The Rent.

Part 2,  The Decision.

Nina spent the next couple of days deep in thought.  On the surface, the idea of living here naked seemed quite crazy, almost insulting!  She wasn't some cheap bimbo who didn't mind strutting around showing all her charms to whomever was willing to pay; she was an intelligent woman who planned to become a lawyer!  Brian Cook's demands were almost sexual harassment!

Yet, Nina would always waffle, he didn't really demand anything, did he?  He told her, quite nicely, what he needed and why; and on the face of it his argument was quite logical.  And it wasn't as if he was using his hobby as an excuse to see her naked; he was actually quite skilled at what he did and Nina had no doubt that he was serious about his reasons.

And who else would see her?  The housekeeper certainly, but that was okay, wasn't it?  Surely the woman must be used to seeing her employer's models in various states of undress.

Still, how comfortable would it be to never be dressed around the house again?

Nina thought about all this a lot, bouncing from one argument to another throughout the course of the next few days.

But she was being seduced, not by Brian Cook per se, but by the house.  It was just beautiful, and her first night there had been like living in heaven.  She had all the creature comforts she could have wanted, many that she thought she never could have afforded on her own.  It was hard to think that she might have to give it all up if she decided to turn down her host's offer.

Brian Cook did sweeten the pot even further, though.  On her second day at the house, he took her down the driveway to the large garage next to the gate in the wall where cars had access to the property.  The gate stayed closed all the time--it was opened electronically from the garage or the house--and was just another symbol of the privacy Brian wanted.

Standing next to it, Nina tried to find out just how much could be seen from the gate.  If she was going to be walking around out here naked, she wanted to make sure she wasn't giving the neighborhood a show.  But the driveway curved sharply just beyond the garage and the landscaping took care of the rest.  She realized that she would be perfectly safe.

But that wasn't why she and Brian had come down.  He led her through a back door, and inside Nina found several cars in the spotless parking bay.

One looked like a classic from the twenties, and Brian told her it was an early Ford.

A more modern Jaguar sat next to it, as did a rather beaten up Ford pickup and a large sedan.  At the end of the row was a Geo with a convertible top.  Nina thought it looked cute.

"The sedan is Alison's," Brian said to her, "but I thought you might be interested in the Geo.  It's my granddaughter's, for when she comes to visit, but I was thinking of letting you use it as well.  You will need some way of getting to and from work, wouldn't you?"  He smiled at her and Nina's face lit up.

"I'd LOVE to use it, thank you!" Nina said, thinking to herself how cute she'd look driving around in it.

"Of course, if you weren't living here that wouldn't work.  I'd need the car here if Kelly suddenly showed up.  It wouldn't do to have it elsewhere."

Nina's face fell at the thought of not using the car, and was smart enough to know that Brian was using it to influence her decision.  Yet even knowing that didn't make it any easier.

The twosome left the building and walked back to the house.

Despite the unresolved issue between them, Nina and Brian got on quite well.  He was a generous and happy host, always willing to talk and spend time with this girl he treated almost like another granddaughter.  As time went by, he opened up about himself some more and Nina found out about his own family.  He had a daughter, married, who was a doctor in a major city hospital halfway across the country.  And there were two grandchildren, twins, a boy and a girl, both at university.  They were two years younger than Nina, and while Kelly frequently dropped in to see her grandfather, Christopher would rarely visit.

Nina got the impression that a coincidence of birth was all the twins shared, and that they were not alike in most ways.

But spending time with Brian was fun; he showed her his studio and all his unfinished pieces, hinting again at how just a little inspiration would help him complete many of them.  He even sat her down and did a few sketches of her.

But as the days wore on, Nina figured that of all the things that helped her make her decision, it was the pool that tipped the scales.  It was just so darn handy!

Each morning before she ate, she would change into her swim suit and pad down to the pool for her exercise.  She had quickly gotten used to changing clothes in front of the huge floor to ceiling windows of her room, but couldn't help thinking each time she did so how it would feel to always be nude behind them.

