Part 30, The Angel Islands
The salt spray glistened on the skin of the nude young woman at the bow. She stood silent and tall, one hand holding tightly to the rail, while the other held the hair out of her eyes as she gazed ahead at the boat's course. The sea was not yet calm after the storm of the week before, but the swells were wide and smooth, and no problem at all for the fifty foot cabin cruiser. The girl at the bow had no problem at all keeping her feet under her.
After a while, she turned and looked back at the boat. It wasn't really crowded, but there were many people about, and the girl felt a twinge of embarrassment still at standing naked before them all. Her embarrassment was muted however by the fact that at least four other women and a couple of the men were as naked as she was, and lay sunning themselves on various surfaces from here to the stern. Of course, none of them had come aboard like that; all removing their clothes well after leaving the coast behind.
The girl thought about her mad dash from the car to the boat, naked as a jaybird because her boyfriend had insisted upon it. In her frightening yet exhilarating run, she had turned the heads of several early morning fishermen getting their own boats ready for sea. She was blushing furiously by the time she reached the boat, and hid behind the gunwale until her boyfriend, strolling along very casually behind her, arrived to unlock the cabin door.
'Someday', she thought with a grin, 'I'm going to get him back.'
But now they were at sea, heading for a place where she was told clothing rules were a little more relaxed. She wondered just HOW relaxed and if she would get to wear anything at all over the next few days.
She looked up at the flying bridge to where her boyfriend stood with another friend of hers. As she spied the two of them laughing together, she felt a tinge of jealousy, but set it aside. She knew she was only being silly, and counted it as a measure of how much she cared for the guy.
Her boyfriend looked down and saw her watching him. He waved. "Hey, Nina! Come on up!"
Nina smiled and carefully worked her way back to the bridge.
Up top, she moved next to Jim and Helen, aware that Helen was the one standing at the wheel. She looked rather trim in her bikini top and shorts, while Jim looked handsome yet roguish in his cut off denim shorts. He grinned at Nina, his eyes taking in her nude form with pleasure.
"She's really getting the hang of this!" he said with a chuckle.
"Well, I told you she could learn how to do it!" Nina replied. "Isn't that right, Helen?"
"Piece of cake," Helen replied with a grin. "Thanks for teaching me, Jim!"
"My pleasure, Helen," Jim said, looking only at Nina.
Nina grinned and padded over to him, wrapping her arms around him and kissing him softly. She could feel his chest hairs against her naked breasts and sighed as his arms slipped around her.
"Mmmmm," Jim said, tasting her lips.
Nina giggled. "I don't suppose you feel like coming down from here any time soon," she said, running a finger down his back.
"I really should stay up here, since Helen hasn't driven a boat before," he replied, letting his hands drift down until they cupped her naked buttocks.
Nina turned red and tried to shift his hands without letting go of him, aware that someone might see them. All she succeeded in doing was shimmying her body against his in a most delightful way. Jim chuckled, so Nina reached down and slid a hand into his shorts, grabbing his manhood and making his eyes widen.
"Can't someone ELSE, watch Helen?" Nina said with a determined edge to her voice.
Jim grinned. "KELLY!" he yelled.
Nina laughed and let him go. "Good boy!"
Jim waved a finger at her as if to say "Just you wait," as a lithe nude female climbed the ladder to the bridge.
Kelly was nude again, her last chance before heading back to school. She and Nina hadn't talked much since her grandfather told her she couldn't go nude anymore, but when Kelly came aboard, Nina told her that she wouldn't say a word if Kelly wanted to strip on this trip. Kelly wasted no time getting undressed.
"Is it my turn yet?" Kelly said, coming up and looking everyone over.
"I need you to watch Helen for a while longer, then you can spell her," Jim told her. "Is that okay with you, Helen?"
Helen had tried not to watch the exchange between Nina and Jim, yet she couldn't NOT watch either. She was happy for them both being so obviously in love...yet at the same time she wasn't that comfortable when they were in this mood.
"Sure," she said, "You guys go relax."
"Thanks, Helen," both Nina and Jim said, and they climbed down and went inside.
