The Rent

Mermaid Thoughts

The house was set well back from the road, and screened from the front by a hedge about five feet high.  The hedge effectively hid the entire front yard but not the house itself, which rose in architectural splendor.  It was a modern home, full of glass and unusual angles, and looked as expensive as it was.  It was obvious that the residents had money, but then that wasn't in dispute for no one in this neighborhood was really poor.  Some, however, were less poor than others.

A gate blocked the driveway and anyone visiting the house had to stop and buzz an intercom on a pole to gain entry. A man had stopped to do just that, and as he waited for someone to answer he read a sign posted on the gate.

"This house and its grounds are a clothing-optional environment.  If the existence or thought of such an environment offends you or causes any difficulty, you are quite free to go away and call us on the phone and conduct your business that way instead.  If you choose to enter, then do so with an open and nonjudgemental mind!  Oh, and beware of the dog!"

The visitor raised an eyebrow after reading the unusual warning and chuckled.  His boss had warned him about this before he came here, so he wasn't worried.

"Hello?" said a female voice from the intercom.

"Hi," replied the visitor, "I'm Arthur Dino from Western Telly Productions."

"Hello?" said the voice again.

The visitor leaned further out his window.  "My name is Arthur Dino!  I'm here to talk to Nina West!"

There was a moment of silence before the voice informed him that there was no Nina West living there.

Arthur Dino blinked.  Then he remembered something.  "I'm sorry, I meant Nina Barb, she's married now."

"Ah!  Miss Nina.  Yes, yes, she lives here," replied the voice.

"Then can I see her?" Dino asked after a moment.

"Miss Nina is not here."

Dino stifled a groan, it had been a long drive.  "Well, I am expected.  Is her husband home?"

"Yes, yes.  Master James is home," said the cheerful, if slightly strange, voice.

"Can I see HIM?"

"Please wait, I'll go ask."

Dino settled back in his seat and sighed.  He hoped he wasn't on a wild goose chase, but his bosses at the home office in L.A. had thought it was a good idea for him to make his pitch in person.

"Did you read the sign?" asked the voice suddenly.

"Yes, I read the sign," Dino replied.

"You may come in.  Park in front of the house, please."

"Thanks," he called out, as he saw the gate start to open.  Once it had swung clear, he drove his car up the curving driveway to the front of the beautiful home.

Dino was impressed by what he saw, it was well kept and looked as though it was tended by a loving hand.  He was especially taken by a statue standing on a low pedestal in the middle of a small pool.  The way the nude figure stood, tight yet exposed, nervous yet excited, showed the skill of the sculptor.  Whoever it was he had captured feelings rarely brought out in any art Dino had seen before.

He stopped the car and got out, eyes on the statue, so he didn't notice the tall young man and his dog coming out of the house; not until the man spoke that is.

"Mr Dino," said the man, "I'm James Barb."

Dino turned to look at the young man and noted the casual slacks and polo shirt that he wore.  Dino was actually surprised, having thought that he would see the man naked as was warned on the sign out front.  He blinked and then stepped out from around his car.

"Hi, Arthur Dino," he said, extending his hand, "I'm glad you were able to see me."

Jim took his hand and they shook, "Well, you sounded like it was important, and we had the time.  What can we do for you?"

Dino looked around.  The dog, a big yellow mutt, was sniffing at his heals but didn't look menacing.  Otherwise Dino saw no sign of Nina.  "Well, my business is really with your wife, is she about?"

"Nina is running a quick errand, but she should be back any minute," Jim replied.

Dino nodded, "Good, good, then perhaps we might wait."

Jim didn't look like he liked that idea, but he decided to be gracious and go along for the moment.  "Alright.  In that case would you want a drink while we wait?  We can sit out here on the terrace until Nina gets back."

"That would be fine, thanks," Dino said, "anything cold and wet will do."

Jim smiled and directed him toward some ornamental metal patio chairs on a nearby terrace, before poking his head inside the front door.  "Dee," he called out, "could you bring out a couple of beers?"

