The Rent.

Part 23, Overtime.

When working for a legal firm, one gets used to putting in long hours, especially when one is low on the firm's totem pole.  Usually however, the more affluent the firm, the more exclusive the clientele, the more likely that the said firm can keep normal office hours.  That didn't mean however that there was NEVER a need to burn the midnight oil, just that it didn't happen very often.

It was happening tonight in the suite of offices run by Sarah Wickland.  The Legallady was preparing to go to court the next morning and needed all her case files ready for trial.  She enlisted the aid of Franklin, her secretary, and Nina, her paralegal, for the job, telling them both that it would mean a couple of hours overtime after the firm's regular hours.  It turned out to be rather longer when the beady-eyed lawyer discovered a figure wrong on some statistical discoveries.  It meant checking them all, adding three more hours to the job.

Nina didn't mind the extra work; it was all on the job training for her, and despite all the other things that she had gone through since starting this job, she was grateful for the chance to get a leg up on law school, whenever she decided to go.  But the downside of this little job was having Franklin staring at her most of the night.

It was bad enough just coming up to work in Sarah's exclusive suite.  Every visit longer than a very brief stop meant Nina removing all her clothes in Franklin's office, where he would then lock them away so she couldn't get them back.  Then Nina would have to do whatever task Sarah needed her for, while being completely nude.  She wasn't asked to do anything that wasn't job related, which relieved Nina no end, but still she felt handicapped having to work nude.

Still, at least Sarah didn't put Nina on display.  Nina always worked in private, usually in the conference room next door or in Sarah's office, with only Sarah and sometimes Franklin in attendance.  As far as Nina knew, only Sarah, Franklin, and her friend Helen knew of the strange arrangement.  Sarah had basically blackmailed Nina into stripping for her, and Nina had yet to think of a way to get out of it.

It wasn't on her mind this night though, as she closed in on the bottom of the pile of paperwork she had been reading for the past three hours.  She was stretched out on the floor, face down and up on her elbows, papers scattered around her, listening to Chopin on Sarah's office stereo and trying to focus her tired eyes on just one more page.

Sarah herself sat at her desk, and from her seat she could look over her OWN paperwork to watch the naked paralegal.

Sarah would smile every time she did so, for Nina looked quite attractive lying there, one foot up in the air, her hair splayed out across her nude back, her deeply tanned skin almost unblemished in the soft light of the room.  She was a piece of art fine enough to shame the Grecian items in the room.  God created Man to worship him...God created Woman to prove to man that he could indeed build perfection!

The two women were alone; Franklin had gone home not long before.

Nina yawned and stretched, her long swimmer's body showing every muscle as she tried to work the kinks out.  She looked up at a clock sitting on a nearby shelf and saw it was close to 10:00 pm.  "Oh man," she said quietly.  Nina had gotten a ride to work as usual from Helen, who had moved back into her own apartment a week before.  Helen still wasn't the bubbly friend Nina had known, but she was a lot better than she had been a week ago.  She had offered to come pick Nina up whenever she got done, but Nina hadn't anticipated staying so late.  But it was only going to be a little longer; they were almost done.

Another pressing need made itself known to the young woman, and she looked over at her boss.  "Sarah, I need to go use the restroom," she said.

"That's fine, Nina, go right ahead," Sarah answered, not looking up from the paper she was reading.

" clothes?"  Nina asked.  Except for the very first time Nina had come up to work for Sarah, Nina had always gone to the bathroom dressed.  Even if all she wore was a dress and nothing else, it was better than going naked.

Sarah looked up.  "Nina, dear.  We are probably the only people left in the building except for Mel and Ester the security guards at their desk down in the lobby.  I think you can get to and from the bathroom without the need for clothes."

Nina paused, not liking the thought of leaving the suite naked again, but realized that Sarah was probably right.  The last time she tried this was during office hours, and she had almost been caught.  There wouldn't be anyone around now.  She could probably wander the building at will and not have to worry, as long as she stayed away from the ground floor where the corpulent couple sat and devoured doughnuts all night.  Nina had often wondered why the firm hired such inept looking security guards; it certainly wasn't for their dominating presence.  Too fat to more than waddle around, Nina sometimes couldn't tell them apart.  Both had breasts AND a hairy upper lip.

Nina shrugged, knowing that she had to go and that Sarah wouldn't back down anyway, and stood up.  She stretched once more to alleviate the cramp of lying on a floor for several hours, and padded out to the outer office.  She passed through, only pausing long enough to test the closet door behind which her clothes were trapped; it was locked, so she opened the outer door to the corridor.