Jim and Nina had the master cabin at the bow, since Jim was paying all
the expenses this trip. They found the bed, and soon Jim didn't have
to worry about his shorts anymore.
The couple lay cooling off under just a sheet, the sun streaming through the tinted skylight in the ceiling above them. Lying on top of it was one of the men, his bare butt pressed against the glass. It had made Nina laugh when she first saw it, then she was concerned that the people on deck could see in as well, until Jim assured her they couldn't because the glass was so heavily tinted. Now they were done and the guy was still there. Nina giggled.
"You know, this is a first time for me," she said softly, one hand slowly caressing her lover.
"What, making love on a boat?" Jim said, just looking at her.
"No...watching one guy's naked butt while making love to another!" She began giggling again.
"Jeez, I knew it had to be something romantic," Jim said with a chuckle.
"Well...I couldn't help looking, you had me on my back, and I needed something to do anyway!" Nina said, trying not to laugh.
"Grrrr...you wench," said Jim. He picked her up and flipped her easily on the bed, giving her ass a series of quick swats and making her gasp.
Nina had never thought that being spanked would turn her on, but the few times Jim had spanked her had sent a heat right to her core. This time was no exception, and the couple was quickly lost in love again for a little while before settling down once more.
"Thanks," Nina said as they calmed down, her butt still a little warm, "I needed that."
"What, the spanking or the sex?" Jim asked with a grin.
Nina gave him one of those long suffering looks and rolled over.
Jim had noticed over the last few days that Nina's general mood had seemed strained. When he could, he had gotten her to smile, but when she thought he wasn't looking, he saw that she was anything but happy. "Care to tell me about it?" he said quietly.
Nina lay still for a moment, then shook her head. "Not yet, I need time to think."
"That car accident? You were very lucky not to get hurt, you know."
"I know, but that's not it."
"What then, work?"
"Jim...please...don't push, not about this."
Jim watched her for a moment and then brushed a hair from her face. "When you're ready, tell me. Don't bottle it up inside."
Nina nodded. What was worrying her was a decision she didn't want to make, whether or not to quit the firm. The last week at work had been horrible, not because of things done, but because of what wasn't.
Monday, Nina had defied orders and come to work dressed. She didn't even undress once in the office. She had expected a row over it with Sarah, but the Legallady didn't say a word. Instead, silence gripped the office, and while everyone did their work, little of a personal nature was said. The tension was so tight it was about to shatter. Nina knew that soon one of them would give, and Nina figured to be the loser, for Sarah still blackmailed her and Helen. Yet Nina knew she wasn't without some power now herself. Questions had been asked about why she and Helen were both handcuffed the day of the accident, and Nina knew that Sarah wasn't entirely out of trouble regarding that. It was a sticky mess.
It was also why Nina had asked Jim if Helen could come along on this trip; she knew her friend needed the break as well.
"Thanks for letting Helen come," Nina said while she thought about it.
"No problem, I'm happy to have her," Jim replied.
They could both feel a tension in the air now, and neither of them liked it. Both were aware that keeping secrets would not be an option with this couple, yet Nina wasn't ready to reveal her work problems to Jim just yet. So instead she decided to change the subject.
"Tell me more about this place we're going to," she asked.
"Not much to tell really. The whole island chain is one big resort basically. Somewhat of a Caribbean flavor, it's a place to let your hair down and have fun! We go every year."
"Would they really let me walk around naked all the time?" Nina said nervously.
Jim chuckled. "I'd love it if they did, but you don't seem too enthusiastic about it."
"Would you be if you had to?"
Jim laughed. "I guess not. Still, they are very relaxed about it. The beaches are all clothing optional, as well as much of the countryside. Many of the smaller uninhabited islands are clothing free as well. In the main resort, and in town though, it is appreciated if something is worn."
Nina grinned, a little relieved. "I guess this means that your streak will be over. You will finally have to see me in clothes."
"YOUR streak, you mean," Jim replied, making her blush. "As for clothing, what makes you think you will need any? I had no intention of letting you off the boat!"
