What a Girl Will Do for Love, Part 5

By Molly McMann

Kate had just left for work and Betsy sat at the kitchen table with a pen and paper. “Dearest Kate,” she wrote. “I love you so much, but I hope you can still love me after reading this letter.”

“It’s hard to believe we only met 10 weeks ago. Things happened so fast — maybe too fast. I don’t regret that, but I do regret the mistakes I made — one big mistake in particular; something I haven’t been honest with you about.” Betsy glanced at the kitchen clock. She still had time before her first class.

“That first weekend in your apartment, you made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. You wanted me to go naked, and so I did. You wanted me to talk while you made love to me, and so I did that too. You asked me if I loved being naked, and I knew you wanted me to say yes, that I wanted to be naked every moment of every day. So I said it.

“But then somehow you made it happen for me! You took a job that you didn’t want so we could move here to Huron where I could legally have what I kept telling you I wanted — the freedom to go naked everywhere and never own clothing again.”

“But . . . it wasn’t true, Kate. I know you will hate me when you read this, but I’m not really a nudist and have only been pretending because I was afraid to tell you. Please forgive me, Kate. But if you cant, I understand. I probably don’t deserve you.”

Betsy sobbed as she signed her name. She looked up at the clock and carried the letter into the bathroom where she read it again while she adjusted her hair and makeup. She folded the letter neatly . . . and then tore it up over the toilet bowl, flushing twice to make sure nothing came back up. Out of time, Betsy slipped on her sandals. slung her denim handbag over one shoulder and left the house.

Mornings were the hardest. That’s when she felt the most starkly naked, and the least aroused by that fact. Her walk to campus took her past shop windows where she compulsively watched her reflection, her breasts bouncing slightly with her stride.

Beyond the shops was a squat row of studio apartments where students lived. A shirtless guy was exiting one of the doors and locking it with his key, and Betsy instantly knew it was Dean. She would recognize those muscular shoulders anywhere, and that wild crop of reddish brown hair that never seemed to stay combed.

After their last encounter, Betsy wasn’t sure what to do, but she kept walking down the sidewalk. He would be going the same way, towards campus and might not notice her. Should she walk quietly a half-block behind him or call out his name? That decision became moot as Dean stepped out on the sidewalk and looked back to see her coming. He grinned and made a show of putting his phone safely in his pocket and bracing his feet for impact.

“I’m not going to jump on you,” Betsy said as she approached.

“I’m disappointed. I was hoping that was going to be your standard greeting from now on.”

“I was inebriated that time,” Betsy said primly with her chin high as she sauntered past him. He fell into step beside her.

“Is . . . your phone okay?” she asked.

“It is. I wrote Apple to tell them it’s vagina-proof, and they want to use that in their next TV commercial. So expect a call.”

Betsy looked at him askance. “Okay, I know you’re kidding but . . . please tell me you’re kidding.”

“I’m kidding,” he said. “Now can I ask you something?”

“As long as it’s not about the last time we saw each other.”

“Okay, . . . then it’s about every other time.”

Betsy slowed and turned to face him. They were in the middle of a busy campus plaza with dozens of people around them going in all directions — all of them glancing at her as they went by.

“Every time I see you,” Dean began, “it’s like being on a really great drug. And it’s not just because you’re so—“

“Naked?”

“I was going to say ‘beautiful’ first and THEN ‘naked,’ I keep telling myself of COURSE she drives you crazy. She’s beautiful and naked! Every guy and half the girls on campus must feel this way.”

“I drive you crazy?”

“But it’s not just that you’re beautiful and . . . so very naked. It’s your smile and your laugh and the way you hold your head and the sound of your voice.  I keep telling myself, dude, she’s a lesbian and she’s in a relationship so stop thinking about her all the time.”

“You think about me all the time?”

“But you never actually used the word ‘lesbian,’ and whenever we were together, even just skating or when we went to that bar—“

“Or when I jumped on you.”

“You told me not to mention that one, but yes especially then. Every time I felt there was something happening between us. Sparks. There were definitely sparks coming out of ME, I know that. Maybe they were ALL coming from me and just ricocheting everywhere and fooling me into thinking that maybe possibly a few of them were coming from you too.  That you might . . . feel something too.  So I –”

“No,” Betsy said.

“No . . . you don’t feel anything?”

“No, they’re not all yours. The sparks. But I AM in a relationship and . . . I . . . have to get to class.” Betsy abruptly turned and walked away. She counted 25 paces before she allowed herself to glance back over her shoulder.