"Yes, Master James," answered the same voice that Dino had heard on the intercom.

Jim settled next to Dino, the dog lying down nearby, and traded a moment of small talk before Dee appeared with a tray in one hand upon which two glasses of beer were balanced.

Dino's eyes nearly popped out, for other than a maid's hat on her head, Dee was nude...very nude...rather more nude than the average nude person could get.  For Dee had to have at least a hundred pounds on him and Dino considered himself a big man.  The sight of all that uninhibited flesh though, made him gasp.

Jim smiled inwardly, knowing the effect his housekeeper had on new people.  No one expected to see a three hundred pound, fifty year old nudist; but he knew that naturism was favored by all kinds of people, not just the pretty or young ones, something that most people forgot.

Dino, with his mouth still partly open, took the beer that was offered to him and chugged down a mouthful.

Dee handed Jim his beer and stood back, giving Dino a patient look.  "Will there be anything else, Master James?" she asked primly.

"Not right now, Dee. Thanks," Jim replied, catching her eyes and giving her a smile.

"Then I'll get back to my ironing," said Dee, giving Jim a sly smile in return, before heading back inside.

Dino waited until she was gone before speaking, "I'm sorry.  I read your sign, but I wasn't...well...expecting..."

"It's okay," Jim said, and it was.  He and Dee both knew that she would be getting strange looks from some of the visitors that came through their gate, but Dee was prepared to be stared at and even, in some perverse way, enjoyed how uncomfortable it made some people.

Dee had been working for Jim and Nina ever since their wedding, and had been a wedding present of sorts from Mrs. Terry.  Mrs. Terry worked for Brian Cook, Nina's former landlord, and also spent her time home completely nude.  Dee was a good friend of hers who had secretly practiced a nudist lifestyle for years, before coming out at a nude beach only a year before.  Mrs. Terry fixed her up with the housekeeper's position at the Barb house because she thought it would be good for her friend.  It was.  Dee, rather nervous at first, had found acceptance and friendship at her new job and enjoyed working for Jim and Nina immensely.

Jim was rather proud of her and Nina was very fond of Dee, she was worth her weight in gold!

Jim was curious about Arthur Dino's reason for coming though, but waited patently while the two men made small talk.  Whatever it was the man wanted, Jim knew there would be no pressure to take him up on anything.

It was as they were finishing their beers that the gate at the end of the driveway opened once more.  Walking through it was a woman in white carrying a canvas bag in one hand.
Her clothing, if you could call it that, was a diaphanous white poncho-like affair that was semi-translucent in the afternoon sun.  Her body was visible underneath the outfit and it was clear she wore nothing else, yet enough detail was obscured to make the outfit close enough to the legal definition of clothing.

Dino was amazed that the woman had been brave enough to walk around the neighborhood like that.  Then he recognized her as Nina, and he smiled.

Nina wasn't smiling, although her face was flushed from the four block walk from Brian Cook's house to her own.  It was rather nerve-racking walking around in something so revealing and she had been given more than her share of interested looks.  That she made the journey like this several times a week didn't make it any easier.  Once, just to see if it was any better, she had gotten Jim to allow her to make the walk in a bikini instead.  The bikini Jim provided for her though left almost nothing to the imagination and seemed worse than being nude.  It was at times like this that Nina regretted letting her husband take over her wardrobe and deciding what she wore and when.  Yet she couldn't stop him because he always seemed to make it so worthwhile.

Her smile faded at the sight of the car in the driveway.  She always found it hard to appear in front of unexpected visitors.  But then she remembered that this man with Jim WAS expected.  She walked up to the terrace and stopped.

"Hi," she said.

"Nina, this is Arthur Dino," Jim said, smiling at her.

Dino stood up and held out a hand, "I'm from Western Telly Productions," he said, his eyes trying to make out her shape under the outfit.

"Oh," Nina said, putting down her bag, "you're the people that made those commercials I was in."