The sudden disappointment on her face was almost too much to bear, and Jim confessed with a soft smile that he was only kidding. He got a kick in the shin for his poor joke.
"You beast!" Nina said.
Jim chuckled and rubbed his leg. "Okay, you will get something to wear; want to see?"
"Sure!" Nina said, happy to know that she wasn't going to be completely nude the whole time.
"Okay, get out of bed and I'll let you try it on." They both climbed out of the bed, and Jim rummaged in a nearby locker.
Nina smiled and looked at his naked body, mentally comparing his butt with the one that graced the skylight above. She tried to hide a smile.
"Here," Jim said, turning around. In his hands was a small, folded pile of blue/green material.
"What's that?" Nina said, wondering if there was any more.
Jim unfolded it to reveal a very thin sheet of almost translucent material. Nina recognized it as the same material she had worn during the unveiling of Brian Cook's first statue of her. Only unlike last time, when the outfit was made up of many different pieces, this time it was all one sheet.
"You're kidding?" she said.
"Come here, Wench!" Jim ordered with a grin.
Nina walked over, and Jim wrapped the flimsy garment around her body under her arms. It was enough to go around three times, and Jim used a small metal clip right between her breasts to tie it all together. The material fell loosely almost to the floor, and Nina could barely feel it on herself. She looked down and saw that the three layers plus the blue/green pattern hid the details of her body from view, but there was still no doubt she was nude underneath it.
"Can't I wear a bikini or something?" Nina asked desperately.
"What, don't you like it?" Jim said.
Nina looked down again. It was actually quite lovely, but it was still so thin! "You can still see me in this!"
"Of course! Do you think I would want you dressed in anything I couldn't see you in?"
"Sometimes I think you're taking this urge never to see me dressed a little too far. But that's beside the point; this can't be legal, can it?"
"I told you the rules were relaxed, and a sarong is perfectly acceptable town wear. In fact, some women just wear it around their waists; going topless is allowed too."
"I think I'll stick with it like this," Nina said with a smile.
Jim nodded and grinned. "Sure, for now." He moved toward her and grabbed for the pin.
"Hey!" Nina said, not really fighting him as he began to unwrap her.
"It'll be evening before we get there, and there's no point your wearing it now."
"No?" Nina said as he unveiled her.
"None at all," Jim replied, dropping the web thin material to the deck. "Besides, I have something I'd much rather cover you with."
Nina giggled as he moved against her, and in seconds, she was once more
on her back. When she looked up and started laughing, Jim groaned.
Dinner that night was had ashore at the resort's finest restaurant, and everybody went. Nina and Kelly were the only ones in just a sarong, although three of the other women in the group wore theirs as skirts over their bikinis.
Nina felt terribly embarrassed walking around this very populous place in something so see-through, and couldn't help noticing the men and women looking at her and smiling.
She had a death grip on Jim's hand as they walked from the marina to the restaurant, taking whatever strength she could from him. But it wasn't until she started seeing other women and a few men in states of undress almost as scanty as hers did she begin to relax. As Jim said there were even a few topless women about, although Nina noticed that they were asked to cover up before entering the restaurant.
Inside, the place was almost five star in its service, and Nina felt very odd sitting there practically naked in such formality. It was like that time Jim took her out for dinner and a movie, only not so surreal.
Nina grinned and figured that if she and Jim were going to have a future together she had better get used to this. At least though he made it fun, unlike Sarah Wickland.
Nina frowned at the thought of her boss, and didn't cheer up again until
she and Jim got back to the boat much later and coupled together in the
The next day was going to be very different for Nina, although she didn't know it. Her star was about to rise.
She and Helen were in town together alone, doing some shopping. Again, Nina was only dressed in her filmy sarong while Helen wore her shorts and bikini top. They were walking along the waterfront, looking at the local fashions, the local men, and talking about Kevin, one of the guys in the group who had spent the evening trying to chat up Helen.
"I think you should go for it, Helen," Nina was saying, still glowing from her morning lovemaking with Jim, while her butt faintly glowed from yet another erotic spanking.
"You're only saying that because you have a love life and I don't," Helen replied, looking through a rack of very skimpy bathing attire.
