Allison could feel the rough grain of the sidewalk scraping against her bare feet and, looking down, was startled to see that she had forgotten to wear shoes. How in the world did that happen? Oh well, she thought, I'm late for class and don't have time to go back and get them. No one will notice. She entered the Environmental Science building and the hallways were oddly empty. Walking into her classroom she saw that it was also empty. That's strange, she could have sworn she was late. As Allison sat down in her seat in the middle of the classroom the feel of cold wood against her bare rear sent a shock wave through her. Looking down she suddenly realized she was naked! Oh my god, I forgot to get dressed! She stood up to run back to her dorm but the classroom was now full! She quickly sat back down hoping no one would notice. Somewhere in the distance she could hear the voice of the professor and Allison was mortified when her name was called out. "Miss Davis! Please come down to the front and explain why you've come to my class naked!" By now everyone in the room was looking at her and laughing and pointing. A humiliated Allison wanted to rush out of the room but forced herself to obey the professor. As she stood up, though, she felt herself rise up in the air and begin floating, floating above the class. Down below her classmates were staring up at the view between her legs...
Allison opened her eyes and blinked several times trying to adjust her sight to the darkness. She reached for the blankets that seemed to have fallen off of the bed but could feel only the sheet on the mattress below her. Disoriented, she sat up in bed and looked around. This wasn't her dorm room. Allison rubbed her eyes and the familiar surroundings of her bedroom in her parent's house slowly began coming into focus. She once again reached for the missing blankets when a glance at her nude body caused her to gasp as she suddenly realized why there were no blankets to be found! Shame and embarrassment pulsed through her once again as the events of the previous day flooded into her head. The glowing numbers on the clock beside her bed read 2:10 am but Allison knew there would be no more sleep for quite awhile tonight.
Allison padded quietly out into the living room and then the kitchen, trying not to disturb her parents' sleep. She brewed herself a cup of herbal tea and sat down on the living room couch, lighting a candle for light. The flickering light illuminated her nude body as she stared hypnotically into the flame. She tried to empty her mind of thoughts but the bizarre events of the day continually kept forcing themselves in like unwanted visitors. With a sigh Allison gave up the fight and began re-living the strange events of the previous day. It all came rushing back now: the reading of the will, the momentary exhilaration of hearing about the great wealth offered only to be devastated by the perverse "condition" imposed on her by her dead grandfather, Arthur Compton. A year in the nude! What an impossible, ridiculous, obscene, and horrifying prospect…one that she couldn't possibly have imagined only 24 hours ago. Worst of all were the memories of the terrifying nude exit from the busy downtown office building. Allison shuddered and stared into the flame again, attempting to quiet her emotions.
A nearby bedroom door opened and Allison's mother Sarah stepped out and walked quietly into the living room. "Hello, honey. I see you couldn't sleep either. Mind if a get a cup of tea and join you?"
"Sure, Mom." She had instinctively tried to cover herself when she first heard her mother enter the room but then realized how silly it was. She had spent a good part of yesterday nude in front of her. Sarah joined her daughter on the opposite end of the living room sofa, lighting a second candle for light.
"That was quite a day yesterday wasn't it, Allie?"
Allison nodded. "The worst day of my life I think."
Sarah looked sympathetically at her daughter. "I can imagine, dear. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I guess I should have seen something like this coming from your grandfather."
"How could you possibly see something like this coming, Mom?"
Sarah shifted uncomfortably and nervously sipped her tea before continuing. "Your grandfather had some... fetishes." She wasn't quite sure how to put this. "He... well, he enjoyed humiliating women by forcing them to exhibit themselves nude in public."
Allison's eyes opened wide and she stared at her mother. "You mean he forced you... "
Sarah shook her head. "No, not me. My mother - your grandmother. She told me stories before she died. I think she was afraid that he would try to force me into some of his perverse games."
Allison was shocked by this revelation. "You mean incest?"
"No, I don't think he would have ever touched me. This wasn't really about sex; at least I don't think it was anyway. It was about demonstrating his power over the women in his life by humiliating them. Forcing them to strip in public. That's how he got his kicks."
"Women?" Allison asked. "You mean more than my grandmother?"
"Your grandfather had mistresses. I know that he forced several of them into this type of thing."
"How do you know?"
"My mother knew about them. She had him followed when she was preparing to divorce him. That's when she started warning me about him."