"Yes, for Mermaid Seas hair products," said Dino.

Now Jim remembered where he had heard the name before.  "I see, I liked those commercials a lot!"

Dino smiled, "Most people do, which is why I'm here."

"Sure," said Jim, waving a hand before turning to his wife, "but first, why don't you get comfortable, Nina, and then we can hear what our visitor has to say."

Nina blinked, knowing Jim was going to say that to her.  She saw the amused glint in his eye and smiled.  It was an unspoken house rule that Nina wore nothing at home that would hide her body.  Jim had somewhat taken over the established rule of her constant home nudity that she had lived under while staying with Brian Cook, her elderly landlord, and Nina didn't really mind.  Jim enjoyed playing games with her nudity, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable in mixed company, what SHE was prepared to do, and at times even what was LEGAL to do.  Often Nina found herself embarrassed because of something her husband had fixed up.

Undressing before this visitor, for that was what "getting comfortable" meant, was tame compared to some things she had done since first meeting Jim.  So, with slightly trembling hands, Nina grabbed the hem of her garment and lifted it over her head, exposing her well tanned, lightly muscled body.

Dino blinked yet again as the beautiful Nina revealed herself to him, and shifted in his chair to adjust his pants.  He had seen her topless before, of course, in the commercials she had done almost a year ago.  But seeing her now in the flesh, so to speak, was another matter entirely.  To stop staring at her he picked up his briefcase and opened it.

Nina carefully set her gown to one side and sat on one of the chairs.  The hard metal groves in the seat felt very odd to her nude butt, but she was somewhat used to it.  She crossed her legs and attempted to smile pleasantly at Arthur Dino who looked a bit flustered.  She exchanged an amused look with her husband.

"You said those commercials brought you out here, Mr Dino?" she asked.

Dino nodded and kept his eyes on the paper in his case rather than on the delightful pair of breasts in front of him.  "Yes.  You see, I'm here, at the bequest of my superiors, to make you an offer."

"An offer," Jim repeated flatly.

"  Actually, it was our client, Mermaid Seas, Inc., who made the initial offer to us.  You see, the Mermaid Seas campaign has been extremely successful, especially with their sponsoring of that reality show on the 'Home Showcase' network.  The commercials you did, Nina, in the Angel Isles, succeeded far better than had been anticipated.  Sales of that rather obscure product have rocketed and now Mermaid Seas is a household word!"

Nina blushed, "I know.  I'll sometimes get stopped in the street or a client will mention that they have seen the commercial."

"A client?" Dino asked, confused.

"Nina's a paralegal at a local law firm," Jim said with a proud smile.

"I'm sorry," Dino said, waving his hand as if to indicate their surroundings, "I didn't think you...well..."

"Worked?" Nina said with a smile.  "Of course I don't need to, but I want to.  Just because we have money, that doesn't mean we shouldn't contribute, right?"  In fact, Nina was still adjusting to the fact that her young husband was truly that rich.  In some ways it troubled her having such an easy life available to her, and she was determined to make her own way; hence her continuation of her work as a paralegal and her going to law school at the beginning of the next school year.

"Yes, you're right," Dino said, "forgive me.  It's just that we would like you to come back and make some more commercials for us.  We want you to be the Mermaid Seas mermaid again."

Nina shook her head, "I'm sorry, I'm really not interested."

"Not interested?" questioned Dino, "But you ARE the mermaid.  Your face is what sells the product!"

"My face?" Nina said with a chuckle, knowing that it was more probably the fact that she did the commercials topless.

"This time, we're even going to put you on the label, not to mention personal appearances," Dino said.

"Personal appearances?" Nina responded.  "I assume that would mean my costume?"

"Well..." Dino said, blushing.

"No, I don't think so," Nina said firmly.

Jim decided to make his thoughts known at this point. "I don't know, it could be fun for you," he said.

Nina looked at him, horrified.  "You can't be serious!"

