The Rent.

Part 17, Moving Day.

It was a bright and sunny Saturday after two nights of dreadful storms.  The air felt warm and clean and the world shone with an unexpected newness.

Enjoying the sun and the heat were two young women.  Both were lying on canvas covered patio lounges, stretched out to maximize the amount of exposure to the morning rays.  Both had barely moved a muscle over the past half hour, so relaxed were they, except of course for their mouths as they chatted about this and that.  And both were liberally coated in suntan lotion to protect against burning.  There was a rather obvious difference between the two, though.  One lay in a modest bikini while the other was nude.  The nude wasn't nude entirely by choice; she could, if she wished, have gotten dressed any time she wanted.  But the girl in question, Nina West, was not about to do that, for to put on any clothing unless she was leaving the property was a violation of her lease.  Nina West had a rather unusual arrangement with her landlord, Brian Cook.  She had free room and board for two years, as long as she remained nude on the property at all times unless he said otherwise.  He rarely said otherwise.

At first, it had been very hard for young Nina to spend all that time nude, but she had been here for a while now and didn't find it near the chore that it had least for the most least when alone.

She wasn't alone now, but with her was one of the few people who didn't make her self conscious about her nudity, her friend Helen.  In fact, there had been a few odd moments when Helen had joined Nina in being nude, but for the most part, she stayed dressed.  Just like this morning.

Helen had stopped by rather unexpectedly that morning, but Nina was happy for the company.  Nina didn't live alone.  Brian, her landlord, Mrs. Terry, his housekeeper, and Kelly, his grand daughter, all lived in the huge house as well.  But Brian was an old man, Mrs. Terry was aloof, and Kelly...well Kelly was still a mystery to Nina in many respects.  Helen, who Nina met at work, was the only real friend she had made since moving out here, the only one she could really talk to.

So Nina was glad Helen had stopped by, but couldn't help wondering why she had.  Helen rarely did anything without a good reason, and she had said nothing about coming over when she and Nina were at work the day before.

Nina, who was lying on her stomach, turned to look at her friend.  They had talked about a few things, mostly work related, but Nina thought that Helen had something on her mind, maybe the reason for her coming over.  As Nina watched and wondered, Helen looked up and around at the windows of the house overlooking the patio before reaching behind herself and undoing the catch of her bikini top.  Lying on her front, she was now able to tan her back without a line, well not much of one.  A faint tan line was already there.

Nina smiled, both at the modesty Helen displayed despite the fact that she was spending time with a nude woman, and also at the knowledge that being nude all the time meant she had NO tan lines.

Comfortable enough in their friendship not to need conversation as a crutch, Nina and Helen lay silently for awhile, both just enjoying the sun and both busy with their own thoughts.  It was Helen that eventually broke the silence.

"I got some bad news today," she said.

Nina was suddenly concerned.  She rose up on her elbows, her naked breasts now hanging.  "What is it?"

Helen glanced over briefly before looking away.  Her sunglasses hid her eyes or Nina would have seen her take in the sight of Nina half propped up, especially how she zeroed in on Nina's bare breasts.  Helen felt embarrassed at how she couldn't help looking at Nina, and wished she could stop.  She took a deep breath and answered her friend.

"It's nothing serious, just sudden.  I'm kinda embarrassed about making such a big deal out of it.  It's nothing really," Helen said.

"Well, let me be the judge of that," Nina said with a smile.

Helen gave a soft smile as well.  "Okay.  I got a notice from our landlord today; the City served a Notice on HIM, citing him for fire code violations.  So he has to get them fixed and in a hurry.  He told us that he needed all the tenants out of the building for a week so his builders could get to work.  My roommates are all getting hotel rooms for the week, but you know I've been saving for that ski trip, and the price of hotel rooms in this town is like everything else, expensive to the max.  I was hoping that...well, wondering if I could stay here with you!"

Nina smiled.  "Of course you can, but I'm not the one to ask.  I think you'd have to talk to Brian.  I don't see any reason why you couldn't stay for a week, though.  When do you have to move out?"

" tonight," said Helen weakly.

"Tonight!" Nina exclaimed.

"Yeah, the builders start tomorrow, early.  Kinda sudden, huh?"  Helen shrugged.

"No kidding," Nina said, wondering how Brian Cook would take having a new houseguest at such short notice.

"Do you think he'd go for it?" Helen said, wondering about Nina's host.