She peeked out; no one was around, and she decided it was safe.  So she jogged quickly to the ladies' room down the hall.  What she failed to notice as she left was how the inner door to Sarah's office slowly swung closed, cutting most of the music off via its soundproofing, and how the outer office door clicked when it also swung closed.

By this time, Nina was sitting on her throne, happy that at least she didn't have to fumble with a skirt and panties, risking a spill.  She could just plop down and open up.

Nina smiled in relief, the bladder-emptying kind of relief that all know so very well, and thought to herself that there were benefits to a nude lifestyle after all.  She also smiled in anticipation of what she might be doing this time the following night.  She and Jim were going out.

Nina finished her bathroom routine, and feeling much lighter on her feet, walked casually back to Sarah's office.  Everything was fine up until she tried the handle to the door.  It was locked.

A sharp stab of concern pierced Nina's heart as she struggled with the handle for a moment.  She looked up and down the hallway for a moment, knowing that no one was around, yet scared anyway.  She knocked on the door.  "Sarah!" she called out, afraid to make too much noise.  "Sarah, I'm locked out!  Let me in!  Sarah!"

Nina kept banging on the door and twisting the handle, afraid that her boss might not be hearing her over the music in the office.  She was making so much noise that she almost didn't catch the telltale sound of the elevator coming up.

Live or work in any building long enough, and you know the sounds it makes.  You can tell what is happening even if you can't see it.  Nina had come up to this floor so often that the unique sounds of the elevator had imprinted themselves on her mind.  Now, in the quiet of the office building, her mind heard those sounds, and in its agitated state sent an alarm all over Nina's body.

Nina suddenly felt cold, and she looked down the hall toward the elevator doors.  It would be there in seconds!

Beyond were the bathrooms, her first choice for a hiding place, but there was no time to get there.  She had to go the other way.

Nina ran as fast as she could to the bend in the hallway at the other end.  She was on the Senior Partners' floor, with each of them getting a suite of offices like Sarah's, so the hallway didn't really go very far.  She made it around the corner just as the elevator doors began to open, and the frightened girl ducked and hid.  Panting, the nude young woman crouched low on the plush carpeting.

Nina could hear heavy breathing and the crackle of a walkie-talkie.  She figured it had to be Mel, or maybe Ester.  It didn't really matter; they were both unpleasant.  She had only met them a few times, and each time they both complained constantly about whatever was in their heads without ever actually saying anything.  Nina wondered if they liked anything except for the food they gorged themselves on.

Still, she didn't want to be found by either one of them, and as she heard the heavy breathing begin to come closer, she looked around wildly for a place to hide.  There wasn't much.  A potted fern that might work in a cartoon, but otherwise nothing.  That is, except for the staircase at this end of the hall.  It was behind a door for fire safety, and Nina was crouched almost next to it.

Having nothing to lose, Nina sprinted over to the door and opened it.  The staircase was bare concrete, again for fire safety.  It didn't look all that inviting, but Nina didn't have a choice.  She carefully closed the door behind her and began to go down.

Her choice of direction was forced upon her by the fact that she was on the top floor.  She went down a couple of flights and tried the door, not wanting to stay in the open of the concrete stairway.  There had to be a place to hide where she could call Sarah to come down with something to wear!

The door was locked.

"Shit!" Nina swore.  She hated this, being so vulnerable.

A door opened above her, and Nina heard steps on the concrete.  Nina wondered what the bastard was doing up here.  His post was at the desk in the lobby, not waddling around the building!

Again, Nina was out of choices.  She moved quickly and silently down to the floor below.  This time she struck gold and the door was unlocked.  She passed through onto one of the lawyer's floors, where the associates had their offices, and looked around for a place to hide.

She was tempted to duck into one of the bathrooms as she passed them, but she wanted a phone, so she didn't.  She turned a corner and walked out into the open secretarial pool.  Eight desks arranged in a tastefully designed open plan showed where the secretaries of the lawyers on this floor did their work, and each desk had a phone.

Nina was about to reach for the nearest when she heard the door to the stairway open.

Nina couldn't believe her bad luck.  Of all the floors to pick, he picked THIS one!  Trembling, Nina looked about again for a place to hide.  The pool was too open for her to stay hidden for long, so ducking behind a desk here was out.  On the other side was the elevator, but that would only work if it was right there waiting for her, and Nina didn't feel that lucky.  She began to frantically try each of the offices surrounding the secretarial pool, in the hopes that one of them was unlocked.  She could hear the heavy breathing and the heavier footsteps of the security guard walking down the short hallway that led into this room as she tried each door.  She was just thinking that she wasn't going to get away this time when she practically fell through one of the doors.  Moving very quickly, Nina closed the door and stood with her ear pressed against it, listening.

