Maid of Paradise

    I blinked slowly, spacing out as the young, healthily tanned, brown furred yeti on the computer slowly and nervously tapped on the keys of a keyboard. With a myriad of ‘ohs’ and ‘ums’ she huffs a relieved sigh, “Alright, dude,” She smiles at you and adjusts her hawaiian shirt, “You’re room is 546. I- I upped you to a deluxe room. P-please don’t tell my boss about that i-incident.” 
    I shook my head, I had managed to clean most of the coffee off myself, “Its fine. It’ll wash out. Just be glad I wasn’t in my business uniform,” I add with a small, sly smile. 
    The color drains from the yeti’s face, “O-of course. Once again, I apologize, dude. I-I’m kinda new here and I just need money for school and a new board and--” 
    I cut her off by handing her a five dollar bill, “Thanks for the excellent service,” I gave her a genuine smile before turning to where I had set my bags. A woman had picked them up for me with a big smile on her face. It took me a moment to figure out just what she was. She wore a breathable white hawaiian shirt with matching black tie that was covered in the same kind of hawaiian print and black dressy shorts. Her short, blonde, feathery hair had cute dog like ears coming out of the side of her head and a vibrant tropical flower on a hair clip kept the bangs out of her eyes. Amazingly, the feathers on her exposed wrists were made up of a rainbow of colors as was her long, feather covered tail. A kikimora--A tropical looking kikimora, “I-I can carry it,” I told her, trying to take them from her.  
She frowned and pulled them away from me, “Sir, I implore you to let me carry them,” I was a bit taken aback, surprised that the mamano was speaking to me in a voice that wasn’t in generic beach or surfer dude lingo, “It is my job to serve you during your stay.” 
I glanced at my watch, it was late and I just wanted a drink and a warm bed, “Fine.” 
     The woman’s face lt up and a giddy whistle escapes her lips, “Wonderful! This way, sir!” The woman cheerfully walked me over to an elevator and pressed the button on the controls. It instantly dinged and opened for us. She walked into the elevator and stared at me expectantly with bright blue eyes. Hesitantly, I stepped into the elevator with her. The tropical kikimora smiled at me as she pressed the button for floor five, “How was your flight?” She asked as the elevator started to rumble as it went up. 
    I stared out the big window that made up the back of the elevator out at the dimly lit beach and calm, dark ocean waters, “It was fine. Not a big fan of flying, to be honest.” 
    “I am sorry to hear that,” She frowns for a moment before filling the silence with a quiet whistle. I had my mind focused on business and my presentation tomorrow. Always business focused, no time for anything else. She started to speak again, “Miss Logarian asked me personally to take care of you during your week-long stay, Anon,” I frowned as I remembered how my demon boss tricked me into taking a company paid vacation by tacking it onto a business meeting. She had tricked me into signing a contract that forced me into this. A very cunning demon she was, “Do you require a wake up call in the morning before your meeting?” 
    I shrugged, “I should be awake before seven. But if you want to come check on me, I won’t stop you,” I knew it would be less painful in the long run. 
    “Wonderful. Are you hungry? Thirsty?” 
    “I could use some bourbon,” I grumbled as the elevator dinged. The kikimora chirped quietly in response before following me out of the elevator.  
    “I will procure you a bottle of it, sir,” She led me to a room and slid a card through a reader. With a click, the door unlocked. She pushed it open and gestured for me to enter as she held it open. I did as she nonverbally instructed and stepped into the cozy room. She turned on the light for me, illuminating the room I would be staying in for a week. The carpet was plush underfoot, the bed was king-sized, the couch was large and comfortable and there was ample floor space for... Activities. There was a good sized mirror over a dresser and a TV mounted on the wall across from the bed. Perfect for some post ‘activity’ cuddling. This room was obviously designed for a honeymooning couple, further reminding me that I was without love. The kikimore gladly plopped my luggage onto the bed before turning and looking at me with a smile. That smile quickly turned into a frown as she saw my own frown, “Is something amiss wiht the accommodation, sir?” 
