“I had a guaranteed way of talking myself onto the yacht of any billionaire – male or female.”
I became worried that Mia would take me to one of her regular cafes. That a waiter would try to take the one item that hid my body from the world but, instead, I realised that we were walking into the park again. Our shoes crunched on gravel paths until we reached the same bench again. Mia looked around and I did the same. When I turned back she was already sitting, coat folded beside her, and resplendent in her nudity and bright red shoes yet again. She was looking at me, begging the question.
I sat on the other end of the bench. I could sense her disappointment.
“I don’t know how you do it,” I said. She sat, so confidently, the dappled sunlight through the trees dancing on her pale skin.
“I don’t know why you don’t do it,” she replied. I didn’t want to attempt to argue. A ray of sun broke through the trees and bathed us in its warmth. Mia stretched her arms over her head, her eyes closed, her back arched and those perfect breasts pushed forward as if she had not a care in the world. After a few seconds she relaxed back onto the bench. I envied her for her freedom.
“The first part of the treasure hunt: find something to cover my body. Easier said than done when you’re stranded in the middle of a busy town and the shops aren’t open yet.”
Oh dear, Susan thought to herself, bad Susan. No Susan. And then she started chuckling. Because if no-one could see them… why wear them at all?
“Are you having fun in there? Dare I ask?…” Marian’s voice came from outside.
“Just buttoning up!” Susan lied, standing still naked. Quickly, before she could change her mind, she picked up her old knickers and bra and shoved them into the flip-top bin in the corner of the changing room. She looked herself in the eye in the mirror. “You’re really doing this,” she whispered, and picked up the coat, put her arms in the sleeves, and carefully buttoned up all but the top two and the bottom two buttons. With the belt tied it was secure, and she looked down at her old shoes. Not long for you now, she thought as she slipped them on, wishing she could take Marian’s stilettos instead.
Susan examined herself briefly in the mirror. Nothing appeared different from the way she had looked when she came in. She could just as well be wearing underwear, a low-cut top and a short skirt… She could be, but she wasn’t.
Read the rest of the story in Changing Rooms
“It was the only way I had to get at my parents. Did they really think they could marry me off without a fuss? And what a fuss I was prepared to make.”
Jessica’s breathing continued but Miss Ashdown felt a tremble in her stomach. “You can’t let him know that you’ve seen him in the shadows; that would ruin everything. So you decide to make the most of the opportunity that’s fallen into your lap. You decide that you’re going to give him the most passionate performance of your life and you know that, after this, he’ll be at the show tonight, and he’ll come and find you afterwards, and you’ll know that, if you want him, you can have him.”
Miss Ashdown felt Jessica’s breathing quicken: the fantasy seemed to be working. She continued.
“Now, drop your arms by your side, but keep your eyes closed. Don’t leave that auditorium and, whatever happens, don’t open your eyes until I tell you.”
Miss Ashdown took her hands off of Jessica’s torso and the student lowered her arms, keeping her eyes closed and her breathing deep. She was almost starting to drift in her imagination when she felt a pinch in the small of her back, and then Miss Ashdown’s hands pushed her unfastened bra off of her shoulders and down her arms and she heard it drop to the floor. Her breath shuddered and it was an effort of will not to open her eyes and close her arms across her chest to cover her breasts.
Jessica couldn’t remember the last time another person had seen her breasts. Her nipples hardened in response to that thought, and even more as she felt the cool air. Miss Ashdown’s voice was soft in her ear. “You can almost hear a gasp from the back of the concert hall as the object of your desire leans forwards to take in the sight of your naked chest. He can’t believe he isn’t dreaming. You want him to imagine what it would feel like to touch your skin, to feel your thin waist within his firm hands.”
“I think it flustered her to find me waiting naked at the door. The funny thing was, rather than point out how odd it was she just continued with the tour as usual.”