The Rent.

Part 11, A New Boss.

Nina West sat quietly in the outer office of one of the senior partners of the legal firm she worked at.  She had arrived at work that morning, almost late, to find a message on her desk from the office of Sarah Wickland, asking her to come right over.

"Sarah Wickland, huh?" said Nina's friend Helen, who was reading over her shoulder.

"I don't think I've met her yet," Nina replied, wondering why a senior partner would want to see her.

"You haven't met the Legallady yet?" Helen said with a smile, "she tries to meet everyone!"

"Legallady?" Nine asked.

Byron, across the way at his own desk, chuckled.  "Oh man, are you in for a treat!" he said loudly, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Why?" asked Nina, knowing that interesting things in her life lately had a habit of becoming TOO interesting.

"The Legallady is a one in a million!" replied the paralegal.

Nina looked at Helen for help.

"Nina, hon, Sarah Wickland is a Senior Partner, but some say that's only because she handles a few rather influential clients the firm can't do without.  She also has a reputation of being rather ruthless with her own staff."

Byron interrupted.  "Not to mention the other partners, her clients, and the legal system itself.  People would have called her the Dragonlady, but too many of the senior wives are already bucking for that one."  He grinned.

"So she's tough, so what?" Nina said.

Helen paused, then she looked at Nina a moment and smiled.  "You know, Nina, I was going to warn you to be careful with her.  But on second thought, I think the two of you just might get along."

"What do you mean?" Nina asked, suddenly worried about the mischievous look in Helen's eyes.

"Oh, nothing really.  Just a few rumors about her clientele.  Probably not true.  But if they are, I want details."

"WE want details," added Byron.

Nina looked from one to the other, then all three burst out laughing.  "You guys are bad," Nina said with a big smile.

"Yeah," said Helen, still giggling, "but you had better get going.  You don't want to keep the Legallady waiting!"

Nina nodded and left their office to go to her fate.

Now she sat and stewed.  After announcing herself to the secretary when she arrived, Nina had been told to wait.  That wait had lasted forty-five minutes so far, and all Nina could think about was the pile of client notes on her desk waiting to be typed up.

So far she had enjoyed her job at the firm, and was beginning to feel that the Law was really going to be her home after all.  All she had to do was get through her two-year internship here, and then off to law school she would go.  She also had to get through her lease with her host, Brian Cook.  A rather unusual lease that required for rent not money, but that she spend every minute she was home completely nude.  She was saving money, that she knew, but it was still difficult to do.  Nina sighed.

A well-dressed gentleman stepped out of Sarah Wickland's office and walked out the door without looking at anyone.  The secretary, a balding young man with bloodshot skin, waited a few minutes and then told Nina she could go in.

On trembling feet, Nina complied.

Nina stepped into the office of the senior partner and looked around.  It was a nice office, tastefully decorated in a modern style with Greek overtones and muted colors.  It wasn't a corner office, there were not enough corners available for all the senior partners, but it was big enough.  There was another door leading out of the room, and the side across from where Nina stood was dominated by some huge windows that showed the office building across the street.

Seated at a glass desk on the far side was Sarah Wickland, who stood up and walked around the desk to greet the younger woman.  Nina could see that the woman was younger than she thought she was going to be, and would have been surprised to learn that the youngest senior partner in the firm was only forty-four.

"Miss West, it's good to meet you; I'm Sarah Wickland," she said with a smile, her hand extended.

Nina took it, a little surprised, as this well dressed, pleasant looking woman didn't look like the hard-ass her friends had described.  Nina figured they were just joking with her and relaxed.  "Hi, it's good to meet you too," Nina said.

"I usually make a point of meeting all the new female employees when they get here," Sarah said, leading Nina over to some comfortable chairs that were laid out around a coffee table.  "Being the only female Senior Partner, I try to do my bit to encourage more women to work toward their goals.  I understand that after you are done here, you move on to law school?"

"Yes, that's,"

"Oh please!  Call me Sarah.  It's Nina, right?"

"Yes, Sarah," Nina said with a smile.

"Good.  Now, you're probably wondering why I've called you in here.  It's not just to meet with you, I'm afraid.  I have some work for you."