Still, she DID enjoy the swimming, pulling laps until she felt that comfortable ache in her shoulders and legs that signaled a good work out.  She would then towel off and come inside, where Mrs. Terry would have breakfast ready for her.

Her first morning there, Nina dressed first before eating, but after that she didn't bother, sitting at the breakfast counter in the kitchen in just her suit.

Mrs. Terry didn't seem to mind at all, which eased Nina's anxiety a little.  If the housekeeper was someone whose nose would have been put out of joint by what Nina wore or didn't wear, then it would have been a lot harder for Nina to consider saying yes.

On Nina's fourth night, the young woman couldn't sleep.  She tossed and turned in her bed for hours, wrestling with her decision.

What was it going to be like?

Then she realized that the only way to find out was to give it a try, so she got out of bed.

Her room wasn't dark; moonlight lit up her room a little, the sky looking clear and bright through the huge windows of her room.  Nina stood quietly for a moment in the football jersey she used as a nightgown, before biting her lip and lifting it off her.

She dropped it on the floor and just stood.  Of course she had been naked in this room before, but that was just while changing from one thing to the other.  She had never undressed here just to BE undressed.

She curled her toes, then padded silently to the window.  She looked out, watching carefully for any sign of someone in the dark being able to see her.  But while she was aware there were houses out there beyond the wall around the property, she could not see any lights from any of them.

Nina leaned against the window, taking in a sharp breath as her breasts pressed against the cool glass.  It was such an unusual feeling, completely new to her.  She had never had glass up against her breasts before, certainly not like this.  Nina almost giggled.

With a smile, she backed off and padded into the bathroom.  She went straight to the window and did it again, pushing her breasts against the glass while she checked out the back of the house.  All was quiet, everyone else asleep.

A mad idea entered her head, and Nina was shocked at herself.  But the idea wouldn't leave, and the longer it stayed the more tempting it was.  Her heart beating a little faster, Nina grabbed a towel and left the bathroom.  She went to the door of her room and swallowed.  Gathering her courage, she opened the door and peeked out.

All was quiet.  At the far end of the hall were the housekeeper's rooms.  At any moment Nina expected Mrs. Terry to come bursting out, but of course nothing happened.  The woman was asleep, Nina told herself.

Gingerly, Nina crept out into the hallway.  She passed the iron spiral staircase that led up to the sunroom and debated on going up there, but continued on.  She made it to the stairs and paused, looking down.

The house was still, but movement caught her eye.  She looked up in panic and saw it was just the trees outside moving in the wind.  With so many windows, it seemed like the outdoors were inside with her.

Nina took a breath and began walking down the staircase.  She skipped quickly and silently past the second floor where Brian slept, and made it to the ground floor with ease.  She looked up now, thinking about how her clothes were now out of reach.  She wondered why she was doing this.  Would the idea of walking around out here naked have come to her if Brian Cook hadn't had made that suggestion to her?

Nina didn't know, but there she was all the same.  She moved quickly onward through the dining room to a set of French doors that opened onto the patio.  Taking a deep breath, she opened the doors and stepped outside.

It seemed very strange to her, standing in the dark outside with nothing on.  The wind was a little restless, pockets of air moving in all directions, flowing about her body in ways she had never felt before.  She stepped away from the doors, holding her arms out to let the wind brush her skin.  It felt good, great even, yet it also felt quite scary, as it only emphasized the fact that she had no clothes on.

Nina continued to walk away from the house, her eyes continually looking around to see if anyone could see her.  She saw no one.

Relaxing a little, she draped her towel over the back of a chair, and padded to the pool.  There were pool lights, she had been told, but they were off right now.  Had they been on, Nina no doubt would not have wanted to try this.  But the closer she drew to the pool, the more she felt the urge for a swim, a naked swim!

Poolside, she eased herself into the water, marveling at its perfect temperature, and with a practiced ease, she pushed away and began to swim.

Nina was surprised; there was a marked difference from her morning crawls.  She had always thought her swimsuit comfortable, hardly noticing it when it was on and barely conscious of the way it pulled against her as she moved through the water.  But swimming without it now made her feel quite different.  She went through a full range of motions, expecting the sudden binding around her thighs or across her shoulders that she was used to, but it never came.