    “Huh?” I shook myself, “Uh, a little jet lagged is all.” 
    “If you say so. If you...” She trailed off, “require anything at all, please tell me.” 
    “That bourbon?” 
    “Oh!” Her face lit up in realization, “I forgot! I will return shortly!” She handed me one of the keycards before hurrying out of the room. I sighed as she left, wondering if she actually would come back. I got to putting away clothes for about 20 minutes and changing into something to sleep in. There came a knock on my door before being somewhat rudely unlocked. The kikimora threw the door open and dashed in with a paper bag in hand. She panted as she bent over, hands on her knees, “I--” She wheezed, out of breath, “I got it, sir. I had to run to a convenience store for it.” 
    “You didn’t have to do that,” I frowned, “I don’t need my liquor that bad.” 
    “No--” She coughs a little bit, “Its no trouble at all, sir. Here.” 
    I took the bottle from her, “Thank you.” 
    “Of course, sir. Anything else I can do for you?” 
    “No thanks. I’m gonna drink a little bit and go to sleep.” 
    “Of course, Sir. Have a good night. If you require my aid, just put 331 into your courtesy phone there and I will pick up.” 
    I nodded, “Got it,” The kikimora gave me a bow before turning to leave, “Oh, one more thing,” I quickly added as she grabbed the door handle, “What's your name?” 
    “Oh! How rude of me,” She smiled apologetically, “Lola, at your service. Good night, sir.” 
    Lola stepped from the room leaving me alone in a dark room. I poured myself a glass of the stuff she tried so hard to get for me. I took a sip of it and nodded. Better than the stuff I drank back home, at least. I could look forward to drinking myself to sleep every night, at least. 
 
    I was woken up by the curtains being thrown open and sunlight streaming in through the windows. I grumbled and rolled over, “Up! Up!” Lola commanded as she tore the comforter off of me, “You said you would be up before seven!” She started whistling and tweeting angrily.  
    “What time is it?” I asked as I rolled onto my stomach, face down. 
    “Five to seven. You have your meeting in about an hour.” 
    “Right,” I grunted and sat up, wiping my eyes.  
    “Anon,” She pointed at me and used a firm tone, “Do you plan on laying there all day?” 
    “I’m getting up. Did miss Logarian put you up to this?” 
    “If you had looked through your contract,” She chuckles darkly, “you would know that you have been written into my care during your stay. Whatever I believe is best for your relaxation and work is what I will push you towards, sir,” I gave her a leer that made the color drain from her face, “I apologize, I did not mean to offend you.” 
    I sighed and got out of the bed, “Can I have some privacy while I get ready.” 
    Lola frowned at me, “As you wish,” Without another word she hurried out of the room.  
I got up and got in the shower. I let the hot water run over my body before scrubbing myself clean. As I got out, I could hear Lola in the hallway as she sang in her songbird voice. It was pleasant, lovely almost. I put some pants on and poked my head out the door, “What are you still doing out here?” She jumped as my voice reaches her ears. 
    “I-I am to see you to your meeting, Anon,” She explains quickly, “I cannot wander far.” 
    “Fine. Come in,” I threw the door open and she dashed in excitedly. I went to the bathroom to shave the stubble off my face. 
    “Do you desire some music, sir?” 
    “Go for it,” I answered without thinking. Lola moved to the middle of the open floor and cleared her throat. She started to sing like a songbird and perform a small, entrancing dance. I had to stop shaving and just watch her dance adorably in a little circle as she shook her feathers and hips for me.  
    “Anon?” She suddenly stopped, harshly yanking me from my stupor. 
    “Huh?” 
    “Do you not need to get ready, sir?” 
    “Oh, right.” 
    She went back to singing and dancing as I tried my best to get ready. I had to push the distraction into the back of my mind by thinking of something else. I thought of computers and data, but my thoughts kept returning to Lola’s adorable dancing and cute singing, ‘Such a sweetheart,’ I thought to myself as I thought about how she ran to the store for me. I ended up standing still and focusing on the image in my mind of her cute face. 