"Well sure.  That's what I'm here for," Nina replied.

The Legallady nodded and looked at Nina for a moment.  "I've gone over your initial employee assessment, and talked to some of the lawyers you have worked with already, and all say favorable things about your competence, intelligence, and attitude, three things I value greatly.  There was also mention of that unfortunate incident in the basement a week ago?"

Nina blushed, thinking back on that embarrassing time, when a pile of old typewriters had ripped her blouse and bra to shreds, not to mention all the clothes of the unfortunate young woman who had created the mess in the first place.  Word of the incident had slowly spread through the firm, but Nina had been relieved that no one else but her friend Helen had actually seen it.

Sarah smiled.  "Don't worry about it.  Accidents happen."

"Yes," Nina agreed.

Sarah Wickland smiled some more and looked Nina over.  The lawyer was seated rather casually, leaning back, her legs crossed, with one foot bouncing up and down slightly.  Nina felt a little ill at ease under her scrutiny.

"I'm also a friend of Brian Cook," she said suddenly.  "The dear man, he helped me a lot with my career, and without his influence I doubt I would have made partner so soon.  He's a good friend, a good man."

Again Nina agreed, genuinely liking the man.

Sarah leaned forward slightly.  "I was talking with him yesterday about you.  I thought I'd ask a follow up as it were to my inquiries about you here.  He gives you high marks, says you have the potential to go far.  We also discussed"

Startled, Nina flushed deeply.  The woman sitting across from her knew her secret, knew the price she paid for living in the wonderful home Brian provided for her.

"" Nina tried to say.

Sarah laughed.  "It's alright, dear.  You needn't worry.  Brian and I go way back, and what he tells me is held in strict confidence.  You could say that keeping secrets is my stock in trade, and yours is such a little one really.  My clients have far bigger things to keep quiet.

"But that is why I need you, dear.  Your situation at home gives you an understanding of secrets; how important they are.  Am I right?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Nina replied.

Sarah smiled.  "Of course you know you are bound by our Lawyer/Client confidentiality agreements when dealing with business, that goes without saying.  But situations might arise where such legal confidences do not apply, and so there becomes a need to trust to your discretion."

Nina nodded, a sinking feeling deep inside her.

The Legallady leaned forward a little more, her eyes focused on Nina's face.  "We don't want...any...secrets to get out now, do we?"

Nina paled.  She sudden saw that her friends' warnings were genuine.  Behind the pleasant facade, this woman was steel.

"You can trust me," Nina said.

Sarah stared at her for a moment longer, then sat back with a huge smile.  But somehow, Nina didn't feel any happier.

"Good.  Brian said you were the soul of discretion and I can see that he was right.  Now here is what I need from you.  Quite often, my duties don't allow me to see my clients whenever they call and want a hand to hold.  Also, there are duties that can be carried out perfectly well by a paralegal such as you, without my needing to be there.  It's a sad state of affairs, I know, but I have two dozen clients to deal with at the moment and not enough time for all of them.

"Your duties then would be varied, and there is also responsibility.  I'm not going to be looking over your shoulder.  Do you understand me so far, Nina?"

"Yes Ma'am," said the confused young woman, elated at the prospect of being given increased responsibility, yet still uneasy about the threat she thought she had been given about revealing anything.

"Good," Sarah said, standing up.  "Well then.  I've had the files on these clients pulled and they're sitting in my conference room.  I'll sit with you for a half hour or so and will give you the high points on each of them, but I want you to spend the morning making yourself familiar with them.  This afternoon I have another task for you as well."

She began to walk toward the glass door on one side of the room and Nina got up to follow.  But after only a few steps, Sarah stopped and turned.

"Brian tells me that you spend all your time at home in the nude, is that right?"

Nina blushed a little and nodded.  "Yes, Ma'am."

Sarah smiled.  "Well, I imagine that after all that time nude, wearing clothes can sometimes be a little uncomfortable when you first put them on."

"That is true, Ma'am," Nina had to admit.  Quite often she had felt somewhat restricted by the outfits she wore, something she had never noticed about clothes before she came to live with Brian Cook.  But still, her occasional discomforts were far outweighed by her happiness at having something to put on.

