By Molly McMann
The treadmill shifted to high speed near the end of her workout program, and Betsy quickened her pace accordingly. Her blonde ponytail flipped back and forth, spraying droplets of sweat alternately left and right. As she ran with a full and graceful stride, Betsy pretended to be interested in the TV screen on the far side of the room, but she was actually focusing a few feet lower where a gloriously fit and fabulously tall woman was working out with dumbbells.
Before her eye surgery, Betsy would have seen little more than a vaguely human shape at this distance — even with the thick glasses she’d worn since childhood. It had been more than a month since the operation, but Betsy remained constantly awestruck by the magnificent details she now saw in the world around her — which at this moment included a pair of exquisitely muscled arms and shoulders.
The treadmill beeped and slowed to a cool-down walk, and as she wiped her face with her towel, Betsy imagined herself walking over and starting a conversation. Perhaps they would work out together … or maybe go out afterwards. But no, Betsy was too shy to actually do that. All she could do was take one final peek above her towel — only to look away abruptly when the woman’s dark eyes met her own.
Embarrassed, Betsy hurried out the door to the women’s locker room, relieved to find it empty. Even so, after she undressed she wrapped herself up in a towel for the short walk from her locker to the showers — where she hurried through her routine, wanting to get out again while the room was still clear. Again wrapped in her towel she rushed back, taking it off only when she was at her locker. As she reached for her underwear, Betsy reflexively looked around to make sure she was still alone — and was startled to see a beautiful naked woman looking at her from across the room. It was her own reflection in the mirrors above the sinks.
As much as Betsy was still adjusting to being able to see so well, she was also still getting used to her own changed appearance. Most of her life, Betsy had been self-conscious about her looks. It wasn’t just the comically thick glasses that magnified and distorted her already large eyes. She also had teeth so crooked they stuck out between her lips even when her mouth was closed. In middle school, her height came too soon and her boobs too late. For most of high school, she was a skinny, insecure, flat-chested shy girl with a mouthful of braces and googley-eyed glasses. Unable to see faces from a distance, she assumed every giggle and whisper was about her.
Like the storybook ugly duckling, however, Betsy went through a stunning transformation. Years of orthodontia left her with a dazzling smile, and her breasts arrived just in time to go with her to college. They were not particularly large — being proportionate to her slender frame — but she was grateful to have them at all. Having been so fixated on her few flaws all of those years, Betsy had not noticed that in every other respect she had what other people would enviously describe as “good genes.” Of Scandinavian heritage, she was a natural blonde with crystal blue eyes and flawless skin that tanned a golden hue.
Betsy had barely been aware of the transformation until after her eye surgery, and even now she was not entirely convinced that the pretty girl across the room was actually her. Leaving her towel behind, Betsy drifted closer to the mirror until she stood directly in front of it. Her reflection smiled back at her as if to say, yes Betsy, we’re pretty now.
The squeak of the locker room door startled Betsy out of her reverie. She dashed back down the aisle, her white towel in sight, but nearly ran into someone coming around the corner. It was her — Weightlifting Woman — blocking the aisle with one long arm opening a locker. Betsy managed to stop just short of collision, but now they were inches apart. The other woman was a head taller, looking down at her with a confident grin.
“There you are!” she said, as if they were old friends. “I didn’t want to interrupt your workout, which looked amazing by the way, so I stalked you down here to say hi.”
“Um . . . hi,” Betsy whispered, dumbstruck, as the woman’s brown eyes went down her body without apology.
“I love your . . . stride,” the woman said to Betsy’s pert breasts, whose upturned pink nipples involuntarily hardened to points. “You’re bad-ass on that treadmill, girl. I’ll bet you ran track in high school.”
“I did!” Betsy exclaimed, surprised that anyone would pay enough attention to her to make that observation. Though she was naturally athletic like the rest of her family, Betsy had not been able to play sports that involved flying objects. Even soccer was problematic because she would lose track of the ball. She’d found her niche with track — though it had made her already dorky glasses even dorkier by the addition of an elastic band around the back of her head.
“I’m Kate,” the tall woman said, extending a long muscular arm and offering her hand. “And you are?”
NAKED! I’M NAKED! Betsy screamed inside her head. She put out her hand and the woman gripped it tightly for a long moment as she let her eyes go down and up Betsy’s body again. “Pardon me,” she said, releasing Betsy’s hand. “You’re just so beautiful, it’s hard not to look.”
Betsy’s face went hot and she knew she was blushing from her hairline down halfway across her chest. Somehow she must have remembered her own name and how to speak it aloud because now Kate was saying, “Oh, I love that name. It’s so cute — and so are you. Hey, do you want to go grab some coffee? There’s a place right around the corner.”
Nothing quite like this had ever happened to Betsy before. Her brain had half turned to mush, but at least it was an easy question. “Oh, yes!” she breathed. “I would like that very much but, um, my locker is . . . behind you, and I . . . probably shouldn’t . . . go there naked.”
“Oooh, I wish you could,” Kate cooed. A cinematic vision instantly appeared in Betsy’s mind of herself naked in a coffeehouse — but then the locker room door banged open again, and this time a dozen rugby players swarmed inside. Squealing in panic, Betsy pushed past Kate’s elbow — her right nipple brushing against Kate’s bare arm in the process. It was too late for the towel, or even her underwear. Betsy lunged straight for her dress, pulling it over her head and yanking it down over her body as the rugby players crowded the aisle, banging open lockers and stripping off their sweaty uniforms. Betsy stuffed her bra and panties into her workout bag, slung it over her shoulder and followed Kate out of the gym.
On the sidewalk, Kate took such long strides Betsy had to skip-run to keep up with her. Kate led the way to a coffeehouse, and soon they were sitting in a little booth together talking about their lives. Other coffee drinkers came and went unnoticed outside the timeless bubble that enveloped their booth.
As Betsy had already guessed, Kate not only ran track but played basketball and many other sports in high school and college. She was now 27, and in a successful career of some financial kind. She drove a sports car, competed in triathlons and was just finishing up her MBA.
Betsy did her best to keep the conversation light and flirty, but by the second hour she found herself talking about her mother’s death in a car crash when Betsy was 10 and her sister 12. They were sent to live with their aunt and cousins, which also meant going to a new school where Betsy was again subjected to teasing over her thick glasses and buck teeth. She omitted that part as she recounted the story.
After the coffeehouse, they walked aimlessly around the Kentfield College campus where Betsy would be starting her senior year in the Fall. They sat in the sun in the campus plaza and then walked some more, talking through the afternoon. At every intersection, Kate made the choice whether to turn or go straight, and Betsy was content to follow. Then Kate stopped in front of an apartment building. “This is where I live,” she said. “Want to come up and see my place?”
Betsy knew in a flash what would happen in Kate’s apartment, but she went along with it because it felt so right. Kate kissed her in the elevator, all the way up to the fourth floor, and then wordlessly led her by the hand down the hallway and into her apartment. Before the door closed, Kate kissed her again and without breaking their embrace began maneuvering her in slow-dance fashion through the apartment. Some small portion of Betsy’s brain told her things were happening too fast, but passion drowned it out as she willingly danced backwards like Ginger Rogers through the bedroom door. Betsy glimpsed the bed and expected to be pushed onto it, but Kate guided her past the bed and into the brightly lit bathroom, turning Betsy’s body so they both faced the mirror, Betsy in front.
“Lift your arms,” Kate commanded, and Betsy obeyed without hesitation. With a hand on either side, Kate lifted the hem of Betsy’s dress up and over her head and just like that Betsy was naked — again. “I like a girl who doesn’t wear undies,” Kate said. Betsy did normally wear undies. She would have been wearing them now had she not panicked in the locker room and stuffed them in her gym bag. Betsy realized Kate probably didn’t see her do that, and she was glad. Kate was so bold. Betsy wanted her to think that she was a little bold also. She wanted to be the kind of girl Kate was looking for.
“You really like to be naked, don’t you,” Kate said with a knowing chuckle, as if she had Betsy all figured out. She was wrong. Betsy never went naked — not even when alone in her apartment. But now Kate’s hand had slipped between her legs, and her finger was on Betsy’s clitoris.
“Yes,” Betsy watched her reflection say. “I love to be naked.”
“I’ll bet you’d go naked all the time if you could,” Kate said, her left hand cupping Betsy’s breast as her right continued its work down below. Betsy felt like a bystander, watching that other girl in the mirror who made eye contact with her and declared, “yes, oh yes. I wish I could be naked all the time . . . naked all the time!”
It was, without question, the most amazing orgasm Betsy had ever experienced, and when it was over she slumped against Kate’s strong body, her skin damp. Finding her feet, Betsy said, “I want to do you now.” She tried to push Kate out the bathroom door towards the bed, but Kate was too strong.
“We’ll get to that,” she said. “First we need to do something about this.” As she said those words, Kate gave a little tug on Betsy’s little wisp of blonde pubic hair.
“We do?” Betsy laughed. “You sure like to take charge in a relationship. Um, we are in a relationship now, aren’t we. I mean, we did just meet, but I feel like–”
“Yes we are, and yes, I do,” Kate said, reaching one arm behind the shower curtain and producing a can of shaving cream and a razor. “First things first.” Before Betsy could consider protesting, Kate had lathered her up and in a few confident strokes the task was completed. It was easily done because Betsy had so little pubic hair in the first place. Next, Kate took her by the shoulders and guided her backwards out of the room and gave her a shove. Betsy bounced onto the bed and Kate knelt on the floor and wrapped her strong arms around Betsy’s thighs.
“It’s supposed to be your turn,” Betsy argued weakly, losing her conviction as soon as Kate’s tongue touched her clitoris. The second orgasm did not take much longer than the first, and was even more intense.
“I like a girl who screams,” Kate said, standing up and peeling off her tshirt.
“Did I scream?”
“I think the neighbors might have called 911.” Kate was topless now, her breasts twice as large as Betsy’s.
“I hope you’re exaggerating.”
“A little,” Kate said, as she pushed down her panties and kicked them aside. Though she had insisted on shaving Betsy’s pubic hair, Kate had plenty of her own. She crawled onto the bed and lay on her back, her legs spread. “NOW it’s my turn,” she said.
Betsy eagerly crawled between Kate’s long legs and began making love to her, but Kate kept giving her instructions. Faster, slower, vagina, clit. Betsy did her best, and after a while Kate began to moan and then Betsy had to tighten her grip around Kate’s strong legs and hold on like a rodeo cowboy on a bucking horse.
