"Excuse me, Miss Smithers?" said a feminine voice.
Tami Smithers, the Unintentional Nudist, looked up from the book she had been reading, a textbook from one of the classes she was attending. Forced out of her dorm room by Wanda, who appeared to have camped there for the day, the nude girl had sought some privacy so she could study...and get away from the eyes of her fellow college students.
Walking around naked, Tami was always the center of attention, something the shy 18-year-old was certainly not used to and didn't really want.
Normally she would have gone and hid in the Library, in one of the many study nooks scattered about the building. But upon stepping outside on this warm sunny day, Tami found she couldn't bring herself to go back indoors just yet. For she had discovered one of those perverse ironies. Tami didn't want to be naked; she loathed her forced nudity, and every day prayed for some way she could put on clothes without burying herself in the deep, deep hole she had dug for herself over the school year. Yet, once the good weather had turned up, Tami found that she actually enjoyed the sun on her skin, the warmish air across her bare body. It was one of those rare benefits of her condition, and as miserable as life was for her at the moment, she was willing to grasp at anything good. So, instead of hiding in the Library, Tami found a different spot to study where she could enjoy the sun in some privacy.
She thought she had the spot too, a small courtyard in the middle of three of the Administration and Maintenance buildings. Not on the way to or from anywhere, few students walked through it and Tami figured that most didn't even know it was there. But someone had taken the trouble to landscape it, for there were flowerbeds, and grass, and a single park bench upon which Tami now sat.
It was a little bit of private heaven for her.
But her solitude wasn't to last.
"You ARE Tami Smithers, aren't you?" said the voice again.
With a sigh, Tami turned to look up at whoever was speaking to her. In the back of her mind, she knew that yet another person was now going to see her naked, yet she made no attempt to cover up even in this private place. The Dean's spies were everywhere, and this could have been one of them.
Tami was surprised to see an older woman, mid forties, dressed in a very expensive business suit and carrying a briefcase. The woman was well groomed and quite attractive, but Tami only had eyes for her outfit. Her mouth actually salivated at the thought of what it might be like to wear such clothing.
The woman smiled. "Earth to Tami," she said.
Tami shook herself mentally. "Hi...yes, I'm Tami," she said, wondering how anyone could mistake her for anyone else. It wasn't like she had to carry ID around anymore; who could fail to recognize the naked Tami Smithers!
The woman chuckled and moved closer. "Just making sure, Miss Smithers. In my line of work, it doesn't pay to make assumptions. Although in your case, I doubt there are any other nude Coeds walking around this campus."
The woman's smile and friendly manner actually made Tami relax a little, but she stayed on her guard. "I wish there were!" she said.
The woman blinked and smiled some more. "My name is Sarah Wickland," she said, holding out her hand, "and I'm an attorney. May I sit with you for a moment?"
Tami reached out and shook the offered hand, but felt nervous about talking to a lawyer. Still, she seemed friendly enough. "Sure," she said.
Sarah smiled and sat down. "I was hoping to bump into you this trip," she said.
"You were?" Tami asked, wondering how this lawyer knew of her to want to bump into her.
"Oh yes. I've heard stories about you for several months now. Not very flattering stories, either."
"Excuse me, but am I supposed to know you?" said Tami, getting worried.
"No, you don't know me. But you do know my ex-brother in law, Henry Ross," Sarah said with a smile.
"Oh," Tami said, thinking she understood things now. This lawyer was one of THEM, the group determined to break her. Tami just wasn't in the mood to play those games at the moment. But to her surprise, Sarah started to laugh.
"What's so funny?" Tami asked her.
"Never have I heard a more appropriate reaction to that asshole's name expressed in one word. You nailed him completely!"
Now Tami was confused. "I don't understand."
"Henry Ross IS an asshole, a bigot, and probably one of the slimiest people I know. He gives my profession a bad name, but unfortunately, those same attributes also make him a good lawyer. The only reason I still talk to him after I divorced his brother is because we handle a mutual client. But if I hadn't been talking to him, I wouldn't have found out about you." Sarah stared directly at Tami, making the nude young woman nervous. Tami thought she had the woman pegged, but now she wasn't so sure.
"What do you know about me?" Tami asked slowly.