"Oh!" replied Sarah Wickland.  "Well in that case, don't let me stop you from being comfortable.  This is a private office, and the conference room is also private.  No unexpected visitors here, no one would dare.  Don't let me stop you from removing those uncomfortable clothes and being comfortable in this office."

"That's alright, Ma'am.  I'm quite comfortable, really," Nina replied, her nervousness increasing.

"Don't be silly, dear.  You don't look comfortable to me.  Don't worry...I know how to keep a secret," she whispered, staring Nina straight in the eye.  She continued more slowly.  "Now I insist that you don't let me stop you."

Nina knew that what she had just been given was an order, an order based on blackmail.  She debated for a moment on just leaving, but realized that for someone like Sarah Wickland to even try this meant that they had to be very sure of where they stood.  Nina on the other hand felt she didn't have a leg to stand on; so she reached for the buttons of her blouse, and while checking the door to make sure it was closed, and glancing at the huge windows, she made another plea.

"Really, it's quite alright..."

"No it isn't!  For some reason you're as jumpy as a jackrabbit, and I need you at ease if I'm to get any work out of you.  And don't worry about me, dear, you haven't got anything I haven't seen before!"  Sarah smiled and walked over to one side of her office where a built in closet was concealed.  She opened it to reveal some zippered up garment bags.  "I wouldn't want that outfit of yours spoiled," she said sweetly, "It's a genuine IO, isn't it?  You can keep it in here, it'll be safe.  Go on!"

Feeling like she was in a dream...a rather bad one, Nina slipped off her jacket and carried it over to her new boss.

Sarah watched closely as Nina kicked off her shoes and undid her skirt, sliding the garment down her legs and revealing a pair of blue bikini panties.  Sarah took the skirt and examined it.  "This IS nice, and expensive I would imagine.  IO does some wonderful work.  You must have cried when your blouse got ruined last week."

Nina could almost cry now.  She was prepared to strip at home, it being a daily occurrence for her, and she was even getting used to being stared at by the gardeners once a week, and Brian the rest of the time.  But here at the firm, the one place she felt secure from all that, she now felt helpless.  Unable to say a word, she finished undoing the buttons of her silk blouse, and after hesitating a moment, she slipped it off, revealing that she wore no bra underneath.  It just happened to be one of 'those' blouses that day.

Nina flushed, and handed it over, wanting to cover up but thinking she didn't dare.  Sarah took the blouse and proceeded to look at it admiringly, but she also gave Nina, who was now left only in her panties and jewelry, a good once over as well.

"This is a nice blouse," Sarah said, feeling the material and noticing how her hand could be seen through it, "and I can see how hard it would be to wear a bra under it.  But looking at you I can see you don't need the support yet, dear."  She slipped it into one of the garment bags hanging in the closet while Nina stood and blushed.

Sarah turned back to her and raised an eyebrow.  "Not done yet, Nina," she said.

Nina bit her lip and dug her thumbs under the waistband of her panties, slipping them off quickly and handing them over.  She watched Sarah pop them in the bag with the rest of her clothes, including her shoes she saw, and watched in horror as Sarah zipped the bag up and popped the lock at the top.

"Why did you lock the bag?" Nina asked.

"Oh!  Did I?  Must be force of habit.  Don't worry, I have the key.  Now, let's get to work!"

Sarah led the very nervous Nina through into the conference room.  Nina walked quietly, not knowing where to put her hands, and dreading what she might see in that room.  But what she saw was a room decorated like the Senior Partner's office, but about half the size.  It was dominated by a large table that looked like it could easily seat twelve, covered in files of various thicknesses.  There was also another door that presumably led to the hallway outside.  The door had the only internal window in the room, frosted glass Nina was glad to see.  But like the office next to it, large windows opened up its other end, and Nina could see the building across the street.  It's windows showed nothing of it's interior, Nina hoped the same was true looking in this direction.

Sarah acted as if nothing was unusual, and began going through the files.  Nina found it hard to concentrate though, the feel of the leather-covered chair against her skin, the plushness of the carpet between her bare toes.  It was anything but like a business atmosphere for Nina.  Yet, after Sarah left her alone and she started reading the files, Nina did begin to relax.  But she never forgot her nudity.