Joyfully Nina dove and swam around, enjoying the freedom of movement her lack of a suit gave her.  She even started working out in earnest, pulling hard into doing a couple of serious laps to see how it felt.  She only stopped when she realized the pool lights had come on.

Startled, she looked up, attempting to tread water while at the same time trying to cover up.  It was a reflex action, but not a very good one.  It took only a couple of seconds for her to see by the light from the pool that she was no longer alone.

Dressed in a robe, Brian Cook stood next to the pool looking down at her with a slight smile.  He shook his head and chuckled while Nina moved quickly to the side of the pool.  She was very aware that the pool lights afforded her no protection from his gaze whatsoever, and she was very embarrassed.  She had no doubts that he had seen everything she had.

"I'm sorry, Nina," Brian said, "I didn't know it was you.  I guess I should have told you about the alarm system, but then I didn't expect you to be out here in the middle of the night."

"Alarm system?" Nina said, taking shelter at the edge of the pool.  She wished she had her towel.

"Yes, all the doors and windows are wired.  The alarm is in my room and it woke me up.  I was about to call the police when I heard you splashing around out here.  I would have told you the codes, but I was waiting on your decision first."  He smiled down at her.  "Is this an indication that you might be staying after all?"

"Er..." Nina said.  " wanted to see what it was like to...well..."

"It's okay, Nina.  You don't have to explain."

Nina looked away from him, embarrassed yet confused as well.

HAD she made her decision?

Brian walked back and got her towel.  He brought it to her and turned away while Nina climbed out of the pool.  Nina nervously wrapped the towel around herself and stood silently, waiting.

"You know, Nina, what I said was true, about needing a certain inspiration for my work," Brian said, not looking at her.  "Look at you now; the way you are standing, the things you are feeling.  You're embarrassed, right; a little ashamed at being caught? Yet you're also fighting the feeling that you enjoyed your swim.  I saw you smiling as I turned the lights on; it felt good, didn't it?  No doubt, if you decide to stay you will feel embarrassed a lot of the time; but you will also feel as good as you felt swimming here tonight, maybe even better as you discover the freedoms I'm granting you.

"Don't ignore how you're feeling right now, don't be ashamed of it or put it away somewhere.  Make these feelings a part of your decision process."

There was a pause, then the old man began to walk toward the house.

Nina took a deep breath, a thousand thoughts and feelings echoing through her; yet she couldn't deny the pleasure she had gotten in the water, and the thought of more of that to come was enticing indeed.

Nina made her decision, and dropped her towel.

"Brian!" she called out to her host.

Brian Cook stopped.  Slowly he turned to look at her, and Nina held fast.  Not since her last boyfriend had she purposely allowed someone to see her naked; and even he didn't get a really good look.

Brian stood quietly, taking her in, noticing more the courage she showed than the way her youthful body actually looked.  Younger men would have let their eyes concentrate on her round breasts and the diamond-like gap at the top of her well-muscled thighs, but Brian took her in as a whole.  He had been telling the truth, he really needed her for the reasons he told her; and it was with an artist's eye that he examined her.

"Thank you," he said,  "you have no idea how much you have helped this old man out."

"That's...okay.  I want to help," Nina said for want of something to say.  She was nervous and still embarrassed, but it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.

"We'll go over the details tomorrow," Brian told her.  "If you don't dress in the morning, then we can assume that you have made your final decision.  At least you will get another chance to sleep on it."  He smiled.

"Okay," said Nina.

"Goodnight, Nina," Brian said, turning away and walking back into the house.

Nina realized she was shivering, and picked up the towel again.  She dried herself off and began to wrap herself up in it, then stopped.  Now that she had decided to go through with it, decided to spend the next two years of her life naked in this house and inside the walls surround the garden, she felt odd hiding behind a towel.  A part of her screamed out to be wrapped up, to be covered.  But Nina held fast and put the towel down on a table.

Naked, with nothing in her hands, she walked as calmly as she could back inside and up to bed.

She fell asleep immediately.

End of Part 2