"Well, Kevin seems eager to change that!" giggled Nina and Helen smiled too.
"I know," she replied. "Er...want to know a secret?"
"What?" Nina asked.
Helen looked about before getting closer. "While I was piloting the boat yesterday, Kevin was at the bow sunbathing. He didn't have a thing on, and...er...well, he looked quite well...er...equipped."
"You don't say!" Nina said, her hand to her mouth as she smiled.
"Something to stare at, huh?" Nina said.
"Oh yeah!" Helen agreed.
"Say, he wasn't lying on the skylight, was he?"
"I think he was, yeah," Helen said after a second of thought, which made Nina laugh.
"What?" Helen asked.
"Nothing. Say, what's going on over there?"
A crowd of men and women were gathered near a van in a parking lot, and a guy and a couple of girls were handing out leaflets.
"What's up?" Nina asked a girl who had one.
"It's an ad agency here to make some commercials; they're looking for local talent to be in them," the girl replied, giving Nina a once over. Nina was still on the underdressed side of the fashion curve.
"Ah," Nina said, trying to ignore her looks, as she had tried to ignore all the looks she had been getting this morning.
The guy got up on a stool or something and addressed the crowd.
"Thank you all for coming, but what we are really after is a strong swimmer! Is there anyone here who feels that he or she is one?"
Helen nudged Nina. "Go on, you are!"
"I'm not going to volunteer," Nina said.
"You'd be perfect; you're a hell of a swimmer," Helen insisted, grinning.
"I'm no model though, not skinny enough," Nina replied.
Helen snorted and held up her hand. "Here, over here!" she yelled.
"What are you doing?" Nina said, wanting to melt into the crowd.
"Come on, it'll be fun!" Helen said with a grin.
Nina looked up to see the crowd parting as the guy and the two girls walked over. Nina couldn't help noticing the catty looks many of the women were giving her as well, and she felt even more naked under her wisp of a sarong.
The guy came into view and stopped at the sight of her, before looking at Helen. "You can swim?"
"Not me, her," she said, pointing out her friend. "She can swim like a fish!"
The director, for that was who he was, looked Nina over and smiled. "Well you certainly aren't shy, which is a big plus for this job, and if you can swim as well as you look, then you'll be perfect. Interested?"
"Er..." said Nina, suddenly unsure.
"What are you selling?" Helen asked.
"It's a hair care system called 'Mermaid Sea'," one of the girls replied. "We need someone to be the Mermaid for the commercials."
Immediately many of the surrounding women began calling out that they could swim too, but the director only looked at Nina. "Last chance; IF you can swim, that is."
Nina held her breath and looked over to one side. They were only a few yards from the marina here, and open water was just beyond a low sea wall.
Suddenly Nina figured why not, she might as well just go for it and enjoy herself. She reached for the clip holding her sarong on and began unwrapping it.
"I guess I'll have to show you how good I can swim," she said with a slightly nervous smile. In seconds, much to everyone's amazement, she was completely nude, and she made a quick run for the sea wall. She paused just for a moment before diving cleanly into the water.
Everybody rushed the wall and they were treated to a sight of the beautiful nude woman carving a trail through the water with powerful strokes. She went about thirty yards out, then turned around before slipping under the surface.
Everyone waited with held breath for her to surface again, but they weren't expecting her to come up the way she did. Nina had swum the entire way back underwater, going as deep as she could before propelling herself to the surface. She came up close to the sea wall like a dolphin, rising out of the water almost down to her hips before falling back. Everyone clapped and cheered, and the director nodded. When Nina climbed out, he helped her out.
"You're perfect. We'll be shooting this afternoon on the beach just west of the marina. Meet us there at 1 pm, and we can go through the paperwork and get started, Miss...er..."
"Nina West," Nina said, looking around for her sarong, not believing she had just been so brave.
"Nina, a lovely name for a mermaid. 1 pm!"