"Well, let's go see!"  Nina sat up and climbed out of the lounger.  She had to wait a moment while Helen refastened her top before getting off her chair, and again Nina smiled.  Nina and Helen had recently spent an entire working weekend together where they hardly wore a stitch of clothing between them, yet Helen was still very modest around her.  Eventually Helen was ready, and both women, one nude and one in just a bikini, made their way into the house.

They passed through the kitchen, normally Mrs. Terry's domain, and both women wondered where the housekeeper was.  She was easy to find though, for all they had to do was follow the sound of a vacuum cleaner echoing through the house.  As they walked, Helen felt rather self conscious, her bikini clad image reflected all over the place.  The inside of the house was liberally coated with mirrors, taking up most of the wall space that wasn't windows.  To be sure though, there wasn't much that wasn't open or a window.  The house was the pinnacle of open planning, at least on the first floor.  Huge windows let in the great outdoors, making it easy for anyone standing outside to see anyone inside, something that made Nina very nervous due to her nudity.

With all the mirrors, it was worse; for you couldn't turn around without seeing yourself, and neither could anyone else.  Therefore, the two young women saw Mrs. Terry vacuuming a rug long before they entered the room where she was working, and to Helen it was still a very unusual sight.

Mrs. Terry was a nudist; it was her preferred manner of dress, and her employer had no arguments against it.  In fact, Mrs. Terry had revealed to Nina one evening that she had once served the same modeling role for Brian Cook that Nina now did, and that was what turned her on to being nude.  So it was not surprising to see the older woman stark naked as she did her chores, including doing the vacuuming.

Nina got her attention by waving, and Mrs. Terry shut off the vacuum cleaner and stretched.  She looked at the two young women with a half smile showing on her normally dour face.

"Did you need something, Miss West?" the housekeeper said.

"I was just wondering where Brian was, and if he would mind if we saw him," Nina replied, knowing her host enjoyed his privacy on occasion.

"I think I just saw Mr. Cook go into his studio, Miss West.  He didn't say anything to me about not wanting visitors, but knock first."

"Yes, Ma'am," Nina said with a smile, and she led her friend upstairs.

As they walked up the open staircase, Helen hugged herself.  "Maybe I should put something else on," she said.  "It feels very odd calling on someone wearing just a swimsuit."

"You should try it nude sometime," teased Nina.

Helen shuddered.

Brian Cook, a lawyer retired from the firm where Nina worked, was now a sculptor.  This was why the old man wanted Nina nude all the time, to be his living model.  Brian's art was concentrated on the expressions of modesty, revealed as moments of embarrassment and humiliation in the human body.  Having a model always nude allowed him to see those moments in a realistic way he could never hope to duplicate with a pose in his studio.  Consequently, Nina didn't spend much time actually modeling for Brian.  It had been a week since she was last in the studio.  She knocked.

"Yes!" said a voice from inside.

"It's Nina; can I come in?"

"You have your friend Helen with you, don't you?"

"Yes," Nina replied.

"Just one moment then."

Helen looked at her friend and raised an eyebrow.

Nina giggled.  "He's probably covering up my statue.  He doesn't want anyone to see it before the unveiling Wednesday night."

"Oh, have you seen it?" Helen asked.

Nina nodded, and blushed at the thought.  She had sat-or more accurately, stood-for a few basic posing sessions once Brian had settled on the image he wanted to portray.  But the detail work had been done strictly from his observations of Nina as she lived in his house.  Nina had seen the almost completed work the week before, and knew that the detail was indeed exquisite.  Frightening, even.

"Is it any good?" Helen asked with a smile, knowing how her friend thought about being immortalized nude in stone.

Nina sniffed and grinned.  "You'll just have to wait to see for yourself."

"COME!" yelled a voice from inside the door, and the two women entered.

There was indeed a cloth-covered mound standing on a workbench on one side of the room.  It looked pretty short to Helen, but that was because the statue wasn't life size.  It didn't need to be, Nina knew; as small as it was, it was detailed enough.

Brian was washing some of his tools at a nearby sink.  The old man was dressed in jeans and a slightly ripped T-shirt, so unlike the corporate image of the lawyer he used to be.

He looked up at the approaching girls and smiled in a grandfatherly way.  Brian had gotten to know Nina fairly well during the time she had lived here, and he liked her friend Helen as well.  He was amused to note though, that while it was Nina who was nude, it was Helen who blushed at appearing before him so scantily dressed.  He made a mental note of her expression.

