The Lodger

by Arthur Saxon
meganeura@hotmail.com


DAY 1

The doorbell rang. “I’ll get it!” said Richard Dunn, springing to his feet.

“Ooh!” said his wife Melanie anxiously. “Do you think that’s ... her?”

“I expect so!” said Richard excitedly. “Our lodger! Let’s try to make a good impression, shall we?” I hope she’s pretty, he added, just to himself.

Melanie followed him to the door, thinking to herself: I hope she’s pretty...

The two of them were short of money. The credit card balance just kept growing and growing, and despite numerous economies they could not seem to pay it down. Taking in a lodger would certainly help, and Kelly Benson sounded perfectly delightful: just twenty years old, a media arts student at the local university, with hobbies ranging from sewing to ballroom dancing.

Richard had been fantasising about Kelly for days, envisioning her casually wandering around the house in a tank top and panties, or in an impractically small towel just after a shower... (He startles her, she gasps, breathing in so sharply that her towel comes untucked, and falls to the floor...) Grinning, he stepped up to the front door, and threw it open.

Melanie had been fretting about Kelly for days, envisioning her falling for Richard, flattering him, turning his head... Of course, this was far less likely to happen if she were pretty; she would have plenty of interested young men to keep her busy. But if Kelly were a plain Jane, then she might be only too eager for romance with an older man. Melanie quickly tiptoed up behind her husband, and peered around his shoulder as he froze in surprise, with an “Oh!”

“Mr and Mrs Dunn?” said the cheerful-looking young man on the doorstep. “I’m Kelly Benson.” He had short, sand-coloured, elegantly-coiffed hair which was all swept to one side; large burgundy-rimmed glasses which framed quite striking blue eyes, and a trilby set at a rakish angle. He was wearing a jacket over the top of a white t-shirt on which several silhouetted figures stood above the words “You won’t have heard of them”.

“Oh!” said Richard again. “Uh ... we thought you were a ... female.”

The young man’s cheeks reddened a little. “Oh,” he said. “Because of my name? Sorry – I didn’t mean to mislead you...”

Looking quite disappointed, Richard stepped aside. “Well, I suppose you’d better come in.”

“Thanks,” said Kelly. He stooped to pick up a couple of heavy bags, leaving a third behind on the deck.

“I’ll get that for you,” offered Richard.

“Thanks,” said Kelly, stepping into the house. He smiled at Melanie. “Wow,” he said. “Hello!”

Melanie blushed. What did “Wow” mean, exactly? She had not had a “Wow” in years; in fact, she could not recall ever having had a “Wow”. “Nice to meet you,” she said, a little shyly.

Kelly looked around. “You have a lovely house, Mr and Mrs Dunn!” he remarked. “And the view!” He went over to the window and looked out across the valley. “Amazing.”

“Yes,” said Richard, rather proudly. “We’re very fortunate. And please – ‘call us Richard and Melanie.”

“As you wish,” said Kelly, turning around with a smile. He fished a piece of paper out of his pocket. “Here’s one month’s rent, in advance, as requested.”

“Thank you!” said Richard, taking the cheque. “Now, let me show you to your room.”

Kelly followed Richard up the stairs, and Melanie ascended after them. As he entered the spare bedroom, Kelly looked around at the peeling wallpaper and stained carpet. “This will do nicely!” he said. “Thank you.”

“I know it needs some work,” Richard admitted. “But I hope you’ll feel at home here.”

“Oh, I definitely will,” said Kelly.

“Shall I make some coffee?” suggested Melanie.

“Yes, good idea,” said Richard.

“How do you like yours, Kelly?” asked Melanie.

“Warm and sweet, please,” replied Kelly, “with plenty of milk.” His eyes dropped briefly to Melanie’s chest, whose ample proportions were quite obvious despite the baggy sweater she was wearing.

Melanie’s eyes widened, but now Kelly was simply smiling at her pleasantly; perhaps she had misread the situation.

“Just like your women, huh?” laughed Richard, clapping Kelly on the shoulder.

Kelly chuckled politely. “I guess I walked right into that one,” he said.

Ten minutes later, they were all drinking coffee in the living room. “So, Kelly – ‘tell us about yourself,” said Richard.

Kelly nodded. “Well, I’m the youngest of four,” he said. “I have three older sisters. My dad is a lawyer, and my mom works in television. I was in a TV commercial at the age of six.”

“Interesting!” said Richard. “Are you planning to work in television too?”

Kelly nodded. “I was always closer to my mom than my dad. And I’ve always been artistic. My favourite thing is world-building – ‘using computer software to design and build worlds for TV shows and movies. Landscapes, architecture, futuristic technology ... even down to fine details like clothing and character design.”

“Very cool!” said Richard. “And ... I believe you like sewing?”

“Yes!” said Kelly. “I love designing and making costumes – ‘I’m a regular at a lot of cosplay events. I specialise in futuristic outfits, but I also dabble in steampunk and occasionally anime.”

“And ... you dance, too?” inquired Melanie.

Kelly laughed. “Well, I just started that. I’m not very good. But it’s fun.”

“Melanie used to do some of that, didn’t you dear?” said Richard.

Melanie blushed. “Just a bit of Latin ballroom,” she said. “It was ten years ago though – ‘I’m sure I’ve forgotten it all.”

The conversation continued for the next hour. Richard and Melanie learned a lot about their paying guest, and began to feel more and more comfortable with him. He was chatty, forthright, and engaging, with a charming sense of humour.

“Well, I’d better go and prepare dinner,” said Melanie, after a look at the time displayed on the front of the cable box.

“Can I help?” asked Kelly. “I love to cook. Of course, I certainly don’t want to step on your toes...”

Melanie was not at all sure about having her work in the kitchen scrutinised by a stranger. “Oh I’ll be fine on my own, thank you,” she said awkwardly.

“Why don’t I show you around outside?” suggested Richard.

“Okay!” said Kelly. “That would be great.”

While Melanie put together a casserole, Richard took Kelly out to the back yard. “We have eight acres,” he said. “Half grass and gardens, half woodland.”

“Beautiful!” said Kelly. He turned to look at the house. “You’re so lucky to live here!”

“Yep,” agreed Richard. “A place like this was kinda Melanie’s dream. She was raised in the city, and hated it – ‘she always wanted to live in the country. I’m glad we managed to find this place – ‘and it’s only a forty-five minute commute to the city! Well, fifty minutes for Melanie.”

“Amazing,” said Kelly. “Only ten minutes for me, though!” He sighed happily. “I hope I do as well as you, when I find my own place, and settle down with my dream girl.”

Richard chuckled. “I actually thought you might be ... you know...”

“Gay?” said Kelly. “No. But with the sewing and the dancing, I can see why you might think otherwise.”

Richard nodded. “Well, it wouldn’t have made a difference, but that’s good to know. So ... no girlfriend currently?”

“Not right now, no,” said Kelly. “Just got over a bad break-up, actually.”

“Sorry to hear that,” said Richard. “I know all about those. Melanie’s actually my second wife, you know. The first was...” He shuddered.

“That bad, huh?” said Kelly sympathetically. “Well at least you lucked out the second time around. Melanie’s ... well, she’s gorgeous!”

“You think so?” said Richard in surprise. “I mean ... obviously I do too, but ... well, she’s over ten years older than you!”

Kelly shrugged. “I’ve always liked older women,” he said. “My first girlfriend ... she was actually a teacher at my high school.”

“Whoa!” said Richard. “Isn’t that, like ... illegal?”

“We were discreet,” said Kelly. “But eventually, her husband found out...”

“Oh man,” said Richard. “I’ll bet that was quite a mess.”

“It was,” agreed Kelly. “So I figure I’ll try and find a fellow student more my own age, and stay away from married professors!”

“A wise choice,” said Richard.

Kelly squinted slightly. “Is it my imagination, or is that deck slightly askew?”

“It is,” admitted Richard. “It’s kind of detached from the wall on the right-hand side, and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.” The truth was, he was rather hopeless at home repairs, and had been putting off this job for the past two years.

“Oh!” said Kelly. “Well, how about I tackle that for you? It would be my pleasure – ‘I find carpentry quite therapeutic.”

“Oh!” said Richard in surprise. “That would be fantastic! Thank you! Carpentry too, huh? You’re a talented young man!”

“I dabble,” said Kelly. “I couldn’t do what my dad does, though. All that studying – ‘ugh. I’m always so impressed by people who have the drive to succeed in a tough field like law.”

“It helps if you actually find the law interesting – ‘which I happen to do,” said Richard.

Kelly nodded. “Yes, I imagine there’s a lot of overlap between law and accountancy,” he remarked.

“Some,” Richard agreed.

“Do you have any tools?” asked Kelly. “Sorry – ‘that deck is just kinda bugging me. I can fix it before dinner if you like.”

“Sure! Thank you!” said Richard. “I’ll fetch my toolbox from the shed.”

Half an hour later, a highly impressed Richard was watching Kelly put some finishing touches to the deck. “Great job!” he said.

“Thanks,” said Kelly. “You know, feel free to put me on other odd jobs around your house. I enjoy the work, and I’m sensing that you don’t ... so you might as well make use of me.”

“Well that’s very generous of you!” said Richard gratefully. “We’ll have to figure out some kind of discount on your rent.”

“I wouldn’t say no to that,” Kelly admitted.

“You know, I think this arrangement is going to work out very well,” said Richard happily.

At dinner, Kelly continued his charm offensive. “This casserole is wonderful!” he enthused.

“I’m glad you like it,” replied Melanie, gratified.

Afterwards, Kelly insisted on washing the dishes.

“Oh my God!” whispered Melanie to Richard in the living room. “I love him! Can we adopt him?”

Richard grinned. “He’s pretty awesome, isn’t he? I think this is going to work out very well!”

After Kelly was done with the dishes, the three of them sat down to watch television. The DVR contained a couple of unwatched episodes of Survivor, the first of which Kelly was more than happy to watch with Richard and Melanie.

Once it had finished, Melanie said, “Have you ever thought of going on a show like Survivor, Kelly? With all of your talents...”

Kelly shrugged. “I wouldn’t rule it out,” he replied. “But it’s not something I’m burning to do. How about you two?”

“God no,” said Richard. “I’m not the physical type.”

“And I couldn’t bear the thought of being seen in a bikini by millions of people!” said Melanie.

Kelly smiled. “I’m sure you’d look gorgeous in a bikini,” he said.

Melanie gasped, and blushed. Richard snorted in amusement. “I think our lodger has a little crush on you!” he chortled.

Kelly’s cheeks reddened, and Melanie elbowed her husband. “Don’t embarrass the poor guy!” she admonished him.

“Sorry,” Richard apologised – ‘not very sincerely. “Anyway, I should be getting off to bed. Goodnight, dear.” He kissed her on the lips, briefly, then he got up. “And goodnight Kelly! I hope you sleep well.”

“Thanks, I’m sure I shall,” said Kelly.

Richard headed upstairs, and Kelly looked quizzically at Melanie. “You guys don’t go to bed at the same time?”

Melanie shook her head. “Richard has to be at the office at eight o’clock, so he leaves the house around ten past seven. I don’t start work at the library until ten, so I leave a little after nine.”

“Oh,” said Kelly. “Well my first lecture is at nine and the campus is only ten minutes away, so I’ll be leaving not long before you.”

“Good!” said Melanie brightly. “We can have breakfast together. Say, at about eight o’clock?”

“Sounds good!” said Kelly. “So, what exactly do you do at the library?”

“Oh, it varies,” said Melanie. “Right now I’m in the process of scanning in several thousand old legal documents that have been stored in boxes and are in danger of falling apart. Tedious work, but important.”

“Wow,” said Kelly. “That’s dedication! It sounds like you really believe in your work.”

“Oh, I do,” said Melanie firmly. “It’s not just a job, for me. It’s a mission: to acquire, preserve, and disseminate human knowledge.”

“I love how you put that!” said Kelly. “I’d never thought of librarians as belonging to a noble profession, but of course you really do! You’re quite a remarkable woman, Melanie.”

Melanie blushed. “Thank you,” she said. “Do you want to watch something else?”

“Yes please!” said Kelly. “But do you mind if I join you on the sofa? The viewing angle from this armchair...”

“Oh, sure!” said Melanie. Then, as he sat down next to her, she asked, “What would you like to watch?”

“Anything you like,” he replied.

“Have you seen Game of Thrones?” she inquired.

“Yes! Wonderful show,” said Kelly.

“How about Vikings?”