Allison tried to recall memories of her grandmother Rebecca, but she had died in a boating accident when Allison was very young and she had no recollection of her.
"You don't remember your grandmother, do you, hon?" Sarah asked. Allison shook her head. "You remind me a lot of her, Allie. She was a beautiful woman." Allison took a sip of tea trying to visualize her from photographs she had seen. "She encouraged me to run off with your father in order to get away from Arthur."
Allison was a little surprised by this. "I didn't know that. I always thought they both hated Dad."
Sarah shook her head. "No, not your grandmother." Sarah thought back to her early days with Tom. He had been so handsome and she had been so in love. "You know Allie, I've never told you this, but I was pregnant with you when your father and I got married."
"I know Mom," Allison giggled. "I can do math."
Sarah blushed slightly. "I suppose you can." Both mother and daughter felt a warm glow as they talked. It had been a long time since they had talked together like this. Too long, Sarah thought to herself. They continued to talk, no longer mother and daughter but two women sharing secrets from a hidden past and concerns about an uncertain future.
"Your grandmother Rebecca was a good woman," Sarah continued.
"Why in the world did she marry such a pervert then?"
"Allie, you have to understand that Rebecca had nothing when she met Arthur. Nothing but her beauty anyway. She was an orphan who’d been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He offered her a life of wealth and in return he asked that she participate in his 'games.'"
"Yes. Games involving exhibitionism and nudity in public places."
"And she was willing to do this for the money?"
Sarah thought for a moment before answering. "Your grandmother was a very ambitious person in her own right. She was willing to do whatever it took to achieve her goals." Sarah took a sip from the tea. "In many ways she was as strong-willed as Arthur Compton. I think that's one of the things that attracted him to her."
Allison thought for a moment about what her mother was telling her. "Tell me a little about these 'games'."
Sarah sat silently for a few minutes, thinking about her mother. "It began on their wedding night... "
[Author’s note: Those of you who’ve read my short story "Rebecca" will recognize this part of the chapter. This is the original version of this story and I later re-wrote it into a standalone short story when I thought I’d never get around to completing Allison’s Inheritance.]
The young bride stood naked, handcuffed, and trembling in the bridal suite of the large hotel. She was about to play a game: Arthur Compton's game. Compton sat watching her closely, a thin smile on his face, a cigarette smoldering between his fingertips. He could sense her fear and fed on it like a predator gaining strength from the scent of fear in his prey. At thirty-two, Compton was already a millionaire many times over and a man who knew how to get what he wanted. And at the moment what he wanted was his beautiful wife to display her naked flesh to others. He gazed with pleasure at her milky white skin and silky raven hair and began explaining the rules of the game.
"As soon as you exit the room, Becky, the clock will start. I'll give you a series of tasks you'll have to complete in order to find the key to the handcuffs and then find the room key in order to get back in. I won't allow you in if you don't find it." He paused for a moment to let this sink in. "If you aren't back within an hour the door will be bolted shut and won't be opened until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. I'll give you your initial instructions to get you started once you’re in the hallway."
A nervous chill swept through Rebecca's body. "Aren't you afraid we'll get kicked out of the hotel?" she asked.
Arthur chuckled and took a drag off of his cigarette. "I’d probably be worried if I wasn't part owner of the hotel."
Rebecca stood silently allowing Arthur's eyes to roam across her body. She knew she couldn't hide her nervousness but wasn't going to allow him the satisfaction of hearing her plead or beg. Compton sat quietly for a few minutes allowing the fear and anticipation to build in the young woman. Finally he spoke. "It's time to get started, dear."
Rebecca took a deep breath as the door to the hallway beyond opened. She hesitated for a moment, then stepped outside. Arthur entered the hallway with her and she heard the door lock behind her with a sickening click. Her eyes darted quickly back and forth, scanning both ends of the corridor, but it was empty. It was just after 11 pm and many of the guests were already settled into their rooms for the night. Still, the possibility of being seen was very real.
"Follow me," Arthur commanded and she walked behind him down the hall, her hands handcuffed behind her back. They reached the elevator and Compton pushed the down button. Rebecca shuddered nervously at the thought of entering the hotel elevator in the nude.
"Take the elevator down to the 2nd floor, Becky. There are some public restrooms there. In the men's room, taped behind a large waste receptacle, is a plastic bag holding the key to the cuffs along with further instructions."