“Did I do okay?” Betsy asked afterwards.
“Not bad, babe,” Kate said.
Betsy wished she had been better than “not bad,” but she loved hearing Kate call her “babe.”
“I probably need lots of practice,” Betsy said, hoping Kate meant it when she said they were in a relationship.
“Oh, you’ll get practice,” Kate said, hopping up off the bed and scooping up her underwear. “But first we need dinner.”
Betsy found her dress and started to put it on, but Kate took it away from her and hung it by its string strap on the back of the bathroom door.
Betsy giggled. “I can’t go to a restaurant this way.”
“Tragically, no, so I’ll get us takeout so you can stay naked,” she said. Kate dressed as she talked, and in seconds she was out the door, not bothering to ask Betsy what kind of take-out she might want. For a second, Betsy felt a moment of panic as if this had just been a one-night stand and Kate would not come back. Then she reminded herself that she was in Kate’s apartment.
Kate did come back, of course, and they ate Chinese food at the kitchen table, Betsy still nude. She had never cared for Chinese food before, but decided that she liked it now.
With her free hand, Kate caressed Betsy’s thigh under the table. “I like a girl who’s comfortable being naked,” she said.
“Well, that’s me,” Betsy lied. It was a lie she would tell many times.
“Are you my nudist girlfriend?” Kate asked, her hand now between Betsy’s legs.
“Yes,” Betsy breathed. “I’m your nudist girlfriend.” It was the word “girlfriend” Betsy cared about, barely registering the word “nudist.”
Soon they were in bed again, Kate kissing her to a third orgasm. Betsy wanted to reciprocate, but Kate would not let her. Betsy slept in Kate’s bed that night, and the next. They spent the weekend together, and Betsy was nude almost continuously — putting on her dress only when they went out.
“Too bad you can’t go everywhere naked,” Kate said, her arm around Betsy’s waist.
Betsy laughed. “Yeah, that’s too bad,” she said, loving the game.
For the next week, Betsy barely went back to her own apartment. They spent one night there, but it was clear Kate preferred being in her own place with her own things. Betsy was learning that Kate was very particular about the details of life. Everything in her apartment was where it belonged, and if Betsy moved anything, Kate would notice and put it back. Betsy was already in love, and devoted herself to memorizing every detail. She loved being in Kate’s world, following Kate’s rules.
They made love two or three times a day, or at least Kate made love to Betsy. This was easily accomplished because Betsy was usually nude, and because she came to orgasm so quickly. Two or three times a week, Kate allowed Betsy to make love to her. These sessions took much longer, with Kate giving instructions along the way.
Betsy had become so accustomed to being nude in Kate’s apartment that she made a little game of dressing and undressing on the little rug just inside the door. When Kate noticed, she was delighted and made it official by putting up a sign saying, “Betsy required to be nude beyond this point.”
Each time they made love Kate wanted to hear Betsy proclaim herself to be a nudist who desired to go naked everywhere. Betsy enjoyed the game immensely. She felt so wild and free and un-Betsy. With Kate she was not the timid, insecure mousy Betsy. She was Betsy the nudist. Even when they weren’t making love Kate seemed to get such pleasure out of having Betsy be naked.
Then there was the matter of Betsy’s pubic hair. Although Kate didn’t shave her own pubic hair, she was adamant that Betsy shave hers. Fortunately this was easily done. A natural blonde, Betsy had very little hair down there to start with — just a tuft in the usual spot and none at all between her legs. She tried shaving and waxing, but Kate insisted on absolute smoothness and the slightest hint of stubble annoyed her. Soon Betsy found herself making an appointment with a laser hair removal specialist to take it off for good. She had earlier done the same on her legs and underarms, but that was different. She never wanted hair in either of those places so permanent removal was a logical option. Betsy wasn’t really sure she wanted her pubic hair gone forever, but that was what Kate obviously wanted and what Betsy wanted was for them to be a permanent couple, and so sacrificing her pubic hair seemed a small price to pay.
Within a few weeks of their first meeting, Kate and Betsy were virtually living together at Kate’s apartment. Betsy had moved over many of her things, including some of her clothes, though she was only permitted to wear them when getting ready to leave the apartment.
On their third weekend together, Kate was busy at her laptop on a report for work and Betsy was reading. Kate’s phone buzzed on the table and she picked it up. “Allison!” Kate exclaimed, “are you in town? Great. Sure, come on over. We’ll order a pizza or something. You haven’t met my lovely Betsy yet and I want to show her off to you.”
When she hung up she said simply, “that was my friend Allison. She and her partner are in town so I invited them over tonight. You’ll love them both.”
“That’ll be great,” Betsy said, “Are they coming over right now? Darn, I guess I’ll have to get dressed.”
Kate laughed. “No, that outfit you’re wearing now will be just fine.”
Betsy laughed too, thinking this was a joke.
“I’m really looking forward to showing you off,” Kate went on. “I told Allison all about you being a nudist and she thinks it’s very sexy.”
“But I . . . you don’t really expect me to be naked when your friends come over?”
“Of course I do,” Kate said. “You said you wanted to.”
“But I was, you know . . . teasing. It’s just a ga–” Betsy stopped short, stunned by the sudden change in Kate’s expression.
“What do you mean?” Kate demanded, looking both hurt and angry. “You told me you’re a nudist, Betsy. You said you want to be nude whenever possible. I hope you’re not saying this has all been some kind of act.”
Betsy was suddenly frightened by the look on Kate’s face. “No, no, of course not,” she stammered. “Of course I’m a nudist. I . . . I love being nude, of course I do, but I . . . just thought that you . . . that you . . . didn’t want me to do it around other people because you wanted us to keep it a private thing.”
Kate’s expression instantly softened, and she took Betsy’s face in her hands. “Oh you’re so sweet to be willing to do that for me! ” she exclaimed. “But I wouldn’t ask that of you, Betsy. I love that you’re a nudist and I want to share that — not keep it a secret! Now you go off and get ready for company, but don’t you dare get dressed because I want to show you off, my love. But oh god I’d better finish this report before they get here.”
And then Kate went back to her laptop and began concentrating on the screen. Betsy was relieved and happy that Kate was no longer mad at her, but her mind was struggling to absorb what it all meant. She walked slowly into the bathroom, and looked at herself in the mirror. Moving as if in a trance she brushed her hair and put on a little makeup and perfume. She looked at her bare feet, deciding whether to put on sandals. Part of her realized this was a ridiculous thought and yet she kept her mind busy on it to avoid thinking about what she was about to do.
The doorbell rang, and Betsy snapped out of her trance and was suddenly acutely aware of the situation. She ran out of the bathroom and up to Kate, her mouth opening silently as she struggled to say something, anything, that would get her out of this situation. But Kate was still looking at the computer screen, and only said, “would you get that honey? I just need to finish this sentence.”
Betsy gulped. But then as the doorbell rang a second time she forced herself to focus on what was important. Kate loved her. That’s what mattered. If this was what Kate wanted, Betsy would just have to do it. She walked quickly to the door, pulled it open without looking through the peephole, and stood naked in the doorway smiling convincingly at the two women on the other side of the screen door.
“Oh my!” one of them exclaimed with a smile. “I guess Katie wasn’t exaggerating about you.”
It all happened so fast. Kate was suddenly at Betsy’s side, making introductions, her arm around Betsy’s bare waist. “Ladies, this is Betsy,” she announced. “The love of my life.”
Smitten by those words, Betsy looked at Kate’s face in profile, searching for confirmation that Kate really meant that. As if in response, Kate turned and looked right at her and smiled. “Yes,” her eyes said, “you are the love of my life.” But her mouth said, “Betsy dear, why don’t you go open some wine?”
Betsy did, grateful to have a moment alone in the kitchen. My god, she thought, I have to stay naked all evening in front of these strangers and pretend it’s normal. She opened both bottles of wine nervously, but as she opened the cabinet for wine glasses, she saw Kate’s vodka. Quickly, she poured some into one of the wine glasses and grabbed a bottle of tonic from the fridge to mix with it. She gulped it down. She said she loves me! She said I’m the love of her life! I can do this.
This thought made her smile, and the jolt of liquor was loosening her fear. Betsy brought the two open wine bottles and some glasses into the living room where Kate and Allison and Naomi were seated. Betsy felt so exposed, so naked, and yet she also felt confidence that Kate really loved her and that, all Betsy had to do was pass this one test.
Allison and Naoimi watched her body with no attempt to pretend otherwise. “Kate told me you were the most beautiful girlfriend she’s ever had,” Allison said. “I can see she wasn’t exaggerating about that either.”
“Did you really say that?” Betsy asked, looking at Kate eagerly.
“Of course I did, because it’s true.” They were all seated except Betsy who was still pouring wine. She felt extra-exposed with their faces eye-level with her starkly bare pussy, but she was so happy about what Kate said it was somehow okay.
“Beautiful and naked is certainly a nice combination,” Naomi observed. “How long have you been a nudist?”
Betsy wasn’t sure how to answer the question. She now knew better than to admit she was only doing it to please Kate. “Well, I guess it’s something I’ve felt . . . strongly about for a long time. But I haven’t always . . . had the opportunity.”
Kate tugged at her hand, pulling her down on the sofa and onto her lap. “Isn’t she adorable?” Kate gushed, relaxing her hand on Betsy’s bare stomach. And then to Betsy she said, “darling, I promise I’m going to give you lots of opportunities.”
Allison and Naomi laughed at this, and Betsy was glad when the conversation shifted away from the subject of her nakedness and back to Kate’s job. She sipped her wine and relaxed a little, leaning back against the sofa pillow as she sat in Kate’s lap. In that position it was difficult to keep her legs together, and Kate was not helping matters. As she talked about work she gently caressed Betsy’s thigh, pushing her legs farther open. Betsy instinctively resisted but Kate only increased the pressure of her hand and Betsy knew to submit. Naomi, sitting at the other end of the couch, had the best view, and did not bother to pretend she was not looking. Betsy was intensely embarrassed by this, and yet she also felt a hint of sensual excitement by her predicament. The wine on top of the vodka, together with Kate’s caress and Naomi’s eyes was making her feel aroused.
“I love your smoothie look,” Naomi said, briefly looking up at Betsy’s eyes again. “Do you shave or wax?”
“Well, um, actually I had it removed by laser,” Betsy said.