Kelly shook his head.

“Oh good,” said Melanie happily. “You’re in for a treat. Well, it’s not quite Game of Thrones quality, but...”

“I’m sure I’ll love it,” said Kelly.

Forty-five minutes later, Melanie hit pause. “So ... what did you think?”

“Fun stuff!” said Kelly. “I’d love to watch more of it with you ... if you’re willing.”

“I’m willing!” said Melanie happily.

“Well, I suppose I should go and get ready for bed,” said Kelly. Then he leaned in close to her, peering at her face.

For a moment Melanie thought he was about to kiss her, and she leaned backwards, her eyes wide. But he merely reached up and gently brushed her cheek with his fingers. “You had an eyelash,” he said.

“Oh!” she said, relieved. “Thank you.” Kelly’s smiling face was still very close to hers, and she found herself looking into his gorgeous blue eyes.

But then he drew back, and patted her thigh. “Goodnight Melanie,” he said. “I’m so glad to be staying here.” He got up, and headed for the door.

“Goodnight Kelly!” replied Melanie, feeling a little flustered. ‘Get a grip,’ she told herself; ‘he didn’t do anything wrong. He’s just ... friendly.’ Yet she could not imagine him brushing an eyelash off her husband’s cheek...

Once she heard him finish in the bathroom and close his bedroom door, she went upstairs and shut herself in the bathroom. She brushed her teeth, washed her face, used the toilet, and then went to her bedroom, undressed to her panties, and put on a t-shirt. As she quietly climbed into bed, she heard Richard stir.

“Goodnight darling,” she whispered, kissing him on the forehead.

“Mmmhmm,” he grunted, before falling back asleep.

Melanie set the alarm on her phone, then she lay down and closed her eyes. She found she could not stop thinking about Kelly; his smile, his eyes, right in front of her face as he brushed away her eyelash. But she knew it was unhealthy to dwell on this, so she forced herself to think about something else. Eventually, she drifted into sleep.

DAY 2

The next morning, her alarm awoke her at seven o’clock. She vaguely recalled Richard getting up an hour or so ago; she had fallen asleep pretty quickly afterward though. She climbed out of bed, then paused, as she recalled Kelly’s presence in the house. Cautiously opening her bedroom door, she peered across the landing at the door to Kelly’s room. It was still shut.

Slipping into the bathroom, she locked the door, then she sat down on the toilet. Having flushed, she undressed, pulled the shower curtain across while tucking it inside the bathtub, and switched on the water. When it had reached the right temperature, she stepped in.

After her shower, she dried herself off, blow-dried and styled her shoulder-length tawny hair, and put on some understated make-up. Then she wrapped her towel around herself, tucking it in at the front, and cautiously opened the door.

“Good morning Melanie!” said Kelly, who was standing a few feet away, waiting patiently.

“Good morning!” said Melanie with a slightly sheepish smile. “I, um, just need to get to my room...”

“Go ahead!” said Kelly. “I just need to use the toilet – ‘I’ll meet you downstairs in a couple of minutes?”

“Sure,” said Melanie. She hesitated, reluctant to emerge from the bathroom while Kelly was standing there. She wanted to ask him to go back into his room, but she felt a little foolish doing so. Her towel came halfway down her thighs, after all, so she was quite well covered ... but still, she felt rather vulnerable wearing a towel and nothing else.

Steeling herself, she opened the door and walked quickly past Kelly, entering her room and closing the door behind her. Now safe, she began to feel a little silly for having been so anxious about the idea of Kelly seeing her in just a towel. After all, he was living here now; this kind of thing was probably inevitable.

But part of her was fretting about what he was thinking about it. Did he think she had been showing off on purpose? Or worse: did he think her legs were fat?

She quickly put on a fresh pair of panties, a bra, a t-shirt, and her sweatpants. This was just a temporary outfit; she would change into her work clothes just before leaving the house. This was her usual habit, designed to keep her work outfit as clean and wrinkle-free for as long as possible.

Leaving the bedroom, she went downstairs to find Kelly already there, hearing up a frying pan. “You making something?” she inquired.

“Strawberry crêpes,” said Kelly. “I hope that’s okay – ‘I spotted some strawberries in the fridge, and you have everything else I need.”

“Awesome!” said Melanie. “Thank you Kelly. God, Richard will be annoyed he missed this!”

“I’ll save some of the batter,” said Kelly. “I can make him some crêpes for dessert tonight if he wants.”

“Oh, he’ll want!” said Melanie fervently. “While you’re doing that, I’ll make us some coffee.”

As the two of them worked side by side, Melanie noticed him looking at her askance. “What’s wrong?” she asked, a little paranoid.

“Oh, nothing,” said Kelly. “It’s just that ... I couldn’t help wondering if maybe my presence is disrupting your usual routine.”

“Well my daily morning routine doesn’t normally involve crêpes,” said Melanie. “But I’m certainly not going to complain about that!”

“Good!” said Kelly. “But I was actually referring to your clothing-related habits. I’d hate to think my presence in the house was making you feel like you need to dress differently.”

Melanie stared at him in surprise. “That’s very thoughtful of you,” she said, “but honestly, this is what I wear every morning.”

“Really?” said Kelly. “Huh. Okay.”

“Is there something wrong with that...?” Melanie inquired, a little defensively.

“No!” said Kelly hastily. “No. Not at all. I just ... I thought maybe you might have put the sweatpants on to spare my blushes.”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “No – ‘the sweatpants are standard, for me – ‘I’d be wearing them even if I were on my own in the house. I guess I’m just not the type to wander around the house without pants.”

“Interesting!” said Kelly. “But it’s so warm in here. I’d have thought... Oh! Is it perhaps a religious thing...?”

Melanie laughed. “No, nothing like that. I just ... I suppose I just don’t really like feeling underdressed. Being fully clothed makes me feel more ... confident, I guess. More in control.”

“Huh!” said Kelly. “Very interesting. I can totally get where you’re coming from. If you’ll forgive me, though ... it seems like you might be missing out on something.”

“What’s that?” asked Melanie a little warily.

“I’m sorry,” said Kelly, shaking his head and chuckling. “I’m being rude. Just ignore me. Psychoanalysis is a bit of a hobby for me, but I need to learn to respect people’s boundaries. I apologise.”

Melanie smiled. “It’s fine, really,” she said. “I’m curious to know what you think I’m missing out on.”

“Well it seems like you’re sacrificing comfort for an illusion,” explained Kelly. “I mean, rationally I’m sure you understand that when you’re alone in the house, whether you’re wearing pants or not makes no difference to how powerful you actually are. So the sense of confidence you get from having sweatpants on ... it’s not real. Right?”

“I guess so...” agreed Melanie cautiously.

“So,” Kelly continued, “you’re missing out not only comfort-wise, but also in terms of the sense of liberation that comes with giving up that illusion. By taking off your pants you would be, in a very real sense, freeing yourself.”

“Wow!” said Melanie. “You’ve really thought this through!”

Kelly grinned. “Not really,” he said. “I’m just accustomed to thinking in these sorts of terms.”

“It’s certainly an interesting perspective,” Melanie admitted.

Kelly glanced down at Melanie’s sweatpants, as he stirred his jug of batter. “Why don’t you give it a try? See how it feels?”

Melanie’s eyes widened. “Right now? I don’t think so...”

“Why not?” asked Kelly. “I think you’ll find it refreshingly liberating. And if you don’t ... well, you can always put them back on.”

“Perhaps if I was alone, I might try it,” said Melanie awkwardly. “But you’re here...”

“Well, like I said, I don’t want my presence to constrain your clothing choices,” said Kelly. “Please, don’t mind me. I won’t be offended!”

“It’s not that,” said Melanie, blushing. “I just ... I don’t think it would be appropriate.”

“To dress for comfort in your own home?” asked Kelly.

“In front of you, I mean,” said Melanie, feeling embarrassed. “I mean, you’re a man...”

“So?” said Kelly with a shrug. “It’s not like we’re in a workplace, or out on the street somewhere. We’re in your home, and at the moment it’s my home too. The rules are necessarily and inevitably more relaxed here, wouldn’t you say? We’re bound to see a little more of each other than if we were not living together.”

“I guess that’s true...” conceded Melanie.

“So go on,” Kelly encouraged her. “Take off those sweatpants. Get a taste of freedom!”

Melanie hesitated. “I’m not sure how Richard would feel about this...”

“I can talk to him about it, if you like,” suggested Kelly.

“No,” said Melanie quickly. She did not want to think about how a conversation like that might go. “All right ... I’ll do it.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly with a grin.

Melanie’s heart rate quickened as she tucked her thumbs into the sides of her sweatpants. Working them forward and backward as she pushed downwards, so as not to pull her panties down too, she slowly lowered her sweatpants, while Kelly eagerly watched her sky-blue panties come into view. The sweatpants fell to her ankles, and she stepped out of them. A little stunned that she was actually doing this, she picked them up, and folded them over the back of a chair.

“Well done!” said Kelly. “That wasn’t so hard, was it? How do you feel?”

“Embarrassed, and exposed,” said Melanie honestly. Her cheeks were bright red.

“Well that’s understandable,” said Kelly. “But give yourself some time; you’ll soon get used to it.” He poured some batter into the frying pan, which sizzled vigorously as he tilted it this way and that. “First crêpe coming up shortly. You have lovely legs, by the way.”

“Th-thank you,” Melanie stuttered, feeling flustered. Yet also flattered; she felt her legs were too fat, and it was nice to hear them complimented.

“Would you mind getting the strawberries and whipped cream out of the fridge?” asked Kelly.

“Sure,” said Melanie. She walked over to the fridge, opened it, and bent over to retrieve the strawberries from the bottom shelf. It suddenly occurred to her to wonder whether Kelly was looking at her bottom, and she shivered nervously. Straightening up, she grabbed the whipped cream from the inside of the fridge door, which she then closed.

“Thanks,” said Kelly, as she placed them on the counter. He took the entire box of strawberries over to the sink, where he opened the lid, then rinsed them thoroughly under the tap. Then, with practised deftness, he cored each strawberry before placing it in a bowl.

Every so often he would glance over at the pan. Once he had cored the last strawberry, he lifted up one edge of the crêpe with his spatula, and nodded to himself. Carefully loosening the crêpe on all sides, he then slid the spatula all the way underneath it, and flipped it over.

“Want me to chop up the strawberries?” asked Melanie.

“No, that’s okay,” said Kelly cheerfully. He dumped the strawberries on to a chopping board, and sliced and diced them all with astonishing speed. Then he pulled the frying pan off the heat, loosened the crêpe once more, and slid it out of the pan on to a waiting plate. Replacing the pan on the stove (but off the heat), he spread a very small amount of spreadable butter over the hot crêpe, then he sprinkled some soft brown sugar over it.

With the spatula, he scooped up some of the diced strawberries, and laid them out on the crêpe in a long line. Shaking the whipped cream can, he then laid a trail of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, before rolling up the crêpe. Spraying out another line of whipped cream on top of the crêpe, he garnished it with a few larger slices of strawberry. “There you go!” he said, handing the plate to Melanie.

“That was amazing!” she said.

“Take a seat,” said Kelly. “I’ll have another one ready for you shortly.”

“What about you?” said Melanie. “Aren’t you having any?”

“Oh, I will,” said Kelly, pouring some more batter into the pan. “I just wanted to take care of you first.”

Melanie smiled. “That’s sweet of you,” she said, “but it would be nice to sit down and eat together. You have the next one.”

“If you insist!” said Kelly.

Melanie poured out her coffee and Kelly’s, then she sat down with her mug and her crêpe. For a moment she looked longingly at her sweatpants, but then, with a sigh, she cut off the end of her crêpe with a fork, and popped it into her mouth. “Mmmm, this is good!” she said.

“Glad to hear it!” said Kelly. He was soon done with his own crêpe, whereupon he brought it over to the table, and sat down. “So what time do you finish work?”

“Seven o’clock,” said Melanie. “I’ll be back here by eight.”

“Oh,” said Kelly. “Would you like me to cook dinner? I don’t want to step on Richard’s toes...”

Melanie laughed. “Richard won’t mind!” she said. “But Kelly – ‘you can’t do ALL the work around here!”

“I don’t mind!” said Kelly happily. “I love this house, you and your husband are so nice ... it’s my pleasure to contribute in any way I can.”

Melanie smiled. “Well, you’re a very welcome addition to this household. We’re very glad to have you here.”