The “ding” announcing the arrival of the elevator startled Rebecca and she watched nervously as the doors slid opened. To her relief the elevator was empty. Compton stepped inside and motioned her into it. After she entered he pushed the button for the 2nd floor and stepped out again, holding the door open. He allowed himself a moment to drink in the delicious sight of his beautiful wife standing naked, handcuffed, and helpless in the elevator. "Good luck. I'll be expecting you in less than an hour," he said with a smile. Then he let the doors slide shut.
Alone in the elevator now, Rebecca watched nervously as the floors ticked off on her journey to the 2nd floor. As each floor number appeared above the door she expected the elevator to come to a halt to pick up new passengers, but it continued uninterrupted to her destination.
The doors slid open and the nude woman peered cautiously out of the elevator before stepping out into the corridor. About twenty feet away Rebecca saw a large potted floor plant and she scampered quickly to it, kneeling down behind it. She took a minute to calm her nerves before peering out from behind the plant to survey the area. On each side of the corridor she saw hotel shops and boutiques, all of them darkened and shuttered. This would normally be a busy floor during business hours but at this time of night the area was deserted. There was no sign of the men’s restroom though, and the clock was ticking, so the young bride had no choice but to get moving and look for it. She reluctantly left her hiding spot and began exploring.
As she started down the hallway she saw with a shock that there was a lounge at the end that was still open and serving customers. She pressed herself flat against the wall and surveyed the area. She saw the men’s restroom now down the hallway near the open door of the bar and had no choice but to head toward it. Rebecca began creeping along the wall past the closed doors of the shops, trying to remain invisible to the people drinking within the lounge. She could hear music tinkling from inside as a pianist played quiet tunes for the bored late night drinkers.
The men's room was now only a few feet away on the opposite side of the corridor and Rebecca decided to make a dash for it. This was obviously the restroom used by the bar so the chances of someone being inside were good, but what choice did she have? She quickly dashed across the hallway, breasts bouncing as she ran, and pushed her way through the door into the bathroom.
The bathroom was empty and Rebecca could see the white trash receptacle near the sink. Sliding it away from the wall with her foot she breathed a sigh of relief as a plastic bag taped to the rear of it containing a key and a note came into sight. Awkwardly she removed the bag with her hands cuffed behind her back and began tearing it open. The key clattered to the floor and Rebecca sat down on the cold tile floor attempting to pick it up with her arms behind her back. Thank god they keep this place clean, she thought, as she finally managed to retrieve it and began fumbling around trying to put the key in the lock. The key dropped again to the floor. This is no good,she thought, aware that a bar bathroom probably wouldn't remain vacant for long. With an effort she struggled to her feet and, bending over at the waist, attempted to slide her handcuffed wrists past her butt. The cuffs bit into her wrists as she strained but finally felt them slip past to her thighs. Then sitting down again she brought her legs through, freeing her arms. With her arms now in front of her the process of retrieving the key and unlocking the cuffs was much easier and soon they snapped open. Rebecca tossed them into the wastebasket and, grabbing the note, fled into one of the stalls to read it.
Congratulations on the successful completion of the first part of the game. I figured that someone as limber as you should have no problem finding a way to escape from the handcuffs. Or did you require assistance?
Now on to your next task, Becky. This will be relatively straightforward since I don't want to challenge you too much on your first time out. I'm sure you noticed that small bar nearby. The bartender will be expecting you and is saving you a seat at the bar. All you have to do is go in and order a drink and he will hand you a note with further instructions. I'll be in the corner of the bar watching. Please don't acknowledge me in any way.
Oh, by the way, the bartender will not allow you to charge the drink to the room. I'm afraid you'll have to find someone in the bar to buy it for you.
Rebecca sighed as she read the instructions. All the stealth and caution she’d used to avoid being seen by the customers in the bar had been for nothing. She was going to have to walk right in and belly up to the bar for a drink! Then god only knows what the next set of instructions would bring.
All to aware that the clock was ticking, Rebecca had no choice but to make her way out of the stall and prepare to walk into the bar. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves she stepped through the door and began walking toward the open door of the bar. She heard a gasp as she stepped in and a quick survey showed her the bar was only about half full. The customers were mainly bored businessmen although there were several couples sitting at tables talking quietly. In the corner she could see Arthur sitting, his eyes focused intently on her. Rebecca turned her eyes from him and walked to the bar.