“Really? Well they sure did a nice job.”
“She didn’t have much to start with,” Kate said. “Just a little bit right here.” Kate’s finger made a little circle on Betsy’s skin where her hair had been. “But nothing at all down here.” And as she said that, Kate’s finger slid down between Betsy’s thigh and glided up and down on both sides of her vagina, and as she did so she pushed Betsy’s legs even farther apart, and Betsy could feel the air as her lips opened a little.
Just then the doorbell rang. Betsy had forgotten about the pizza. She jumped up off of Kate’s lap, intending to hide in the kitchen while Kate answered the door. But Kate made no move to get up and said, “There’s a twenty on the table by the door, honey. Just let him keep the change.”
Betsy froze like a rabbit, looking back at Kate. The doorbell rang again and Kate smiled, but her voice was firm when she said, “Answer the door, Betsy.”
There was no way out of it. Betsy was determined not to disappoint Kate again, not in front of guests. Somehow her feet took her to the door and she opened it.
The pizza guy was about 17, and he nearly dropped the box as he gaped at her speechless. Betsy managed to take the box from him and give him the twenty-dollar bill while he whispered, “Awesome.”
As Betsy shut the door, Kate came up beside her and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you so much,” she whispered as she took the box and carried it back to the coffee table.
Betsy exhaled. She had passed another test. She poured herself another glass of white wine, and took a healthy gulp, and then another. She leaned back in Kate’s arms on the couch feeling dreamy and sexy, and let Kate push her legs apart again.
Allison and Naomi left at about eleven. They were traveling, and had to be on the road early the next morning. After they left Kate led Betsy to the bedroom and made love to her with more passion than anything Betsy had experienced before. Over and over she told Betsy how much she loved her, how perfect Betsy was, how beautiful and . . . how happy Kate was that Betsy was a nudist.
In the morning, after Kate left for work, Betsy lay in bed fretting about what to do. It was all her fault, she knew. After all, she had indeed told Kate (several times) that she wished she could be naked in front of everyone. But that had been during sex! Kate had goaded her to say it, and Betsy thought it was just a sexy game. None of Betsy’s previous girlfriends had been into talking or role-playing during sex, so she was new at this. Was there some kind of rule book?
Although Kate was not home, Betsy dutifully remained nude as she had her cereal in the kitchen — rinsing her bowl and stacking it in the dishwasher in exactly the way she knew Kate preferred. When she left the apartment, Betsy carried her dress over to the little mat by the door and put it on while her feet remained on the mat. When she came back, even if Kate was not home, Betsy would reverse the process, stepping into the apartment onto the little mat and taking off her dress before she could leave the mat.
Reluctantly, Betsy had to admit to herself that she had enjoyed the evening with Allison and Naomi. At first, she’d felt overwhelmed with embarrassment but the women had been so . . . complimentary. They treated her like she was the most beautiful girl in the world. After spending most of her life as the gangly, flat-chested girl with thick glasses and buck teeth, Betsy was still getting used to being considered even moderately attractive. This experience had been . . . intoxicating.
And then Betsy realized she had the solution to her problem. She could tell Kate that YES, she was a “nudist” — but not the kind of nudist who goes naked in front of pizza delivery boys. She only wanted to go nude around Kate and their close female friends. It might be a little more limited than whatever Kate had assumed, but at least Betsy could claim she was SOME kind of nudist. Betsy pictured herself hosting elegant dinner parties while nude, and all the guests were women. She would be the center of attention. She would not be the boring, mousy, insecure Betsy that she had always been. She could pretend to be — and in so doing perhaps even become a new Betsy — the uninhibited, carefree, self-confident girl that Kate was looking for.
Most of Betsy’s clothing was still at her old apartment, though she never slept there anymore. She was careful what articles of clothing she brought over to Kate’s. For one thing, Kate had only allotted Betsy the use of one drawer and a hook behind the bedroom door. Kate was not shy about expressing her opinion about pretty much everything, including what Betsy wore when they went out. Betsy had learned to wear the kind of outfits Kate liked — skin-tight leggings that showed the exact shape of her butt, or skimpy sundresses without a bra or panties.
Betsy wished she could still wear panties sometimes, especially on breezy days, but she decided she liked dressing scantily. It made her feel sexy and confident. It was flattering to know that nearly every man (and a lot of the women) watched her go by. Their eyes told the story. They thought Betsy was . . . hot. Betsy had never even aspired to be hot. She had only wanted to look sufficiently normal to be lost in the crowd.
One day while Kate was at work, Betsy went to her own apartment and took almost everything she owned to Goodwill — making several trips in her little VW bug. The tiny studio apartment came with a fold-down bed and shelves in the closet so Betsy had no furniture of her own except little tables and a wicker chair. All of it went to Goodwill.
On her bed, Betsy performed triage on her outfits — a mousy pile and a hot pile. The mousy pile was much larger — and she took it all to Goodwill. She took back to Kate’s apartment only her skimpiest, hot-girlfriend clothing — which fit comfortably in her small drawer.
Betsy wanted them to be officially “living together,” but she was afraid to do more than hint at it. She knew Kate was fastidious and hated clutter, and Betsy wanted to somehow let Kate know that Betsy wouldn’t be a burden. She would bring with her only what would fit in whatever small space Kate wanted to give her — even if it was only the one drawer for the time being. Next, they might get a house together and there would be more room.
She imagined herself suggesting it breezily — that it was just, well, silly to pay rent when she didn’t sleep there anymore . . . since they were, you know, in a relationship now. In the same conversation, Betsy decided, she could bring up her . . . nudism . . . and also have that important conversation that they needed to have. Betsy would say that she loved going nude around girlfriends, but not pizza delivery boys. Betsy wanted Kate to want her. If Betsy could be a hot girl who was comfortable wearing skimpy clothes in public and going naked at home, maybe Kate would make that next-level commitment of having them officially living together.
“It was nice meeting your friends the other day,” Betsy ventured as they sat on the couch sharing a slab of chocolate cake with two forks. “I’d love to see them again sometime.”
Kate set the plate aside and pulled Betsy closer, putting one arm around her bare shoulders and a hand on her thigh. “You loved being naked in front of them, didn’t you, babe?” she said as her fingers began worming their way between Betsy’s crossed legs.
“Of course I did,” Betsy said with practiced casualness. As she did so, she obediently uncrossed her legs to let Kate’s persistent fingers go where they wanted. “You see, I’m the kind of nudist who likes to be . . . naked . . . around close female friends, but–” Here, Betsy was interrupted as Kate began kissing her. When the kiss ended, Betsy still could not speak because Kate stuffed a giant bite of chocolate cake in her mouth. It was so much she could barely close her mouth without chocolate icing squirting from between her lips. Kate caught the oozing icing with her own lips and plunged her tongue into Betsy’s mouth — as her fingers went to work between Betsy’s legs.
“What were you saying,” Kate asked after a long chocolate kiss, “about being naked . . . in front of people?”
“In front of people,” Betsy heard herself repeating. She had been in this situation many times before — Kate getting her to talk when she was so close to an orgasm. She tried to remember what she wanted to say. “No pizza delivery boy,” she managed to get out. “I don’t want to go . . . naked . . . in front of the delivery boy.”
“Oh, I know,” Kate whispered, as she caressed Betsy’s clitoris, “because you want to go to the restaurant naked, right? No delivery boy required.”
“In the restaurant??” Betsy panted, surprised but also electrified by the idea. At once, the image of herself going to a restaurant naked appeared in her mind in exquisite detail. “In the restaurant . . . yes . . . I’d be in the restaurant naked.”
“You want to go everywhere naked, don’t you?”
“Yes, Kate. Everywhere.”
“You want to go naked all the time.”
“All the time. All the time. All the time!”
That’s the closest she got that time. Several more days passed and Betsy made no more progress. Every time she started a conversation about her nudity it ended the same way. And then one day Kate came home with a dozen roses and a serious look on her face. “Did someone give those to you at work?” Betsy asked, still too insecure to presume they might be for her.
“No, dingaling,” Kate said as she wrapped her long arm around Betsy and brought her fingers up from behind to land with precision in the most optimum location. “They’re for YOU, of course.”
“Goodness. What’s the occasion?” Betsy asked, puzzled. After all, it was Betsy who kept track of all their little anniversaries, not Kate. They had, for example, just passed the three-month anniversary of the first time they’d gone to a movie together.
“I don’t need a reason,” Kate whispered into Betsy’s ear and then closed her lips around Betsy’s ear lobe as her finger traced the smooth slit of Betsy’s outer labia The embrace lasted 10 seconds or so, Kate’s fingers busy all the while, but then she abruptly released Betsy and casually stepped over to the liquor cabinet where she poured herself half a glass of Glenlivet. “You’d better put those in water before they wilt,” she said over her shoulder.
“Thank you so much for the flowers,” Betsy said as a tear of joy ran down her cheek. This was the first time Kate had brought Betsy flowers for no reason — another anniversary she could start counting. Happily, she filled a vase with water and began trimming the stems. Kate downed most of her drink and came up behind Betsy, reaching around to caress her breasts as Betsy did her best to continue her task. As soon as the 12th flower was in the water-filled vase Kate turned Betsy around and danced her backwards to the dining room table. In a series of efficiently executed maneuvers, Kate quickly had Betsy on her back across the table — her legs pushed wide apart. Sitting down at one of the dining room chairs, Kate lifted Betsy’s legs one at a time to rest them on her shoulders and brought Betsy to climax 16 seconds later. The second orgasm took a little longer.
“What’s for dinner?” Kate said afterwards, slipping out from between Betsy’s limp legs and swallowing in a gulp the rest of her drink. “Something smells great. Besides you, I mean.”
Utterly spent and wobbly on her feet, Betsy tried to remember what she was supposed to be doing. Rediscovering the stove, she went on with her work. Dinner was almost ready.
“Actually, I did have a reason for bringing you flowers,” Kate said a few minutes later after they had sat down to eat. Betsy’s heart fluttered as she imagined Kate producing a ring. “When we first met,” Kate went on, “I really wasn’t planning on getting involved with anyone. I knew I’d only be living here for a few months, so it wasn’t an optimal time to start a relationship.”
An alarm went off in Betsy’s head. Wait. Was this a proposal or a break-up?
“But now I’ve finished my MBA,” Kate went on, “and have been considering several job offers — any one of which will take me far away from Kentfield.”