When Kelly had finished his crêpe, he got up and poured some more batter into the pan. Then he patted his pocket. “Oh, I seem to have left my phone upstairs,” he said. “I’ll be right back.” Then he paused next to the table, and laid his hand on Melanie’s sweatpants. “Shall I take these upstairs for you?”

Melanie chuckled. “Actually I’m quite tempted to put them back on!” she said.

“Then let me remove the source of temptation,” said Kelly, with a grin. Pulling the sweatpants off the chair, he strode out of the room, and a few seconds later Melanie could hear him bounding up the stairs. She bit her lip anxiously.

Then he returned, clutching only his phone. He marched over to the stove and looked in the pan, but the crêpe was not yet ready for flipping. He turned and smiled at Melanie. “Can I take a picture of you?” he asked. “To add to your contact details on my phone?”

“Oh – ‘sure,” said Melanie. As Kelly held up his phone, she smiled.

But then he lowered it. “The light could be better,” he said. “Can we do it after breakfast, perhaps? I want to do you justice.”

“Yes, of course,” said Melanie. “And I’ll take a photo of you too, if that’s okay.”

“Absolutely,” said Kelly.

After they had both eaten their second crêpe, and finished their coffee, Kelly suggested they photograph each other in the back yard, against the house. “The light will be much better outside,” he said.

“Well I’ll need my sweatpants then,” said Melanie. “I can’t exactly go outside like this!”

“Why not?” said Kelly. “It’s the back of the house; you won’t be visible from the road.”

“I guess not,” said Melanie uncomfortably.

“I only have a few minutes though,” said Kelly, “so we’ll need to be quick.”

Melanie picked up her phone and followed Kelly outside via the back door, descending the steps from the small deck to the patio below. “Where do you want me?” she asked.

“Just stand against the wall there,” said Kelly, taking a few steps back until he was standing on the lawn.

“You want me in the shade?” she asked in surprise.

“Of course!” said Kelly. “The light’s much better here than in direct sunlight, where we’d have to contend with shadows, high contrast, you squinting... Trust me, taking photos of people in direct sunlight is almost never a good idea.”

“I didn’t know that,” said Melanie, as she stood next to the wall. “Good grief, is there anything you’re not an expert in?”

Kelly laughed. “Plenty!” he said. “Now, could you clasp your hands behind your back, and lean back against the wall, with your feet about six inches away from the wall? Oh, and cross your right foot over your left.”

“Are you doing a full-length photo?” asked Melanie in alarm. “I’m not dressed for it! I thought you were just going to take a headshot.”

“Neither, actually,” said Kelly. “It’ll just be your top half in the shot. The leg-cross is designed to shift your centre of gravity away from your median; it makes for a more interesting pose.”

“Again with the expertise!” said Melanie. “All right, well I suppose I’ll trust your judgment. Like this?” She adopted the pose he had requested.

“Good!” said Kelly. “But move your butt out from the wall; make your body a straight line, like a ladder leaning against the wall. Yes, good. Shoulders back a bit ... press them against the wall... Now put your head a little on one side – ‘yes, like that – ‘and give me a slight smile. Mouth closed ... just a look of mild amusement... Ooh, perfect – ‘you’re a natural at this! Now breathe in... Okay, that’s it.”

“I feel like a model!” said Melanie, pushing herself away from the wall. “I’m guessing you’ve worked with models before. Can I see the photo?”

“Of course,” said Kelly. “And yes, at high school I was in the photography club; I got pretty good at photographing people, and worked with a couple of aspiring models...” He showed her his phone.

“Oh my!” said Melanie, staring at the photo. Apparently “top half” had meant “mid-thigh upwards”; her panties were very much on display, being barely half-covered by her t-shirt. She was inclined to be annoyed at this ... but on the other hand, she had to admit it was a wonderful photo of her. She looked really good! She usually hated how she looked in photos.

“I really like it,” she said, her cheeks turning a little pink. “Do you think you could text it to me?”

“With pleasure!” said Kelly. “Of course, it’s only an iPhone pic. I could do a lot better with my proper camera. But I’m very glad you like it.”

“I do,” said Melanie. “Although ... it’s a little more revealing than I would have liked...”

“It’s a sexy photo,” Kelly conceded. “But what’s wrong with that? You’re a sexy woman.”

Melanie blushed. “You shouldn’t really say that, Kelly.”

“Why not?” he inquired. “I’d say the same thing to Richard. I have no problem telling him you’re a sexy woman, and I’m sure he would wholeheartedly agree. It’s just an empirical fact.” He shrugged.

“Well ... thank you!” she said with a smile. “You’re very kind.”

“Anyway, I need to get going or I’ll be late for my first class,” said Kelly. “Oh ... but you wanted a pic of me?”

“Yes!” said Melanie. “But I’ve no pretensions to artistry. A quick headshot will be fine.” She held up her phone, and as Kelly smiled, she took a photo.

“Okay, got to run,” said Kelly. “See you this evening!”

“Bye Kelly!” said Melanie, as she watched him dash up the steps and into the house. She followed at a more sedate pace, then, once he had left the house and jumped into his car, she quickly put her sweatpants back on. It was a relief to be covered up again! she thought to herself.

But it was merely a symbolic gesture; she needed to get dressed for work. Going upstairs, she brushed her teeth, then she opened her wardrobe and pulled out a deep blue blouse, a black vest to go over it, and a pair of black trousers. Back in her bedroom, she pulled off her t-shirt and sweatpants, and put her work clothes on. Then she trotted back downstairs, and slipped into a smart but comfortable pair of shoes.

Locking the front door, she left the house, and drove to work. For almost the whole of her day at the library, she found herself thinking about Kelly...

When she returned home, dinner was ready and waiting for her: a delicious Thai green curry that Kelly had made. Having changed back into a t-shirt and sweatpants, Melanie sat down to eat with Kelly and Richard. “This is fabulous!” she said. “Thank you Kelly!”

“You’ll never guess what else he did,” said Richard. “He fixed the fence!”

“Oh, wow!” said Melanie. “Thank you again, Kelly!”

“It didn’t take long,” said Kelly with a smile. “I was happy to do it. How was your day, Melanie?”

“Not very exciting, I’m afraid,” said Melanie, with a chuckle. “But I think I should be done with this project soon. And next week I have a rather more interesting project lined up; I’ll be training students in information literacy.”

“That sounds cool,” said Kelly. “High school students, or...”

“College students,” said Melanie. “But not at your college, sorry!”

“Shame,” said Kelly with a rueful grin. “Sounds like a class I would like to take.”

“Why don’t you try it out on Kelly this weekend, dear?” Richard suggested. “Some practice wouldn’t hurt, surely?”

“Actually that’s a good idea!” said Melanie. “If you’re willing, Kelly.”

“I’d love to!” replied Kelly.

After dinner, Kelly insisted on doing the dishes again, while Melanie dried, and Richard disappeared upstairs to play on his computer. “You know, I can dry the dishes just fine by myself,” said Kelly, “if you and Richard want to have a little quality time together.”

Melanie chuckled. “I think he’s more happy playing World of Warcraft, to be honest,” she said.

“That’s a shame!” said Kelly. “The two of you are apart all day...”

Melanie shrugged. “It’s fine,” she said. “After six years of marriage, we’re no longer tearing at each other’s clothes as soon as we get home, like we used to.”

“That’s a shame too,” said Kelly. “You’re both attractive people – ‘you especially – ‘and still in the prime of your lives. I wonder if I can help...”

“What, bring the spark back?” inquired Melanie. “I don’t think it’s really gone ... it’s just more of a ... a slow burn, these days.”

Kelly nodded. “Well, I shouldn’t pry,” he said. “Are we going to watch some more Vikings later?”

“Absolutely!” said Melanie.

Once the dishes were done, Melanie made coffee, while Kelly went upstairs to fetch Richard. But Richard, it seemed, did not want to be fetched. “Kind of in the middle of an instance here!” he said, very focused on the screen.

“Looks like it’s just you and me,” said Kelly, returning downstairs.

“Vikings, then?” said Melanie.

“Sure,” said Kelly. Then he grinned. “How about you make yourself a little more comfy, by slipping out of those sweatpants?”

“That wouldn’t make me more comfy!” said Melanie. “Besides,” she added in a lower voice, “Richard could come down at any moment.”

“So what if he does?” inquired Kelly. “Why should he object to you being pantsless in your own house? I’d have thought he’d appreciate the view!”

“He might,” Melanie conceded. “But he might not be happy about you getting the same view.”

“Well let’s find out,” said Kelly. “I’ll go and ask him, shall I? I certainly wouldn’t want you doing anything he would disapprove of.”

Melanie bit her lip. In truth, she did not really want to take off her sweatpants again in front of Kelly ... but she seemed to be having trouble vocalising this – ‘perhaps because she was feeling a desire not to disappoint him. Perhaps Richard would resolve the issue without her having to put her own foot down. “All right, let’s see what he says,” she agreed reluctantly.

“Okay!” said Kelly.

“But let’s not interrupt his game,” Melanie added quickly. “If we distract him, and he dies, he’ll be super grouchy.”

“Fair enough,” said Kelly. “I’ll take him his coffee though.” He took Richard’s mug of coffee up the stairs to the study, and set it down beside the computer.

“Thanks!” said Richard.

“You’re welcome,” said Kelly, and he returned downstairs. He and Melanie went through to the living room, and sat down together on the sofa. Melanie started another episode of Vikings, and they watched it until, half an hour later, Richard came downstairs.

“Sorry to be antisocial,” he said. “I’m done now though. Oh, you’re watching Vikings?”

Melanie hit the pause button. “You want to join us?” she asked. “We can switch to something else...”

Kelly got to his feet. “I’ll move back to the armchair; sorry to hijack your spot, Richard.”

“Oh, no need to move,” said Richard. “I don’t want to interrupt your show. I’ll get back to my game, then, if that’s okay.”

“Oh, but we can watch Vikings after you go to bed, Richard,” said Kelly. “I hate to feel like I’m keeping you from your regular TV time.”

“You’re not!” said Richard with an amused smile. “Trust me, Kelly, I often game in the evenings.”

“He really does,” confirmed Melanie, with a slight roll of the eyes.

“Okay then,” said Kelly. “Oh, but while you’re here, Richard ... didn’t you want to ask him something, Melanie?”

Melanie blushed. She knew what Kelly was referring to, but she had been hoping not to have to bring it up.

“Oh?” said Richard, looking expectantly at Melanie.

“Well,” said Melanie uncomfortably, “Kelly and I were talking about whether it would be appropriate for me to go about the house without my pants on, when he’s here.”

Richard raised an eyebrow. “How did that even come up?” he asked. “You don’t generally do that.”

“I’m not even quite sure how it came up,” said Melanie.

“It was just my observation,” said Kelly, “that Melanie seemed to be dressed very modestly, and I wondered if perhaps my presence was the reason. I wouldn’t like to think I was impinging on anyone’s comfort.”

Richard chuckled. “Melanie likes to keep covered up,” he said, “don’t you dear?”

“I do,” she admitted.

“And that’s fine,” said Kelly. “There’s nothing wrong with being self-conscious. But this morning, Melanie did actually ditch her sweatpants for a few minutes, while we were having breakfast ... oh, which reminds me, there’s still crêpe batter in the fridge! I was going to make you strawberry crêpes for dessert, Richard! Is it too late for dessert now?”

“No!” said Richard immediately. “It’s not too late at all. Yes please – ‘I’d love strawberry crêpes!”

“Good!” said Kelly, pleased. “Oh, anyway, I told Melanie I didn’t think there was anything wrong with her outfit – ‘this is her home after all and I think she should be able to dress however she wants here. But she was worried you wouldn’t like it.”

Richard shrugged. “I’m inclined to agree with you that Melanie should wear what she wants,” he said. “Normally that’s sweatpants, but if it’s really warm she’s been known to wear less – ‘haven’t you dear? – ‘and I don’t think she should feel obliged to wear pants just because we have a lodger in the house. As the weather gets warmer, I expect I’ll want to do the same. Now, about those crêpes...”

“I’ll make them now,” Kelly chuckled.

Five minutes later, Richard was tucking into his first crêpe. “Oh my God, this is amazing!” he said, a little indistinctly.

“Isn’t it though?” said Melanie.

Richard quickly finished his crêpe... at which point, Kelly laid another on his plate.

“Wow,” said Richard. “Kelly, please stay with us forever?”

Kelly laughed. “I’m just grateful you two have been so welcoming!” he said. “I’m starting to feel like a member of the family ... if it’s not too weird to say that.”