Jim at first had been concerned about her sudden job, but he saw a spark of excitement in Nina's eyes that hadn't been there for a while, so he went along with it. He went with the women to the beach, where indeed a film crew was set up to work, and he stuck around while Nina was legally employed by the ad agency before they sent her to makeup. Many other models and extras hung around for the supporting roles, but Nina had managed to snap up the coveted role of the Mermaid. The director told them that it was going to be a limited campaign, with only six different commercials, all of which were to be shot this weekend. Nina was going to be in all of them.
They sent her along to makeup, which was a tent perched by itself a little ways away. Inside Nina met a sharp looking older woman who introduced herself as Mags.
"I'm going to do your makeup, which includes doing your tail," she said, looking at Nina through the almost invisible material of her sarong. "I can see you don't mind exposure, which is good; it'll be easier for the topless shots."
"What topless shots?" Nina asked.
"Didn't they tell you? You're going to be topless, but that's okay because most of the cast will be nude anyway."
"Well, mermaids usually are, you know!" grinned the woman. "Now come on and drop that thing you're wearing,; we have to get you in your tail."
"But you aren't allowed to show nudity in commercials, are you?" Nina said, reaching for the pin and wondering what she had led herself into this time.
"Not on American TV, no. But a lot of other countries have no problem with it, and 'Mermaid Sea' products are sold worldwide!"
"Oh, so no one in the States will see these commercials?" Nina asked.
"I doubt it," Mags replied. But Mags didn't know that the commercials would be shown on "Home Showcase," the new adult cable channel, during its season premier of its adult version of "Survivor." Millions of Americans would be seeing them.
Nina, still feeling adventurous, decided to go ahead, and soon she was naked once more. The tail was a rubber and latex device that required Nina to push both her legs in at the same time. It was a tight fit, but the rubber stretched to form over her. It looked very realistic.
"We're going to have to glue it in place so I can blend in the makeup," Mags said, inspecting the fit.
"Don't worry, we use a special stuff; it comes off easily with solvent. In fact...wait a minute. JENNY, DO YOU HAVE THE GLUE?" she yelled toward the back of the tent.
"Jenny?" Nina said, a chill going down her back. Sure enough, a familiar blonde appeared through a flap on the other side of the tent. She seemed overdressed in jeans and a T-Shirt when everyone else was in shorts or swimsuits.
"Hi!" she said. "Did you call?"
"Oh no," Nina said, suddenly wanting out. The last time she had seen Jenny, the two of them had ended up tied up together naked in front of a media circus and a bank robbery. The time before that, they had ended up stuck naked in a tree. Who knew what might happen this time?
"The glue for the tail, girl!" Mags said, and Jenny vanished again.
"Er...I don't know about this," Nina said.
"Don't worry, things will be fine," Mags said.
Jenny reappeared with a bowl and set it on Mags' makeup table. Only then did she look at Nina, and recognition dawned. "Oh...hi Nina!" she said, blushing.
"Jenny, what are you doing here?" Nina asked the blonde.
"I...er...got fired after our last...well, the bank and all. I just started working here."
Nina closed her eyes, wondering what was about to go wrong.
Mags smiled. "Jenny, go make sure the other actors are done, will you? I'll call if I need you."
"Yes, Mags," and she left.
"This will take a while," Mags said, "so if you get bored, there's a pile of scripts right there you can read through."
She then started to paste the glue in the bowl between the rubber and Nina's skin around her waist.
"Why do you have to glue it?" Nina asked.
"So it doesn't shift and ruin the make up," Mags replied.
Nina shrugged and decided to look through the scripts. They were pretty basic. One had the mermaid just swimming around with lots of close-up shots of her body and hair with a voice over talking about the product. Another had her sunning herself on a rock while some sailors ogled her, obviously attracted by her hair. Some of the commercials hardly featured her at all, such as the one where six guys chased this naked chick through the surf and the Mermaid came on at the end showing the product. Or the one where the girl was about to get her first kiss until the guy saw the Mermaid in the surf and he ran to her. Silly stuff.
While she read, Mags finished the glue job and began applying some body paint, blending in the green of the tail to Nina's natural tan. Nina had to perch on a stool as this was done, her long hair pinned up out of the way. By the time it was done, the tail looked like a very natural extension of her.