Betsy stopped breathing. The pounding of her heart seemed to fill the room so that she barely heard it when Kate said, “and I want you to come with me.”
“What? You do? Really?” Betsy cried, tears welling in her eyes and spilling out in synchronous streams down her cheeks.
“That wasn’t exactly an answer, babe,” Kate laughed. “So I’ll ask again. Will you come with me, and live with me? Maybe we could get one of those little houses you’ve talked about.”
“Yes! Oh Kate yes! Oh God yes!”
“I haven’t even told you where we’d be moving.”
“I don’t care, Kate. I just want to be with you.”
“Then to our new life together,” Kate said, clinking their glasses. Betsy was too emotional to speak, her tears flowing.
“I’ve had more than one offer, of course,” Kate was saying. “The one I’m most seriously considering is in a certain part of the country I have a hunch you might find attractive — Huron.”
“Oh, I would love that!” Betsy said, finding her voice again. The Province of Huron was among the most beautiful parts of the Commonwealth — bounded on one side by the ocean and the other by Grand Lake, the largest freshwater lake on the continent. To the north were snow-capped mountains where Betsy and her family had gone skiing the past few Solstice seasons.
“I was pretty sure you would!” Kate laughed, She whipped out her phone, jabbed her thumbs at it for several seconds and then put it down. “Okay, I just formally accepted the job,” she said. “I start Monday.”
“Oh my goodness,” Betsy exclaimed. “How will we find a place to stay so quickly?”
“Got it covered,” Kate said, picking up her phone again. “Here, I’m forwarding you an email from Lauren Jeffreys. She’s a real estate agent on retainer with my new company. They specialize in homes ready to move in. We start out leasing and buy if we want.”
“Wow,” so what can I do to help?”
“Pack up all your shit for one thing.”
Betsy smiled. “Got that covered.”
“Good girl. So work with Lauren and pick out a house for us, babe. Show me three you like by tomorrow night, we’ll pick one together and Lauren will make it happen and we can move in within a couple of days. ”
The next morning, Betsy woke up and smiled at the ceiling, saying a prayer of gratitude that it hadn’t all just been a dream. Kate was showered, dressed and out the door in a whirl of efficient steps culminating with a deep kiss and a briefly probing finger. Happy beyond hope, Betsy floated to the dining table where she opened her laptop and saw she already had three emails from Lauren. Each linked to photos and video of available homes. The scent of the roses filled Betsy with happiness each breath she took. It was actually happening! She and Kate were going to officially move in together! Betsy spend most of the day at her mission and that evening she showed Kate her three favorites.
“I like that one,” Kate said, pointing to the blue house with the picket fence. Betsy would have preferred the yellow house with the rose trellis, but she didn’t say so.
“I like it too,” she said, which was true enough. It didn’t matter which house it was. Betsy’s heart was full.
The next several days were a frenzy as they prepared for the big move. The night before moving day, they went out for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Betsy wore the dress she knew was Kate’s favorite. It was very short with a plunging neckline, but after being nude constantly in the apartment Betsy was glad to be wearing anything.
Kate was already noticeably drunk and seemed annoyed.
“I’m surprised that you haven’t talked more about what moving to Huron means to you,” she finally said.
“I’m really happy,” Betsy insisted. “It’s a beautiful part of the country and I can finish my degree at Avery College. And Kingsley seems like a vibrant city with–”
“Oh, don’t be coy!” Kate interrupted, irritation suddenly present in her voice. “Being a nudist you must be aware that Huron is the most nudist-friendly province in the commonwealth. That’s why I chose it — for you. I had better offers elsewhere. I expected you to be more appreciative about this.”
“Oh . . . oh, I AM, Kate, I really am,” Betsy blurted reflexively. “It’s wonderful. It’s just that I . . . that I was so happy about what this job meant for you that guess I . . .”
“Oh you are so sweet!” Kate exclaimed, instantly transformed again. “This is one of the reasons I love you so much. You were so busy thinking about me you didn’t notice that this was good news for you as well. I’ve heard that nudists can go anywhere they like completely naked. You won’t have to own any clothing at all! Sweetheart, you’ve said so many times that this was your dream, and I just wanted to make it come true for you!”
Betsy was awash with panic and had no idea how to respond. Fortunately it was just at that time that the waiter came with their meals and made a big production out of grinding pepper and Parmesan cheese and refilling their glasses so she had several minutes to take it all in. Betsy knew this was impossible. Her foolish attempt to fake her way into Kate’s heart had become a disaster. Now it would all come tumbling down on her. She opened her mouth, intending to confess, but all that came out was “I love you, Kate,” and then her throat closed as she began to cry.
Kate took her hands, mistaking the reason for Betsy’s tears. “I love you too,” she said. “I’m so glad to have the chance to do this for you.”
After a moment, Betsy managed to compose herself. “Kate,” she began timidly, “I hope you didn’t take this job primarily for my benefit.”
“What if I did?”
“Well . . . you shouldn’t. You should do what is best for your career.”
“This is a pretty good move for me, dear,” Kate said. “Not exactly the same move I’d have made otherwise, but still pretty good. And making you happy is worth a lot to me.”
Keeping a smile on her face, Betsy said in what she hoped was a teasing way, “would you still love me if I wasn’t a nudist?”
“What kind of question is that?” Kate was still smiling, dismissing it as a joke.
“Well, I just wonder sometimes. I know you really like it that I’m a nudist, but you know, I need to be sure you love me just as me.”
“Of course I do,” Kate said. “But that’s so much a part of you, it’s hard to separate it.”
“But what if — just hypothetically — what if I decided one day that I didn’t want to be a nudist anymore? Would you still love me?”
Kate wasn’t smiling anymore, but she didn’t seem mad; just serious. “Honey, I don’t think it’s good for a relationship to play these ‘what if’ games, but I’ll answer this one. Yes, I’d still love you–”
Betsy exhaled with relief, but tried to hide how important this was.
“–but I’m not sure our relationship would survive.”
“But . . . but if you still loved me . . .”
“It would be one of those tragic situations where someone changes drastically. Love isn’t always enough if people become incompatible. What if I decided I wanted a sex reassignment surgery to become a man? Would our relationship survive?”
“Well I . . . I don’t know. Gosh, you’re not thinking of doing that are you?”
Kate laughed loudly so that other diners looked over to see what the joke was. “No, sweetie, I assure you I am not. Now, you give me some assurance in return. You wouldn’t stop being a nudist would you?”
This was the moment when she needed to speak out — needed to explain that she was not that kind of a nudist. But she had waited too long. Kate had turned down better job offers elsewhere.
She heard herself saying, “No, I was . . . just being hypothetical.” She needed time. She should wait, Betsy told herself. She needed to get on her phone and research nudity laws in Huron to be sure.
“Well that’s a relief for both of us,” Kate said, digging into her steak. “I’m looking forward to being part of the team at Peabody & Strunk. They are ahead of the curve on technology, and I’ve got some ideas that will take advantage of that. For example . . .”
Betsy did her best to follow what Kate was explaining as she felt around in her purse for her phone — thinking she could run off to the bathroom and look up Huron’s nudity laws. Her phone wasn’t there and Betsy remembered she’d left it on the table next to her laptop.
Back at Kate’s apartment, Betsy quickly undressed on the mat and then made a casual bee line to her phone, but Kate intercepted her. Kate’s hand was quickly between Betsy’s legs as she began kissing Betsy’s neck.
“After we move,” Kate said between kisses, “you’ll finally be able . . . to go naked . . . everywhere . . . I know . . . how much . . . you want that.”
No, Betsy did not want that. Pushing away from Kate, Betsy took a step backwards to put space between them, but now her bare bottom was against the table. Kate, who had consumed two scotches before dinner and three glasses of wine during it, stumbled forward and started to push Betsy down onto the table, but in doing so she knocked over the vase of flowers, spilling water and roses onto Betsy’s phone and laptop.
Betsy was frozen in horror, but Kate leaped to action. Flipping over the laptop, she yanked out its battery and opened it upside down to let the water drain from the keyboard.
“Don’t just stand there,” she commanded. “Dry off your phone and put it in a bag of rice!” Startled from her trance, Betsy did as she was instructed.
“They’ll probably be okay, babe,” Kate said afterwards as she mopped up the remains of the water,” but we need to give them both at least 24 hours before trying to turn them on. Power them up too soon and you’ll fry them for sure.”
Twenty four hours? They’d be in Huron by then. Betsy tried to clear her head. She had to say something.
“Kate,” she whispered. “I . . . I . . .”
Just then Kate’s phone rang and she whipped it out of her back pocket.
“Lauren!” she said, laughing. “No, you won’t reach Betsy on her own phone tonight. She just had a little accident involving water and a bag of rice. But she’s right here.” Kate handed her phone to Betsy, who took it gingerly — always careful how she handled Kate’s possessions.
“Hi Lauren,” Betsy squeaked as Kate left the room to go to the bathroom.
“I wanted to reach out to you before your move,” Lauren said, “to make sure things go okay regarding your nudity.”
“Um, you know about that?”
“Kate told me you’re a nudist, so I wanted to warn that Huron’s nudity laws aren’t as liberal as you may have heard.”
“They’re not?” Betsy asked hopefully.
“Although we do have progressive laws protecting alternative lifestyles, they are not as freewheeling as some people assume based on what they see in the press. People in other provinces read about us in the paper and come to all kinds of ridiculous assumptions. Then tourists come and think they can disrobe, run about naked and get dressed again just like that!”
Betsy nearly fainted with relief.
“So I’m sending you a link to the Huron Nudists Association FAQ. Please read it carefully. I wouldn’t want one of my clients getting in trouble.”
“Oh, I’m so glad you called,” Betsy said, relaxing. “ Kate thought that—”
“Sorry Betsy, I’ve got another call I have to take,” Lauren interrupted. “I’m also sending you a link to the Nudist Registration form if you want to do that before coming up here.”
“It’s all explained in the FAQ. Bye now.”
The line went dead, but Betsy saw the two links. She went to the Huron Nudists Association site and started reading the FAQ.
“Is it true anyone can go naked anywhere in Huron?” was the first question.
“Absolutely not,” was the answer. “In many respects, Huron’s nudity laws are similar to those elsewhere. Generally speaking, nudity is only permitted at designated beaches and parks. It is prohibited elsewhere.”
Betsy heard the toilet flush and then Kate was strolling back in the room. Betsy handed back the phone and tried to sound casual. “Lauren said something about a nudist registration form.”