"Well, maybe I am.  I liked the commercials you did, and I get a kick out of having such a famous wife."

"Oh you'll get a kick in a minute," Nina replied.

Jim chuckled.

Dino looked from one to the other and figured his best hope was to convince Jim to convince Nina.  "Mr Barb, Nina is already established as the Mermaid Seas mermaid and to put another actress in the role would not be the same.  We have actually tested this in select markets and to be honest, people responded better to Nina than anyone else!  She IS the mermaid!"

Jim looked at his wife for a moment, remembering how she looked in her mermaid costume - sexy as hell!

"I'll tell you what," he said to Arthur Dino, "give us a little time to talk about it."

Dino watched them both very carefully, relieved yet well aware that a maybe didn't automatically mean a yes.  He looked at Nina once more.  "Is that okay with you?" he asked.

Nina bit her lip, then nodded.

Dino sighed and took out his card, handing it to Jim, "Thank you, we all thank you.  When you make your decision you can contact me using any of the numbers on this.  But while I remember, I'm hoping you could help me in a related matter."

"If we can, what is it?" asked Jim.

"There was another girl involved with one of the commercials who also tested rather high.  We lost track of her but I was told you and she were friends.  Do you know where I could find Jenny?"

Nina groaned.


Jim and Nina were naked in bed together, both lying on their backs, their fingers and toes touching.  The moon was up and its light shone through a crack in the curtains across their bedroom window.  It cast a white line across Nina's stomach, showing a slight sheen of sweat that was the remnant of their recent love-making.  Now they were both in that afterglow, relaxing in each other's company in a way only lovers, true lovers, can.

After a little while, Nina sighed.

"Penny for your thoughts," Jim whispered in the darkness.

"Oh, nothing really," she replied.

"I doubt that very much," said her husband, turning over to look at her.

Nina let her eyes drift down his body, the moonlight now catching his hip.  She reached out and traced it with her fingers.

"Are you worried about the Mermaid Seas offer?" Jim asked her quietly.

"A little.  Do you really want me to do it?"

"Don't you want to?"

Nina paused, thinking and feeling.  She rolled to face him. "It was fun making those commercials, even though I was stuck in that suit for more than a day.  But..."


"Well...I want to be a lawyer, and I'm famous enough right now being the mermaid for Mermaid Seas.  If I do more commercials that will only perpetuate the situation and I don't see that helping my legal career."

Jim chuckled, "I see what you mean.  Can you imagine taking on a client who remembers you in your cute mermaid costume?"

"Oh yeah, knowing that the guy has seen me topless on TV will do wonders for my credibility," Nina groaned, "not to mention what any judge I go before might think!"

"Oh I don't know.  I'd be inclined to listen more to a woman like you if I had seen her topless," Jim said with a grin, brushing one of her breasts with the back of her hand.

"Stare at her you mean," Nina snorted.

Jim chuckled, "Well, I doubt it would hurt your career if you continued to work for Sara."

"Oh God, PLEASE don't wish that on me," she replied, smiling and shaking her head.

"I thought you liked it there?" Jim said.

"I do...but...I don't know if I want to continue dealing with the weird clients she gets.  What I wouldn't give for someone normal!"

"Normal like us, you mean," Jim said firmly.

Nina gave him a look, "I'd hardly call us normal, Dear.  What other husbands keep their wives' clothes under lock and key?"

"Only the ones who care enough to keep their wives at their most beautiful," Jim replied with a smile.

Nina chuckled and touched his cheek, "I don't know why I put up with you and your games."

Jim lifted a leg and laid it across her stomach, pushing her onyo her back, "Because you know it's worth it," he replied, as he moved over to kiss her.


Nina dreamt.

She was out in the ocean, the shore a distant line on the horizon.  She could feel her legs encased in rubber, a mermaid's tail that she whipped back and forth in order to stay afloat.