"What can I do for you young ladies this morning?" he asked.  "Do you need to get at some clothing, Nina?"

Brian held the keys to where Nina's clothes were kept locked up.  Any time she wanted some so she could leave, she had to ask Brian.

"No," Nina said, still not quite used to refusing an offering of clothing, "I'm not going anywhere just yet, but we wanted to ask you something."

Brian inclined his head in an inquisitive manner, and Nina explained Helen's predicament and her need to stay.  Through it all, Helen stayed silent, biting her lip, aware of how little she wore.  She also kept glancing down between Nina's legs, to where a recent shave was only now growing back.

"Hmmm," Brian said when Nina was done.  "The man gave you no notice whatsoever?" he asked Helen.

"What?  Oh, no.  Just told us this morning that the builders would be by tomorrow, and that we would have to find someplace else to stay for a week."

Brian shook his head.  "I hope at least that he will refund you your expenses."

"He didn't say anything about it," Helen answered.

Brian knew that the landlord had overstepped his bounds, but that wasn't the issue here.  He took a moment to think about it, and decided to explore an option.  If Helen hadn't just blushed the way she had, Brian doubted he would have thought of what he did just now.  But Nina had adjusted very quickly to her nude state, and it wasn't as easy to catch her embarrassed about it as it used to be.  Brian regarded Helen carefully.

"Alright," he said after a moment, "You can stay until you are able to move back in to your home."

The two young women cheered and almost shared a hug, shying away at the last second.

"But," he continued, "as I told Nina, no one gets something for nothing.  There will be a rent to pay."

Helen paled.


Nina could see that Helen was angry.  The young woman was now fully dressed in shorts and a blouse, put on over her swimsuit.  She threw her handbag in her car and climbed in after it.

"How dare he!" she kept saying.

"Helen, I'm sorry," Nina said, trying to calm her down.  Of course she was a little angry with Brian herself, angry with him for telling Helen that the price for her staying was to follow the same rules Nina did.  Nina knew that Helen had every right to be angry.

"I'm not..." Helen began.  "I...CAN'T do what he said; I'm not like you, Nina!  I don't know HOW he could have thought that!"

Nina was at a loss for words, she just hoped she hadn't lost a friend.

Helen slouched in the driver's seat for a moment, head and arms on the steering wheel, before looking up at her naked friend.  She looked very distraught.

"Helen, where will you go now?" Nina asked her.

"I don't know; I'll have to find a place somewhere," she said.

Nina sighed, then grinned.  "Maybe Sarah can put you up!"

Helen glared at Nina with a horrified expression.

"No, thank you!" she said strongly.  "No doubt I'd lose my clothes there as well, but at least here I wouldn't be expected to go out to dinner afterward!"

Nina laughed, and after a moment, Helen did too.  Helen was still upset about Brian's, his terms.  But she didn't see herself capitulating to them...not unless she really had to.  The thing was, it wasn't so much the nudity she was afraid of but...she looked away from Nina.

Nina padded forward and leaned against the car.  "Well, when you find a place, let me know, okay?"

"Yeah, I'll call.  Thanks anyway."  Helen started her little car and pulled away.  Nina watched her go, and went back inside, wondering how she would have reacted if Helen had said 'Yes'.


Night had fallen, and Nina was getting worried.  No call yet from Helen.  Where was her friend going to spend the night?

She had spent part of the evening watching TV in her room, promos for an upcoming adult version of "Survivor" making her cringe, when there was a knock at her door.

"Come in!" Nina yelled, not wanting to move from her comfortable seat.

Mrs. Terry opened the door and poked her head in.

"You have a visitor, Miss West," she said.

Without another word, she opened the door wider and left.  Standing in the door was Helen, looking tired and rather upset.

THIS got Nina out of her chair.  "Helen, are you alright?"

Helen nodded and sighed.

"What are you doing here; did you find a place to stay?" Nina asked.

"Nothing that I could afford, not for a week," she replied.  "I could swing it, but I'd be wiped out, and the places I could afford are so far out of town that I'd spend way too much in gas to make it worth while."

"Have you been looking all this time?" asked Nina, sorry for her friend.

", No.  It became obvious it was pretty hopeless early on.  I even tried calling a few people, but no one was willing to put me up for a week."  Helen bit her lip and looked Nina straight in the eye.  "I...spent most of the afternoon just sitting...thinking.  I can't live in my car for a week.  Do you think...Brian might...?"