    I put a dressy shirt on and started trying to fasten my tie. I frowned as I struggled to tie it, “Here, sir,” Lola stepped before me, I noted she was just a few inches shorter than me. I could feel her warm breath as she delicately tied my tie, “Is an eldredge knot fine? It looks very fancy~” 
    “U-uh, sure. Do whatever would look good,” I grunted as I averted my gaze. 
    “Do you have another tie? This hardly matches your shirt,” She frowned before moving to the dresser and digging through my belongings. 
“T-that's the only one I brought,” I admitted quietly. 
 She sighed, “I will be right back, sir,” I sat on the foot of the bed and frowned at myself in the mirror. I fumbled with my phone for only seven minutes before Lola returned, “This red tie will look much better with your white shirt. Light blue is not your color, Anon. Perhaps it would look better with a white or black shirt rather than this cream shirt you brought.” 
“Sorry,” I sighed as she started tying my tie again. 
“Do not be, sir. Allow me to accompany you down to the meeting room, Anon,” I nodded silently and let her lead me back into the elevator. I glanced at myself in the reflection of the glass, “You look great,” Lola told me with a smile. 
I blushed, “Y-you too,” I stammered, making her laugh. 
    “This way, Anon,” She steps from the elevator, colorful tail wagging as she whistles for herself--Or was it for me? 
 
    I stepped from the meeting after three grueling hours. I breathed a sigh of relief and slumped my shoulders as I finally took a second to relax. I stood up straight as I heard clacks on the tile moving towards me quickly, “Anon, hello!” Lola sang as she strut up to me, “How did it go?” 
    “Fine enough,” I shrugged, “Sealed the deal after we all gave massive presentations. I should call my boss.” 
    “How about you head to the pool? Its nice and hot today!” 
    “I didn’t bring my trunks,” I explained apologetically. 
    Lola sighed and shook her head at me, “Go up to your room and I will join you shortly,” Lola dashed off after giving me a small bow. 
    I rode the elevator up and hardly got settled into my room before Lola reappeared, “How are you so fast?” I asked as she panted and coughed. 
    “Taking the stairs three at a time!” She smiled and wheezed at me before offering me a pair of trunks. 
    I slowly realised something, “Please tell me you’re not paying out of pocket for these things,” I pleaded as I examined the pineapple print covered trunks. Amazingly, they were my size. 
    She giggled at my seemingly outlandish worries, “Its all on your boss, Miss Logarian. Anything you want or need is covered by her. Get changed and let us head to the pool.” 
    I nodded and got changed in the bathroom while listening to Lola sing more. I smiled a little bit as I took off my dress shirt and pants and changed into a plain t-shirt and the trunks, “How do I look?” I asked arms out to my side. 
    Lola smiled, “Here, you are merely missing these,” She handed me a pair of mirrored sunglasses, “Do you plan on wearing socks and sandals?” 
    “Oh n-no,” I slipped my socks off quickly as Lola laughed at me. 
    “Come on now, pool time. What do you desire for lunch?” She asked as she took me by the wrist and pulled me from my room.  
    “Pizza,” I answered simply as we stepped down the halls, the sound of my flip flops slapping against the bottom of my feet reverberated through the quiet, empty halls.  
    “Just pizza?” She gave me a quizzical look to which my only response was a silent nod, “As you wish. I will put in an order for one,” She used a small radio to call it in to some unseen person. Again, I got into the elevator with Lola and we rode it to the first floor, her chirping and singing happily the whole time.  
    “Do you always sing?” I asked quietly as we stepped through the sparsely populated halls of the hotel. It wasn’t wedding season, thankfully. 
“D-do you not like it?’ 
“No, no, no, I like it--Its very pleasant. I was just curious. A friend of mine married a kikimora and she never sings like you do. She just drinks and speaks in Russian sometimes,” I quickly explained. 