"The body paint comes off with the same solvent," Mags told her. "Now we'd better get you down to the set. JENNY!"
"Maybe we can do without Jenny," Nina said hopefully.
"Not a chance kid, unless you want to crawl."
Jenny came back in.
"Jenny, go get a couple of guys to take Nina out to the set, will you?"
"Sure, Mags," Jenny said, but as she turned, she bumped the table the glue pot sat on, and it tipped and fell on her.
"Damn it!" Mags said, leaving Nina alone for a moment. "That stuff binds instantly to skin. Where's the solvent?"
Jenny pointed at a bottle on the table, but she was having problems. Her clothing was sticking to her, and as she tried to pull it away, her fingers and hands were sticking together.
"Help!" she said, a panicked look in her eyes.
"Hang on," Mags said, grabbing the bottle. She opened it and pulled out a solvent-coated brush. "Watch this, Nina, see how easy this is!"
Mags dabbed the solvent on Jenny's trapped fingers and stood back. It was obvious that she expected something to happen right away, because after a minute she looked quite concerned. "Isn't it coming loose?" she asked.
Jenny answered no, both her hands firmly stuck to her body now.
Mags couldn't understand it, then she had a terrible thought. "Jenny, you DID mix some solvent into the glue like I told you to, didn't you?"
"Did you?" Jenny said, wide eyed.
"What's wrong?" Nina asked, seeing Mags get very angry.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid! This stuff at full strength won't come off with the solvent; you have to wait almost 24 hours for the glue to come apart by itself. That's why we don't use it without first mixing some solvent in it. Damn it, Jenny, what have you done?"
"I'm sorry," Jenny said.
"You mean I'm stuck in this tail until tomorrow?" Nina said, looking down at where her legs used to be.
"Yeah. You could try pulling it off, but you're likely to pull some skin off too. This is powerful stuff, because we're working in water. I'll have to go get the director. Wait here!"
Mags stormed off leaving Nina and Jenny alone.
"Why is it, Jenny, that every time we meet, disaster strikes?" Nina asked the useless blonde.
"I don't know, Nina, I'm so very sorry."
The director showed up, and Mags explained what happened. He didn't look very happy either, and tried to placate Nina. Nina could see that he was obviously afraid of a lawsuit.
"I'm really sorry this had to happen to you, Nina, is there any way we can make this up to you?" he kept saying.
Nina smiled, and looked at the pile of scripts. "There IS one
way," she said.
Months later, during the run of the "Home Showcase" network's version of "Survivor", one of the more popular commercials featured a nude blonde running on a beach toward the camera, her huge breasts waving wildly as she ran, while behind her ran six nude, bronzed young men with eager faces.
The blonde was smiling but it wasn't hard to see that her smile was a fake, for her eyes showed terror and humiliation as she drew closer to the camera, which couldn't help but show her fantastic body to perfection. The blonde then swerved to run into the ocean, and the six guys following her quickly caught up with her and pulled her down. They all began kissing and running their hands all over her nude body, while she had to pretend to like it, before the camera panned away to where a Mermaid lay in the surf watching all this. The Mermaid then pulled a bottle of shampoo out from behind her and gave the product pitch. "Mermaid Seas; it'll drive the guys WILD!"
The Mermaid's satisfied smile sold the product just as much as the naked blonde, and many wondered why she looked so smug, especially when they heard later from a fan site that it took over twenty takes to get this single shot commercial right.
They didn't know that Nina worked hard to make sure it DID take over twenty takes, so that a certain blonde had to run that humiliating stretch of beach over and over again.
No wonder she was smug.
Jim was amused by Nina's predicament, although he was smart enough not to be TOO amused in front of her. He thought she looked lovely in her tail, and was disappointed only that until it came off, there would be no sex with her.
