Ch. 4-Maid Cafe

"Now I've got to get dressed..." I murmured, handing him a honey bun and a cup of tea that I'd prepared earlier while waiting for the curling iron to heat up. The largest clothing bag dangled on the closet rack, which I grabbed and locked myself in the bathroom with.

First I pulled on a knee-length petticoat, followed by a white chemise of the same length, then finally the black maid's dress over both, then slipped a frilly white apron over the dress, then white stockings, black heels, and a pair of black cat ears on a frilly headband.

The door opened and Alex stuck her head in, her eyes widening when she saw my outfit. "You look awesome!" she giggled, taking my hands and pulling me out, then stationing me in front of the mirror where I had just helped dress her and Malachi.

She lifted my curling iron and began catching strands of my dark hair in it, leaving my high ponytail in soft ringlets that fell to my waist. Alex then smudged the same eyeliner I'd just used on Malachi in a smoky ring around my dark brown eyes, followed by a bit of blush and some clear gloss on my lips.

After she was done, she dug around in our shared makeup bag and came out with brilliant gold contacts. I obediently placed them in my eyes, then took the mascara wand she held out to me, sweeping it over my top and bottom lashes, making a dark fringe around my now-golden eyes.

Malachi came up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist. "You look exquisite," he whispered sweetly iln my ear, making goosebumps run down my body. I turned around to kiss him, and when I pulled away, Alex had a confused look on her face as she stood beside us, daintily nibbling at her breakfast.

"Yeah, you look awesome," she said, "but I thought you were supposed to be the Cheshire Cat?"

My boyfriend and I both chuckled at her expression. "I'm working at the Maid's Cafe first," I explained to her, looking around the room for Chi's food. "You and Malachi get to wander around and enjoy the con for a few hours without me first." I finished, spotting the can of cat food behind our bags piled up in the corner.

The can opener was lying on the dresser, and Alex wordlessly handed it to me so that I could open Chiyo's food and pour it in a bowl.

"You guys ready?" I asked, and Alex jumped up and down excitedly, already at the door, ushering us all out of it. "Wait!" she yelped as Malachi was about to lock the door behind us. She ran back in and grabbed her purse, a basket, and Chi.

"Almost forgot my Dinah," she panted breathlessly, sliding into the backseat of the car. I reached over and took Malachi's hand, smiling at my sister in the rearview mirror as we pulled out of the parking lot.


"All right, see you guys later!" I sang out, dancing away from my boyfriend and sister, who waved and headed back into the building. I consulted my map of the convention center, making my way through crowds of cosplayers to find the Maid Cafe.

Two large double doors loomed in front of me, and I tentatively pushed them open, revealing a bright, many-windowed room, girls in maid outfits bustling around, getting ready to open. I stopped a sweet-looking short brunette girl to ask where the manager was, and she pointed me towards a small door in the back of the huge room.

Manuvering around girls setting tables, I slowly headed towards the door. "Hi!" a cheerful, motherly lady greeted me enthusiastically, and I waved at her. "You must be...Cassandra?" she asked, consulting her clipboard, and I nodded.

A bright smile came onto her perky face, and she extended a perfectly manicured hand out to me, which I shook.

"Nice to meet you; my name's Debbie." she sang out, handing me a nametag, which I pinned on my apron. "And on behalf of the entire Maid Cafe, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to help us."

I nervously smiled, waving at Debbie and backing out the door. Once I was back in the cafe, I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Have you ever been to one of these before?" The brunette from earlier asked, suddenly popping up beside me. I grinned and nodded. "Actually, I've helped at a bunch of them," I told her, "at all the cons I go to."

She looped her arm through mine, and we headed over to the double doors, preparing to greet our guests. "I'm Nicole," she told me, and I smiled. "Nice to meet you; I'm Cassie." I replied as we stopped with the other maids on either side of the doors, making two lines.

The mahogany doors opened and people-mostly young men, with some women and a few children-flooded in.

"Welcome!" we all called out happily, each of us plastering bright smiles on our faces. Nicole smiled and waved at me before leading a single man to his table. I spotted a group of teenagers, male and female, and hurried over to them, my skirt swishing around my knees.

"Hi, my name's Cassie," I said sweetly, inclining my head in a respectful bow. "Please follow me," I suggested, gesturing towards an empty table, big enough for the five of them.

The chairs were pushed up underneath the perfectly set table, silverware and china delicately arranged on a beautiful white linen tablecloth. "Here you are," I said, pulling each of the chairs out in turn, first for the giggling teenage girls who were staring at my outfit in awe, then for their male counterparts who were doing much the same.

"What may I get for you?" I asked, questioningly cocking my head to the side and making the tiny bells on my cat ears jingle. "Coffee? Tea?" I asked again, pulling a small white pad of paper out of my apron. The youngest-looking of all of them, a small blonde boy, looked up at me from under his bangs and smiled sweetly up at me.

"I'd like tea, please," he requested shyly, and I smiled encouragingly as I kneeled down beside another of the boys, using the table to support the paper as I wrote the drink order down. "And how would you like your tea, sir?"

The boy blushed and fidgeted with his t-shirt. "Um..." he started, not knowing what to say. "Would you like me to fix it the way I drink it?" I asked helpfully, and he gratefully nodded. I smiled again, and turned to the next boy.

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