The Rent.

Part 22, Ashley's Request.

Nina stood nude as the day she was born under the glorious afternoon sun.  Her hair cascading down her back, her tanned body slim and well proportioned and a sight for sore eyes.

Of course, eyes were watching the girl as she stood chatting with one of the gardeners; male eyes could hardly stay off her.  Nina paid them no attention, however; in her own back yard, she hardly noticed the stir her nudity caused anymore.  She was used to the gardeners seeing her like this; in fact, she enjoyed the attention and sometimes playfully added a little wriggle to her walk to tease them.

They noticed!

Today however there was no wriggle.  And while she talked with Annabel Clark, who with her brothers kept up with the landscaping for Brian Cook, Nina's mind was on something else.


Ever since the spanking incident, Helen had hardly made an appearance outside her room.  She had removed herself to there before Nina woke up the next morning, and had pretty much stayed there.  Only Mrs. Terry had been allowed in, and when Nina asked her how Helen was, the housekeeper told her to just let Helen be for a while.

"She'll be fine, she just needs a little time," Mrs. Terry told her.

Nina was concerned, and that concern was growing.  She had made a concerted effort to go in to see Helen that morning, and found Helen curled up under the covers of her bed.

Nina tiptoed in and sat with her friend, thinking her asleep, but Helen soon lifted her head to look at her.

"I...really don't need the company right now," Helen whispered.

Nina sighed.  "What's wrong, Sweety?  Come on, you can tell me."

Helen looked away.  "I can't...there are things I just...I just need to work a few things out...okay?"

"Was it the spanking?" Nina asked.

"No, not"

"Then what?  I want to help you!"

Helen waited a beat, then she turned to look at Nina again.  There was something about that look though, that made Nina draw back a little.  For a brief second, Helen looked at her with a hunger that Nina had previously only seen on some of the men that had seen her naked.  It vanished right away as Helen looked down, but it left Nina unsettled, uncomfortable with her nudity in front of Helen for the first time in a long time.

"Just go...I'll be okay," Helen said.

Nina stood, her thoughts and feelings mixed.  She said the only coherent thing to enter her head.  "Will you be okay for work tomorrow?"

Helen nodded and pulled the covers over her head again.  So, after a moment, Nina left.

For the rest of the day, Nina had worried about Helen, all alone up there in her room.  When Jim called to see if Nina wanted to go out, Nina begged off, not wanting to leave the house.  She didn't feel like having any fun, not even with Jim.

So now she stood talking about nothing much with Annabel, while looking every now and again up at the windows of Helen's room.

Movement on the patio behind the house caught Nina's attention, and the one thing that had made Nina smile over the past couple of days made an appearance.  It was Kelly, only not the Kelly Nina had come to know.  For a start, most of the people Kelly knew in this town would not have recognized her, for the poor girl was wearing clothes.  Not just shorts and a tank top, which the young woman would have preferred to wear if she HAD to wear any clothes.  But a complete outfit.  Underwear, pantyhose, slip, floor length pleated skirt, shoes, and a high-necked blouse.

Nina and Helen had missed the lecture Brian had given his granddaughter the night the policeman had brought her home, but Nina heard all about it afterward.  While Brian had not been very concerned about Kelly's nude activities before she was caught, he had certainly minded having to get her out of trouble yet again.  He lectured her on restraint and the need not to flaunt her nudity in front of others who didn't understand.  He was more pissed at her getting caught than with what she had actually been doing.  He was also angry that she had dragged Helen into her mess.

Of course Kelly tried to explain that this time it hadn't been her fault, but Brian didn't listen.  Instead, acting like the Judge he almost became before retiring, he sentenced Kelly to clothes until she left to go back to school; and for at least the immediate future, he demanded that she dress "Decently."  Hence the outfit that wouldn't have been too far out of place in the 50's.