Dean was still standing in the same place, watching her, his arms crossed and one hand stroking his square, stubbly chin. When he saw her look back he called, “so we established that you have sparks for me, right?”

Betsy didn’t answer and hurried on. She was now late so she had to jog. She used to enjoy running, before she was a nudist. She had the grace of a dancer and the smooth stride of a natural athlete, but for a naked girl any kind of running results in boob bouncing. Although everyone around her always noticed Betsy, they were usually able to keep doing whatever they were doing as they glanced at her. But when she ran, everyone stopped whatever they were doing and just watched. She literally stopped traffic.

Normally, Betsy was mortified in these situations, but this time she was too distracted. What is WRONG with you, she berated herself. You should be focused on saving your relationship with Kate and not flirting with some guy! Though she might admit (to herself) that she was somewhere on the bisexuality scale, Betsy had officially considered herself lesbian since her freshman year in college. She had dated a few boys in high school, but was not attracted to them and did not let them go any further than briefly touching her breast through her bra. In college, she had several romantic and sexual partners, but all had been female.

It was flattering that he seemed to like her so much. He said she drove him crazy, and that he thought about her all the time. Betsy pictured herself being in a relationship with Dean, and felt a tingle between her legs. In her flash of fantasy they were on a date at some bar — and she was naked. But wait, she would not need to be naked if she was with Dean. She would, of course, have to admit she’d been lying to him too all this time. Maybe he would be just as disappointed as Kate. Maybe he only liked her because she was naked anyway. Yes, that was probably it. Why else would he like her?

Betsy’s self-recriminations were interrupted by a group of guys who desperately wanted to take her picture — or, more accurately, to take a picture of themselves with her. She’d accepted this as something that could not be avoided, and graciously complied as in turn each boy had his turn posing with her. Then they all waved goodbye, the encounter having taken only a minute or two.

As she entered the lecture hall, surprisingly on time, Betsy saw Michelle jumping up and down waving to her. This wasn’t really necessary since she was at their now-usual spot, but Betsy loved Michelle’s perpetual exuberance. It was impossible to be with Michelle and not feel happy.

Though not yet an officially registered nudist like Betsy, Michelle aspired to become one, and went as next-to-naked as the law allowed. On this day, she was barefoot and wearing thong panties of a material so sheer it did little to hide the hairless cleft of her pussy. On top, she wore the remains of a tie-dye T-shirt that she kept cutting smaller every time she wore it.

“I see you took more off,” Betsy observed as the two girls embraced. “How is it even staying on anymore?”

“Actually, that is a problem,” Michelle admitted. “I might have gone too far for physics this time.” Indeed what was left of the shirt barely covered her breasts, and those little swatches tended to become displaced by the slightest breeze or jiggle, so Michelle kept adjusting them. She didn’t actually care that her nipples kept popping out as long as she could pretend she was making an effort to keep them under wraps.

“I probably shouldn’t have cut the back collar off, “Michelle said, turning to display her bare back. The only portion of the T-shirt visible from this angle were two shoulder straps that were the remains of the sleeves. “They keep slipping off,” Michelle explained, “and there’s nothing left to hold the front in place. See?” Here she twisted her body back and forth, sending her breasts jiggling free as everyone nearby watched the show.

“See?”

“Maybe if the cloth was damp it would cling better, ” Betsy suggested. “Like when you’re all sweaty and your clothing sticks to your skin?”

“I’m surprised you even remember what wearing clothing felt like, naked girl, but that’s a good idea,” Michelle said, and she began squirting herself in the chest with her water bottle. When the ragged triangles of fabric were sopping wet she smoothed them against her breasts, squeezing out droplets that ran down her flat belly to wet her tiny thong and make it even more translucent. The technique worked, however, and so throughout the lecture Michelle periodically squirted herself with her water bottle and patted the fabric against her breasts with her hands.

On most days, Betsy and Michelle had to part ways after this class, but on this particular day they both had an hour free and Michelle had invited Betsy to see her studio in the Art Building. The sprawling Art Building and Michelle’s dorm nearby were the main places where she could go entirely nude, even without being registered. Although she wasn’t technically supposed to be nude outdoors, she found she could get away with it in the area between her dorm and the Art Building. Two days a week, she had only art classes so on those days she tried to remain naked for 24 hours straight.

As they neared the building, Michelle pulled off the damp remains of her T-shirt and peeled off her thong. Stuffing both into her book bag, she resumed walking now entirely nude.