“Not at all!” said Richard.

“We’re glad you feel at home here,” said Melanie.

Once Richard had finished his second crêpe, he sighed happily. “Well, that was quite the treat! Thank you very much, Kelly.”

“You’re very welcome,” said Kelly.

Richard looked at his watch. “Not much point in getting back to my game. “I’m just going to take a quick shower, then hit the hay. Goodnight Kelly.”

“Goodnight Richard,” said Kelly.

“Goodnight, my love,” said Richard, kissing Melanie. He got up from the sofa, left the room, and disappeared up the stairs.

“So,” said Kelly with a smile, sitting down next to Melanie. “It seems Richard is okay with you going without your sweatpants.”

Melanie chuckled. “He did say so, didn’t he? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – ‘he’s teased me occasionally for how unsexily I dress. I expect he’s quite keen for me to show a bit more skin.”

“Well, the more you do it, the more used to it you’ll get,” said Kelly.

Melanie sighed, and nodded. “All right,” she said. She stood up, pulled down her sweatpants, and stepped out of them.

“Mmmm, there are those lovely legs,” said Kelly.

Melanie blushed as she sat down again. “Shall we get back to our show?”

“Sure,” said Kelly. “But after this episode, perhaps we could do something else?”

“Such as?” Melanie inquired.

“You mentioned you had a ping pong table in your basement...?”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “Sure!”

They resumed watching Vikings, and at the end of the episode, Melanie switched off the television. Kelly placed his hand on her bare thigh. “Ready to get trounced at ping pong?” he asked with a mischievous grin.

“Cocky much?” she replied. “I should warn you, I’m pretty good!” She was choosing to ignore his hand, at least outwardly, but it was sending little tingles of electricity up her thigh.

Kelly removed his hand, and got to his feet. “After you,” he said.

It could have been a harmless and innocent gesture, Melanie told herself, as she descended the steps into the basement. But she felt a little guilty for having enjoyed the touch so much...

The basement was fully finished, with several rooms, including a bathroom. The largest room contained the ping-pong table, a pool table, and, in the far corner, an old sofa. Base unit cabinets lined one wall, beneath a continuous laminated countertop. Melanie tightened the net, and picked up two of the bats from the countertop. “Here,” she said, handing one of them to Kelly.

As they played, they soon found themselves quite evenly matched. But when Melanie pulled off a tricky return across the table, just out of Kelly’s reach, he said, “What a shot! You’re right, Melanie – ‘you’re good! I’m starting to get worried here.” And he chuckled. “That’s three-six.”

Melanie grinned, and steeled herself for Kelly’s next serve. When it came, fast and wide, she lunged for it, but only ended up clipping it with her bat. The ball ricocheted off the wall, bounced off the pool table, and then rolled under the sofa. “Oops – ‘I’ll get that,” she said, as Kelly started toward the sofa.

Trotting over, she got down on her hands and knees, then reached under the sofa, feeling for the ball. Her outstretched fingers bumped it out of reach, and she muttered in annoyance, then reached farther back, pressing her cheek and shoulder against the floor as she swept her hand back and forth, far beneath the sofa.

“Mmmm, what a view!” said Kelly.

Startled, Melanie realised he had squatted down behind her, and was no doubt staring at her bottom. She squealed in alarm. “Kelly!” she exclaimed. “Behave yourself!”

“But your ass is beautiful!” protested Kelly. “How can I not look? It’s perfect! It’s gorgeous!”

Melanie’s embarrassment and indignation were quickly being overruled by her pleasure and excitement at Kelly’s flattery. “You really think so?” she asked shyly.

“Absolutely!” said Kelly. “I mean ... if you forbid me from looking, then of course I’ll respect your wishes ... but I truly hope you’ll permit me to look. I would hate to miss out on such a lovely sight!”

Melanie smiled to herself, but tried to sound stern as she replied, “All right, you can look ... but try not to be obvious about it if Richard’s around!”

“Thank you!” said Kelly. “Can I take a couple of photos, too? I’d love to show you just how gorgeous you look from back here.”

Melanie hesitated. She was nervous about the idea of Kelly having naughty photos of her on his phone ... but she was also curious to see what he was seeing, that he liked so much. “Go ahead,” she said eventually. She could feel her vagina lubricating in arousal.

Acutely conscious of her panty-clad bottom in the air, and the fact that Kelly was taking photos of it, Melanie was no longer even searching for the ping pong ball. But then she thought of Richard, and a feeling of guilt crept in to spoil her fun. She resumed feeling around, managed to locate the ball, and closed her fingers around it. Then she withdrew her arm from beneath the sofa, and got to her feet. Turning around with an embarrassed smile, she said, “Okay, let’s see.”

Kelly showed her his phone. There, almost filling the screen, was her bottom, snugly encased in her sky-blue panties. Where her panties disappeared between her legs, they were visibly bulging, stretched around her vulva. Her thighs, mercifully, were showing no signs of cellulite, and were tapering nicely away from her hips. “That’s not a bad photo,” she admitted grudgingly.

“It’s a perfect bottom,” said Kelly firmly. “This may sound silly, but I actually feel honoured to have been able to watch it for so long and from such a short distance away. It was truly a privilege.”

She wanted to kiss him, at this point. But she was married, and she had no intention or desire to betray Richard. “Thank you,” she said. “That’s a very nice thing to hear.”

He grinned. “Shall we finish our game?”

“Yes!” said Melanie. They resumed playing, and she won the game 11-8.

“Another one?” asked Kelly. “Or should we call it a night?”

“We’ve got time,” said Melanie. “If you don’t mind being beaten again!”

They played another game, which Melanie also won. The ball this time resolutely refused to disappear under the sofa; she was surprised to find herself half-wishing it would...

Kelly sighed. “Well, you are officially the better player,” he said. “But thank you for the game – ‘that was fun.”

“You’re welcome!” said Melanie. “I’m happy to play you whenever you like.”

At the foot of the basement steps, Kelly stood aside to let Melanie ascend first. “Ha!” she said. “You just want to look at my butt again.”

“I won’t deny it,” he replied with an impish grin.

She smirked, and climbed up the steps ahead of him. Just for fun, she put a little extra wiggle into her walk, and was rewarded with a muttered “Oh, wow...” from below and behind her. She suppressed a giggle.

Upstairs, they bade each other goodnight and, by mutual agreement, Melanie went through the bathroom first. Once she was ready for bed, she climbed in next to Richard, who was already asleep.

Slipping her hand into the front of her panties, Melanie masturbated herself to a powerful climax, fantasising about Kelly...

DAY 3

Melanie groggily turned off her alarm. Then she shivered as she remembered last night’s masturbation fantasy. It was nice ... but it could never happen. Her loyalty to Richard was absolute.

In the shower, she thought about her game of ping pong with Kelly. How could she have let him photograph her in so lewd a position? And would it happen again tonight...?

Try as she might, she could not get Kelly out of her head as she dried herself, blow-dried and styled her hair, and put on her make-up. Wrapping her towel around herself, she unlocked the door and opened it ... and there he was, smiling warmly at her.

“Good morning!” he said. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes thanks,” she replied, a little guardedly. “You?”

“Very much so!” said Kelly. “My bed is very comfy.”

“Breakfast in five minutes?” asked Melanie. “Or do you need to shower first...?”

“I showered last night,” he replied. “I just need to use the toilet, and I’ll be right down. Do you fancy an omelette today...?”

“You’re going to make me fat!” said Melanie, pouting. “I’m very tempted, but I think I’ll just have cereal this morning. Thank you though.”

“Suit yourself!” said Kelly.

Melanie went into her bedroom, where she put on a pair of white panties with turquoise polka dots, a white bra, and a baggy grey t-shirt. She looked longingly at her sweatpants, but decided not to bother putting them on; Kelly would no doubt give her a hard time over them, and would probably talk her into taking them off anyway.

Heading downstairs, she entered the kitchen and started making some coffee. While it was brewing, she fetched a box of Cheerios from the cupboard. As she was retrieving a bowl from another cupboard, Kelly entered the room behind her.

“Mmmm, nice panties, Melanie!” he said.

Blushing, Melanie turned around. “Thank you,” she said.

“I have to ask, though,” he continued, “why do you wear such shapeless garments on your top half? I mean, your bottom half couldn’t be sexier, but the t-shirt...”

“Well I’m not trying to be sexy!” said Melanie, rather peevishly. “It just doesn’t come naturally to me! I have embarrassingly large boobs, and I like to keep them well hidden! Is that okay with you?” She had not meant to snap at him, but he had struck a nerve, and she was feeling pressured and defensive.

Kelly, his expression serious, walked across the room and placed his hands on her shoulders. “Melanie, it’s totally okay with me. You can wear whatever you like, as far as I’m concerned. If you want to run upstairs and put on your sweatpants, I wouldn’t blame you at all. I did not mean to upset you, and I’m very, very sorry. Please forgive me?”

Melanie’s stress ebbed away as she looked into Kelly’s concerned eyes. “Of course,” she said, abashed. “I’m sorry I overreacted. I’m just a little sensitive when it comes to my chest. And my belly.”

“That’s such a shame, though!” said Kelly earnestly. “I care about you, Melanie, and I want you to feel good about yourself. And I believe I can help you with that.”

“You already have,” she admitted. “I still don’t feel quite comfortable without my sweatpants, but your appreciation is definitely a boost for my ego. I do feel better about my butt and legs, at least.”

“I’d like to help you feel better about your whole body,” said Kelly, dropping his hands. “Wouldn’t that be a good thing?”

“I guess so,” said Melanie warily. “What is it that you have in mind?”

“Well,” said Kelly, “for starters, how about you swap your t-shirt for something more ... form-fitting?”

“But I like being casual at home,” said Melanie in an almost plaintive tone. “Comfortable.”

“Casual and comfortable doesn’t have to mean baggy and shapeless,” said Kelly firmly. “What’s wrong with a nice snug-fitting tank top, for example? Do you have any tank tops?”

“I do,” Melanie reluctantly confessed. “I wear them beneath my shirts sometimes.”

“Okay then!” said Kelly with a smile. “Why not let me see how you look in one of those?”

“Right now?” said Melanie unhappily.

Kelly took her hands in his. “This is going to be a good thing, Melanie,” he said. “Will you trust me?”

Melanie nodded, and smiled. “All right,” she said.

“Good girl!” he said, squeezing her hands before letting them go.

Melanie went back upstairs, sighing as she took off her t-shirt. Then she fished in a drawer and pulled out a white tank top, which she put on. Then she returned downstairs, and somewhat nervously entered the kitchen.

Kelly was just sitting down with his own bowl of cereal. “Wow!” he said. “Melanie, seriously, the difference is like night and day. It makes you look more fun, more vibrant, definitely more sexy ... in fact I’d even say it makes you look a little younger. You really do yourself a disservice with those extra large t-shirts – ‘they swallow you up! But now – ‘holy cow – ‘you look stunning!”

Melanie blushed, but her heart thrilled to Kelly’s words. Any regrets she had had about following his advice now evaporated. It was nice to feel this attractive. “Thank you,” she said quietly.

“We do need to talk about the boobs, though,” added Kelly gravely.

“Oh!” said Melanie anxiously, folding her arms across her chest. “Yes?”

“Why on EARTH would you want to hide those beauties away?” inquired Kelly. “Your figure is amazing – ‘a classic hourglass. Beautiful big breasts, a narrow waist, shapely hips and bottom ... but when you hide your breasts behind shapeless clothing, the effect is completely lost.”

Melanie, her cheeks burning, did not know how to respond to this. She muttered another “Thank you”, then she went to pour milk on her cereal. Sitting down with her bowl, she noticed Kelly had finished making the coffee; her mug was already on the table.

She ate a mouthful of cereal, then said, “It goes back to puberty, of course,” she said. “I got my boobs early, and the boys were obviously fascinated. The girls, on the other hand, were very mean. And since I was quite bookish and not part of the popular crowd, I became the target of some pretty horrible bullying. I started to hate my breasts, and I hid them as well as I could. When I went to college, I continued hiding them, for a while. Then, a friend persuaded me to give them some air, and I ventured out in a tight, low-cut top. I immediately noticed a change in the way people reacted to me; the boys were very attentive, but stared at my chest ... the girls started sneering at me and making sarcastic comments. Store employees began treating me with amusement ... even contempt. I did get a boyfriend out of it, but he turned out to be an asshole. My experiment lasted a week – ‘that was enough to convince me I had made a big mistake.”