The bartender smiled and tossed a napkin onto the bar in front of her like it was the most natural thing in the world for a nude woman to walk into his bar. Rebecca sat down on the stool next to a businessman in a rumpled white shirt and tacky tie.
"Whoa," the man exclaimed as the naked woman sat down beside him. Rebecca could smell the beer on his breath from where she sat. "Hello there, darlin'."
Rebecca forced a smile onto her face. "Hi. Would you mind buying me a drink?"
"Sure thing," the man replied and he managed to tear his eyes off of her breasts long enough to shove a crumpled wad of bills toward the bartender. "Get her whatever she wants, barkeep."
The bartender smiled. "My name's Jimmy. What can I get for you?"
"I'll have a glass of Chardonnay please, Jimmy."
"My name's Ed," her companion in the next seat said. "What's yours?"
"I'm Suzy," she replied, not wanting to give the man her real name.
"Pleased to meet ya, Suzy. Damn you got the nicest tits I ever seen."
Rebecca tried to ignore the man as Jimmy brought her glass of wine along with a note. She felt a tingle of anticipation as she opened it, not knowing what to expect next.
Only one task remains, Becky, and then you can return to the room. After you finish your drink you will request a song from the piano player, and I want you to sing it for the bar. You know what song I want to hear. Once you've finished that the bartender will give you your room key and you may leave at any time.
She knew what song Arthur wanted. “Danny Boy.” His mother had come from Ireland and often sang it to him as a young boy. Hearing it was one of the few things in the world that could move him to tears.
Rebecca's new friend Ed was engaging in a drunken one-sided conversation with her that she’d been tuning out. He apparently thought that her "outfit" was the latest fashion for hookers in the area and he couldn't have been more pleased about it.
Rebecca felt Ed's hand on her back and she quickly gulped down her glass of wine. "Excuse me Ed, but I want to request a song from the piano man." She rose from her stool and all eyes were on her as she approached the piano player. She waited self-consciously until he finished his song and then spoke briefly into his ear. He nodded and began to play. Rebecca looked around the bar nervously and began to sing:
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come you back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
Rebecca sang with a strong clear voice. She loved to sing and, for a moment anyway, forgot about her nudity. She was lost in the moment and the crowd listened with rapt attention to the beautiful song.
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
There was silence for a moment, then the crowd erupted in applause. Rebecca blushed then took a small bow. In the corner she could see Arthur clapping as well, a tear running down his cheek. A rush of adrenaline ran through Rebecca's body and she couldn't help but smile as she returned to the bar.
"That was damn good," she heard Ed slur and felt his hand on her ass. She turned to him and smiled. "Ed, would you mind buying me another drink?"
"Sure thing, darlin'," he replied and removed his hand to reach for his wallet.
Jimmy placed another glass of wine in front of her along with the room key. "That was wonderful singing," he said.
Rebecca blushed again at the compliment. "Thanks Jimmy." As she sat down on the stool she could once again feel Ed's hand, this time moving up her thigh. She took a quick sip then turned to her companion and threw the remainder of the wine into his face.
A shocked and surprised Ed recoiled from her with wine dripping off of his face onto his white shirt. "You fucking bitch!"
Rebecca grabbed the room key and turned to Jimmy as she walked toward the exit, "I'm sorry I can't leave you a tip."
"That's okay," the bartender called after her. "Your presence here was tip enough." With that Rebecca strode quickly through the open door of the bar into the hallway beyond leaving one last glimpse of her naked backside for the bar’s patrons.
As she walked down the corridor Rebecca's confidence began to fade as she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. Nervously she picked up the pace, afraid to look back. Reaching the elevator she pushed the button just as a hand grabbed her and spun her around. In her face was a drunk and angry Ed.
"Where the hell do you think you're going you little prick tease. The party's not over yet." He leaned over and attempted to plant a kiss on her lips as Rebecca struggled to push him away, his foul-smelling breath nauseating her.
Suddenly a hand seized Ed by the throat and he gasped for breath as Arthur Compton slammed him against the opposite wall. Ed took a wild swing but Arthur blocked it easily and slammed his knee into Ed's groin. The color went out of Ed's face as he slumped to his knees in pain. Arthur grabbed the man by his hair to hold him up and then buried a fist into his gut. What little air was left exploded out of Ed's lungs and he crumpled into a heap on the floor, gasping and retching. Compton looked on for a moment with a cruel grin at the sight of the beaten man, then turned and led his wife into the open elevator.