"Only what Henry has told me, and I have no doubt that most of it is inaccurate, colored the way he wants it. He tells me that you have been walking around the campus nude almost since the beginning of school, that you claim to be a religious nudist, and because of that claim, the school can't do anything to stop you. Legally, that is. He also tells me that you're faking it. That you're only doing this to avoid being expelled. That you're taking advantage of your condition to bring down the moral code of the college and promote subversive living." Sarah paused for a moment. "Personally, knowing the man, I doubt he even knows what a moral code is. But while he has never admitted it outright, I get the idea he has been taking steps to find out the truth about you." Sarah looked directly into the young woman's eyes and held her gaze. "So, what IS the truth?"
For just a brief second, Tami was tempted to tell all. But she still had no idea who this woman really was. "I'm a nudist," she forced herself to say, "and my nudity is my religion."
Sarah looked at her for a minute longer. "Young lady, I know about religious nudists, I represent some. In fact, given my client base, you are hardly unusual."
Tami wondered what Sarah meant by that, but the lawyer continued to speak. "Henry mentioned that you are doing a lot of work for the college, medical studies?"
Tami paled, reminded of the awful sexual experiments she had to endure once a week. She nodded.
"Somehow, I don't think you look too thrilled about them," Sarah said.
"They're...okay. I don't mind them," Tami replied, trying to sound natural. But she didn't think she was fooling this woman at all.
"I see. Well, being the religious nudist that you are, I have no doubt that you wouldn't mind such invasive procedures. Henry described a few of them to me. Yes, any nudist would go for that." Her tone suggested that Tami was a fool to do what she did, but Tami felt she had no choice. This lawyer didn't know the full story.
"Still, I wanted to meet you all the same," Sarah continued, "and when I saw you sitting down here, I knew I had to come down."
"Come down?" Tami asked.
Nina pointed up at one of the buildings surrounding the courtyard. "I was in Henry's office going over some business with him, there is a clear view of this bench from his window. He was watching you when I got there, and I suspect he's watching us now."
Tami deflated a little, knowing that another private place had just been taken away from her. The world of Tami Smithers was growing smaller and smaller every day, and she hated it.
"I think you've become something of an obsession with him, to be honest. He sees his job as protecting the school, and you aren't making it easy for him. But he isn't all bad."
"Are you sure?" Tami asked, unable to think of anything good about him herself.
"Well, it's good for you simply because even Henry Ross can't let things go TOO far. Haven't you ever thought about how unusual it is for you to have been walking around this campus naked without being bothered by the media? I would think that a nude and attractive young woman such as you would have made national headlines by now. Didn't you ever wonder about that?"
Tami frowned. It actually hadn't occurred to her.
"Well, Miss Smithers, your relative anonymity has been protected by Henry Ross. I suspect that as much as he would love to see you paraded around the nation as you are, he can't risk the bad publicity it would bring to the college. So he told me that he and the Dean have made arrangements with the local media not to cover your story. But who knows how long that will last?" Sarah looked at her watch and stood up. "I have a plane to catch, a long flight home. Here's my card. If you need anything, help with anything. If you find yourself in a fix, give me a call. You can't count on Henry for help unless the college is in danger, but I have a feeling you're going to need a good lawyer sometime, and I'm good. Very good. I'm also used to taking...unusual cases as well," she said with a smile.
Tami took the card. "Er...thanks."
Sarah chuckled. "You should meet my paralegal, you both have a lot in common. It was good to meet you, Tami Smithers, I'm happy to see that a lot of what Henry told me is not true."
Tami was startled when Sarah suddenly bent over her to whisper in her ear. "Be strong, girl. I don't know why you're really doing what you're doing, but you're going to need your strength. Don't let Henry, or the Dean bring you down. You can do it." Sarah stood up again. "I really am on your side, and I'd like to help. Just call if you need me."
With that, Sarah smiled and walked away.
Tami watched her go until she was out of sight, then looked at the card in her hand. Tami wasn't sure what to make of Sarah Wickland; was she really on her side, or was Sarah a minion of the Dean and Henry Ross? Tami pondered this for a moment before bending over and tucking the card into her ankle pouch. She was no closer to a solution, but she figured there was no harm in keeping the card.
With a sigh, Tami gathered her things together and stood up. She glanced up to where she thought Henry Ross's office might be, and wondered if the man really was watching her. But it didn't really matter. Just the chance that he MIGHT be watching had ruined this spot for her.
So the naked Tami Smithers walked away.