“That’s awful!” exclaimed Kelly, horrified. “No wonder you prefer to be covered up! It all makes perfect sense now. I’m so sorry you went through all that.”

“Thanks,” said Melanie with a smile. “Anyway, in my final year I started working in the library, and that’s where I met Richard. Here was a man who was interested mainly in my mind. I wasn’t remotely his preferred physical type, but we hung out together, and talked, and laughed ... and pretty soon we were falling in love. We got married right after I graduated.”

“Wonderful!” said Kelly. “Wow, I’m so glad you met Richard. I take it he wasn’t interested in showing you off, though?”

“No, he was pretty much happy to let me dress how I wanted,” said Melanie. “He’s not a fan of big boobs, but he also didn’t like the idea of me getting them surgically reduced.”

“That must have been a tempting option, though?” said Kelly.

Melanie nodded. “It was. But at first, I didn’t have the money, and later, I was with a man who didn’t objectify me for my breasts. And like I said, he was uncomfortable with the thought of me going under the knife – ‘as indeed I am too. But every so often I do think about it ... particularly when my back is aching.”

“I imagine they do put a strain on it,” said Kelly, nodding. “But I may be able to help with the backaches, at least – ‘I give great massages.”

Melanie chuckled. “Why does that not surprise me?” she said. “I might take you up on that sometime.”

The doorbell rang. Melanie stiffened in panic. “Oh – ‘my sweatpants are upstairs!”

“So?” said Kelly, with a grin. “Answer the door as you are.”

Melanie’s eyes widened. “But I’m...”

“Too sexy?” said Kelly. “Own it! March up to the door, open it wide, and look the delivery guy or whoever it is, right in the eye.”

Melanie quailed at the thought. “I’ve never done anything like that in my life!” she said. Then the doorbell rang again. “Could you get it, please?”

Kelly got up and came around the table. Kneeling down in front of her, he took her right hand in both of his. “You can do this, Melanie,” he said, looking deep into her eyes. “I know you can. But you don’t have to, of course. Just ask me one more time if I will answer the door for you, and I will do it.”

Melanie hesitated, her lip trembling. Then she blurted out, “Please answer the door for me?”

“Of course,” he replied, and he stood up and trotted out of the kitchen. Melanie heard him answer the door, and say “Thank you! Have a great day.” Then he returned. “Here – ‘it’s for you.”

“Thank you,” she said, feeling very relieved. “I’m sorry ... I just ... it was too much.”

“Perfectly understandable,” said Kelly soothingly. “You’ve already been very brave this morning – ‘I think you’re doing wonderfully well.”

“I feel naked enough already in this outfit, even in front of you!” said Melanie. “I can’t imagine ever being okay with a total stranger seeing me like this.”

“Give me a week,” said Kelly, with a little wink.

Melanie shuddered, then chuckled. “I almost believe it,” she said. She ripped open the cardboard package. “Ah yes – ‘Richard’s book. It’s his birthday on Saturday.”

“And that’s what he wants?” Kelly inquired. “The History of Egyptian Architecture?”

“Richard’s a total ancient history geek,” Melanie explained. “Particularly when it comes to architecture. He’s been heavily into Roman and Greek stuff for years, but lately he’s been on a bit of an Egyptian kick.”

“A thoughtful gift, then,” said Kelly. “I’m sure he’ll love it.”

Once they had both finished their cereal and coffee, Kelly said, “I have a few minutes before I have to go, and I thought I’d make myself a nice sandwich for lunch. Want me to make you one too?”

“Oh! Yes please,” said Melanie. “I normally go to a sandwich shop near the library for lunch, but I’m sure this will be a nice change.”

“Okay!” said Kelly. “I’ll get to work.”

“I’ll go and get ready while you’re doing that,” said Melanie. She headed upstairs, picked out an outfit, and got dressed. Then she brushed her teeth.

When she returned downstairs, Kelly was sealing the second of two plastic containers. “Here,” he said, handing it to her. “Do you want to know what it is, or would you rather be surprised?”

Melanie grinned. “I’d like to be surprised, I think!” she said.

Kelly regarded her outfit with an appraising eye. “Do you ever wear skirts to work?” he asked.

Melanie’s heart sank, and her stomach clenched. “I prefer pants,” she replied, a little stiffly.

“It’s actually a very nice outfit,” said Kelly. “You have good taste.”

“Well ... thank you!” said Melanie, caught off guard.

“I just think a nice short skirt instead of the pants would make it even better,” Kelly added. “But that would show off your gorgeous legs, and I know how you hate to do that.” He winked at her.

Melanie laughed. “If you had your way, Kelly, I’m sure my legs would never be covered!”

“True enough,” admitted Kelly. “But it’s all part of my quest to build up your self-confidence. I think that once you see how ... in fact, can we try an experiment?”

“What experiment?” asked Melanie cautiously.

“Let me take a photo of you, now, in that outfit,” said Kelly. “Tomorrow, wear a skirt, and I’ll take a photo of you wearing that. Then we’ll put the two photos side by side, and you can decide which outfit you think you look better in. Also ... take note of how people behave toward you, today and tomorrow. Does that sound like something you might be willing to try?”

“Hmm,” said Melanie. Perhaps it would not hurt to wear a skirt for just one day ... as an experiment. “All right,” she said.

“I’ll fetch my camera,” said Kelly, and he hurried upstairs.

Outside, he asked Melanie to sit down on one of the chairs stacked on the patio. Melanie lifted off the top one, set it down a short distance from the others, and sat on it.

“Could you cross your legs, please?” said Kelly. “Left over right. Arms on ... yes, perfect. Sit up a little straighter ... good. Turn your head slightly to the right ... and smile warmly. A smile that says ‘I like you – ‘let’s be friends’. Slightly less intense. Perfect, got it. Hmm, can we do a standing-up one too?”

“Of course,” said Melanie. She got up, replaced the chair on its stack, then went back to stand against the wall. At Kelly’s direction, she posed with her left hand on her hip, her left leg bent at the knee, and smiling with her head slightly tilted to her right.

“Great,” said Kelly. “Tomorrow we’ll recreate the same poses, but with a short skirt. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d best get moving.”

He left the house a few minutes later,
and Melanie departed shortly after that. At work, she made a mental note of how people were behaving toward her, as Kelly had suggested. But she was not sure how to describe their behaviour except as ‘normal’.

When she got home that evening, Kelly was putting the finishing touches to dinner. “Mmmm, that smells good!” she remarked.

“It’s just fried rice, made partly with yesterday’s leftovers,” Kelly said. “It’ll be ready in a couple of minutes.”

“Can’t wait!” said Melanie, and she went upstairs to change out of her work clothes. Once she had hung them up in her closet, she picked up her sweatpants and regarded them with a feeling of anxiety. Kelly would no doubt be disappointed if she wore them ... but then, Richard had not yet seen her in Kelly’s company without pants. Then again, he had said it was okay...

With a little whimper, she put the sweatpants down. Her next decision was whether to wear a t-shirt or a tank top. Again, Kelly would probably be disappointed if she wore a t-shirt. Richard had not weighed in on this subject ... but a tank top was not exactly underwear. It would probably be fine...

Donning the same tank top she had worn for Kelly this morning, therefore, she trotted back downstairs, and nervously entered the kitchen. Richard was now there, chatting with Kelly, who was dishing up the food.

“Whoa!” said Richard in astonishment. “Melanie! You’re practically naked!”

Melanie’s cheeks turned crimson, and she slapped her hands over her panties in embarrassment. “I’m sorry!” she wailed. “I thought you said it was okay! Oh God – ‘I’ll go and put some sweatpants on!” She turned and fled from the room, tears springing to her eyes.

“Wow,” said Kelly. “Dude, that was harsh. Why did you tell her it was okay if you were going to react like that?”

“I...” began Richard, confused. “God ... I didn’t really expect...”

“You’d better go after her,” said Kelly. “I’ll keep the plates warm.”

“Thanks,” said Richard, and he hurried out of the room. Upstairs, he found Melanie in their bedroom, curled up on the bed in her sweatpants and staring at the wall. “God, Melanie, I’m so sorry!” he said. “I’d honestly forgotten about our conversation yesterday ... and I was just ... surprised. I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

“It’s okay,” said Melanie dolefully. “Your reaction was honest. It’s clear I shouldn’t be wearing so little in front of our lodger. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Richard thought about this. Hesitantly, he said, “Is there ... is there something going on between the two of you?”

Melanie quickly turned to face him. “No!” she said firmly. “Nothing like that. It’s just ... he’s been trying to help me feel better about myself. To feel more comfortable in my own skin, I guess. He felt that by hiding my body away in baggy clothing, I was doing myself a disservice.”

“He’s probably right about that,” Richard admitted. He sighed. “Was it helping? I mean, has he been helping you feel better about yourself?”

“Yes, I really think so,” said Melanie. “I mean, it was embarrassing to know that he could see my panties, but I was actually surprising myself by how well I was coping with the exposure.”

“Until I blundered in and ruined it with my thoughtless comment,” sighed Richard. “Melanie, I’m so very sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she said, sitting up and giving him a hug.

He held her for a moment, then he said, “You know ... you did look pretty amazing...”

Melanie smiled into his shoulder. “I did?”

“Oh yes – ‘super sexy!” he confirmed. “If we’d been alone, I’d have probably grabbed your hand and pulled you upstairs.”

She giggled. “That sounds like fun,” she said. “You know, just because we have a lodger, it doesn’t mean we can’t have sex...”

“Oh, I know,” said Richard. “But perhaps not right now. I’d hate for our dinner to get cold, when Kelly’s worked so hard on it.”

“True,” agreed Melanie.

“He’s really something, isn’t he?” said Richard. “I’m very glad he’s here.”

“Me too,” said Melanie.

Richard pulled back from her, and said, “Mel, if he’s helping you ... I really don’t want to interfere with that. So what if he gets to see your panties? With all he’s doing for us, I feel like he’s earned a little reward. And I must confess, it will be nice for me too. So, will you please take off your sweatpants ... for me?”

Melanie wiped her eyes, and smiled at him. “You really want me to?”

“Yes,” said Richard firmly.

“All right then,” she said. Getting up from the bed, she pulled her sweatpants down, and stepped out of them.

“And please forgive me for being such an idiot,” said Richard sincerely.

“Of course!” said Melanie. “Are you sure you’re okay with Kelly seeing me like this?”

“Positive,” Richard assured her. “I even hope he enjoys the view.”

Melanie leaned over and kissed him. “Thank you,” she said. “Shall we go and eat?”

They went back downstairs, where Kelly looked at them in concern. “Everything okay?” he asked.

“Everything’s fine,” said Richard. “I was taken a little by surprise, and acted thoughtlessly, but I’ve apologised and it’s all good now.”

“Oh, that’s a relief,” said Kelly. “Have a seat, then.”

Dinner was once again delicious, and Richard and Melanie were effusive in their thanks. Afterwards, at Melanie’s insistence, she washed the dishes while Richard and Kelly went down to the basement for a game of eight-ball.

“Thank you for helping Melanie with her self-esteem, Kelly,” said Richard, as he lined up his cue for an easy pot. “It clearly means a lot to her – ‘and it does to me too.”

“You’re more than welcome,” said Kelly. “I like you both very much, and I’m glad to be able to help out in any way I can.”

Richard walked around the table to take his next shot. “You’ve done so much for us already,” he said. “In view of which, we would like to give you a break on your rent. You’ve paid us up front for a month ... how about we make that two months? And once that time is up, we’ll continue at the reduced rate.”

“Oh – ‘wow!” said Kelly. “That’s so generous of you! Thank you Richard – ‘as a student with limited resources, I gratefully accept your offer.”

“Good!” said Richard, pleased.

They continued playing until Melanie came down to join them. She watched Kelly and Richard play, then Kelly offered to sit out while Richard had a game with Melanie. After Richard missed a pot, Melanie had to bend low over the table to take her next shot. Kelly, with a perfect view of her bottom, eyed it appreciatively – ‘a fact that was not lost on Richard.

“Enjoying the view there, Kelly?” he inquired with a chuckle.

“Oh God – ‘sorry!” said Kelly, his face turning red.

Richard laughed. “Don’t sweat it, man,” he said. “I don’t mind you looking.”

Melanie’s cheeks were burning with embarrassment, and she was so rattled that she missed her pot. In truth, she did not mind Kelly looking either ... but it was a little humiliating to have her husband openly telling another man it was okay to ogle her.