Nina, thinking about more practical matters, wondered just how she was
to get around, since she couldn't walk. So after all the filming
was over, Jim got them a room at the infamous "Swimmer's Paradise," a hotel
where numerous pools and channels criss-crossed the property to the extent
that you hardly had to climb out of the water at all. You could swim
to the dining room and eat at tables set in the water. You could
hang out at the club where most of the people danced and drank in the huge
pool with swim up bars. Even the rooms could be entered through small
pools connected together with miniature canals running through the hotel
as if it was Venice. It made it easier for Nina to get around, but
it was still very embarrassing for her to be seen swimming around the hotel
in her mermaid costume, especially as Jim wouldn't let her wear anything
else. So topless she remained, until the glue finally began to separate.
She was glad to get out of it.
Their last evening out at the Angel Islands was spent away from the resort. The entire group had boarded the boat and set sail for one of the smaller, more private islands in the chain. Now the boat lay at anchor in a calm lagoon, the group for the most part on the beach, where most planned on spending the night. They would spend the day sailing back home tomorrow, so they wanted to get the most out of this last night.
Surprisingly enough, this was where the group's inhibitions had relaxed the most, and almost all of them were now nude as they settled around the big campfire. Off to one side, a nude young man by the name of Kevin was talking quietly to a slightly older young woman named Helen, who was the most dressed of the group in a sexy string bikini. She shook her head a lot during their conversation, but her body language told anyone watching that she wasn't really protesting. Then, almost casually, she turned to let Kevin undo the tie at her back holding her top on, and soon it was cast away.
Elsewhere, couples were finding semi-secluded places to lay and watch the sun go down, while those that remained stag, Kelly included, sat near the fire and tried to ignore them.
One figure was off by herself, though. Nina, wearing a big floppy hat and nothing else, was slowly walking down the beach, her bare feet in the surf. She looked introspective, and Jim, who watched her go, was growing concerned. He got up and followed her.
He caught up to her a few hundred yards down the beach, where she stood and watched the sun boil into the ocean horizon. He didn't make an obvious attempt to stay silent, but the wet sand didn't betray his approach. He quietly stood beside her as the sun went out.
"Lovely, isn't it," he said quietly.
Nina nodded. "I can never get tired of seeing a sunset like that. Back home, it just drops into the ground, but here, it's an event all its own."
"You don't talk much about home," he said.
"Don't want to. Not right now, anyway." She reached out and took his arm, pressing her nude body against his, her head against his shoulder. "Oh, I wish you weren't leaving for school!" she said.
Jim smiled a guilty smile. "Well...I have some news for you there. I was just waiting for a good time to tell you."
Nina drew back a little. "What?" she said, her expression waiting for a disappointment.
"I'm not leaving. I...er...transferred to the local university. I can finish out my last year of Pre Med there. I couldn't leave you."
Nina stood still for a moment, then merged back into his arms. He hugged her tightly and they kissed. "Thank you," she said.
"Would this be a good time to say I love you, Nina West?" he asked, glad she was happy about his change of plan.
"A very good time," Nina replied with a smile.
"I love you, Nina West," he said with a grin.
"I love YOU, Jim Barb," Nina replied, sighing sweetly and relaxing into his arms.
Jim chuckled. "There, that wasn't so hard, was it?"
Nina just hmmmm'd.
"Is this what's been bothering you, my leaving?" Jim asked her. He felt her stiffen a little.
"Tell me," he ordered.
She did. Every degrading incident from the moment she first met Sarah Wickland. All those times she was nude in her office; all those times with Franklin, Sarah's former assistant. That time with Katie in the gay bar. She even told Jim about what she had to do at the CoRTN compound, and how Sarah was also blackmailing Helen.
At first, Jim was amused by Sarah's attempts to keep Nina naked as much as possible. But looking in Nina's eyes, he could see that to his nude girlfriend it was no joke. One thing that really surprised Jim though, was that while Nina talked about things getting really bad, she didn't outright condemn everything that happened to her.
"It's just that lately she had become so malicious about it. I never would have thought myself ever saying this, but at first, it was actually kind of fun, working nude there. I mean...kinda like how I feel when you test my limits...you know? There was a certain thrill. But now it has become mean and dangerous. I don't know what to do," she said.
"Do you want to quit your job?" he asked her.