Still, the clients in those files had a fascination all their own.  Many lived in the same neighborhood as she and Brian Cook, and one or two of the names were familiar to her on their own merits.  Nina was impressed, and began to think that meeting some of these people just might be worth stripping for Sarah Wickland.  So with an ever-increasing smile, Nina kept working.

Sarah Wickland surprised Nina several hours later by bringing in a couple of sandwiches and some drinks.  Having her boss in the room made Nina conscious of her nakedness all over again, but the woman didn't seem to react.  Instead, she insisted on eating with the younger woman, chatting about how Nina found things at the firm so far, if she had suffered any discrimination because she was a woman, and if she had made any friends yet.  Nina answered honestly and was soon again lulled into a sense of security about her nudity, and the two finished their meal with a lot less tension than when they started.

"I have to run to the County Court for an hour," Sarah said when she finished eating.  "When I come back, I'll send you on that errand I mentioned earlier."

"Sure thing, Sarah," Nina replied.  "I'll be fine.  Oh, I do have a question for you.  Do I report up here from now on?"  Nina was wondering if she had to leave her office and her friends several floors below.

"Oh no.  If I need you, I'll call.  You can depend on spending your mornings down there, generally, but your afternoons for the most part will be mine.  Now, I really have to go, back in an hour!"

Sarah left and Nina got back to work.  But she soon found out she had a problem after all.  The drinks she had at lunch only accelerated the problem, but she realized she hadn't been to the bathroom all morning.  Nina looked at the clock and thought she could wait, but the need to go quickly rose to painful heights and she couldn't keep still.

Nina peeked into Sarah's office to see if anyone was there, and discovering it empty, she went to the closet where her clothes were kept.  She struggled with the little zipper lock that sealed the garment bag, but it was no use.

"Damn!" she swore.

Thinking as fast as she could, while practically dancing across the carpet, Nina considered her options.  Outside in the outer office was probably Sarah's male secretary, and Nina had no desire to be seen by that creepy looking guy.  The only other way to a bathroom was...the door in the conference room.

Nina ran over to it and opened it carefully, desperation overpowering her fractured modesty.  She looked both ways down the hall, seeing it empty, and swallowing hard, she stepped out and ran as fast as she could toward where she thought she saw some restrooms.

She was in luck, she made it to restroom without being seen, and she burst into a stall as fast as she could, at that point not caring if anyone was in there.

Relief could not have felt so sweet as she peed, it's calming affect reminding her of something she saw as she ran for the stall.


'Shit!' she thought.  'I'm in the men's!'

To compound her difficulties she heard the door open and the sound of two men arguing.  Nina lifted her feet and held her breath, not wanting to make a sound.  She didn't want to have to explain why she was naked in the Men's Room on the floor of the Senior Partners.  She tried not to think about what discovery would cost her.

Instead, she sat perfectly still, and watched through the cracks around the door, as two well dressed men argued a point of law as if they were in court.

Another man came in, and Nina almost groaned.  It was getting crowded in here and she knew she was near discovery for sure.  But as the guy walked by her stall, Nina recognized him as Sarah's male secretary.  She heard a stall two doors down being opened, and the sound of a zipper.

Nina blinked and waited, and a moment later the two arguing lawyers left the restroom; that just left the secretary.

Nina felt the urge to move.  She knew she couldn't stay any longer.  She got to her feet and crept out into the restroom, heading for the door.

Nina took a peek outside and, seeing the coast was clear, made another mad dash for the conference room.  She grabbed the doorknob but it wouldn't turn.  It had locked behind her.

Desperate, she shook the door, then realized that with the secretary in the bathroom the outer office would be empty.  Nina ran down the hallway without any more thought and dashed into the outer office, which was thankfully unoccupied.

With a huge sigh of relief, the naked young woman stepped into Sarah Wickland's office and was brought up short.

Sarah was standing behind her desk looking up at her.

"Really Nina, I knew you were adjusting to being nude a lot of your time, but I didn't realize you felt comfortable enough to leave the office like that.  I guess I underestimated you.  You'll do just fine working for me; I have no worries on that score.  Now, your assignment for the afternoon."  Sarah smiled and held out an envelope.

Nina sighed.

End of Part 11.