Richard won the game, after which he said, “I’m going to call it a night, guys. Try not to have too much fun without me!”

“Goodnight, darling,” said Melanie, giving him a hug and a kiss.

“Mmmm, goodnight,” he said. “Night, Kelly!”

“Goodnight, Richard,” said Kelly.

Richard headed upstairs, and Kelly turned to Melanie. “More of this?” he asked her. “Ping pong? TV?”

“You choose,” she said. “I’m easy.”

“One more game of eight-ball, then?” he suggested. “Since we haven’t yet played each other?”

“Sure!” she said.

“And I must admit,” he said, as he watched her leaning over the table to retrieve one of the balls, “it is rather fun watching your ass when you bend over.”

Melanie blushed, and chuckled. “Well I guess you have permission to ogle it now, so ... enjoy!”

“May I take more photos?” he inquired, holding up his phone. “If there’s a particularly photogenic moment?”

“I guess so,” said Melanie, her blush deepening.

They played, and Kelly took several photos of Melanie in various poses, including when she was simply standing up with her cue by her side. Sometimes he would ask her to smile; other times he would just snap a candid shot.

After their game – ‘which Melanie won – ‘Kelly suggested ping pong. After a short warm-up, they began keeping score ... but on only the second point, the ball clipped the edge of the table, bounced off the wall, and rolled under the sofa.

Melanie’s pulse quickened. “I suppose you want me to get that, do you?” she inquired.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” he replied, with a playful grin.

Melanie put her bat down, and walked over to the sofa. Getting down on all fours, she peered beneath the sofa to see where the ball was. It was right at the back, almost touching the wall; she was not sure she would be able to reach it. Nevertheless, she pressed her shoulder down against the floor as she stuck her hand as far beneath the sofa as possible. She was aware that Kelly had come around behind her, and knelt down; no doubt he was taking more photos.

Then she gasped as she felt his fingertips on her bottom. “Your panties are a little uneven,” he said. “Do you mind if I adjust them a bit, to make them look better in the shot?” Without waiting for her response, he took hold of the elastic seam crossing her left buttock, and pulled it downward just slightly.

“Um, as long as that’s all you do, I guess that’s okay!” said Melanie, a little breathlessly. As she felt Kelly’s fingertips brush across her buttocks, she bit her lip, feeling both anxious and excited. He seemed to be taking his time about making the adjustments...

“Actually can I just change your position a little, too?” asked Kelly, placing a hand on the small of her back. His other hand slipped between her thighs, making her squeal.

“Don’t be naughty, Kelly!” she gasped.

“I’m not!” he replied, pressing her left thigh outward. “I just need you to move your knees apart a bit ... if that’s okay?”

His apparent shock at the accusation of naughtiness significantly lessened Melanie’s suspicion that he was just trying to cop a feel. “Oh ... okay,” she said, and she lifted her left knee slightly off the floor. Kelly pushed her thigh firmly outward, and pressed down on her back, causing it to arch as her knee contacted the floor again, ten inches to the left of its former position. This felt like a very naughty pose ... and Melanie’s anxiety began to override her arousal.

“Lovely!” said Kelly, removing his hands. “Hold that pose.” He moved back, and photographed Melanie’s bottom from several angles. “Okay, that’s it,” he said. “Thank you Melanie – ‘these are great photos. I just wish I’d had my big camera handy!”

Melanie pulled her arm out from under the sofa. Her face was bright red. “I think I ought to see those photos,” she said.

“Of course!” said Kelly, loading up the first photo, then handing her his phone.

Melanie scrolled through them. “God, Kelly, these are really explicit!” she fretted.

“They’re very sexy,” he conceded, “but I wouldn’t call them explicit. “I just wanted to show you how beautifully shaped your bottom is. Look at that ass! It’s perfect! See how the lines of your panties work in concert with the contours of your buttocks – ‘and the way the material mounds itself around your crotch in between. Most women would kill for an ass like yours, Melanie!”

Melanie was torn between feeling flattered and feeling taken advantage of. Kelly’s compliments seemed so sincere and authoritative ... but it was hard to escape the fact that these photos were more overtly erotic than any he had taken previously. “I’m just worried about what Richard would think if he knew you had taken these...” she said.

Kelly reached out, took her chin in his hand, and turned her face toward his. With a very serious expression, he said, “Melanie, please don’t think I have any intention of keeping anything from Richard. He’s a wonderful guy and I don’t want to do anything he wouldn’t like. I am more than willing to show him these photos ... in fact, I have a suggestion, if you’re interested.”

“What’s that?” asked Melanie, disarmed by his display of honesty and integrity.

“A birthday gift for Richard,” said Kelly. “An album of sexy photos of you. We’ll go the whole hog: lighting, outfits, setting, and my good camera. I want it to be a constant reminder for him of how beautiful and sexy you are.”

Melanie shivered. “That’s ... quite an idea!” she said. “I honestly don’t know how Richard would take it. I think I should probably run it by him first, before agreeing to something like that.”

“You certainly can,” agreed Kelly, “although that would kinda spoil the surprise. Or you could take a chance, and trust him to appreciate the gift on its merits and in the spirit in which it was given. Entirely up to you.”

Melanie’s brow furrowed in worry. “Can I sleep on it?” she asked.

“Of course!” Kelly replied with a smile. “Take all the time you want.”

Melanie relaxed a little. Then she smiled. “Do you really honestly think my butt is perfect?” she asked him.

Kelly showed her his phone again. “See for yourself, Melanie,” he said. “Do you see any flaws there? The camera doesn’t lie – ‘at least, not until you involve a photoshopping tool, which I haven’t had a chance to do.”

Melanie stared at the photo. She had to admit that her bottom did look pretty good. But there was still room for criticism. “It’s so big, though!” she said. “Look at it, filling the screen...”

“Bullshit,” said Kelly. “If you’ll pardon my Portuguese. I could make an ant fill the screen, if I took a close-up of it. Besides – ‘as Yoda said – ‘size matters not. Shape is everything – ‘and yours is perfect.”

Melanie could not help beaming at these words. “Thank you, Kelly,” she said, her voice a little husky. “You’re really very good at boosting my self-image.” On an impulse, she threw her arms around him, and hugged him tightly. Then, realising that there was a lump pressing into her abdomen, she gasped and drew back, staring down at Kelly’s crotch.

Self-consciously, Kelly placed his hands over the bulge in his jeans. “Sorry about that,” he said. “I’m only human. It’s not every day you get to photograph a beautiful woman’s perfect ass. You didn’t think I was made of stone, did you?”

“No, of course not,” Melanie said quickly. “It’s just ... you always seem so professional when you’re photographing me. I guess it’s a testament to your powers of self control!”

“What, that I don’t try and grope you?” said Kelly. “Believe me, sometimes it’s tempting! But I like and respect you and Richard enormously, and I would hate to do anything that might cause problems between you.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that,” said Melanie. “Shall we continue the game? I believe that was my point...”

After a couple of games, they headed upstairs (Melanie was quite happy to go first), and then they sat down together in the living room to watch an episode of Vikings.

While they were watching, Melanie’s backache started to flare up. She reclined as much as she could, into the corner of the sofa, but she could not get comfortable, and it was not long before Kelly realised something was amiss. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

She hit the pause button. “Sorry, it’s my back,” she said. “It often aches in the evenings.”

“Oh!” said Kelly. “Well ... would you like a massage...?”

“No, it’s okay,” said Melanie, shaking her head. “I just need to lie down – ‘take the pressure off. I guess I’ll take an early night. Early-ish, anyway.”

“Well, I could move down a bit...?” suggested Kelly. “You could lie down right here, and put your legs over my lap.”

“Actually, I do that with Richard a lot,” said Melanie. “But I don’t want to impinge on your comfort...”

“Oh don’t worry about that,” said Kelly. “I don’t mind at all.”

“Okay then!” said Melanie, and as Kelly moved over, she turned sideways and lifted her legs up on to his lap. Then she lay back until her head was resting on the armrest, with a cushion supporting her upper back and shoulders.

Kelly, his hands hovering above Melanie, said, “Not sure where to put my hands. Is it okay if I rest them on your leg? I don’t want to make you uncomfortable...”

This from a man who had earlier been touching her bottom while adjusting her panties, Melanie thought to herself in amusement. “That’s fine,” she said.

“Okay cool,” said Kelly, and he lowered his hands, placing them both on her right thigh, which was nearest to him. His left hand was closest to her panties – ‘disconcertingly close, thought Melanie as she felt his fingertips come to rest on the soft flesh of her inner thigh, barely an inch from her panties. But it probably did not mean anything. Hopefully.

“Shall we resume?” said Kelly.

Melanie hit Play, and they continued watching the show. Acutely aware of Kelly’s hand in such an intimate place, Melanie found it hard to concentrate, worried that he might try to take advantage of the situation. But his hand did not move; it was in exactly the same place when the credits finally rolled.

“Bedtime?” said Kelly, lifting his hands up.

“Yes,” said Melanie in relief. By now she was desperately horny, and eager to get to bed so she could masturbate.

“You go ahead, then,” said Kelly. “I need to reply to an email to my mom.”

“Okay,” said Melanie. “Goodnight then, Kelly.”

“Goodnight Melanie,” he replied with a smile.

Melanie got up, left the room, and headed upstairs. Having got herself ready for bed, she climbed in next to Richard, who was snoring gently. Reaching into her panties, she rubbed her clitoris energetically, quickly setting her loins ablaze in a delicious orgasm.

Over the next few minutes, her panting wound down, and sleep slowly claimed her.

DAY 4

After her shower the next morning, Melanie once again found Kelly waiting on the landing when she stepped out of the bathroom in just her towel. “Good morning Kelly!” she greeted him with a smile.

“Good morning Melanie!” he responded. “How’s your back this morning?”

“Better, thank you,” she replied.

“Can I interest you in an omelette today?” Kelly inquired.

“Oh sure, why not?” said Melanie. “Yes please.”

In her bedroom, she rummaged around in her underwear drawer, and pulled out a nice pair of pink silk panties with white lace trim. Yes, these would do nicely, she said to herself. She put them on, followed by a clean white bra and another white tank top. Then her phone buzzed, and she spent a couple of minutes reviewing emails and tidying up her inboxes.

Heading downstairs, she entered the kitchen to find Kelly cracking eggs into the frying pan. He turned, smiling, and his eyes dropped to her panties. “Nice panties!” he remarked. “Very pretty.”

Melanie smiled. “I thought you might approve,” she said.

She made coffee while Kelly made the omelette. Then they sat down together, and ate. “Mmmm, this is delicious,” she said.

“Good!” said Kelly. He took a sip of his coffee. “My first class today is at ten, so I have a little extra time. Have you thought about whether to make a sexy photo album for Richard?”

Melanie had indeed thought about it. “I do like the idea,” she admitted. “I mean, it’s a little scary, but I know you’ll make me look good. My only worry is what Richard will think about the idea of you taking sexy photos of me.”

“I’ve already taken sexy photos of you,” Kelly pointed out. “And there isn’t one of them that I wouldn’t be happy showing to Richard and saying ‘There! Look how incredible your wife is!’“

“And what if he freaks out?” asked Melanie nervously.

“Well, you know him better than I do,” said Kelly. “Do you think he’s likely to?”

“I honestly don’t know,” said Melanie. “Perhaps I’ll test the waters this evening – ‘try to gauge his likely reaction without giving the game away.”

Kelly nodded. “Good plan,” he said. “So, what would you like to do in the time we have before you need to get ready to go?”

Melanie thought for a moment. “Want to go for a walk?” she suggested.

“Oh!” said Kelly, surprised. “Sure, that sounds nice. Where?”

“Just in our woods,” said Melanie. “We only have four acres, but Richard cut a nice winding trail through it, all the way to the river at the back of the property.”

“You have a river?” said Kelly in delight. “Awesome! I’d love to see it.”

“It’s not much of a river,” said Melanie with a laugh. “But it’s nice to have it there. I’ll just go and put my sweatpants on...” Then she hesitated, wondering if Kelly would object.

He smiled. “Are pants necessary?” he asked. “Will we be in view of the road?”

“No, I guess not,” Melanie conceded reluctantly. “I guess I could just put some shoes on...”

“Sounds good!” said Kelly. “I’ll just grab my camera – ‘I’d like to take some pics of your woods and the river.” He went upstairs, and returned with his camera as Melanie was putting on her sneakers.

