just what Athena Valentine was capable of doing.
She looked nervously at both doors. Athena knew she wasn't thinking very clearly right now, and that she was running a serious risk in doing this. But, it would just take a second to complete, and it was so important for her to do as she was instructed by Mrs. Devereux before the woman returned. As soon as she was finished, then she could beg one of the kitchen staff to quickly get her something to wear from the laundry room. Right now though, there just enough wasn't time! She had to get the table clean before it was too late.
By practically running around the table, Athena cleaned everything but the center very quickly. The table was so large she just couldn't reach it, no matter how hard she tried. Exasperated at being checked like this, she jumped on a chair and attempted to lean as far over the table as she could in order to reach the elusive center.
A group of well-dressed middle-aged women, led by Mrs. Devereux, entered the room as the still groggy Athena over-balanced and fell on the table. She tried to break her fall by holding her hands out in front of her. She landed with an "OW!" on her hands and knees, while the momentum of her fall caused her to slide into the direct center of the empty table. She instinctively spread her knees and hands as she slid across the table top to maintain her balance.
The unexpected fall had startled her so much that the exasperated Athena had to pause sprawled on her hands and knees with her head lowered a moment to get her breath back. She froze in horror when she heard a familiar voice behind her say, "...and here is where the staff eats." It could only be Mrs. Devereux and her expected guests!
Athena's world promptly ended. A sickening feeling of horror and dread consumed her. "No, not this!" she prayed. "Please God, anything but this!"
"My! What an interesting centerpiece you have there," a cultured, aristocratic feminine voice was saying. "Where on earth did you find it? So real, so life-like!"
"We had it specially made from an artist I know in Europe. Just recently. In fact it only arrived two days ago."
"It's simply marvelous! Do you plan to always have it out?"
"Oh, no, Catherine. Of course not. It is really intended only for, ah, very special occasions, like this one. Well, time to go ladies! Tea should just about be ready on the south verandah."
"Jacquelyn, why don't we have our tea here, instead? It's a very nice room and I'm frankly tired from all of this walking. Besides, I'm sure that the girls are just dying to have a closer look at that amazing centerpiece."
Devereux sighed and accepted her defeat with good grace. Actually she wasn't mad in the slightest. In fact she found this latest turn of affairs quite amusing. Her new prim-and-proper nanny was showing a surprising propensity for losing her clothes in the most unlikely of circumstances. Well, this unusual display will just be one more thing Devereux knew she could use to her advantage in her conquest of this very beautiful spy.
Devereux briefly smiled at the thought of how today's journal entry was going to read. "Well," she said to herself. "Let's give her plenty to write about, so she can make it a good one!"
She walked to the kitchen end of the table, and opened the lid to a small control panel. She pressed a button and 2-foot sections on both sides of the table silently lowered, then withdrew into the center of the table.
"My late husband, an aerospace engineer, designed all of our large dining tables like this. Makes it easier for cleaning, not to mention extremely versatile for different functions, don't you think?"
"My goodness! How clever! You do love your toys, don't you, Jacquelyn?" said Catherine.
Ignoring the slight, Devereux moved slowly counter-clockwise around the table, inspecting the retracting table leaves, until the nude form of the devastated Athena was between her and her guests. Her small body now completely hidden from view, she placed her mouth close to Athena's ear.
"Move and you're dead!" she hissed. Devereux started to move away, then came back.
"You haven't heard the last of this either, Nanny!"
Athena, already frozen by any standard, immediately turned to stone. "Oh, God!" she thought in despair. "Oh, God! How will I ever be able to explain this to her?"
Devereux walked back to the head of the table and gestured to the group still waiting by the entrance. "Come along, girls. Now you can get as close to it as you like."
Lost in sorrow, Athena almost jumped when she briefly felt a hand touch her right shoulder.
"It's warm!" a startled Catherine cried. "And I could swear I saw it breathing!"
"I see my secret is out," Devereux dryly told the group of now-seated women. "You must promise not to reveal to anyone what I am about to tell you all here today. Agreed?"
A cultured melody of eager agreements filled the air.
"Well, you have I am sure all heard of 'Performance Art,' a process where living people become the work of art. Well, this is the other side of the coin, where a non-living mannequin is given certain human characteristics and responses. It is an experimental piece, a new form of art they are calling 'Living Sculpture.' The one you are looking at now is the first prototype. We like to call her 'Athena', after the Greek goddess she somewhat resembles."
"My word! You don't say?" said an amused and obviously unimpressed Catherine.
"Oh, yes. The process, when it is finally perfected, will, I believe, revolutionize the world of erotic art."
"But who ever heard of a statue with such clearly defined tan-lines? Why spoil the effect of such a delightful body that way? Unusual, to say the least, don't you think?"
"The piece itself is very unusual, don't you think?" Devereux said, then slapped the astonished Athena on her right buttock. "However, I understand that a very beautiful young model was used in the making of this, and her appearance was followed most exactly."
"Yes," said a rather plain woman, speaking for the first time. "She is rather striking, isn't she? I mean, for someone so young and inexperienced, that is."
"Inexperienced?" snorted Catherine. "Jane, how on earth did you come to such a ridiculous conclusion? The girl was obviously an incredible slut for even posing for this lewd piece in the first place."
Athena was really getting to hate Catherine.
"I don't think so," explained Jane patiently. "Look, that very healthy body there on the table is clearly without any sign of ware or abuse. The tan-lines are important because they tell us she obviously wasn't a professional model at all. Even better, it's a certainty that, whoever she was, the model was not too happy about the experience since her face has a very embarrassed expression on it even now. This was no slut, Catherine. I believe she was a beautiful young woman just trying to make some money."
"Fool," thought Catherine, "to be taken in so easily like that."
"That Jane," thought Athena warmly. "My hero."
"Still, Jacquelyn," continued Jane, "there is something I really do not understand. You said 'human characteristics and responses.' What exactly would those be?"
"Please, that would be telling. You really must find that out for yourself. That's part of the fun. You see, in finding out how just real this piece reacts to your actions, you reveal much about yourself in the process. It's that kind of art. Just remember that what ever you do, and you can supposedly do a lot, you must be very gentle, as this is still a very expensive and relatively fragile piece of art, and not just some marital aid you can pick up at the corner drugstore. Also, I understand from the artist that the piece might suffer from what she called a 'fluid discharge' if the electronics become overloaded with too much stimulus."
"Yes, but darling, isn't that the whole idea?" Catherine said archly, causing the group to twitter with knowing laughter.
End of Part 5