Nina sighed and took Helen's hand.  "Let's go ask him."

It was late, but not so late that Brian had already gone to bed.  He met them at the door to his private suite of rooms in an expensive looking robe and pajamas.  He raised his eyebrows at the sight of Helen standing quietly beside his lodger.

"To be honest young lady, I didn't expect to see you here so soon again," he said to her.

Helen looked down.

Nina looked from one to the other, and spoke up for her friend.  "She can't find any place to stay.  Could she PLEASE stay here?"

"Of course she can, we have another spare bedroom.  But she knows the price," Brian said firmly.

"Oh, come on, Brian, you can't expect her to really abide by those rules.  It seems rather petty of you to even try to enforce them.  Why would you, anyway; isn't that why you have me?" Nina said angrily.

Brian Cook looked at Nina for a moment, his expression thoughtful.

"You know, Nina, your grandfather, God rest his soul, often told me what a fighter you were.  He said that you rarely fought for yourself, but were always ready to fight for others.  It was one of the reasons he thought you would make a great lawyer, a trial lawyer at that.  I agree with him, by the way.  He also told me that you have a great sense of responsibility; that once given a task or duty, you follow through.  Again, a good quality for a lawyer.

"Those two attributes combined together makes you protective of others, as I can see right now.  This is the first time you have ever yelled at me, young lady."

"I'm sorry," Nina said, realizing it was true.

"Oh, don't be sorry; there are times you have to stand up for your fellow man."  Brian let a small smile appear on his features.  "Or woman as the case may be."

Both women weren't drawn into that smile.  Instead, they stood and waited.

Brian nodded slowly, as if making up his mind about something.

"Very well, she can stay.  BUT there are two conditions, and there is no negotiating them."

"They are?" Nina asked.

"There is one for each of you, both of which have to be agreed upon."

He turned to Helen.

"Helen, instead of five, or seven, or however many days you are going to be here, I will insist on your spending 24 hours here on the property nude as Nina does."

"Wait, I can't..." Helen began but Brian cut her off.

"Stop.  Hear me out.  These hours will not be all at once, but spread out throughout your stay, an hour here, an hour there.  I get to say WHEN you are to be nude, but you will not be leaving the property like that.  Can you handle that?"

Helen blinked.  She knew it was a vast improvement on the deal she used to have, even though it still meant her being undressed for him.  Still, it would only be for short periods of time.  She could handle that, couldn't she?

Helen nodded.  "Yes, Sir.  I can do that.  Okay, I agree."

Brian smiled softly and turned to Nina, who stood a little straighter in preparation for whatever Brian had in mind for her.

Brian's eyes flickered over the nude young woman's body for a second, and Brian had one of those infrequent thoughts wishing he were thirty years younger.

"Nina, since you are such a responsible young woman, your side of this deal is two-fold.  First, you are responsible for seeing that our guest follows the rules.  You will see that she undresses and stays undressed when ordered."

Nina nodded and swallowed, not to happy about being Helen's jailer, so to speak.  She wondered what Helen thought of that, but her friend didn't look at her.

"Second, young lady.  Several friends of mine have asked about your modeling for them.  I've been putting them off to give you time to settle, but I think you're ready now.  You will model for them whenever they ask, as long as it doesn't intrude on your work at the firm, or your position here as MY model.  You will do as they say and be respectful of their needs.  Oh...don't worry.  You will be as safe with them as you are here; you needn't worry about your virtue, Nina.  I trust them to act professionally, and so can you.  Do you agree?"

Nina took a breath, trying to find the hidden catch.  She wasn't really thrilled about being responsible in that way for Helen, but the idea of being a model wasn't THAT unappealing.  She nodded.  "Yes, Sir.  That's fine.  So she can stay?"

"She can stay.  Welcome, Helen.  Go talk to Alison and she can help you make up a room.  I'll see you both tomorrow.  Good night."  And with that, he stepped back into his room and closed the door.

Helen turned and silently walked down the hallway to the stairs.

"You okay?" Nina asked, following.

Helen nodded.

"I'm sorry about this.  I had hoped we would do better," Nina said.

"It's okay.  I can do this.  If I can strip at the Legallady's place, I can do it here as well."

Nina put her arm around her friend, not noticing the shiver it caused.  "You'll be fine.  You might even grow to like it.  To be honest, it isn't all that bad now that I'm used to it."

Helen smiled, and the two friends went to find the housekeeper.  It was moving day.

End of Part 17.