Although the Art Building had traditional rooms for the faculty, students shared an open space the size of a gymnasium. Using padded cubicle walls cast off in office building remodels, the art students had each created a bit of space as their studios. Most were no bigger than 8 feet by 8 feet — enough for work space and a futon or ratty couch where they could grab naps or sleep all night if they wanted.

In Michelle’s space, she had a big canvas on an easel that was her current art project — an unnervingly realistic full-body portrait of herself — nude of course. For furniture, she had a few big pillows and a cloth hammock, which she invited Betsy to try out. As Betsy climbed in on one side, Michelle climbed in on the other, and when their feet left the ground the hammock swallowed them up, smooshing their bare bodies together like breasts in a pushup bra. They were nose to nose, and as the hammock swung gently back and forth Michelle shifted her head slightly and their lips came together, Michelle’s tongue now in Betsy’s mouth.  The rational portion of Betsy’s brain pointed out that perhaps this was not a good idea. Meanwhile, however, the rest of Betsy’s body was more decisive. Without thinking, she hungrily returned the kiss, but after a few seconds broke it off.

“Wait. We can’t do this, Michelle,” Betsy pleaded, catching her breath. “You know I’m in a relationship with Kate. And don’t you have a boyfriend?”

“I broke up with him. And you should break up with Kate so we can do this all the time.” Michelle kissed her again, and Betsy did not want it to stop, but finally she pushed away, panting.

“Michelle, please. I can’t do that.”

“You can do whatever you want to do, Betsy.  I’ll bet I’m more fun than she is.”

“Well . . . you are, but there are other–”

“And who’s a better kisser?”

“I’m not going to keep answering those questions,” Betsy said nervously, as if Kate might somehow overhear.  “I really, really like you, Michelle, but I’m in a committed relationship, so you and I have to be just friends.”

For a second, Betsy saw hurt and disappointment in Michelle’s eyes, but then Michelle put on a smile. “Can we at least be best friends?”

Tears filled Betsy’s eyes. “I’d like that,” she whispered.

“And best friends can kiss, can’t they?”

Betsy laughed. “I guess, but what you just did was NOT a best-friend kind of kiss.”

“No?  Hmm, well maybe you’d better show me what a best-friend kiss is so I do it right next time.” Michelle puckered her lips dramatically, but Betsy only gave her a peck on the cheek.

“Like that,” Betsy whispered. “Now you try it.”

Betsy offered her cheek and Michelle planted a comically wet kiss on it. Betsy giggled and turned her head to invite another. Michelle kissed that cheek too, not just once but a dozen times in rapid succession, tracing the line of Betsy’s jaw and tickling past her ear to her cheekbones.

“So cheek kisses are okay?” Michelle asked.

“Well, maybe not quite so many at one time, but yes, cheek kisses are fine.”

“Butt cheek kisses too?”

Betsy snorted a laugh and then could not stop laughing as the naked girls put their faces in each other’s necks and rocked in the hammock. Betsy was struggling to catch her breath to say “no, you may not kiss my butt cheeks,” but when the words finally came it was nearly in a shout and her voice carried in the open building followed by the laughter of other art students in their cubicles.

“I have to go to my next class,” Betsy whispered, and struggled to get out of the hammock.

“No, wait,” Michelle said. “The way you do it is—“ Michelle did not have the opportunity to continue because both girls flipped out of the hammock and landed in a heap on the carpeted floor below. Michelle was on top, her belly pressed against Betsy’s face.

Still laughing, Michelle got up on her hands and knees, and crawled a step or two until her knees were next to Betsy’s ears.

“Why did you stop moving?” Betsy asked.

“I kind of like it right here. Do you?”

“It’s a lovely view,” Betsy admitted, looking up Michelle’s soft white thighs to the shiny pink folds of her obviously aroused pussy,” but I . . . I really have to get to class.” When Michelle still did not move, Betsy slapped her smartly on the bottom — to which she had easy access in that position.

“Oh, I get it,” Michelle said. “Face cheeks get kisses and butt cheeks get spanks!”

“And bellies get tickled!” Betsy declared, attacking with both hands. Michelle squealed and scrambled out of reach, but before Betsy could get up Michelle was back over her, having shifted her own body 180 degrees so that their faces were now upside down from each other. She had her hands on Betsy’s shoulders, leaning her weight on them to keep Betsy pinned on her back.

“Let me up,” Betsy demanded unconvincingly. “I’m going to be late.”