“Oooh, that’s something we’d better take care of right away,” Kate said, looking at the phone. She clicked open the form and held the phone out. “Just sign here and you’ll be a registered nudist in Huron”. She handed the phone back to Betsy.
Betsy saw the signature form and wanted to scroll up to make sure she knew what she was signing, but she didn’t want to seem reluctant in Kate’s eyes. What Lauren said gave her courage and she casually signed the form with her finger and handed the phone back to Kate. “I think I’ll have a glass of wine,” Betsy said, sauntering off. She had done it — passed another test. Huron evidently had protected areas for nudists, but after what she’d been through already Betsy figured she could handle nudist beaches and parks. After all, other people would be naked there too so she wouldn’t stand out. Maybe the part about registering was to gain access to those protected spaces.
Betsy was a little uneasy as they went to bed for the last time in Kate’s apartment. The important thing was that Kate was clearly wrong about what she said about nudists going naked everywhere in Huron. Lauren would know because she actually lived there, Betsy reminded herself. And apparently this is a common misunderstanding, which is why Lauren made the call in the first place.
Kate was already snoring — she tended to fall asleep quickly after consuming several drinks in the course of an evening. Betsy stared at the ceiling and allowed herself to relax. The really important thing was that Kate loved her — and they were moving in together! In a little blue house with a picket fence! That was Betsy’s dream. If she had to go naked around the house, that was fine. They could still discuss what kind of guests she’d be comfortable going naked in front of — Betsy had warmed to that idea as long as it was just women. And if there were certain semi-public places that nudists frequented, well, that might be something she could do. She would not be the only one.
In the morning, she awoke feeling joyful. It was moving day, and they were starting a new life together! When she heard the truck pull up in front of their building, Betsy casually went to the little rug by the door and slipped on her dress. “I’m going to say my goodbyes to everyone,” she called out. Betsy wanted to avoid having to be nude in front of the movers and had concocted several errands she needed to run. In truth, the closest friends Betsy had in school were already gone. They had graduated and moved on with their lives. But she still had a few casual acquaintances here and there and she decided she could use up the morning visiting them. Without her phone, she could not check in so she drove past periodically to see how things were progressing.
What she really wanted was access to a computer or phone or tablet she could use to read the rest of that nudist association website, but she remembered it had a big picture of naked people on the homepage with penises and everything. That meant she couldn’t just sit down at the campus library and call it up in front of everyone.
Betsy had not made any actual plans with her remaining acquaintances, and just dropped by the places where she normally saw them, but her timing was bad and she only connected with one acquaintance who worked at the library. But she was busy at her job and they only had time for a quick hug.
Not having her phone also meant Betsy had to keep driving by Kate’s building to see how close the movers were to finishing. Her VW bug was to be hitched to the truck so she and Kate could drive together in Kate’s car. On her third round of reconnaissance, Betsy saw that the time was right. She pulled up behind the truck and waited outside until she was sure the movers were not going back inside. As her beloved convertible was attached to the moving truck, Betsy scampered into the empty apartment and whipped off her dress.
“Hey, Babe,” Kate called from the bedroom. Betsy stepped into the room to find Kate putting a final strip of packing tape onto a cardboard box labelled “Goodwill.”
“What’s that?” Betsy asked.
“The rest of your clothes, of course,” Kate. “ You won’t be needing them anymore.”
“Well, uh, I might . . . need something . . . now and then,” Betsy stammered. “And those were outfits you said you liked.”
“I kept a few of your things,” Kate said, gesturing at a much smaller box labeled “Betsy’s outfits.” That was promising.
It took them another couple of hours to get the apartment exactly as Kate wanted it. There were just a few things left in the apartment for them to take in the car with them — houseplants, Kate’s laptop and the food in the refrigerator.
Betsy gratefully slipped on her dress and helped Kate carry these items down to Kate’s car. It was a warm day and Kate opened the sunroof as they drove away.
They had been driving for more than three hours and had just stopped for gas and to go to the restroom and then they were on the road again. Betsy was happy. She and Kate were moving together to a little blue house with a picket fence. It was like being married, which Betsy hoped would come next.
“I like it when you smile like that,” Kate said as she drove. “You’re really looking forward to this, aren’t you?”
“Of course I am,” Betsy said with sincerity.
Kate’s hand was on Betsy’s bare thigh just below the short hem of her dress. “You won’t be needing that much longer,” she said, sliding her hand under the dress until her fingers were caressing Betsy’s pussy.
“Well you never know,” Betsy shrugged. “It might come in handy once in a while.”
Betsy felt Kate’s finger slip inside of her and slide up and out, across her clitoris. It made her shiver. “You’re going to wreck the car,” she said in a whisper as she closed her eyes.
“I’m good at multi-tasking,” Kate replied, and her finger continued to dip inside for wetness, slide upwards to dance a moment on Betsy’s clitoris and then down it plunged again. Betsy leaned back in the seat, feeling the orgasm building.
But then Kate’s hand stopped and she said, “look, honey, we’re only half a mile from the border. Take off your dress.”
“So you can cross the border nude of course. Hurry, we’re almost there.”
Kate’s tone did not leave any options. Betsy knew from experience that Kate was only seconds away from becoming angry. Betsy arched her back to pull the dress up past her hips and around her waist. She sat back down again, her bare bottom on the car seat and then she pulled the dress over her head and handed it over to Kate. Just before they passed the “Welcome to Huron” sign, Kate tossed the dress up through the sunroof and it disappeared behind them.
“Omigod, Kate!” Betsy blurted. “You can’t do that.”
“I know it’s littering,” Kate said, laughing. “But it’s cotton and therefore biodegradable. You don’t need dresses anymore, my love. Now you can be nude all the time like you want to.”
Betsy didn’t know what to do, so for a minute or two she smiled and laughed along with Kate and pretended this was what she wanted more than anything.
But then she acted as though a thought just occurred to her. “Kate,” she said. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to be nude anywhere. I was just remembering something Lauren said on the phone. She said Huron’s nudity laws aren’t as liberal as people think and that tourists come and think they can strip down whenever they want but that they can’t.”
Kate was silent for a moment and Betsy worried that she’d be angry because Betsy obviously knew this and didn’t tell her.
“Oh Betsy,” Kate said shaking her head. “I didn’t realize what’s been going on in your head.”
“Kate, I’m sorry but I–”
Kate pulled off the highway and now they were in the city. “Betsy you poor thing. You’ve been worrying that your dream wouldn’t come true; that you wouldn’t be free even in Huron.”
“Um, well yes,” Betsy said, feeling conspicuous as Kate stopped at a red light. “I, um, had my hopes up at first, but when Lauren said that I thought, well, she lives there. She’d probably know the truth.”
“I think you misunderstood her.”
“But she said–”
“I guess you didn’t have a chance to read that Huron Nudists FAQ. Here, I have it bookmarked.” Kate handed Betsy her phone, opened to the page. “I skimmed over it and I think this explains it pretty well. Oh, here’s our turn.”
Betsy was distracted by the fact that she was naked and had no clothing in the car. She put her attention on the screen of Kate’s phone, cupping one hand around it to shade it from the sun.
On the screen was the same Q&A she’d started to read online that morning. Again she read the first question about whether it was legal for anyone to go nude in Huron. “No,” the answer said. “in most respects the province of Huron has similar laws against public nudity as in other provinces.” But then Betsy read the part she had not seen in her haste earlier. “Except for registered nudists, whose right to be naked in all circumstances and all locations is protected.”
Betsy’s heart raced as she read the sentence a second time hoping she had misread it. The next question was “do nudists ever wear clothing?” The answer was: “Yes, there are many kinds of nudists and some nudists only go naked in their homes or at designated nude beaches.” YES, Betsy thought, that’s the type I am. “However,” the answer went on, “the court ruling establishing nudist rights in Huron involved an advocate of “fulltime nudism” in which the individual never wears clothing except for protection from the most extreme weather and other very dangerous physical conditions. It was specifically because “fulltime nudists” never wear clothing that the court ruled the way it did. But this meant that part-time nudists were not covered under the ruling. Only those who were committed to constant and complete nudity were covered by the ruling.
The next question was, “if I register as a nudist, does that mean I have to be nude always?”
The answer was, “yes, because the ruling only applies to full-time nudists. If you are not willing to be nude every minute of every day, then do not register, even if you consider yourself a nudist. If you have already registered but do not feel you can go nude in all circumstances, then you must remove your name from the registration and cease going nude in public at all. Under the current law, there is no middle ground.”
“Honey, this is our neighborhood,” Kate said, startling Betsy from her concentration. She looked out the car window at the quaint residential neighborhood. The houses were beautiful, but she felt ill and confused. And there now in front of her was a blue house with a white picket fence in front of it.
At least the moving truck was already gone so she would not have to expose herself to the moving men. But now what? Kate pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. Reluctantly Betsy followed after glancing around to be sure no one was near. It was a beautiful little house and normally she would have wanted to walk all around it, seeing it from different angles. But now she only wanted to get inside as quickly as possible and she stood nervously on the front porch as Kate seemed to take forever entering the keypad code to get the actual key out of the little metal box attached to the doorknob.
Inside, boxes were everywhere, though at least they were all in the correct rooms because of Kate’s meticulous labeling. The house was as charming on the inside as it was from the street and Betsy felt a rush of joy that momentarily pushed aside her dread and fear. This was home.
But now it was evening and the women had only snacked for lunch.
“Why don’t we go out to dinner?” Kate suggested.
“No!” Betsy exclaimed. “I mean . . . there’s way too much work to do. You . . . why don’t you run out and get take-out food and I’ll get started cleaning the bathroom — so you’ll be able to get ready for work tomorrow?”
“Hmmm, that does make sense. I’ll get us some wine too.”
When Kate was out the door, Betsy fell on the couch and cried uncontrollably. How had she gotten herself into such a situation? What was she to do? She couldn’t imagine actually going nude constantly in every public situation — that was just out of the question — and yet apparently she was expected to do so, not just by Kate but by the Province of Huron itself. She would have to tell Kate the truth and accept whatever may come.
After a few minutes of self-pity, Betsy pulled herself together. She walked around the house looking at all of their possessions mixed together in boxes in the beautiful little house. How could she walk away from this? Kate loved her; they were moving in together; they had a beautiful little house. No, she would not tell Kate. Not tonight. She couldn’t bear seeing Kate’s face as she heard the horrible confession of lies upon lies. Anything was better than that. Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would have the energy to come up with a solution.