"And don't think you can just go elsewhere and strip off, young lady," he had told her, "I'll know if you step out of that outfit in any inappropriate place, which for you is anywhere outside your bathroom!  I have my sources; you know I do!"

Kelly was suitably chastised, and did as her grandfather asked.  Still, her rebellious nature couldn't let him win completely.  Under her skirt, she wore thong panties.

Nina sometimes thought of how strange it was in this house.  Here she was, forced to be naked all the time due to the nature of the deal she had made with Brian Cook, her host, while Kelly was forced to dress.

It made Nina smile.


"It's for you, Miss Kelly," said Mrs. Terry, poking her head into the den where Nina and Kelly were watching a movie.  It was now late in the evening, and neither of the girls had heard the phone ring.

Curled up on her end of the couch, the very clothed Kelly looked pensively at the phone before picking it up.  The very nude Nina, curled up at the other end, watched.

"Hi, this is Kelly," Kelly said.

Nina tried not to listen and focused on the movie, but she couldn't help hearing the agitation in Kelly's voice.

"Look, does it have to be tonight?" Kelly kept saying in one form or another.  "No, she can't come...she...well, you really did a number on her last time.  The way she's been acting lately even has ME worried."

This got Nina's attention, and she looked over at Kelly, who sighed.  She shook her head.  "No, I'm not going to ask her," she said into the phone.  Then Kelly looked directly at Nina, her eyes wide and tinged, Nina thought, with a little fear?

Kelly listened to whoever was talking to her for a moment, then put her hand over the mouthpiece and sat up.

"Er...Nina.  I was wondering...well...I have to go out for a bit.  And...well...I'm supposed to ask if you will come along?"

"Supposed to ask?" Nina said.  She felt she knew who Kelly had been talking to.  Kelly had told Nina a little about what had happened that night.

Kelly nodded.

"Is that the woman that got you guys in trouble?" Nina asked.

Kelly paled a little and nodded again.

"Then why would I want to go see her?" Nina said angrily.

"Please?" Kelly whispered.

Nina shook her head, then had another thought.  She was angry with this woman who had hurt her friend, yet also curious about her.  She wanted to meet the person who was able to cower even Kelly, if only to give her a piece of her mind.

"Okay, I'll go," she said.

Kelly sighed in relief.


They pulled up in Kelly's Geo, finding a spot in the crowded lot near the side.  Nina had dithered a lot over what to wear for her first visit to a lesbian hang out.  Something astutely feminine, or ruggedly masculine.  In the end, she settled for jeans and a men's heavy-duty work shirt, a favorite of hers that she used to wear about the house back when she wore clothes at home.  Nina contrasted with Kelly in her skirt and blouse; and the sweater Brian had forced on her just before they left only added to the 50's look.

Nina opened the door to get out, but noticed that Kelly wasn't moving.  She was staring at the entrance to the club as if it led to the gates of Hell.

"What's the matter?" Nina asked her, concerned.

"I can't go in there," Kelly whispered.


"I can't go in there, not like this!" she replied, gesturing at her clothes.

"Why not?" Nina asked.  "Sure, you look a little strange with clothes on, but you look okay."

"I can't...I just can't!"

"Kelly, stop messing around.  You're acting like these people have never seen you in clothes before!"

Kelly turned to stare at Nina, and Nina opened her eyes in surprise.

"You're kidding, right?" Nina said.

Kelly shook her head.

"You mean you...every time you've come here, you've been...!"

"Yeah...every time."

Nina was shocked.  "Well, they're in for a treat then, aren't they!"

Kelly bit her lip.  "'s not just the nudity...there are people in there who believe I NEVER wear clothes.  That I'm a confirmed nudist!  My whole image in that bar is based on that!"

Nina sat back and looked at the bar for a moment.  "You may have to burst that bubble now."

"I can't.  Look, I could get undressed right here, before anyone spots me.  I could walk in there naked and be okay, then get dressed again as soon as we get back to the car."