It was daylight yet she could feel bright lights behind her and when she turned she saw they came from a boat.  There were lots of men on the boat, all staring at her and filming her with cameras and Nina only then realized she was nude from the waist up.  She wanted to cover herself with her arms but she couldn't, she had to swim.

A voice was shouting, "Say the tag line, the TAG line!"

Nina knew what it was the voice wanted, but she couldn't talk.  When she tried, a high pitched scream was all she could manage.

The voice got angry and started jeering at her, and Nina found herself being bombed with shampoo bottles.  She turned and started swimming away from the boat, heading towards the shore.  It looked miles away but in only moments she was there, crawling up on the beach.

The sand was warm and dry and Nina wanted nothing more than to collapse and sleep, but she wanted to get her mermaid suit off first.  The trouble was, she couldn't find a fastener.

Men were suddenly surrounding her on the beach, which now looked like a swimming hole she went to as a kid back home.  The men were all staring at her and again Nina tried to cover up while fighting with her tail.

Voices talked about her, how none of them had ever seen a real mermaid before.  Someone said they should capture her and the men moved in closer.

Nina tried to talk, to tell them to go away but again all she can do is screech like a dolphin.  She felt hands grasping her, mauling her and she tried to break free.  But it was useless and she couldn't stop them from picking her up.  One man had his hands firmly on her breasts and grinned at her as he began to squeeze...

Nina woke up suddenly, a surge of adrenaline pumping through her, almost panting due to the rush.

Her senses came back to her almost immediately so she knew she had been dreaming, but remnants of the dream stayed with her and it took a moment before she could relax.

She still felt the hand on her breast though, but when she looked down she saw it was just Jim, one arm thrown across her as he slept next to her.  She also saw that her legs were wound up in the single sheet they used for cover, hence the "tail" in her dream.

Nina sighed and relaxed.  She had her doubts before, but now she knew she wasn't going to do it.  She would turn down the offer from Mermaid Seas.  But she was awake now, and the way she felt she didn't think she could go back to sleep.  What she really wanted to do was to go for a swim.  But while her new home with Jim included a tennis court and a large outdoor whirlpool tub, it didn't have a swimming pool, even though Jim had promised her often that he would make good on that mistake.

That didn't help Nina now though, and as she lay there under Jim's arm her need for a swim kept growing.   Nina was a water sprite in some ways, she was only ever really at peace in the water, and that dream had shaken her up.

Unable to stay still any longer, she began the delicate task of climbing out of bed.  Moving Jim's arm was the easy part, her husband slept through earthquakes.  Untangling her legs was a little trickier but soon her long, muscular legs were free and she was able to slip out of bed.

Standing up, she knew where she could go for a relaxing swim, but hesitated.  What she had said earlier about Jim locking her clothes away was true, he did just that.  Looking around the bedroom Nina could see the built in, yet unaccessable closets that contained all their clothes.

At times it was exciting to be rendered helpless in this way, and at other times embarrassing.  But there were also times, like now, when it was a little annoying.  Jim's control of her clothing almost made her feel like a prisoner at times, unable to go places on the spur of the moment without his permission or at least knowledge.  But she had to admit that he had never refused her need for something to wear once she told him why she needed it.  At least...not when the need was important.  Jim liked to embarrass her with his naked games, but he wasn't out to humiliate her.  It was this difference that allowed her to continue with this lifestyle, knowing that Jim would never abuse his power over her.

Still, at this moment it left her with few options.  She was naked, and had nothing she could put on.  But...

A wicked thought crept into her head, one the OLD Nina would never have had.  She just had to go four blocks...

She grinned in the darkness and looked at her sleeping husband.  He would be out for hours yet, she had plenty of time.  Nina decided to go for it.

With her heart beginning to thump hard, Nina headed downstairs and out of the house.  She didn't need to take a key with her, all the locks were electronic with a keypad for entry, just so that Nina wouldn't need pockets.  So she let the front door close and lock behind her while she crept toward the gate.