Michelle moved her hands from Betsy’s shoulders to her biceps, pinning her arms to the floor. “I just want to give you one more little very-best-friend kiss . . . but not on your cheek . . . or even on your mouth.” Her eyes looked up, which from Betsy’s vantage point was down her body.

“Michelle, no,” Betsy warned. She tried to raise her arms, but could only move them below the elbow.

“And no, not your boobs,” Michelle went on. “I DO want to kiss them, but at this moment I have someplace else in mind.”

“Not there, Michelle!” Betsy pleaded.

“Your belly button!” Michelle whispered, and plunged her face into Betsy’s stomach, exhaling to make a farting sound.

Betsy squealed uncontrollably and tried to wiggle out of Michelle’s grasp, but by this point Michelle had wrapped her arms tightly around Betsy’s body. They were armpit to armpit upside down, their faces in each other’s bellies, as their bodies rolled across the carpet — picking up speed because they’d rolled out onto the main ramp leading down to the entrance.

Michelle was still trying to make farting noises on Betsy’s body, and she was migrating to fresh skin each time. Now she was blowing against the inside of Betsy’s thigh, and next she was blowing against the other, her nose grazing Betsy’s labia in the pass.

This position put Betsy’s face in similarly intimate proximity to Michelle as their bodies rolled down the carpeted ramp. Betsy would later tell herself what she did next was only to protect her head in the tumble. Squeezing Michelle tight around her upside-down skinny waist, Betsy pressed her face into Michelle’s pussy as they rolled the rest of the way down the ramp. At the bottom, Michelle let go and their bodies came apart, sprawling separately in the front lobby.

“And this is the Art Building,” Betsy heard an official-sounding voice saying. She looked up, her legs still splayed open to see a student beginning to push open the entrance. He was looking over his shoulder saying, “we’ve arranged for an art student to show you around,”  and did not see Betsy scamper back up the ramp to Michelle’s cubicle.

Michelle had by this time gotten to her feet, but just stood waiting as the group of new students filed inside.

“Ah, and here’s Michelle waiting for us,” the tour guide exclaimed. “She’s kind of a nudist, as you may have noticed.”

“Only kind of,” Michelle said. “Actually, I almost forgot we were doing this tour today, but that’s cool. Hi everyone,” she called out to the group. “Welcome to the Art Building!” Michelle glanced up the ramp where Betsy had retrieved her purse and was scanning for another exit. Michelle knew there was none. “Oh, here comes a real nudist now,” she called as if surprised. “Hi Betsy!” Michelle was leading the tour up the ramp so Betsy had to excuse herself against the flow, politely saying hi to everyone.

She smiled at Michelle as they passed, grateful to have another naked girl sharing the spotlight for a change. Michelle leaned in for a hug and whispered in her ear, “you got a little something on your chin, girlfriend.” Betsy still had Michelle’s scent in her nostrils and knew her face was wet. She wondered if it was shiny, but made no move to wipe it off as she made her way through the crowd and pushed through the door out into the sun.

Betsy got home before Kate, and threw herself into the shower, brushed her teeth and used mouthwash.  She even managed to get dinner started and have a stiff vodka tonic ready for Kate (with exactly the right amount of vodka and two slices of lime). Betsy drank half of it down herself and had just replenished it when Kate came in the door from the garage.

“There’s my beautiful nudist,” she said, dropping her bag on the kitchen chair and wrapping her muscular arms around Betsy from behind.  As always, she had stopped at the gym on the way home and was in her workout clothing, a hint of sheen still her olive skin.

“Tell me all about your day,” Kate said as she began to massage Betsy’s clitoris. Kate always asked the same question, and Betsy had learned to be prepared for it.

She knew she needed to at least mention Dean and Michelle, just in case some random photo or video popped up online, but she wanted to minimize them. She focused instead on the guys who’d wanted so badly to get their pictures taken with her. The whole encounter had lasted maybe five minutes, but Betsy drew all the details from it to make it seem like the biggest event of her day. “Oh, and I bumped into that Dean guy from the mail services, and Michelle showed me the art studio space, but then I had to run between classes through the plaza past everyone sitting at the tables and I knew they were all watching my breasts bounce, and someone yelled “run, Betsy, run!” and I waved at them and they looked so happy to see me, and I felt so glad to be letting them see me naked to make them happy. I make people happy by going naked all the time. Naked all the time. All the TIME!”