Nina shook her head.  "I can't let you do that, Kelly, as much as I would like to.  You know what your grandfather said; no more nudity!"

"Nina...please!  You can't make me go in that bar with clothes on, it's...I'll be humiliated!"

Nina sighed and took one of Kelly's hands in her own.  "Kel', no one knows better than me about humiliation, God knows I've been through a lot of it lately, but I can't let you go in naked.  Brian told me that I am to make sure you stay fully dressed, and that's what I have to do!  If I let you go in there without any clothes on and he finds out, then I'm going to get it too."

"Get you how?  You have that contract, don't you?" Kelly asked.

Nina didn't answer.  Sure, there was little Brian could do directly, but he hinted at telling her boss, Sarah Wickland about it, and with Sarah, Nina had a slightly different agreement.

"Never mind.  You're going in clothed or we go back home.  And then you won't be able to meet this Katie person at all!"

Kelly looked back at the entrance to the club, and stared at it for a moment, before swallowing and reaching for the door handle.  She hesitated, then she opened it and climbed out.

Nina climbed out of the car as well, and watching Kelly, she was struck by a weird sense of deja vu.  She shook it off.

The two women walked to the front of the club and went in.

Inside, Kelly kept her head down, as if to hide her face.  She felt totally humiliated being here, forced to parade around completely dressed like some...normal person.  She wondered what her friends were going to think, and dreaded the looks she knew she would be getting once they recognized her.

Her first trial was just getting in the front door.  Sitting in his usual spot was Carl, the bouncer.  The last time Kelly had seen him, he and Katie had left her and Helen naked and cuffed together in the woods.  Kelly didn't blame the man, but was a little sore that he had helped Katie.  Now she was supposed to stand there with clothes on while he looked at her.  He had never seen her dressed before.

It took Carl a second or so to realize that the somewhat over-dressed girl in front of him was Kelly, but to his credit, he didn't react much.  Instead, he just smiled a sly smile and waved her on by.  His eyes drifted over Nina, noting that even under her shapeless shirt that she had a great figure, and smiled.

"Good evening, ladies, come on in!" he said.

Kelly didn't look at him.  Instead, she hurried by quickly as Nina followed her.  They made their way into the main part of the club, and Nina felt overwhelmed by the atmosphere.  Loud music echoed off the walls and people were everywhere.  Mostly women, but with a few men mixed in.  Squeezing past some tables on the edge of the dance floor, Nina stopped to stare at one table occupied by several leather and rubber clad women.  It wasn't the outfits that caught her eye, but the muscle bound male who knelt at the feet of one of them, practically naked except for a loincloth and a spiked leather collar about his neck.  A chain ran from the collar to the hand of one of the women, who ignored him.  Nina recognized them.  The man was one of Brian's neighbors, the woman his maid.

"Come on!" Kelly said, tugging Nina's arm.

Nina turned, the word "Wow!" on her lips, and continued on.  The going was a little easier now, and it took Nina a second to realize why.  Kelly had finally been recognized and word was spreading.  A lot of the dancers and a lot of the people at the nearby tables had stopped what they were doing to turn and stare at Kelly, who continued on with her head down, blushing.  Comments like  "What is she doing?"... "Is she actually wearing clothes?"... "Damn she looks weird"... "She has no dress sense"... "Wow, what a hotty!" floated by.

Kelly had to resist the urge to uncover, to rip her clothes off.  Being covered up like this in front of her friends was extremely humiliating.

Eventually they got to their table, and for the first time Nina got to see Katie.  The tall brunette rose to meet her, but first looked Kelly up and down.

"My, my," she said with a smile, "there's something different about you."

"Shut up, Katie," Kelly said, sinking into an empty chair.

"Why should I?  You look delightful in your...sweater!"  Katie laughed, and to Nina it sounded mean.

Katie then turned to face Nina.  "You must be Nina; I've heard a lot about you, welcome!"  She held out her hand.