She hadn't noticed that the room was occupied.

"Excuse me?" said a male voice that made Nina's blood turn very cold.

Certain that she was done for, that her job here at the firm and her hopes of becoming a lawyer were finished, Nina slowly turned to see whose office it was.

"Miss West?" said the man in shirtsleeves, sitting at his desk, his eyes open in amazement.

"Mr. Bell?" Nina replied, amazed herself that the only other member of the firm, as far as she knew, who had seen her nude just happened to have been whose office she had stumbled into.

"What are you doing?" Donald Bell asked her, his eyes taking in her image.  He had last seen her nude on the beach outside his home; an image then that fueled a few erotic fantasies for him.  He never expected to see her like that again, especially someplace where the lighting was so much better.

"Er..." said Nina completely at a loss for words.  Then came a knock at the door, making Nina jump.  She looked helplessly at Bell and mouthed the words,  "Help me!"

Bell froze for a second and then pushed his chair back from the desk.  He pointed under his desk and Nina made a mad dash, backing into the space in order to fit.  Bell scooted forward again, his legs on either side of her.

The knock sounded again, and Bell called out for the person to come in.  It turned out to be Mel, his uniform stained with something or other and straining to contain him.  In one hand he held a long black flashlight, in the other a two way radio that buzzed.

Breathing heavily, he stepped into the room and gave it a once over before focusing on the lawyer.  "Evening, Mr. Bell.  Working late tonight?"

"I sure am, Mel; was there something I could do for you?"

Mel let his little piggy eyes scan the room once more as he spoke.  "I don't suppose you..."  He stopped, licked his lips, and smiled.  "Never mind, I guess I was mistaken."

"Never mind about what, Mel?" Bell asked him.

"Nothing important.  I'll just head back to the lobby.  Sorry to have interrupted"

Bell scowled.  "You do that, Mel."

Mel grinned as he left the room, pulling the door closed behind him, thinking of the ten pink toes visible under the vanity board of Donald Bell's desk.  As soon as he did so, Nina struggled to rise but Bell motioned for her to stay.  They paused for a moment, wondering if Mel was going to come back, then after a few minutes began to breath easier.

Bell looked down at the lovely nude young woman between his legs, her eyes wide with fright.  It was a sight that would have moved most men, and Bell was no exception.  Blushing, he pushed backwards away from the desk, and released the also very embarrassed Nina, who had noticed his movement, from her captivity.

"Now can I ask why you're running around the office without any clothes on?" he asked.

Nina swallowed, she really didn't know what to say.  "  For not turning me in," she finally came up with.

"Well...I owe you.  You saved my son, I have a long way to go to pay back that debt," he said seriously.

Nina bit her lip.  "I'd consider us even, if you asked no questions and didn't say anything about it."

"We'd be far from even, but I'll do as you ask.  No questions...except one.  Are you okay?  Mel wasn' know?  Because if he was, I'll have him fired so damn fast___!"

"No!  Don't blame him.  He had nothing to do with it.  And I'm okay, thanks."  She smiled at him, touched by his concern and remembering that frantic swim in the ocean where she had saved his boy from drowning.  "I have to go; do you think he's gone?"

Bell stared at her for a moment, then reached for his phone.  He punched a couple of numbers and listened.  "Hey, Mel.  Sorry I was so curt with you, it was just the wrong moment.  Yeah, I know.  Thanks pal."  He put down the phone.  "He's back in the lobby," he said to her.

Nina nodded and opened his office door.  With one last look at the lawyer, she slipped out.

Nina made for the desk closest to the stairway, thinking how lucky she was for it to have been Donald Bell that saved her, and used the phone to dial Sarah's office.

It was picked up on the third ring.

"Sarah Wickland's office!" said the Legallady.

"Sarah, it's me, Nina."

"Nina!  Where are you?  You've been gone an awfully long time!"

"I got locked out of your office and you didn't hear me knocking.  I had to find a phone.  Could you stand by the door and let me in?"

Nina could hear Sarah laughing.  "Oh my.  I'm sorry.  I forgot that Franklin usually sets the lock when he leaves.  Of course I'll open the door for you.  Will you be right up?"