Betsy found the cleaning supplies and got to work on the bathroom. She was on her hands and knees scouring the tub when Kate walked in with bags of Chinese food.
The dining room table was not assembled yet so they sat on the sofa and ate from take-out boxes.
Kate looked at her with concern. “You’re eyes are all red, honey. Have you been crying.”
“A little,” Betsy admitted. “I just . . . really love this house and I feel so lucky that you love me and–” Now she was crying again, her throat closed, as Kate put her dinner aside and held her and kissed away her tears. Betsy felt better and refused to think about the negative.
When they finished eating, Kate and Betsy put their bed together and found their linens. They were both exhausted when they climbed in bed but they were not too tired to make love. And for the first time in several days Kate was in the mood to have an orgasm of her own. Betsy happily climbed between Kate’s legs and kissed her to climax. It took a while, but Betsy didn’t mind. She loved the intimacy of oral sex and her heart filled with joy as she watched Kate’s face from below as Kate let down her guard and allowed the orgasm to wash through her. And then they slept.
In the morning while Kate was in the shower, Betsy made coffee, but there was nothing for breakfast.
“That’s okay,” Kate said. “I’ll grab a bite downtown and you can go to the grocery today and stock up. Oh, and it’s been more than 24 hours since your phone and laptop got wet. Cross you fingers and try them out.” And with that, she kissed Betsy and dashed out the door.
Go to the grocery. It sounded so simple, but how could she possibly do that naked? She had put off thinking about the inevitable, but now she would have to face it. She was naked and had no clothing and was expected to– but wait. The box. She suddenly remembered the little box labeled “Betsy’s outfits.” Taking a sharp knife from the kitchen, Betsy unearthed the box from a stack in the bedroom and slit it open hopefully. After all, there had to be something in it. And there was — shoes, hats and her jewelry box. Those were the only “outfits” Betsy had left.
But Kate had clothes, lots of them. Very carefully Betsy opened the closet and looked at them. Gently, she caressed a maroon silk blouse that she had never once seen Kate wear. And there was box after box of Kate’s other things — shorts, jeans, tshirts all neatly folded and packed just so. But Betsy didn’t dare open the boxes. Kate would know. Even if Betsy took something from the closet and later hung it back exactly where she found it, Kate would know. She was obsessive about order. Everything had to be in exactly the right place, positioned just so, and if anything was out of order in the slightest she would notice. Betsy had learned this the hard way. It would be bad enough to disturb one of Kate’s possessions, but if Kate caught Betsy wearing her clothes it would be an act of betrayal and the end of everything. It was just too risky.
Betsy knew that she had to talk to Kate face to face, and should have done so already, but she again put the thought out of her mind. She had plenty of work to do in their new house. The grocery shopping could wait a while anyway. So for the next few hours Betsy cleaned and unpacked and made mental notes of decorating ideas she wanted to try — though all of those would require trips to the hardware store for supplies. She got out her damaged laptop and phone and turned them both on. Her phone started up normally but the laptop remained black.
Betsy sat on the floor and searched her phone for anything she could find on nudism in Huron. She read news articles about the court case and saw photos of naked people celebrating, but they were all down South. She tried searching for “registered nudists in Kingsley” but found nothing.
Lunchtime came and Betsy had still not eaten breakfast. She was hungry. She stood at the doorway and imagined herself walking out to her car and driving to the grocery. She even knew where one was; they’d passed a Kroger’s on the way into town.
But she had to shower first, of course. She took her time at this, washing and conditioning her hair and carefully washing her body. Then, after she toweled dry she had to put on her body lotion and dry her hair. All of this took time, of course, but longer somehow than usual.
And now it was 2 p.m. and there was nothing else to do but go to the grocery. She made it as far as the front porch, but darted back inside the door when she heard a car coming down the street. Then somehow it was 3:00 and Betsy was starving. Worse, she had only two hours or so before Kate came home. What had she done with the day?
Betsy knew what she had to do. If she couldn’t admit to Kate that she had lied to her repeatedly about being a nudist, then she had to “try out” nudism for a day or two so she could say she had changed her mind. And yet, that would just be another lie.
But at this moment, there simply was no other choice. She stepped out on the porch and closed the door and locked it. “I am a nudist,” she said out loud in a quavering voice. Naked except for sandals, her watch, a few rings and makeup, Betsy carried her purse primly to her car and got in. It was a nice day, but she did not put down the top.
As she drove, Betsy watched all of the people she saw walking along the streets or getting in and out of their cars, coming in and out of shop doorways. None of them were nude. When she arrived at the grocery store she she sat for a long time in the parking lot watching people go in and out, all fully clothed.
She looked at her watch. It was 4 p.m. and she really could not wait any longer. And so she tentatively got out of her car. No one happened to be around to see her but she knew that would change at any moment. She made her feet take her to the entrance, but it seemed to go in slow motion and with every step she looked around fearfully like a deer prepared to run from danger.
Betsy knew, of course, that she was not in any actual physical danger. Like other women of her era, she grew up with the security of knowing that the ancient crime of rape had long ago been eradicated. Intellectually, she also knew that she would not be arrested for indecent exposure, though she did not yet fully trust what she had been told on that subject. But what Betsy most feared was the unpredictable reaction of those who were about to see her. Maybe their expressions would tell her she was not attractive enough and they found it unpleasant to have to look at her nakedness. Or that they thought she must be slutty to want to expose herself to them. And beyond all of that, there was her own natural sense of modesty. She had never even been comfortable with locker room nudity and now look at what she was about to do.
As she approached the store, Betsy gasped as she saw her own reflection in the glass doors of the entrance, her pale naked body glowing in the sunlight, and she was startled when the doors suddenly whooshed open. Betsy had to walk past a security guard and a store manager who happened to be talking together just inside the store. They both stared at her for a moment and she briefly met their gaze before looking away. She took her time selecting a shopping cart and putting her purse into the basket. Out of the corner of her eye, Betsy was aware that the security guard was now walking towards her. She waited.
“Pardon me, Miss,” he said politely. “Could I please check your Citizen ID?”
Half-expecting and more than half-hoping he would tell her she was violating the law or store policy or anything else, Betsy fumbled in her purse for her wallet and showed him the ID card. With his electronic tablet, he scanned her card with a beep. He handed her card back as he watched the small screen.
“Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Andrews,” he said. “I just had to check to make sure you were registered, which of course you are. You have a nice day now.” And with that, he turned and walked away.
Betsy began pushing her cart through the store, holding her breath each time another shopper noticed her, and exhaling with relief when the person did not react with disgust. Quite the opposite, most people smiled at her with delight or, at worst, stood mouth agape in shock. Although no one reacted in a negative way, she could tell by their expressions that while it may be legal to do so, grocery shopping nude was not as common as Kate had characterized it to be. She wondered where all the other “official registered nudists” were. Didn’t they need to shop?
Betsy only made fleeting eye contact and then looked down, but looking down meant looking at her own nakedness so illuminated in the fluorescent lights. Feeling almost dizzy with embarrassment, she quickly filled up the top basket of her cart and kept her body close to it trying to hide her glaringly hairless pussy.
The clanging alarm bells in her head began to subside about halfway through, and she took comfort from the positive reaction she was getting from those around her. They were being so nice about it. See, she told herself, people stare at me but no one’s upset. I just need to get through this. She tried imagining she was fully clothed, but could not help looking at herself in any reflective surface. In the frozen food aisle, she shuddered each time she opened a door and felt the burst of cold air.
At the checkout, there was one pimply-faced teenage boy running the cash register and another bagging her groceries. They both did their best to banter with her but mostly they grinned and stared. Betsy had to tell the bagger twice that no she really didn’t need any assistance getting the groceries to her car.
When she was finally home again Betsy wanted to throw herself in bed and cry . . . or maybe masturbate (she had oddly conflicting impulses). But there was no time for either. She unloaded all of the groceries and then began making dinner. When Kate came home at 5:30, Betsy was ready. She’d made progress on unpacking and had a nice chef salad with salmon ready.
“Well, you’ve been busy,” Kate said as she looked around the house. “And I see you went to the grocery store. How was that?”
“Well, it was kind of chilly in the frozen food aisle,” Betsy said as she set the table.
Kate laughed and came up behind her, kissing the back of her neck and wrapping her arms around her. “Was it sexy? Did you enjoy having everyone look at you?”
Betsy knew this was the time to say something — that it had been uncomfortable and she was having second thoughts about being a full-time nudist — but by this point Kate’s fingers were busy between her legs. “Everyone did stare at me,” she said, no longer sure how she felt about it. “I felt so conspicuous . . . so very very naked.”
“And you liked that, didn’t you my little nudist?” Kate whispered in her ear as she quickened her movements. Betsy lifted her arms and reached behind to hold Kate’s head against her neck.
“Yessss,” Betsy moaned, now nearing climax, “I did like it, Kate. I liked it a lot. And everyone liked looking at me. I felt so pretty. And a security guard stopped me . . . and he looked at my ID and . . . saw that I am a registered nudist . . . and he said . . . he told me to . . . to . . . have a nice DAY!”
Although Betsy had experienced some spectacular orgasms in her short time with Kate, this one surpassed them all. In that moment it was as if grocery shopping nude had been her greatest erotic desire, finally fulfilled. Afterwards, she slumped back against Kate’s solidness for a long time, her eyes closed, her breathing heavy and her skin damp with sudden perspiration. And then she collected herself and found her feet. She turned around to see Kate face to face.
Kate was smiling down at her. “You’re my perfect girl,” she whispered.
“Oh Kate!” Betsy cried, tears suddenly in her eyes. “All I want is to make you happy!”
After some while, Kate and Betsy finally sat down to eat. Kate did most of the talking, about her first day in her new job. Betsy tried to concentrate on paying close attention because she had learned from experience that Kate would be irritated if Betsy forgot some detail had Kate told her. But part of her mind was churning over the insane sequence of events the past 24 hours. She had to tell Kate there had been a misunderstanding, but she was also confused. She remembered how embarrassed she had been at the grocery store, and yet she had felt something different when relating the experience to Kate. It was almost surreal, as if the same events had happened twice to two very different people.
“Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you,” Kate asked, and the fact that it was a question startled Betsy back to attention.