She stood up straight, and said, “Okay, let’s go.” She led the way, out of the back door, down the steps, across the yard, and into the trees. “I suggest you tuck your pants into your socks,” she said. “It’s a little early in the year for mosquitoes, but not for ticks.”

“Oh, good thinking,” said Kelly. He bent down and tucked his jeans into his socks.

The walk was short, but very pleasant. Kelly took photos every now and then, and when they came to the river (which was really more of a stream), he was delighted to see a large rock overhanging the water’s edge. “Would you mind sitting on that?” he asked Melanie. “It’ll make for a great photo.”

Melanie regarded the rock dubiously, but it seemed clean and dry. “Okay,” she said, and she gingerly sat down on it, with her legs tucked up against her chest.

Kelly squatted down, looking at her from her right. “Look down into the water,” he said. “Look thoughtful. Good. Move your hands a little higher up your shins ... yes, like that. Perfect.” He took a couple of photos. “You know, this is a beautiful setting for some sexy photos, if you decide you want me to take some. And the natural lighting is wonderful. Are you sure I can’t convince you to let me take a couple, just so you can see how they turn out?”

Melanie bit her lip. “All right, just a couple,” she said. “Nothing too sexy though.”

“Great!” said Kelly. “Okay ... for starters ... can you take off your bra without removing your top?”

“What??” said Melanie, staring at him in dismay. “I can’t go braless in front of you, Kelly!”

“Why not?” he asked. “You’re wearing a top.”

“Because,” said Melanie desperately, “my top is very ... um ... close-fitting! It’ll kinda cling to my curves!”

“Sounds very sexy,” acknowledged Kelly. “But no more so than letting me photograph your panties in close-up, surely?”

“But,” said Melanie plaintively, “you’ll be able to see how much they sag...”

“Ah,” said Kelly. “Now we get to the crux of the matter. But Melanie, I do understand that breasts the size of yours will inevitably sag if unsupported. I’m prepared for it. Will you please trust your photographer?”

Melanie bit her lip. “I guess,” she said reluctantly, if anyone can make my unsupported boobs look good, then you can.”

“I can,” he assured her. “Just have faith – ‘I promise you won’t regret it.”

She sighed. “All right then.” She reached back, tucked her hands up beneath her top, and unclasped her bra. Deftly, she then pulled the straps out through the top’s armholes, extricated her right arm, then pulled the entire bra down her left arm, and off. “There,” she said.

“Okay – ‘straighten your legs so I can see,” said Kelly, holding his camera at the ready.

With an anxious little whimper, Melanie lowered her knees, so that Kelly could see her chest.

He blinked, and lowered his camera. “Are you frickin’ kidding me, Melanie?” he inquired.

“What?” said Melanie, folding her arms protectively across her breasts.

“You said they sag!” said Kelly. “I was envisioning having to come up with all kinds of creative ways of supporting your chest and showing off your curves without a bra ... but none of that will be necessary! Your breasts hold up beautifully, with or without a bra.”

“They do sag a bit though,” said Melanie defensively, though she was actually very pleased by Kelly’s assessment.

“By how much – ‘an inch and a half?” said Kelly. “Melanie, you’re way too critical of yourself. You have a lovely body – ‘truly gorgeous; it’s an absolute pleasure to photograph.”

Melanie smiled in relief. “Then would you please show me, Kelly?” she said. “Take a nice photo that will help me feel good about my chest.”

Kelly nodded, his expression thoughtful. “Okay,” he said, “we’ll keep it simple. Legs outstretched in front of you, left ankle over the right. Hands planted on the rock behind you ... no, further back and further out, so that you’re leaning backwards a little. Good ... but you’re slouching your back. Arch it just a bit. Now smile – ‘and give me teeth this time. Nice! Now breathe in... And that’s it.” He pulled up the photo on his camera’s little screen. “This will look a lot better when blown up, but hopefully you can get an idea...” He turned the camera around, and showed her.

Melanie smiled. “Oh, I do look quite nice, don’t I? Thank you Kelly – ‘that’s perfect.”

“May I humbly suggest,” said Kelly, “that for your casual home outfit, you dispense with the bra from now on? I know you like to be relaxed and comfy ... and bras are kind of the opposite of that. I wouldn’t have suggested it until I saw how you look without one, but ... honestly, you look fantastic.”

Melanie blushed, and smiled. “You’re very persuasive, Kelly,” she said. “I don’t know, though – ‘I’m a bit concerned about how Richard would react.”

“After last night,” said Kelly, “I highly doubt he will object ... at least not in so tactless a fashion. I suspect he won’t have an issue with it at all; going braless under a tank top isn’t nearly as radical as going without pants and showing off your panties. Which would you rather do in public, after all?”

“Fair point,” conceded Melanie. She hesitated. “Still, I can’t help worrying...”

“That he’ll make a fuss?” said Kelly. “If he does, we’ll just make the same points to him that I just made to you. If he still objects, then by all means go back to wearing a bra. But your comfort has got to count for something, right?”

“It should,” Melanie agreed. “And my bra straps do feel uncomfortable by the end of the day...” She fell silent for a moment. “All right – ‘I’ll try it this evening.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly, smiling.

They walked back to the house, where Melanie went upstairs while Kelly made her a sandwich. After removing her top and putting her bra back on, she donned a pink blouse, along with a black vest and – ‘as she had practically promised Kelly – ‘a short black skirt. Short-ish, at any rate; it stopped just shy of her knees.

Returning downstairs to the kitchen, she said, “Will this do?”

Kelly looked her up and down. “Better!” he said. “But is that what you call a short skirt, Melanie? Don’t you have anything shorter?”

Melanie blushed. “I don’t have a lot of skirts!” she said. “This one really is the shortest.”

“Okay – ‘well we can work with it,” said Kelly. “Come on outside.”

She followed him out to the back patio, where she sat down in one of the chairs, recreating the first of yesterday’s poses. Kelly took a photo, then he said, “Okay, now same again ... but hike your skirt up first, so you can see how a shorter one would look.”

“All right,” said Melanie. Standing up, she hiked up her skirt a few inches, then sat back down. She adopted the same pose as before, and Kelly took another photo. Then she got up, put the chair back on the stack, and adopted yesterday’s standing pose. At Kelly’s direction, she tweaked it slightly, and then he took his final photo.

“I’ll just go and put these together side by side on my laptop,” he said. “Won’t take me long.”

“Unfortunately I can’t wait,” said Melanie. “I have to leave now or I’ll be late. Will you please text me the results?”

“Sure!” he said. “You’ll have them by the time you get to work.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie. “See you this evening!”

She left the house, and drove to work. Inside the library, she checked her phone. Kelly had been as good as his word: he had texted her seven pictures. The first five were the photos he had taken of her on the patio: three sitting down, and two standing up. The sixth image was a side-by-side comparison of the standing-up photos, while the seventh consisted of the three seated photos stitched together.

“Damn,” she muttered. She had to admit that Kelly was right. While the poses and expressions in each comparison were nearly identical, the impact of the change of clothing could hardly be more stark. In the standing photos, she not only looked sexier in the skirt; she actually looked more professional. In the seated photo collection, the middle photo – ‘with the skirt’s hem a little above the knee – ‘was the most professional-looking, but she kept finding her eyes drawn to the third photo, in which the skirt had been hiked up to reveal half her thigh. She still looked professional – ‘somewhat – ‘but she also looked super-sexy, though not at all in a slutty way.

She needed a second opinion. Of the two colleagues currently at the library, sixty-eight-year-old Myron was a bit of a pervert and unlikely to be objective. Forty-one-year-old Pam, however, was wont to be candidly, even brutally honest. Stern on the outside, but kind on the inside, Pam had become quite a good friend.

Melanie found her with a cart full of books, finding homes for some of them in the romantic fiction section. “Pam?” she ventured.

“Hey Melanie,” said Pam. “What’s up? Hey, I like your outfit today! Very nice. I don’t remember the last time I saw you in a skirt.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie, with an embarrassed little smile. “Actually that’s kinda what I was coming to see you about.”

“Oh?” said Pam.

“You see,” Melanie continued, “I have this friend, Kelly, who wants me to ditch the pants altogether and wear short skirts instead. He’s of the opinion that I look better in a miniskirt.”

“Kelly’s a he?” Pam inquired.

“Yup,” said Melanie.

“Huh. Well I’m of the opinion that you should wear whatever the fuck you want,” said Pam. “Within the library’s dress code, of course.”

“What I want,” said Melanie ruefully, “is to wear baggy and shapeless clothing. But Kelly thinks I’m doing myself a disservice. He’s trying to bring me out of my comfy shell. And ... I’m trying. But your honest opinion will help.”

“I think the skirt looks better,” said Pam. “But that doesn’t mean I think you should wear skirts exclusively. Why not mix it up?”

“I might do that,” said Melanie, nodding. “Can I show you a picture, though, and see what you think?”

“Sure,” said Pam.

Melanie pulled up the side-by-side comparison of her sitting-down photos, and then gave her phone to Pam. “What do you think?” she asked. “Of all three? Be honest.”

Pam enlarged the picture. “Is that a different skirt, or did you just pull it up?”

“I just hiked it up,” said Melanie. “I don’t have any shorter skirts than this, but Kelly wanted to show me what a shorter one would look like.”

“It looks good on you,” admitted Pam. “You’ve certainly got the legs for it. If a new female employee showed up in a skirt that short, I’d be concerned that she wasn’t taking the job seriously. But I know you take it seriously, so I wouldn’t have a problem if you wore a shorter skirt. Damn – ‘you do look good though. This Kelly’s a pretty good photographer, isn’t he?”

“He’s good at everything,” Melanie said with a slight smirk. “Except maybe ping pong. Anyway, thank you for your thoughts. I’d better get to work.”

Later that morning, she happened to run into Myron on her way back from the restroom. “Hey Myron,” she said.

“Hey!” he replied, looking a little surprised as his eyes dropped to her skirt. “You look nice today, Melanie!”

“Thanks,” she replied, blushing a little. “Um ... actually, could I get your opinion on something?” It would not hurt to ask, she was thinking to herself.

“Sure!” he replied.

She showed him her phone. “Which of these outfits do you think looks best on me? I mean, for working here at the library.”

Myron’s eyes widened as they took in the third picture. “That last one,” he said. “My goodness! That would be quite a change for you, though! I’m very curious to know what’s triggered it...?”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Melanie. “The last one, you think? It’s not too revealing?”

“No, no – ‘it looks very elegant on you, actually,” said Myron.

Melanie smiled. “Thank you,” she said. The she went back to her scanning.

A little later, she took a quick break to text Kelly:

‘Well, the skirt is a hit. And yes, you were right, I do think I look better than in pants. My colleagues even seem to think I should try a shorter skirt!’

Kelly’s reply came very quickly:

‘Great! I guess we need to get you some miniskirts, then! Hey ... want me to do some skirt-shopping for you at lunchtime? I don’t mind paying – ‘it’ll be worth it!’

Melanie stared at her phone for a moment. Then she typed:

‘If you like! I’m a size 12 for skirts. But I can’t possibly let you pay for them yourself. I mean, I’ll reimburse you this evening. Just don’t spend more than $200, okay?’

‘Not much chance of that! Okay then – ‘I’ll get you some skirts. Woohoo! This will be fun!’

Melanie smiled, and put her phone away. She was curious, though a little nervous, to see what Kelly would buy for her...

After work she drove home, stopping to fuel up her car on the way. When she entered the house, she could smell something nice cooking. “Mmmm, what’s that?” she asked.

“Shepherd’s pie,” said Kelly.

“I can’t wait to try it!” she said. She went upstairs, stripped down to her panties, and – ‘with some trepidation – ‘put on the tank top she had been wearing that morning, with no bra beneath.

Returning downstairs, she found her husband in the living room, watching the local news. “Hi darling,” she said nervously.

“Hi honey,” he said, briefly turning his face upward in order to kiss her. “How was your day?”

“Uneventful,” she replied. “Yours?”

“Same,” he said, and he turned back to the television.

A little deflated, Melanie went through to the kitchen to help with dinner. “Oh, good girl!” said Kelly, noting her bralessness with approval. “Beautiful.”

“Thanks,” she said awkwardly. “I feel rather naked – ‘even more so than usual.”

“But physically comfortable?” said Kelly.

“I guess,” she said with a shrug.

It was not until they all sat down to dinner that Richard suddenly said, “Oh! Melanie – ‘you’re not wearing a bra?”