Nina, to her surprise, took it and gave it a light shake before letting go.  "I've heard a few things about you as well."

"Have you?  Wonderful!  I hope Kelly has filled you in on a few of our little adventures together."

"Not really, just the last one with Helen."

"Ah is she?  I was hoping she would be here, I so wanted her to see the surprise I had for her."

Nina felt her anger rise; she stepped forward into Katie's space.  "Helen is not good at all.  She hasn't come out of her room since she got home that night!  What did you do to her?"

Katie wasn't to be intimidated.  She leaned forward, almost nose to nose with Nina.  "Jealous?" she whispered with a grin.

Nina stepped back, not expecting that answer at all!

Katie laughed.  "Sit down, let me get you a drink.  You might enjoy my little surprise tonight as well!"

"What surprise?" Nina asked, sitting next to a silent Kelly.

Katie just smiled.

Katie signaled for a waitress, and one came over, walking nimbly through the crowd of people only now getting over the shock of seeing Kelly in clothing.

Nina didn't pay any attention to the waitress at first, but then she got a good look at her and all that changed.

She was a young woman around Nina's age, her hair worn up off her neck.  She was in a sort of formal uniform, although it was hard to tell since there was so little of it there.  Her shirt, Nina saw, used to be a Tux shirt, although all that was left now were the ruffles down the front and the collar, over which a red bow tie was fastened.  The ruffles covered what they needed to, but only just; Nina saw that any vigorous action would expose the girl quite easily.  Her pants also used to be Tux pants, but they had been cut extremely short in front, and when Nina got a look at her behind, the pants were practically a thong.  Fishnet tights and what looked like five-inch heels finished the ensemble, that and a silver name tag hanging from a chain around her neck with the name "Ashley" on it (Author note: NO, this isn't Jenny's Ashley).  Nina looked up at the girl's face, and saw that rather than being used to her outfit, the waitress was rather embarrassed.  Nina didn't blame her.  Nina would rather go nude than serve drinks in a place like this dressed like that.

Katie ordered drinks for them all, and the poor girl left.

"What surprise?" Nina asked again.

"Patience, patience," Katie said.  "Now Kelly, I'm DYING to find out why you're sitting there with clothes on.  Do tell!"

Kelly winced, but proceeded to tell Katie all about her punishment.  Katie's eyes glowed.  "How delicious.  I'm sure we can have some fun with that!"

Kelly looked at her with fear in her eyes.

Ashley came back with their drinks and handed them out.  "Don't go far," Katie ordered, and the girl nodded.  She disappeared back into the crowd, practically naked from behind.

Katie started asking Nina about her work and where she was from, and after a few short answers, Nina began to talk more freely.  A part of her mind knew what was happening; yet, Nina couldn't help talking to Katie.  Something about the woman just drew you in.  No wonder she had such a hold on Kelly.

"Ah!  Here she is!" Katie said at one point, looking past Nina toward the entrance to the bar.

Nina turned to follow her eyes and got a shock.  Walking toward them in one of her tailored work suits was Sarah Wickland, Nina's boss.  She didn't look happy.  She also seemed quite surprised to see Nina sitting there, and Nina thought she saw a flicker of apprehension cross the older woman's face.

Sarah nodded a greeting to Nina, but spoke only to Katie.  "What did you need, Kate?  I just got back to town and I'm not in the mood for games."

"Oh Sarah, stop it!  You know you always have time for me," grinned Katie.  "Come, sit."

Sarah stood firm for a moment before sitting at the table.  She looked over at Nina.  "I didn't know you knew Kate," she said.

" just met her.  Kelly brought me.  How do you know each other?" Nina asked.

Sarah glanced at Katie, who smiled.

"She's...a client," Sarah said.

"A client who is positively parched.  Go get me a drink, will you Sarah dear?" Katie asked.