    “You... Like it?” She gave me a wide smile before opening the door for me to the back area of the hotel. I peered out at the ocean and sandy beach beyond the walls of the pool area. I frowned as I looked at all the couples horseplaying in the pool or relaxing on pool chairs together, “Over here~” Lola sang, pulling me from the depressive trance and over to a single reclining seat situated under an umbrella.  
    I sat on it, leaning back and putting my legs up, “Thanks.” 
    “Any time, sir,” I sat still, putting the shades on as I jealously watched loving couples enjoying their honeymoons. I could only stew in my loneliness and mild anger at being tricked into taking a vacation, “Anon?” Lola’s singsong voice tore me back to reality once more, “Did you not say you needed to contact your boss?” 
    “Ah, of course,” I grabbed my phone and punched in her number. She picked up almost instantly, “Hey, boss.” 
    “Anon! How are you doing? Enjoying your little forced vacation?” She cackled. 
    I smiled at her little joke, “Its nice and warm here and the service is great too,” I joked back, “I got the account, in case you were wondering.” 
    “Oh, I wasn’t. I knew we had it,” I frowned, “Anyways, tell me more about the service, or should I say servant?” 
    I tilted my head, “Huh?” 
    “The maid?” 
    “You mean Lola?” 
    “Yes, how are you two getting along?” She asked with annoyance in her voice. 
    I glanced at the rainbow colored, tanned and gorgeous kikimora. She had put on a matching pair of mirrored shades as she stared out at the people with a frown on her face, trying not to listen in on my quiet conversation, “We get along just fine. I don’t understand why you decided to write in that contract that I’m explicitly under her care.” 
    My boss was silent for a few moments, “Well... you know how I went on vacation with my hubby a while ago? Lola was very helpful on that trip and just like you she's a hopeless romantic and... I owed her a... Tip, y’know?” 
    “Tip? Why didn’t you just pay her?” 
    My boss groaned, “Because I wanted to help her out and I already knew you two would be perfect together! The tip is YOU!” 
    “You can’t just--” I started to hiss. 
    “Its in your contract that you so willingly signed~” 
    “God dammit Lo--” 
    “Play nice and you’ll probably get that promotion you’ve been considered for,” She interjected. 
    “Really? This is what we’re doing now?” I sighed. 
    “And that raise~” 
    I pinched the bridge of my nose, “We’ll see.” 
    “I’m counting on you, Anon!” I hung up after that. 
    “Is everything alright?” Lola asked me as I leaned back in the chair. 
    “Yeah,” I grunted and stared at the couples having the times of their lives. 
    She was hesitant to speak again, instead she stood silently near me for a time. I felt myself becoming agitated as I soaked in what my boss had done. I knew I would never sign a contract from her without reading it again, “Anon?” Lola finally worked up the courage to speak.  
    “What?” I snapped as my anger burst forth. The kikimora shied away from my outburst and stayed quiet with a sad frown staining her cute face, “I-I’m sorry,” I muttered quietly, “That was wrong of me.” 
    “Perhaps we should go back to your room?” She suggests, “You have been agitated since you set foot out here.” 
    I looked around at the mamano/human couples then back at Lola, “Sure. Sorry I ruined this.” 
    Lola was silent until we got back to the elevators, “Do not be sorry. I am the one ruining your short time of relaxation,” It looked like all the color had drained from her feathers and skin, “I understand how you feel,” She stood at the opposite side of the elevator, giving me as much space as possible, “I too look at the honeymooning couples and the families and grow jealous and spiteful at something I can never have. Miss Logarian told me you might as well,” She stared longingly out the elevator’s window and only turned around once the elevator had stopped to follow me to my room, “I will continue to give you service when you call upon it but will leave you to relax how you see fit,” She pulled a small clock out of her pocket, “Your pizza should be ready, one moment,” She slowly trudged away with her vibrant tail dragging across the floor.  