She was used to being nude in her front yard, Lord knows she spent enough time there working on the garden.  Doing yard work wearing nothing but heavy gloves had been hard at first, but she had soon gotten used to it.  But the yard looked different in the moonlight, so she crept.

Six numbers, and the gate swung open.  It was three o`clock in the morning yet Nina still looked carefully around before venturing out onto the sidewalk.  A part of her couldn't believe she was voluntarily leaving the house completely naked, just to go for a swim.
Leaving the property nude was almost normal for Nina, she did it every work day.  She hardly ever got to wear clothes at work and since she was nude at home all the time it seemed silly to Jim for her to dress for the trips to and from work.  So when she drove, it was nude.  But stepping out into the neighborhood was different.

She thought briefly about going back for Jim's car, her own in the shop at the moment, but she didn't know where Jim had dumped his keys.  So it was walk four blocks naked or give up on her urge to swim.

She decided to go for it.

She stepped out onto the sidewalk and let the gate close behind her.

She walked quickly, a route she knew well, her arms wrapped about her body, her senses keen for any activity beyond her own.  She was acutely aware of the feel of the concrete under her bare feet, now cool from the night air.  She could feel the wind about her naked body, tickling her in places breezes normally didn't reach.   Nina couldn't begin to count the number of hours she had spent nude outdoors since coming to live out here in this coastal town, yet at this moment in time it was like it was all new again.   Nina smiled.  She wondered what her friend, Tami, would have thought of Nina doing this.  But then, unsurprisingly, Tami hadn't seemed that impressed by some of the things Nina had done while nude.  It had been a while since the two had spoken, a friendship lapsed.

A car suddenly started nearby and Nina ducked, crouching on the sidewalk.  From a driveway just a few houses down, Nina could see moving lights.  She looked about for a place to hide and moved behind a short bush.  It wasn't the greatest hiding place, but it was all that was offered.

She didn't need it.  The car backed out of the driveway and headed in the other direction.  Nina sighed with relief and waited a few minutes before moving on.

She watched the house the car had come from carefully for more activity, but didn't see any.  She crept past on tip toe.

Only one other incident marred her trip, and that was a car coming up the street behind her.  She was only aware of it when she saw the street in front of her suddenly light up. Turning, she saw the car only a block away and she made a mad dash for the house she was passing at that moment.

With her heart about to explode she watched from behind a wall as the car went by.  It seemed to slow a moment as it drew near, and Nina feared she had been spotted, but it kept on going, finally vanishing around a corner.

'Getting caught like this isn't going to help my career much either,' she thought.  She waited as long as she dared, and moved out.

Once she reached her former residence, the home of Brian Cook, she used another code to get though the gate and gratefully made her way around his impressive home to the pool on the other side.  The pool was lit up with underwater lights, but Nina didn't mind.  She slipped gracefully into the water and began a series of what she called "relaxing laps".

It was just what she needed, and tensions built up during the day...well during the past week really, melted away with each stroke.  Water was her element, and anyone watching the nude nymph would not have been surprised at her being the Mermaid Seas mermaid.  If ever a girl fit the part it was Nina.

"I thought that was you!" said an elderly male voice a short while later.

Nina was floating on her back, her breasts and face the only parts of her above the water, and with her eyes closed she hadn't seen anyone approach.  Startled, she almost went under before realizing that it was only Brian Cook, standing in a bathrobe by the side of the pool.

Nina felt a flush of humiliation as she realized her naked body was well lit up by the pool lights, but it passed almost immediately.  She had lived, nude, with Brian for many months, and next to her husband he was probably the only other male she felt completely at ease with in that state.  It was only his sudden appearance that surprised her.

She smiled and paddled over to the side of the pool.  "Hi, Brian," she said, "I hope I didn't wake you."

Brian smiled softly and shook his head, "At my age sleep is hard to come by some nights.  I was awake anyway.  I heard splashing and looked out to see a beautiful water sprite using my pool.  I had to come down to introduce myself."

Nina chuckled, "You sweet talker, you."