Sarah looked at Katie for a moment, then scanned the bar.  The only waitress in sight was Ashley, but she had her back to them.  "I'll call the waitress," Sarah said.

"No," Katie said icily, "go get me one.  You know what I like."

Sarah stared at Katie, then got up and headed for the bar.  Nina was a little stunned.

While Sarah was gone, Ashley came over, and to Nina's surprise placed new drinks in front of each of them.  She quickly disappeared before Sarah got back.  The Legallady saw the fresh drinks on the table and paused.

Katie picked hers up and took a sip, before looking up at Sarah.  "Oh... Well, as you can see, I already have a drink.  You should take that one back!"

Nina could see that Sarah was getting angry, but she did as Katie asked, vanishing once more in the direction of the bar.  While she was gone, Katie started talking about Sarah's outfit in rather disparaging tones.  Her voice was loud and carried even over the music, and there was no doubt in Nina's mind that Sarah heard a lot of it on her way back.

"I mean, take that jacket for example!" Katie said, looking Sarah straight in the eye.  "What an awful color!  It does nothing for her eyes at all.  I wouldn't be seen dead in that color combination!"

There were titters of laughter from the patrons nearby, and Nina could see Sarah flush.

"Take off the jacket, Sarah; I'm tired of looking at you in it!"  Katie ordered.

Sarah looked at her, then glanced about the room.  "No, Kate," she said.

"It doesn't suit you, dear.  You know I'm right, so take it off!"

Sarah leaned close to Katie, and Nina could only just hear her whisper.  "No...not tonight.  Not in front off..." she angled her head toward Nina and Kelly, who were watching.

Katie just smiled; it wasn't a smile that prompted you to smile back.  "!"

Sarah swallowed, then without taking her eyes off Katie, she began to unbutton her jacket.

Katie shook her head.  "No, no.  Stand up first, do I have to tell you everything?"

Sarah stood, and Nina could see that Sarah was very angry.  Yet she did as she was asked, removing the jacket and placing it on the back of her chair.  She remained standing, not looking at anything but Katie's face.  Afraid to, Nina thought.

Nina was amazed.  She had never seen Sarah in such a position.  Her boss was usually a woman of power, with Nina in the opposite position.  Now she was seeing the Legallady in a completely different light.

Katie shook her head.  "No, it won't do.  That skirt is just as bad as the jacket.  Off it comes!"

"Please," murmured Sarah Wickland.

Katie sneered.  "I don't know why you thought you could come here dressed like that.  I expect my lawyer to be decently dressed when she comes to see me.  Now, remove that skirt!"

People around were listening and watching now, and Sarah knew that all eyes were upon her.  She spared a quick glance at Nina, who was watching wide eyed, and then reached for the zipper at her hip.

"Wait!" Katie said.  "I don't think everyone can see, and I think it's best that they do.  Climb up on the table!"

"No!" Sarah said, clenching her fists so hard her knuckles were turning white.

Katie took a sip of her drink, contemplating the lawyer in front of her.  She turned to Nina.  "Nina, dear.  You work for Sarah here, don't you?"

Nina nodded.

"I know that there have been times when she has had a disadvantage."  Katie smiled and Nina blushed.  "Perhaps you might enjoy helping me turn the tables?"

Nina's first thought was to say no.  But she couldn't honestly say that the thought of getting back at Sarah Wickland for all the time she had been forced to go nude in front of people, hadn't occurred to her.  Still, as Katie went on, it was apparent she wasn't required to answer.

"Sarah," Katie said, "perhaps I should have Nina help you with your skirt, unless of course you wish to step up on to the table and do it yourself!"

Sarah actually blanched, before deliberately stepping onto a chair and then on to the table.  Visible to most of the club now, who was watching all this, Sarah unzipped her skirt and dropped it on the table.

"Messy girl!  Fold it up and put it neatly on the back of the chair," Katie said.