"I'll be right there, don't go anywhere!" Nina replied.

Nina ran back to Sarah's office, again taking the stairs because she just didn't trust the elevator not to take her to the lobby.  She reached the door to Sarah's suite and tried it.  The door was still locked.

"Sarah!" Nina yelled, banging on the door.  A few seconds later a grinning Sarah opened it and Nina bounded inside.  She felt worn out!

Sarah chuckled as she led the girl back into the inner office.  "Well, while you were out having fun I finished all the work.  I'm heading home.  Do you want a ride?"

"Yes...yes please!" said Nina, grateful for the offer.

Sarah nodded and gathered her things, still smiling.

Nina knew that Sarah was probably getting off on her embarrassment, and didn't put it past the woman to have deliberately ignored her pleas to come in earlier.  Nina was reminded of what the waitress at the lesbian bar had told her about Sarah.  The Legallady enjoyed these games and would push for more extreme ones.

Nina was glad this one was over.  She was wrong.

As they passed through the outer office, Sarah strode right past the closet holding Nina's clothes, which Nina loudly called her attention to.  Sarah turned, her face like a stern schoolteacher's.  "Well, they are hardly needed now," she said, "after your wandering all over the building.  It's not like you have anything to hide anymore!"  She opened the office door and Nina sprang forward to pull her back.

"Wait!  What are you talking about?  I NEED my clothes to leave the building!"

"Nina, I know ALL about your little jaunt to Donald Bell's office.  Ester called me just before you did and told me the whole story.  By the way, did you know he's a married man?  Naughty Nina!"

Nina was shocked.  "But how...?" she tried to ask.

Sarah stepped out into the hallway and pointed at a dark tinted quarter glass globe up in the corner where the wall met the ceiling.  Nina had noticed them spread through all the public areas of the building, but didn't give them any thought.  "Cameras," Sarah said simply.  "How do you think people of Mel and Ester's...condition...keep track of the building and watch over it?  Ester watched your entire progress at her station in the lobby while Mel tried to catch you to ask what you were doing.  It became fairly obvious to him when he saw you in Donald Bell's office."

Nina was still stunned.  Cameras?  "But I was under..." she started to say, and then shut her mouth.

Sarah grinned.  "Under the desk, yes, in a very compromising position from what Mel said he saw." Sarah stepped right in front of the girl and looked her in the eyes.  "Tell me, Nina; you aren't involved with Donald Bell, are you?"

"No!  No!  He just...helped me hide!"

Sarah narrowed her eyes, then her smile returned.  "Very well.  I don't think you're the type to cheat on anyone; I believe you.  Now come along, I have a long drive ahead of me."

" clothes?" Nina asked, too overloaded with the knowledge that she was now on camera to think straight.

Sarah didn't answer, she just headed for the elevator.  Nina had no choice but to follow.

In the lobby was the final humiliation.  They had to sign out of the building at the security desk, and Sarah wouldn't hear of Nina hiding.  "They know you are coming down," Sarah said, "they've seen you naked already.  You might as well do your job and sign out properly."

Nina was too stunned and embarrassed to protest much.  She meekly followed Sarah across the brightly lit lobby and stood silently while both Mel and Ester looked her up and down.  Sarah deliberately stood there and chatted with the corpulent couple, getting along better with them than anyone else Nina had ever seen talking to them, before leading Nina out the front doors of the building and into the executive parking lot.

Nina had never expected to walk through those doors completely nude, but she was doing so now.  She wondered what else Sarah might have her do.

To her surprise, it was nothing...that night anyway.  All Sarah did was drive straight to Brian Cook's house and let the naked girl out.  Before she got out of the car though, Nina had a question.

"Is it all over for me there?" she asked, almost in tears.  "Will Mel tell everyone what he saw?"

Sarah smiled softly and put a hand on Nina's shoulder.  "Mel won't tell anyone anything, not unless I say so.  He and I have a good working relationship, and I can trust both him and Ester not to blab.  They'll probably just make a private tape of the affair and watch it at home."

"Tape?" Nina said, worrying even more.

Sarah chuckled.  "Yes, I'll have to get you a copy.  Now go to bed.  I'll pick you up at eight on the way to court tomorrow.  You DO have a clean suit don't you?  Or would we have to swing back by the office to retrieve your clothes?"

Nina got out of the car, listening to her boss laugh at her.  She didn't look back as she walked over to the gate intercom and didn't look around while she stood nude, waiting for the gate to open.

She was just too tired to care.

End of Part 23.