“Um,” she said as her brain scrambled to retrieve the memory of the conversation. But it was there. Betsy had been paying enough attention to recall Kate’s long description of how her office at work had been missing several resources she considered basic. “After all, you said they weren’t very well organized. I guess that’s why they need you.”
“Well they certainly need more discipline,” Kate went on. “You wouldn’t believe how sloppy their accounts payable department is. Here’s an interesting example.”
Betsy did not find the example particularly interesting, nor did she quite understand Kate’s point about accounting, but she listened attentively and sipped her wine.
The next day, after Kate left for work, Betsy gave herself a good talking to and decided she needed to tell Kate the truth that night at dinner. But in the meantime, she kept herself busy cleaning and unpacking and avoided going anywhere. But that evening, Kate seemed disappointed that Betsy had no new experiences to tell and Betsy was conflicted over whether to confess or try harder to make Kate happy, to be the girl Kate wanted.
“You shouldn’t spend all your time working on the house, honey. You need to get out and explore. Go out and buy yourself a new laptop with that card I gave you. I don’t care what it costs.”
“I will,” Betsy promised. “I just wanted to get us settled in first. I know you like things to be neat and orderly.”
“Oh, I don’t expect that instantly, sweetheart. It’ll get done.”
As they went to bed, Betsy resolved to go on at least one errand the next day so she’d have something to say to Kate in the evening. But the next morning she again found herself busy working on the house and when Kate called at lunchtime she still had not been out.
“I plan to go to the . . . the hardware store this afternoon,” Betsy offered. “I want to get some paint swatches for the living room.” She winced as she said this into the phone, knowing it wasn’t good enough.
“Tell you what ,” Kate said. “Don’t cook tonight. I’m taking you out for a change.”
“But I . . . I really like cooking for you–”
“Not tonight. You need a break.”
Betsy knew better than to push it further, so she pretended to be excited. “Thank you, Kate. I’m looking forward to it.”
And now Betsy was also stuck going to the hardware store because Kate would surely ask about it. Outside, the day was gorgeous and Betsy regretted not being able to spend more time just walking around the neighborhood. She knew she could, of course, but she had not been able to bring herself to go anywhere naked except when she absolutely had to.
At the hardware store, Betsy felt the eyes of all of the men who worked there and the customers who were also mostly men. She did her best to ignore the looks as she made her way down the paint aisle and selected several shades of light blue.
That evening when Kate got home she embraced Betsy as she always did, kissing her mouth and neck as with her fingers she stroked Betsy’s exposed vagina. Betsy had come to expect this and enjoyed it immensely. Often, of course, these encounters continued until Betsy had an orgasm but this time Kate stopped after barely a minute.
“Mmmmm,” I could just eat you up right here and now,” Kate said, “but we should get going so we don’t have to wait for a table. Make me a quick drink while I get ready.”
She dashed off to the bedroom as Betsy hurried into the kitchen to make Kate’s double vodka tonic. She had become suddenly aroused by Kate’s attention, but a bit frustrated at how quickly it stopped. Mostly she was nervous about going out to dinner naked in public. As she made Kate’s drink she gulped half of it down herself and then topped it off again and brought it to Kate, who was just changing her clothes.
Kate polished off the drink pretty quickly as she finished getting ready while Betsy told her about the hardware store.
“I’ll bet those men in the store were pretty excited by you,” Kate said. “I’ll bet they imagined they could do this.” Here, Kate suddenly knelt in front of Betsy, put her hands on Betsy’s butt and deeply kissed her pussy. Betsy leaned back against the bedroom wall, expecting this to go on until she climaxed. But Kate popped up again after only about 10 seconds, glanced at her watch and said, “Ooh, let’s hurry.”
Betsy was dazed from the kiss as well as the buzz of the alcohol on an empty stomach. She was expecting them to go to Kate’s car and she hoped they’d drive to a nice dark restaurant, but Kate had her arm around Betsy’s waist and led her in another direction.
“Aren’t we taking the car?” Betsy asked, realizing the answer as she said it.
“Let’s walk,” Kate said. “It’s only a few blocks to that cute little street of shops and restaurants near the university. “I want to try one of them.”
Betsy was not ready for this. Very soon they were walking along a busy street and people were everywhere. Most of them looked at her and smiled, especially the men. There were several little restaurants with outdoor seating. Kate picked one of them and they were soon at a little white table on the sidewalk in full view of every person who walked by. A waiter came and brought them wine. Betsy did her best to seem totally relaxed. She looked around at all of the people passing by and sitting at other tabled. Every single one of them was fully dressed.
“Have you noticed,” Betsy said carefully, “that there don’t seem to be other people . . . taking advantage of the . . . freedom to be nude? I seem to be the only one.”
“I know!” Kate said. “Isn’t it wonderful? That court case originated with a small group of nudists down on the southern peninsula. The ruling affected the whole province, of course, but apparently there didn’t happen to be any nudists up here — until now.”
“Oh,” Betsy said uncertainly.
Kate put her hand on Betsy’s bare leg under the table. “But I like it this way, sweetie. You’re so special. You’re like a jewel that stands out brightly among all the ordinariness around you.”
When Kate spoke to her that way it made everything seem perfect, no matter how exposed Betsy felt to the eyes around her.
After dinner Kate wanted to keep exploring the little shopping district near the entrance to the university. “Oh look, honey,” she said stopping. “This is just what we need.”
They were in front of a photography studio where the photographer was set up out on the sidewalk taking portraits in natural light against a stone wall covered with ivy. “I need a new picture of you to put on my desk at work.”
Betsy was alarmed. “What’s wrong with the one you have? It’s almost new and you said you really liked it.”
“I do, silly, but it’s outdated now. You’re wearing clothing in it. After all, I’ve told everyone at work that you’re a nudist. I need a picture that shows you that way.”
“But I can’t . . . I mean I’m not prepared to have my picture taken. My hair must be–”
“You’re hair is fine,” Kate said, running her fingernails through Betsy’s hair to poof it out a bit. “And your face is perfect as always. I don’t think you’re even capable of taking a bad picture because you’re so beautiful.”
Betsy blushed, smitten by Kate’s attention. There was nothing she could do but allow herself to be posed and photographed against the stone wall as dozens of people walked past them.
Next, Kate led them to a garden shop. “We need something for those flower boxes along the sidewalk,” she announced. “I love that picket fence, but it looks so starkly naked.”
Betsy giggled. “I thought you were into having things starkly naked.”
“Just you, my love,” Kate said and kissed her in front of everyone. Betsy felt a rush of joy and arousal mixed in one emotion. And somehow the flowers lined in their little plastic starter containers were part of Betsy’s emotional reaction. She wanted to buy all of them and plant them in the fertile soil of their new home for Kate. She picked out dozens of petunias for the long flower beds that ran between the picket fence and the sidewalk in front of their house and she bought bags of compost to work into the soil and new shovels and trowels. They had to walk back to the house and return with a car to carry it all.
When they got home, Betsy was happily aroused and expecting Kate to initiate a nice bout of lovemaking. But Kate was preoccupied with preparing for something at work the next day and afterwards they just went to sleep.
In the morning, Betsy woke with a fresh reminder of her predicament. As Kate left for work she called over her shoulder, “don’t forget about your petunias.”
The petunias! Why had Betsy bought those? The flower boxes were on the exterior side of the fence so Betsy would have to work out there in front of anyone who happened to be at the cafe across the street. It was still early and the cafe wasn’t open yet. Betsy hurried to get her garden tools and pushed the petunia-laden wheelbarrow down the drive way to the street.
It was hard work. The soil in the flower boxes had not been turned in years and was packed and hard. She was only halfway done when to her horror the cafe opened its doors. She tried not to look as a few people trickled in. She hoped they would not sit outside, but of course they did.
“Your flowers are lovely,” a woman’s voice called from behind her. Betsy could have pretended she hadn’t heard, but she didn’t want to be impolite.
Turning her head, she said “thank you,” and in that moment she realized there were at least a dozen people clustered at the tables nearest the street.
Stoically, Betsy kept at her task, working so fast that she worked up a sweat in the humid morning. And then she felt a few sprinkles on her back, and then a few more, and then more and the rain came down. It was a gentle rain, but enough to drive the spectators back inside. She was relieved, but also felt an odd sense of superiority because she did not have clothing to get wet. In fact, the rain felt wonderful, cooling her off and washing the sweat and dirt off of her skin.
When she was done, Betsy pushed her empty wheelbarrow back to the shed to put her tools away. Walking back to the house, she paused in a spot where she knew no one could see. Holding her arms out, she turned her face up to the sky, not wanting to leave the rain’s caress. She touched herself and felt a surge rush through her body. She needed to get indoors where she would have complete privacy.
Betsy went in the kitchen door and was on her way to the bedroom, still dripping wet, when she noticed a flash on her phone indicating a voicemail. Being careful to avoid getting water on her phone again, she pressed the button and it was Kate’s voice, a bit on edge, just wanting to remind Betsy of the errand she was supposed to do.
The errand! Betsy had completely forgotten. She looked at the clock and was relieved to see there was still plenty of time. She just had to run down to the post office to pick up a package for Kate that had gotten held up because the sender had not used enough postage. But Kate had been worried about it and Betsy — stupid forgetful Betsy — had promised to take care of it.
Pausing only to put on her sandals and grab her purse, Betsy ran out the door Fortunately the rain had stopped and the sun was struggling to come out from the clouds.
At the post office she stood in line, panting a little from the run, and acutely aware of everyone in line noticing her. When she finally reached the counter she explained her errand and the clerk disappeared for a moment and then came back to announce that no such package was there.
“But it has to be,” Betsy said. “We were told that it was being held.”
The clerk punched some buttons on the computer and said, “oh I see. It’s at the main post office.”
“Where is that?”
“Downtown, at Fourth and Main.” The clerk handed her a little map of the city showing the locations of all the postal branches. “They close at four.”
Betsy looked at the clock. She only had an hour and it would take half that time to get downtown. But Kate was already downtown. She pulled her cellphone from her purse and called Kate’s number. She got voicemail so she pressed zero and a receptionist answered.
“I was trying to reach Kate Henderson,” she said. “I’m her . . . my name is Betsy Andrews and–”
“Oh hi Betsy,” the voice said. “Kate has told us so much about you! You sound adorable.”
“She has? Oh, well, um, do you know where she is?”
“I’m afraid she’ll be tied up for a while. I can get a message to her if it’s important?”