Sarah did so, then stood up straight.  She was now dressed in her blouse, what looked like a slip, stockings, and her shoes.

Katie shook her head and sighed.  "Really, Sarah.  Where did you get that blouse?  It looks like something you bought at Kmart!"  There were laughs from the crowd and Sarah's color returned.  She blushed but didn't look at anyone.

"Take off that blouse at once, it's embarrassing!"  Katie said.

Sarah closed her eyes and tugged at the buttons.  As she did so, Nina looked around, not eager to see her boss's humiliation.  She couldn't catch Kelly's eye, she saw nothing but satisfaction in Katie's, and to her surprise, she saw deep pleasure in Ashley's.

Sarah pulled off the blouse to show that she was indeed wearing a full-length slip.  She folded the blouse and laid it on top of her skirt and jacket.

Sarah Wickland had a great body and the slip showed it off well.  The lines of her underwear were plainly visible as well.

Katie took another sip of her drink and then tossed the rest of it at Sarah.  The lawyer gasped and put her hands over where the drink had soaked her slip.  She whirled on Katie, and Nina thought she was going to kick her.  But instead, she stopped and just stood there, breathing deeply.

Katie just smiled.  "Well we can't have you standing there dripping on the table.  You had better get that slip off so we can dry it!"

The crowd chuckled, and some of the women added their pleas for Sarah to remove her slip.

Shaking, the lawyer reached for the hem of her slip, then paused a few seconds before lifting it over her head.  She pulled it off and stood with the dripping garment in one hand, unsure as to where to put it.  Without the slip, everyone could plainly see her white satin bra and panties, cut high over her hips.

Katie pointed at the neatly folded clothes.  Sarah shook her head.  "It will mess them up as well," she said.

Katie shrugged and picked up Nina's untouched second drink, she poured it all over Sarah's folded clothes.  "Now it won't matter," she said.

Sarah stared in shock.  "Why...why are you doing this?" she asked.

Nina herself wondered HOW.  How did Katie get Sarah to humiliate herself?

Katie looked up, all innocent.  "Why, it's a birthday present!"

"Birthday?" Sarah asked, puzzled.

Ashley pushed her way to the front of the crowd.  "Mine!"

Sarah looked over at her and frowned.  "Ashley!"  To Katie she said, "You're not serious!"

"Of course I am!" replied the brunette.  "I thought Ashley deserved a treat for being so good the past year, so I promised her a little public humiliation for her former boss."

'FORMER boss?' Nina thought.

Sarah growled.  "Well I've had enough.  I'm not going to be humiliated by that___."

"I have a request!" Ashley said, her face stern and focused.

"What is it, dear?" Katie asked, smiling.

Ashley smirked.  "I want to see her spanked."

"NO!" Sarah all but screamed.

Katie and a lot of the surrounding women laughed.

"And," continued Ashley, pointing,  "I want HER to do it!"

Everyone looked where Ashley was pointing, all except for Nina who was the one being pointed at.  She stood up.  "Oh no, I'm not going to!"

Sarah shot her a grateful look before Katie got to her feet as well.  "I think that's a wonderful idea!"

Nina backed away.  "No, no way!"

Ashley took a step forward, then looked to Katie.  "Ma'am.  Can I talk to her in private a moment?"

Katie nodded and Ashley came around to where Nina was standing.  She guided Nina over to where Sarah couldn't hear them speak.  "It's Nina, right?" she said.  "Well, Nina.  As you heard, I used to work for Sarah.  I spent two years as her paralegal at the firm you work at, and believe me, I know what you are going through.  When she found something on me good enough to hold over my head, I rarely got to wear anything at work again.  I won't even GO into the humiliating situations she put me through, situations that got worse as time went on.  But suffice to say that in the end I had to quit and got passed...well, I came to work for Katie."

"Why are you telling me this?" Nina said, horrified.