"I...I don't know. So much of my future depends on my completing my two-year term with the firm. Do that, and they pay my way through law school, and I have a real job with them when I pass the Bar exam. I can't just throw that away."
"You won't. I'll pay your way through law school, and you can get a job with any firm you choose!"
"I'm not going to ask you for money, Jim," Nina said firmly.
"You don't have to ask," Jim replied.
"No, Jim. Besides, if I quit, I'll probably have to leave Brian Cook's place. I doubt he would want me around."
"So come live with me! I'm getting a place of my own now that I'm going to be living in town. I was going to ask you anyway if you wanted to share it with me!"
Nina looked up at him in the fading light. "That would be so great," she whispered, "I'd like nothing better. But I can't...you don't understand."
"What, your rent? Is that what you're worried about? Well, don't. Whatever you owe Brian, I'll pay off. You'll be free and clear."
"There you are, throwing money at a problem again," she said pulling away from him.
"Why not? Sometimes it's the best way to deal with something!"
"I can't have you saving me like that...it makes me feel like...well..."
"What, like you're after me simply because I have money?" Jim said, moving to her. "Nina, if I thought that in the least, we wouldn't be together. I know you aren't after my money. It's my charm and devilish good looks that have you enthralled." Jim was glad to see he got a small smile from her.
"Yeah...sure," she said. "But seriously, I can't just take your money."
Jim took a deep breath. He had something else he wanted to say to her, something that had been bouncing around his head for a while now. He moved until he stood before her, two nude people alone on a deserted beach. "What if it wasn't MY money? What if it was OUR money?"
"What are you talking about?" Nina said, her heart suddenly racing.
Jim dropped to one knee and Nina gasped. "Nina, I love you, you don't know how MUCH I love you. Marry me, be my wife!"
Nina stood still for a moment, her mind a blank. Then she spoke, and even SHE was surprised by her response. "If you hand me a ring right now, I'm going to HAVE to ask where you were hiding it!"
Jim looked at her for a second, then he burst out laughing. Nina joined him, and she sunk to her knees beside him in her laughter. They hugged and continued to laugh as they lay down in the sand, until peace descended once more.
Jim held Nina, his hands caressing her smooth, bare skin. "I take it you aren't saying yes, then?" he said, a trace of disappointment in his voice.
"Don't be so defeatist. You did spring this on me rather suddenly," Nina replied, still numb, but joyfully numb. "Can I think about it?"
"Sure, but if it's no, then don't look to me to give you a ride off this island in the morning," he said with a relieved grin.
She hit him.
"Just think," he went on, "the next people here would find a ravishingly beautiful naked woman waiting for them, eager to do anything to get off the island!"
"You beast!" Nina said, stifling a smile and hitting him again.
"So willing...so eager...a beautiful island girl as nature intended!" he said with a grin.
"Did nature intend for you to be a smartass?" Nina said, moving to hit him once again. But he caught her hand and brought it up over her head.
"No. Nature intended me to do other things," he replied, rolling over and pinning her to the sand with his body.
Nature looked on while it took its course.
The nude young woman stood at the bow of the boat as it plowed through the ocean waves, sea spray making her skin glisten. She looked ahead to their course, watching for the faint glimpse of land that she knew wouldn't appear for many hours yet. She glanced backward and up at the flying bridge where she saw her friend at the wheel. With her was another young man, and the two of them were both nude and enjoying each other's company. Nina knew they weren't intimate yet, but Helen shyly had hopes.
Movement beside her, and Jim put his arm about her. "Hi," he said.
"Hey, Lover," Nina replied, her butt feeling a pleasant warmth.
"What are you thinking about?" Jim asked.
"What's waiting for me back there," Nina replied, indicating where they were going.
"You know...there might be something we can do, to even the odds," he whispered.
"That woman...Katie. It seems to me that she has power over Sarah Wickland. Why not ask HER for help!"
Nina had actually thought of that. But Katie struck her as someone who would demand a price for her 'help'. Could she afford the price?
Jim pulled Nina close. "When we get back, we'll go together. We'll put your life back together, I promise."
In his arms, Nina felt safe. She smiled.
End of Part 30.