Because it was her first orgasm of the day, Betsy came very quickly, requiring no interruption in her dinner preparations. She slumped, damp against the cool kitchen counter catching her breath as Kate turned her attention to her drink and launched into a story about work. Briefly content with her life, Betsy languidly reached for the wooden spoon, tasted the spaghetti sauce and decided to add more oregano.

Evenings with Kate were Betsy’s favorite time of day. She had come to love being naked at home with Kate groping her all evening. Eventually, they would end up in bed where Kate might or might not want to have an orgasm of her own, but Betsy would accumulate four or five along the way. At least one of Betsy’s orgasms usually took place on the kitchen table after the dinner dishes had been cleared, and frequently this coincided with dessert.

The fourth or fifth orgasms were usually in the bedroom and took longer to achieve, a challenge for which Kate employed various toys she kept in her top dresser drawer. Among her favorites was a strap-on dildo for making love missionary style. Betsy enjoyed that one too, but now she found herself unable to resist fantasizing about doing this with Dean.

As always, Betsy drifted off to sleep feeling secure in Kate’s arms and confident that everything would somehow be okay. When morning, came she would remember she would be going naked in public.

And so the cycle continued for another day, and then another week, and then two weeks. Each morning, Betsy vowed to herself she would talk to Kate about it, and each evening she let the opportunity go by. People in the neighborhood, her classmates, and everyone she encountered in her daily routine seemed to have fully accepted Betsy’s constant nudity. No one questioned it except Betsy herself, and she did so only to herself.

So too, Betsy’s daily pattern repeated itself. Each morning she felt as exposed as ever, and by late afternoon she would be feeling almost comfortable in her exposed skin, and sometimes by the end of her school day she would be in desperate need of an orgasm. Usually she made it home in time to take care of that little task, but there was always a risk that it would escalate more rapidly. Something little might happen — someone’s expression or comment or an unexpected touch of skin against skin. In that moment, Betsy would feel as if she had only just realized she was nude. Because of Betsy’s golden brown tan, those around her did not always realize when she was blushing. But Betsy felt it, starting somewhere deep inside her and then it would rapidly spread through her body, enveloping her with heat. Perspiration appeared on her forehead and lips, and her nipples would go from relaxed to fully erect in seconds. The intensity of the experience would gradually subside, but its effects would be longer lasting. When she had such an episode, it set in motion a countdown to an inevitable orgasm — quite likely within the hour. Betsy knew she could not stop it, so she had to manage it — keeping always in mind where she might go for a few seconds of privacy.

Privacy was something Betsy had precious little of these days because while those around her considered themselves her fans and supporters, they were also constantly watching her. She could not get away with stealing a touch for fear of not only being seen, but photographed and videotaped and having that video shared and discussed online.

She’d had close calls when she almost could not avoid touching herself in class. One time she felt a sudden panic that if she didn’t get out of the room she would masturbate in front of everyone. She kept her head enough to gather her things and leave the class early.

The entire class watched her leave (they watched everything she did), and people whispered to each other, “gosh, I hope she’s okay.” They had noticed Betsy was flushed and overheated. One well-meaning girl followed her out and across the hall to the ladies’ room. She just wanted to see if she could help, and when she entered the restroom Betsy was already in one of the stalls, moaning. “Are you okay, Betsy?” the girl asked, and through her gritted teeth Betsy assured her she was fine.

“I’m just having a . . . bad headache. I’ll be fine in a bit.”

And so word spread on campus: Poor Betsy suffered from migraines.

The park bench on the grassy hill had worked for her once, but was much less of an option on sunny days when more people were outdoors. On nice days, she discovered in desperation one day, the carillon clock tower would do in a pinch. Steps inside it led up about four stories, ending at an overlook wall right under the bells. No one could see her from the waist down, and as the carillon bells began to ring out the hour, Betsy quickly brought herself to climax. Those watching from down below were touched by her rapturous expression, and a few heard her cry out amid the pealing of the bells. Word spread that Betsy was religious.

By now it was September and the weather was getting a little cooler. Dean had begun wearing shirts and even Michelle had started wearing more — but only above her belly button. The only tops she owned were either designed to be midriff-exposing or she had cut them short herself. On this particular morning she was wearing an only slightly mutilated tshirt and an ultra-small gray hoodie, both ending at her rib cage. On her feet, she wore sneakers and red socks, and in between she wore only red thong panties.

“Nice outfit,” Betsy said as they kissed each other’s cheek.

“Yours is always nicer,” Michelle said with a pouty expression. “So I’ve been meaning to ask because you’re, like, my nudism mentor, but what are you going to do when it gets really cold?  We have winter here, you know.”