"Because I know your future.  I don't know what she has on you, but I know she won't let it go.  You've already had to strip for some clients, right?  Do you really think that's as bad as it will get?  Don't get me wrong, she won't do anything sexual to you, she isn't like that, but there are other ways of humiliating you.  So here's the deal.  I've been waiting three years to be in a position of power over that bitch, and thanks to Katie, it's here and now.  But it won't last.  I'm offering you a chance to take part, because who knows when you'll ever have the chance again!"

Nina frowned.  "But how...what does Katie have over Sarah?"

Ashley shook her head.  "I don't know.  Honest I don't.  All I know is that they have a connection.  I shouldn't even say that much.  Look, are you in?"

Nina looked up at Sarah.  Katie had gone on humiliating her while she and Ashley were talking, and Sarah now had her bra undone.  Flushed not from embarrassment but with anger, she dropped her bra onto the pile of wet clothing amid the cheers of the crowd.

Nina closed her eyes.  "No...I'm not in.  And I think you should stop it now.  What does humiliating her get you anyway?"

"A little payback," replied the barely clad waitress.  She shrugged, almost popping out of her brief outfit.  "Well, if you won't...!"

Nina watched as Ashley pushed her way back to the table.  She stood and watched as Sarah pulled down her panties while the crowd cheered her on.  She was almost at the door when she clearly heard over the silent group the first contact of hand and flesh.  Nina didn't stay for any more.  She went out to the car.

Twenty minutes later, feeling sorry for her boss and worried for herself, she saw people start to come out of the club.  Among them was Sarah, still nude except for her stockings and shoes.  The Legallady made a run for her car, got it unlocked after much fumbling, and climbed in.  She drove away without looking back at the large group of women who laughed and jeered her.

Nina hung her head.

Not long after, Ashley appeared and walked over, looking around nervously, for she was still in her very brief outfit.  She stopped at Nina's side of the car.

"Katie wants you to come back in."

Nina shook her head.  "No fucking way.  I want nothing to do with her."  Nina had worked up her own anger now.

Ashley looked worried.  "Please.  She said she would make Kelly strip unless you came in."

"She told you that?" Nina asked the near naked girl.

Ashley nodded.

"Well, tell her she can go screw herself.  I bow to her now; I'll never get free.  I have...too much on my plate already!"

"What about Kelly?"

Nina sighed, then got out of the car.  "Well, she wanted to be nude in there anyway.  Tell her I caught a cab home!"  Nina turned and walked away, leaving Ashley to stare at her.


Nina told no one about what happened, she just went to bed when she got home.  She was still awake though when she heard Kelly get in hours later.  Her footsteps in the hall outside Nina's room were easily identifiable in the quiet of the night.  The steps stopped right outside Nina's door and it opened.  Nina rolled over to see Kelly walk into her room.  Kelly was nude once more and Nina could see red marks like bruises all over her body in the dim moonlight streaming through the huge windows of her room.

Kelly walked right up to the side of the bed Nina lay on and slapped her face, hard!  "Bitch!" she said, half in tears.

Nina lay stunned, her left cheek on fire, as Kelly turned and left, and Nina wondered if leaving her behind had been a good idea after all.


The next morning she was summoned as usual up to the Legallady's office, and as usual, she had to undress in front of Franklin, who locked her clothes away.  In the inner office, Sarah got down to business right away and didn't say anything about the night before.  In fact, it was hours later before Nina heard anything from the woman that could have been a reference to it.

"I got a call from Brian this morning," Sarah said in the middle of going over a legal brief.  "He told me that he had...asked you to make sure that his granddaughter Kelly didn't get into trouble.  He sounded disappointed in you, and tried to convey that disappointment to me."  Sarah looked Nina straight in the eye.  "You can...consider me disappointed...but I think I'll stay out of this one."

Nina nodded, not knowing what to say, but feeling that she had just gotten a reprieve from something nasty.

They both went on working.

End of Part 22.