As the elevator climbed upward the man and wife found themselves in an embrace of hungry passion. The embarrassment, humiliation, and fear that Rebecca had experienced were now fueling a fire inside her that she'd never felt before. She greedily tore at Andrew's clothes wanting to feel him inside of her. As the elevator doors slid open, Andrew swept her off of her feet and carried her in his arms down the hallway to their room, pausing only to unlock the door. Then Andrew Compton carried his young bride across the threshold into their bridal suite, kicking the door shut behind him.
Moments later the Comptons consummated their wedding vows.
Mother and Daughter
Allison stared into the flickering candle flame thinking about the story her mother had just told her. The shocking conditions of the will were beginning to make some sense now. This wasn't just some crazy scheme cooked up on Arthur Compton's deathbed but an ongoing pattern of behavior for him; a bizarre attempt to continue with his fetish even after death.
Allison thought about her grandmother Rebecca and what her mother had said about her, that she was willing to pay the price to get what she wanted. Allison wondered if she herself possessed the same determination and strength to pay whatever price was necessary to gain the wealth and power being dangled in front of her. She didn't know.
Sarah returned from the kitchen with fresh cups of tea for the two of them. Settling back onto the sofa she watched the flickering light from the candles dance across Allison's face and breasts. My God she's beautiful, she thought, as a twinge of jealousy shot through her.
Sarah immediately felt ashamed by these feelings. At forty she knew she could pass for thirty and heads still turned when she walked down the street. Still, she knew that she had never possessed the extraordinary beauty of her daughter even in her prime. What struck her was the natural way that Allison carried her looks, accepting them but without the vanity or self-centeredness that so many other beautiful women possessed. She neither wanted nor needed to be the center of attention, which would make the coming ordeal all the more difficult for her.
Arthur Compton must have been struck by Allison's beauty as well, she thought. So much so that the temptation to get her involved in his fetish must have been too great to pass up, even after death. A temptation so great that he was willing to put his company up as the prize to entice her.
The two women sat quietly for several minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. Sarah finally broke the silence. "Have you decided what you're going to do yet, Allie?"
Allison didn't answer at first, pondering for the thousandth time the unthinkable choice she’d been given. After her humiliating exit from the Compton Building, Allison had been convinced on the ride home that she was going to quit this ridiculous farce as soon as she got home, but in the relative protection of her parents' house she’d calmed down a bit and decided there was no harm in staying nude for the weekend anyway. She didn't have to be back to school until Monday morning and this would give her time to think things through.
"Yes, Mom." she finally replied. "I have to do it. It's not just the money, it's the opportunity to make positive changes in this world. I have to try."
Sarah nodded her head. "I know, honey. I was hoping you would. Does that sound awful? To hope my own daughter would go through with something like this?"
"No, Mom. I understand."
"It's just that..." Tears started flowing down Sarah's cheeks. "I... I thought I was satisfied with my life but I guess when I heard about the money that we would be inheriting... I wanted it. I wanted it for us and for you."
Allison put her arms around her mother and the two of them shared tears for a few minutes.
"Allie, I want you to be careful. Your grandfather was a ruthless man and I don't think he would give up his company to you so easily."
"Easily?" Allison exclaimed.
"Yes, honey I know this seems terribly difficult for you and it will be. But I don't think we've heard everything yet. I think there may be some traps and roadblocks in this whole thing that we don't know about. I don't think Mariana Perez has told us everything."
"Well, I got the feeling she was on our side. I don't think she likes Tony Compton."
"Honey, no one likes Tony Compton. That doesn't necessarily make her your friend, though. I don't know if she will be an ally or a foe in this but you should be very wary of her."
Allison sipped her tea and thought about the challenge ahead of her.
"And you may not be able to trust anyone at school either. I'm sure that Tony will spread his money around to your friends to spy on you and tempt you into cheating."
"Oh, great,” Allison said. “I come home on a Friday as a normal happy college girl and I go back on Monday as a paranoid nudist." Mother and daughter looked at each other for a moment and then burst out laughing and began another round of hugs.
"I love you, Mom."
"Love you too, Allie. Let's get some sleep. I'll drive you back to college early Monday morning."
"I think Monday will be the hardest day of my life, Mom."
End of Chapter 2