“I’m aware of that,” Betsy sighed. “And I don’t know — what I’m going to do.” She hadn’t seriously thought about the answer to that question because she had been so certain she would be wearing clothing by now.

Then Betsy remembered a phrase from the Huron Nudists Q&A — “protective clothing.” Even if she had to stay a nudist, she’d get to wear “protective clothing”! That meant coats and sweatshirts and maybe sweatpants too in the middle of winter. That’s what protective clothing meant, wasn’t it?  Surely they didn’t just mean while welding or cooking bacon?

Her mind was awhirl about what this might mean. She’d still go nude indoors at home, of course, and mostly indoors at school — but even there she’d presumably have the same option regular people had to keep their “protective clothing” on if it was cold indoors, as many of the classrooms were. Surely it would be like that.

Betsy scoured the Huron Nudists Association website for references to cold weather. She found a few passing references to someone wearing a sweatshirt or tshirt on a cold night. She was hoping to find photos, but no one seemed to have posted any.

Betsy even emailed a few of the women who had left contact info. They had all heard of Betsy and wrote back enthusiastically supporting her courageous decision to be free and nude even though she lived way up north. Although each of them assured her she should make her own decision about protective clothing, none of them volunteered personal experiences and Betsy was too shy to ask the question more directly.

One evening when she and Kate were out to dinner, Betsy pointed to a girl wearing a zippered sweatshirt and tried to say casually that she was thinking she might get one of those. Kate only laughed, so Betsy said, well, it’s starting to get cool in the mornings and pretty soon—“

“Oh Betsy, you know you can’t do that,” Kate said dismissively. “I sympathize, but you knew it was the price you had to pay. I admire you for what you’re doing, Betsy. You really are amazing, but you can’t go soft on that as soon as the weather gets a little chilly.”

“But they make an exception for protective clothing—“

“Betsy, I know a lot more about contract law than you do and believe me when they use the word ‘protective’ they do so with intention. That means it has to be dangerously cold. Not merely uncomfortably cold. That’s clearly the legal distinction they’re making.”

“Actually, I exchanged email with some nudist women down south,” Betsy said, “and they said it should be up to me to decide when—“

“It’s not up to YOU, Betsy. That’s not how laws work. God, you’re such a blonde sometimes. And don’t confide to strangers like that. You are putting your rights at risk. You want to get your registration revoked on you? After we went to all this effort to get you here — doing what you kept saying you dreamed of doing. I provided that to you on a silver platter, Betsy, and believe me it was not without cost. I could have been in New Westbrook by now, but I’m in second-rate Kingsley because of the sacrifice I made for YOU.”

By this point Betsy was crying silently in the crowded restaurant, tears running down her cheeks and dripping onto her bare breasts and then splashing onto her thighs. Kate took Betsy’s hands in her own and her voice became softer again.

“I’m sorry you’re upset, Betsy, I truly am. I love you and I know that you are a strong woman dedicated to her ideals. I promise you that when winter comes and you truly need protective clothing I will buy you a nice warm coat. But for now, babycakes, you need to be a big girl and do what you signed up to do. You’ve got this whole city rooting for you, so don’t let everyone down.”

“But Kate,” Betsy said, wiping her eyes with her napkin as other diners glanced at her with concerned looks. “I need to tell you that I . . . that I—“

“Oh, here’s an idea to cheer you up,” Kate interrupted, ignoring her. “You’ve mentioned your friends Michelle and Dean several times, but they don’t seem to know each other, right?”

“What? No!” Betsy blurted, alarmed. “I mean, as far as I would know they probably don’t know each other. I don’t know either of them all that well even though we—“

“And neither is dating anyone, right?”

“Um. I . . . I don’t know. Not that . . . they mentioned.”

“Let’s invite them over for an evening and match them up! I’ve been wanting to meet some of your friends and it will be fun to see if there’s any, you know, electricity between these two.”

“Sparks,” Betsy whispered.”

“Right, sparks,” Kate repeated, now preoccupied with her phone. “I know. Let’s invite them this Saturday when we’re having Alice and her husband over anyway, and then it won’t look quite so much like a set-up.”

“We’re having Alice over Saturday?”

“I told you about it,” Kate stated sternly.

“Right, of course, I know you did, but I . . . I don’t think Dean and Michelle would—“

“Maybe they’ll hit it off; maybe they won’t. Just invite them. Oh here’s our waiter. I’m going to have a nice big steak.”

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The writings of Molly McMann