Brian smiled softly at the young woman, "I should have you pose for me like that one night, 'Water sprite reclining'."

Both of them laughed, although Nina's was a little strained.  Brian, who was the sculptor of  the statue of her in her own front yard, plus five other nude works of her currently on display in other private homes, might be half serious in his comment that she pose in his pool.  Nina knew she would do it if he asked, it was just that she had never gotten used to being his model.  But then it was her embarrassment that made her valuable to him.  Not content with normal nudes, Brian strove to capture that essence of innocence and vulnerability that was common to most women unclothed in unfamiliar surroundings.

He watched as Nina held onto the side of the pool and looked up at him.

"So what brings you here at this time of the morning?" he asked.

"I...felt like a swim.  I knew you wouldn't mind," Nina said after a little hesitation.

"Oh, I don't mind.  It's just that three in the morning is a rather unusual time to go swimming.  Is something wrong?"

"Why should there be anything wrong?"

Brian just looked at her for a moment, before turning to go to a nearby patio table.  "Let's talk," he said.

Nina paused before pulling herself out of the water.  She padded across the patio and wrung the water out of her long hair before sitting down across from him.

Even though Brian was old enough to be Nina's grandfather, the two had become friends in the time Nina had lived there.  In fact, Brian had become the grandfather that Nina had lost when her real grandfather passed on.  He had become someone she could confide in when needed.

"It's nothing...really," she finally said as she air-dried in the warm night air.

Brian merely waited her out, knowing she would talk when ready.

She began to tell him about Arthur Dino's visit and her dream, and how sometimes she felt a little frustrated at the demands being placed on her personal exposure.  "I mean," she said, "this guy wanted to pay me to go topless on TV again, and seemed to take it for granted that I would!  It's just that it seems lately that all everyone wants is for me to never wear clothes again!  I feel like Tami Smithers!"

"Tami's situation is different than yours.  But I can see why you are frustrated.  I admit to some guilt myself," Brian replied to a smile.

Nina raised an eyebrow, "I should expect you would.  You started all this!"

"True, but I had the good of art in mind when I set up"

"Everyone has an excuse," Nina replied sullenly.  Then she sighed and looked over at him.   "I'm sorry.  I guess I'm just tired.  I know you mean well, and so does Jim.  Even Sara hasn't been too much trouble.  It's just that sometimes, I'd like to be normal, you know?"

"Normal around here, as you well know, is a matter of opinion," Brian said with a grin.

Nina chuckled, "Oh I know.  But...there are times...when I wonder just what my future will be like if I continue on this way.  Do you know that between home and work I spend almost all my waking hours with nothing on?  When I do dress it is rarely in regular clothes.  If I'm with Jim someplace it has to be in something so revealing that anyone with eyes can tell I'm practically naked anyway.  Can I really have a career in Law with a lifestyle such as mine?"

Brian wasn't sure he knew how to answer that.  Instead he kept his opinion to himself and looked at the pool.

Nina sighed, "I guess I should head home before Jim wakes up."

"How did you get here, did you drive?" Brian asked, noting that she hadn't left a wrap anyplace he could see.


Brian chuckled, "And you're worrying about being nude too much?"

Nina grinned, "Yeah...well...I didn't say I didn't like it, just that a break now and then would be nice!  But at times it can be kinda...well, thrilling!"

Brian nodded slowly and smiled, "It can at that.  Nina, if you like, I could have a word with that young man of yours.  Perhaps I could mention your frustrations to him?"

"No...please.  There's no need, really.  We're fine," Nina replied softly.  "I guess that all this mermaid talk and my mermaid dream has shaken me up a bit.  My head is filled with mermaid thoughts of endlessly swimming through life in my natural state.  It'll pass."

Brian stood up, "In that case, I'll drive you home. A naked girl shouldn't have to walk four blocks...often."

Nina looked up and smiled.  "This naked girl thanks you."

Brian grinned.

End of Part 34.