    I went into the room and put on comfy shorts. I turned the TV and began channel surfing despite knowing that it would all be mamano programming. I knew full well what I was doing as I passed shows and commercials depicting loving couples in various acts. I knew the only chance I had to change from this self loathing, work focused person was to do something now or damn us both to loneliness forever. The mamano dating process was short and lifelong couples were formed almost instantly. Perhaps the magic of a cupid was afflicting me, or perhaps it was the magic of her cute yet enticing mating dance and her desperate mating calls. I had ample time to ponder as she had already admitted defeat slowing her way down. The slow knock came from my door and I sprang up instantly and dashed over. Lola stood there pizza box in hand and head dropped low, “Here. I hope you have a relaxing rest of your stay. If you need anything--” 
    “I need something RIGHT now,” I interrupted her. She looked up at me with surprise with a tear stained face, “I need someone to help me eat this pizza. A-and hang out with me.” 
    She stared at me as the color slowly returned to her. She burst out laughing at me, “Real smooth, Anon. Of course I will. Unless you wished for me to fetch another person.” 
    “No. Come in, please. Save me from this lonely vacation,” I ordered.  
    The kikimora gladly obliged with my demands by teasingly pushed past me and entered the room and set the pizza on the table. I took a slice and plopped down on the couch and the kikimora quickly followed suit. She pressed herself against me as she slowly ate her slice of pizza, humming a strange yet happy tune, “Anything else you require, master?” She asked. 
    The way she referred to me as master gave me strange chills, “Would you sing for me again?” 
    Joy spread across Lola’s face, “At once, master!” She sprang up after quickly finishing off her meal and started chirping for me. It was the same cute and happy routine but I didn’t mind much. 
 
    I lie on my back with Lola laying on top of me. Her hands idly pat my chest as she chirped at me. The smile hadn’t left her face since I let her back into my room, “Hey,” I whispered. 
    “Hm?” She inched closer to my face with a grin on her lips. 
    “I wanted to apologize again for upsetting you.” 
    The kikimora pushed herself up and planted a kiss on my cheek, “You do not need to.” 
    “But I--” 
    She shut me up with a kiss on the lips, “Shh,” She pulled back for a moment and wrapped her arms around my neck. She stared me in the eyes as a whistle escaped her lips. She kissed me again, “What did you fall for? My singing or my dancing?” 
    I shrugged, “Does it matter? I love hearing and seeing both.” 
    I got another kiss for my answer, “Fair enough. Will I be coming home with you?” 
    “I’d hope so,” I ran my fingers through her feather blonde hair causing her to chirp loudly out of pleasure. 
    “I would love to, master Anon. Perhaps we could come back here for our honeymoon?” 
    I smiled, “I dunno. Maybe somewhere cold. Oh, a little cabin in the frigid cold of Canada! We can cuddle by the fire and play in the snow.” 
    The smile on her face was replaced with a disheartened frown, “I-If you wish, master.” 
    I laughed, “I’m kidding. We’ll go somewhere tropical for you.” 
    She buried her face in my neck, “Thank you,” She chirped. I listened as her quiet whistling and singing slowly stopped as she drifted off to sleep. I rested one hand on her head, keeping it pressed against me and wrapped the other around her hips. My own little slice of paradise to take home with me. Better than any souvenir I could buy! I fell asleep with a little, contented smile on my face. 
 
    I woke up to the curtains being thrown open, the sunlight streaming in right on my face and by loud singing. I jolted up in bed, “What is it? What's wrong?” 
    “Hm?” Lola tilted her smiling face at my question, not understanding what I was asking. 
    “The singing and the... The waking me up so early!” 
    “Oh! Sorry, master,” She climbed back into bed and hugged me, “I wake up like this every morning!” She giggled and kissed me on the cheek. 
    “Oh...” I sighed and leaned back down as the chirping harpy sang quietly.
     Nothing is perfect, I suppose. But Lola gets damn close.

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