“No, no,” Betsy said quickly. “Don’t interrupt her. I was just calling to . . . say hi.”
“Well I’ll tell her that you called, Betsy,” the voice said.
Betsy hung up and ran the two blocks back to the house. She got in her car and drove to the ramp to the interstate and headed downtown. She had time. She could do this.
She kept glancing at her watch as she drove and seemed to have plenty of time, but once she got downtown Betsy was unsure which exit was best. She saw one that said 6th Street and figured that must be close so she took it. And then she hit traffic. The downtown streets were confusing and there was no place to park. She drove past Fourth and Main and saw the post office, but the parking meters were all taken and she went around the block again. Finally she saw the entrance to a parking garage at a hotel and took it. She snaked up to the sixth floor before finding a space and then ran to the elevator. She hit the lobby button and rode down, but when the doors open she found herself in a shopping mall and as she stepped into the crowd Betsy remembered that she was nude.
But she had no time to worry about how many men were watching her breasts bounce as she ran through the shopping mall to the revolving door leading to the street.
Outside it was now sunny and people were everywhere. She looked at the map on her phone to get her bearings and then at the time. It was okay. She was four blocks away and had 15 minutes to get there. But now that she knew this, Betsy could also afford the luxury of being fully aware of the fact that she was naked on a downtown street surrounded by hundreds of clothed people.
She tried not to run. Clutching the strap of her purse, Betsy walked briskly down the sidewalk. Her eyes were hidden behind sunglasses but her entire body was exposed. She saw her reflection in the shop windows and she heard the whistles as she had to pass a group of construction workers.
But there it was — the downtown post office. She pushed through the doors and took a place in line. Once again she reached the counter and once again she told a clerk about the important package that had been held for lack of postage. But this time, miraculously it seemed, the package was placed before her and she had only to produce twenty-two cents to take possession of it.
A minute later she was back out on the sidewalk, exhilarated. Now oblivious to the stares she whipped out her cellphone again and punched Kate’s number. This time Kate answered right away.
“I’ve got it!” Betsy sang happily. “I’ve got your package.”
“That’s such a relief,” Kate said. “I was worried about that.”
“And guess what,” Betsy went on happily. “It wasn’t at the Avery branch because they had it downtown, and I got here just in time before they closed!”
“Yep,” Betsy said. “Fourth and Main. I’m parked a few blocks away and–”
“Betsy, you’re a lifesaver. Bring it to me! You’re only about six blocks from my office. If I could have that today it would be fantastic.”
“Bring it to you?”
“I’m in the Caldwell building. That’s right on the square on the southeast corner. Just come four blocks south on Main and you’ll be here. Come to the 22nd floor. Oh shit I have another call I have to take. See you in a few minutes babe. Love you!”
And then she hung up. Betsy put her phone back in her purse and looked down Main Street. It was clearly the busiest part of the central downtown area and she would have to walk through it naked. But the important thing was that she had Kate’s package and Kate had called her a lifesaver. And the receptionist had told her Kate talked about her a lot and that she sounded ‘adorable.’ Those were the things that mattered to Betsy and if she had to walk naked through downtown Kingsley, that was a price she was willing to pay however embarrassing it may be.
So she began walking, clutching the package and wearing her sunglasses so she would not have to make eye contact with the men who passed her on the busy sidewalk. Once again, there was no one else around anywhere near naked. Most people were in business clothing and everyone bustled around importantly.
But Betsy had important business to attend to as well, and she made sure her bearing and attitude showed this. The heels of her dress sandals clicked on the sidewalk as she strode quickly down the sidewalk, carrying her important package to the Caldwell Building. The closer she came the more crowded it was and at every intersection the traffic was gridlocked with taxicabs, delivery vehicles and the occasional limo. A guy her age on a messenger bicycle gave her a wild grin as he passed and yelled “you made my day!”
Finally she reached the downtown square, which was one square block of grass and park benches surrounded by towering skyscrapers on all sides. Betsy found the Caldwell Building and pushed through the revolving door. The brisk walk in the late afternoon sun had made her start to perspire, but now the building’s air conditioning hit her like the freezer at the grocery store. The security guard looked at her as she marched determinedly towards the elevator, where several men in suits smiled as they watched her approach. She marched right past them towards the restrooms. If she was going to go up to Kate’s office naked, she at least needed to do something with her hair, which she knew must be a tangled mess. She had a brush and a small makeup bag in her purse and spent several minutes making herself presentable. When she was done, Betsy took a deep breath and made eye contact with herself in the mirror. The naked girl in the mirror smiled at her and whispered, “knock ’em dead.”
Back to the elevators, at least a dozen men were loitering. When two elevators arrived simultaneously everyone seemed to wait for her to choose one and then they all squeezed aboard, ignoring the other one.
When the elevator reached the 22nd floor, Betsy squeezed out among the men, who made a show of politely moving aside for her and yet did not move enough to allow her to get off without brushing against them.
There was a receptionist’s desk just off the elevator and the woman behind it smiled at her knowingly. “You MUST be Betsy,” she gushed. “Let me show you to Kate’s office.”
The woman led Betsy through a room of desks where everyone looked up and watched her go by. Then they walked down a carpeted hallway with rich paneled wood covering the walls. Important looking business people passed them in the hall and smiled at her. At the end of the hallway was another open room and finally there was Kate, rushing to her with her arms outstretched. They hugged and Kate kissed her while the receptionist giggled.
“That looks like it,” Kate said, taking the package and ripping it open. “Wait here a sec, dear.” She cast aside the torn envelope and took the papers that it had held to an office with glass walls behind which an older woman looked up with a surprised expression as Kate went inside. Together they looked at the papers and the older woman smiled broadly and said something that made Kate laugh.
And then both women emerged from the office and walked up to Betsy. “So this is the famous Betsy,” she said.
“Betsy, this is my boss, Dr. Strunk,” Kate said.
“Oh just call me Alice,” Dr. Strunk said, putting out her hand. “Kate speaks of you with considerable affection, and after today I will as well young lady.”
Betsy shook Dr. Alice Strunk’s hand “Thank you,” she said, “but I’m just the delivery girl. I don’t even know what I delivered.”
“I wish all of our delivery girls looked like you,” Dr. Strunk said, and then turning to Kate she added, “you’ve done more than enough for one day, Kate my dear. Why don’t you take off a little early and treat this girl to a nice dinner downstairs at Chez Francois?”
“Good idea, Alice.”
“And I trust I’ll see you both at the auction?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Kate said. “C’mon, babe, let’s go get some champagne.”
When they were alone in the elevator, Kate kissed her and instantly put her hand between Betsy’s legs.
Betsy squirmed, but did not resist much. “Someone’s going to catch us.”
“No they won’t. Oooh, baby, you’re pretty wet. Lot’s of people saw you naked today, didn’t they.”
“Yes, but I was . . . so worried about the package.”
“You did good, babe. You can relax now.”
The elevator did not stop until it reached the lobby and for the entire descent Kate kissed Betsy’s face and neck while massaging her clitoris. Betsy was starting to feel she would climax right there in the elevator when suddenly it stopped and Kate withdrew her hand just as the doors opened.
They were in the lobby and people leaving work or going to dinner were hurrying back and forth. Betsy could see the entrance to Chez Francois across the lobby. It looked extremely fancy with a man in a tuxedo standing in front. She really didn’t want to go in there naked if she could find a way to avoid it, but she felt so sexually aroused she could not think straight.
“Oh shit I forgot something,” Kate said. “Honey, just wait over there in the lounge. I just have to run up to the office for a minute.”
And then Kate was gone into the elevator again leaving Betsy alone. She felt all eyes on her as she walked slowly across the lobby to some plush couches and chairs between the lounge and the restaurant entrance. She would be less on display sitting down, but was afraid she’d leave a visible wet spot on the light-colored fabric so she stood nervously. A waiter glided over carrying a tray of champagne glasses. “Compliments of the house,” he said with a slight bow. Betsy gratefully took a glass and consumed most of it by the time Kate returned.
“Sorry,” she said. “It’s always something. Do you want to go eat?”
“Actually,” Betsy began cautiously, “I was thinking maybe we should just go on home.”
“Why? Aren’t you hungry? This is supposed to be a great restaurant.”
“Well, I just . . . um . . . well you got me pretty excited in the elevator and I’d really like to just go home and make love.”
“Ooooh, well if you put it that way, yes I agree.”
That was only partly true, but it made for a handy excuse. She began to follow Kate to the building’s garage, but Kate stopped her. “Don’t forget you drove separately.”
“Oh right. I parked up by the post office.”
“Do you remember where? It’s your first time downtown after all.”
“Yes, I can picture it.”
“Well I’ll see you at home then, my beautiful nudist.” Kate kissed her on the mouth right there in the midst of a crowd and Betsy felt her legs weaken. Kate had such an effect on her.
Betsy pushed out the revolving door into the early evening sunshine. The warm air felt good after the air conditioning of the building. Once again Betsy was walking along a busy downtown street being watched by everyone, but at this moment it didn’t bother her as much as before. She still wished she could be dressed and not the center of attention, but she also felt elated at how well things had gone. She had succeeded and Kate was proud of her. And everyone at Kate’s office knew who she was, which could only mean Kate had talked about her to them.
Betsy was a little confused about exactly where the parking garage was. She knew it was within three blocks of the post office and she found the post office easily enough, but every time she started down one street it seemed wrong. She kept circling the same few blocks hoping something would look familiar. People were everywhere, getting off work and headed for their own cars. All the men stared at her and smiled but Betsy had her sunglasses on and remained aloof.
She was just starting to feel a bit panicky about being lost, naked, downtown when at last she recognized where she was and there was the parking deck just a block ahead. She stood at the corner waiting for the light to change and could not help but see her reflection in the dark glass of a shop. She was so . . . so . . . so naked with people all around her on a busy downtown street. Everyone was polite and business-like, but few could resist looking at her and Betsy could see in their expressions that they thought she was beautiful. As much as she wanted to find an escape from her predicament, she was also smitten by the attention. If she hadn’t had her eye surgery she wouldn’t even be able to see those faces, and in those days she was convinced she was not worth looking at. Betsy took off her sunglasses and allowed herself to make occasional eye contact, and those who could bring their own eyes high enough were rewarded with a smile they would remember. And indeed, though Betsy did not know it, when these random passers by went home that evening and told someone their story of seeing a beautiful naked woman downtown, they would whisper at the end, “and then she smiled at me.”