Melanie’s cheeks reddened. “You know how they dig into my shoulders by the end of the day. I finally decided I’d rather be comfortable...”

Richard pursed his lips, glanced at Kelly, then nodded. “And I suppose Kelly convinced you that it would be okay?” he said. “Well, I guess it is.”

“You see?” said Kelly with a smile. “I told you he’d be supportive.”

“Thanks darling,” said Melanie, relieved. She held out her hand to Richard, who took it with a smile.

“Do you guys play board games?” Kelly asked.

“Hmm, I think we have Monopoly in the games cupboard,” said Richard. “Along with chess, Clue, and a couple of other things. Honestly, we don’t play them much.”

“Board games generally aren’t so much fun with two,” said Melanie. “Richard does have a couple of friends from work that he invites over for games on Friday nights, but those are more of the console variety.”

“Can I interest you both in a board game that I happen to have with me?” said Kelly.

“Totally!” said Richard.

“Sure!” Melanie agreed. “What is it?”

“It’s called Castle Panic,” said Kelly. “It’s easy to pick up, and the interesting thing about it is that it’s collaborative – ‘we’re working together towards a common goal, rather than competing against each other.”

“Sounds cool,” said Richard. “I’m willing to give it a go.”

“Me too!” said Melanie.

“Good!” said Kelly. “As soon as I’ve done the dishes, then...”

“Don’t you dare,” said Melanie. “I’ll do the dishes; you can set up the game and explain it to Richard.”

“Okay,” said Kelly, smiling. “But you shouldn’t have to wash much by hand; I fixed the dishwasher today.”

Both Richard and Melanie gasped; the dishwasher had not worked in over six months. “That’s wonderful!” exclaimed Richard. “I was almost at the point of throwing it out!”

After another delicious dinner, Melanie loaded up the dishwasher, then set about washing those few items that she preferred to hand-wash. When she was done, she went through to the dining room, where Kelly was explaining the game to Richard. A square board had been set up, and in its centre were several grey cardboard pieces that looked like walls and towers.

After Kelly had explained to the game to them, they started playing. Melanie quickly picked up the concept and the strategy requirements, and found herself becoming quite anxious about the number of walls and towers they were losing. After forty minutes, they were down to one wall and two towers, and she was certain they were doomed to fail.

As the numbers of unplayed monster tokens dwindled, however, she began to hope that maybe they could survive the onslaught. Then another tower was lost, on her turn. “Sorry guys,” she said.

On Richard’s turn, he managed to take out two monsters, and even managed to rebuild a wall. But then, having placed a new orc in the forest, he turned over his second monster token. “Oh crap,” he said. “Boulder.” He picked up the die.

“Two or five,” said Kelly, “and that’s it – ‘game over.”

Richard rolled. “Four!” he said in relief.

“Well we lose your shiny new wall,” said Kelly, “but our last tower’s safe, at least.”

It did not take long to mop up the last few monsters after that. “We won?” said Melanie in surprise.

“Indeed we did,” said Kelly. “Well done, guys!”

“I like this game!” said Richard. “Quite dramatic – ‘it was touch-and-go there for a while.”

“Yes,” agreed Melanie. “Thank you Kelly – ‘I’d be happy to play that again sometime.”

“Me too,” agreed Richard. “But for now, its kinda put me in the mood to slay a few denizens of Azeroth. Anyone mind if I grab some World of Warcraft time?”

“Not at all,” said Melanie. “It’ll give me a chance to try on my new skirts.”

“What new skirts?” inquired Richard. “You went shopping?”

“I did,” said Kelly.

“He’s convinced me I should try wearing short skirts to work instead of pants,” explained Melanie.

“Kelly,” said Richard sternly. “Who is this sexy woman, and what have you done with my wife?” Then he burst out laughing. “I’m just kidding! Not about the sexy part, of course – ‘I think it’s great that you’re having such a positive impact on Melanie.” Then he turned to his wife. “Kudos for stepping out of your comfort zone, darling.” And he smiled at her.

“Thanks,” she said, blushing. “I haven’t actually seen the skirts yet – ‘I hope they’re not too short!”

“If they are, I’ll take them back,” said Kelly. “No big deal. Anyway, I’ll go and fetch them.”

“I’ll make coffee,” said Melanie. “You go on upstairs, darling – ‘I’ll bring yours up.”

“Thanks!” said Richard, and he left the room and bounded upstairs.

Once she had made the coffee, and delivered Richard’s, Melanie took her coffee and Kelly’s through to the living room. The young man was waiting there with a pile of skirts.

“Oh my!” she said. “That’s a lot of skirts! How much did this cost me?”

“A hundred and three dollars, and fifty-four cents,” said Kelly.

“For all those?” said Melanie in surprise. “Where did you shop, Goodwill?”

“Nope!” said Kelly. “Not one of these is secondhand. I found this great place called Julee’s Discount Apparel. Not perhaps at the cutting edge of fashion, but their clothes are nice enough, and their prices are great. I got you six skirts, in all.”

“Nice!” said Melanie. “All right then, let’s take a look.”

“Here you go,” said Kelly, handing her the skirt at the top of the pile.

“God, this is quite short, isn’t it?” said Melanie apprehensively. It was a dark grey and red checked wool miniskirt with a polyester lining. She unzipped the side of the skirt as she stood up, then she stepped into it, pulled it up, and re-zipped it. She tried tugging it down a bit, but its hem refused to go any lower than mid-thigh. “Well, it does fit well,” she admitted grudgingly. “Seems like more of a winter skirt though.”

“Hence the big discount,” said Kelly. “This one was just eleven bucks.”

“Jeez, that’s quite a bargain, isn’t it?” said Melanie, impressed.

“Mind if I take photos?” asked Kelly. “Then you can see how you look in each one.”

“Sure, good idea,” said Melanie. She posed, at Kelly’s direction, in the doorway with one hand on the doorframe and the other on her hip. Then she took a look at the little screen on the back of Kelly’s camera. “It does look nice on me,” she conceded, “but it’s definitely shorter than I’m comfortable with. Unprofessionally short, I’d say.”

“Bear in mind you’re wearing a tank top with it right now,” said Kelly. “It’ll look more professional when paired with a nice blouse.”

“Perhaps,” said Melanie. “But I hope some of the other skirts are longer than this one!”

“They’re not,” said Kelly apologetically. “That one’s the longest.”

“Oh God,” groaned Melanie. “Okay, lets see the next one.” She unzipped the wool skirt, and took it off.

“This next one’s quite pretty, I think,” said Kelly, handing her a pale blue skirt with broad pleats.

“It kinda looks like a tennis skirt,” said Melanie. “It is cute, though.” She put it on, and zipped it. It was about two inches shorter than the wool skirt, and she shuddered. “It’s very short!”

“Let’s take another photo, shall we?” said Kelly, readying his camera. As Melanie posed, he took the photo.

“It occurs to me that this skirt won’t go with any of my vests,” Melanie remarked, as she stepped out of the pleated skirt. “Nor will the first one, for that matter.”

“So don’t wear a vest,” said Kelly with a shrug. “It’s not like you need to. Just go with a blouse and skirt.”

Melanie bit her lip. “But Kelly,” she said, “there’s a reason I wear vests over my shirts.”

“Oh?” Kelly inquired.

She sighed. “I guess I’ll show you. Wait here.”

“Okay,” said Kelly.

Melanie went upstairs to her bedroom, where she took off her tank top. She put on a white bra, then she went to her closet and pulled out a white blouse. Putting it on and doing up the buttons, she returned downstairs to the living room. “Look,” she said. “You see the problem?”

“What, the fact that your bra’s faintly slowing through?” said Kelly. “Or the fact that your blouse is stretched so tightly around your breasts?”

“Well, both of the above,” said Melanie. “Though I was mainly thinking of the fact that my boobs look like they’re trying to burst out of the shirt.”

“Well there’s a couple of things we can do about that,” said Kelly. “For one thing, you could try going braless; that would put less of a strain on the blouse.”

“Um ... slightly see-through, remember?” Melanie pointed out. “Also, I’m not convinced it would make that much difference.”

Kelly chuckled. “Are all your blouses so tight?” he asked. “Have you considered wearing a larger size?”

“Larger sizes are too big around the shoulders and waist,” said Melanie. “Unfortunately I’m not a very typical shape; clothing companies generally don’t make nice blouses for women with a disproportionately large chest.”

“Well the other option,” said Kelly, “is to undo the top two buttons.”

“And show off an acre of cleavage?” said Melanie. “Not very professional!”

“Perhaps not,” said Kelly. “But can we at least try it both ways, and see how they compare? I’ll take photos, and we can assess them together.”

Melanie gave a little whimper. “Kelly, I just know you’re going to talk me into wearing less than I’m comfortable with.”

“I’m not going to pressure you into anything, I promise,” said Kelly. “You’re a beautiful woman, and beautiful women can get away with showing a little more skin than ordinary mortals. But that doesn’t mean you have to, and if, after we’ve reviewed the photos, you decide you can’t handle how you look a certain way, then I won’t try to persuade you.”

“All right,” said Melanie, feeling slightly reassured. She unfastened her top two buttons; the next one was at the midpoint between her nipples, and was clearly under considerable strain. Above it, the opening of her blouse was stretched into a broad V, with the flesh of her breasts pushing up and together into the gap, creating a long, prominent cleavage.

“That’s actually rather gorgeous,” said Kelly with a smile. “Smile for me?”

“Should I put a skirt on, perhaps, to complete the ensemble?” suggested Melanie.

“Not necessary,” said Kelly. “We’re just focusing on your top half right now.” Nevertheless, as Melanie would soon discover, his camera was sufficiently zoomed out to capture her panties and thighs in the shot. Once he had taken a photo, he said, “That button ... why don’t we try it with that one undone too?”

Melanie shivered; she knew how much of her chest this would expose. “I think that would definitely be a button too far!” she said.

“Yes, I expect you’re right,” agreed Kelly. “But I’d like to have it for comparison purposes – ‘you know, with and without the bra. This would be a good baseline. I have no intention of trying to persuade you to go to work with your blouse unbuttoned that much, don’t worry.”

That was not really Melanie’s point, she thought to herself, but Kelly seemed so casually confident in his methodology that her unease seemed somehow unjustified. “All right,” she said reluctantly, reasoning to herself that she had already shown her bottom to him far more lewdly than she was about to show her chest. She popped open the next button on her blouse, which sprang open, exposing more of her breasts and a good portion of her bra.

“Okay, good, let me get a photo,” said Kelly. “Nice smile please. There.” He lowered his camera, and straightened up. “Now let’s try it without the bra.”

The sleeves of Melanie’s blouse were too tight for her to remove her bra while keeping the blouse on. “Um,” she said, her cheeks reddening, “Would you mind turning around please?”

“Oh, of course,” said Kelly, and he turned his back on her.

Melanie was not quite sure why she had expected him to refuse, to insist on watching while she took off her blouse and bra. But she was relieved that he had not hesitated to turn around; he really was a gentleman, after all. She unfastened the rest of the buttons on her blouse, which she then slipped off her shoulders. Pulling the sleeves down over her hands, she tugged her blouse off completely, and laid it over the arm of the sofa. Then, reaching behind her back, she unclasped her bra, and pulled it off her shoulders.

Depositing her bra on the sofa, she suddenly realised she was naked apart from her panties ... and in the same room as Kelly. Granted, he had his back to her, but what if Richard came down at this moment? What would she say?

Hastily she put her blouse back on, and fastened all of the buttons that she would normally fasten (leaving just the top two undone). Then she said, “Um, okay, you can turn around.”

Kelly turned, and his eyes were immediately drawn to the ghostly outlines of Melanie’s nipples showing through her blouse. The material was stretched tight, emphasising the curves of her somewhat squished breasts. “Okay,” he said, “well that doesn’t look too bad, but it could look better. I’ll just take a photo before you undo any buttons.”

Melanie posed, Kelly took a photo. Then he had her undo two buttons, and when she did so and posed again, he took another photo. Then he asked her to undo yet another button – ‘this was the one that had been on the same level as her nipples, but was now an inch or so higher. With a sigh, she did so. Then she posed again, for a final photo.

“Okay!” said Kelly. “Now let’s try on the rest of the skirts – ‘starting with this one.” He handed her a dark grey A-line miniskirt with a narrow pink stripe running around it about an inch above the hem. It was not pleated, but its abundance of material caused it to hang in folds. The waistband was gathered and elasticised.

Melanie stepped into it and pulled it up. “Comfy,” she admitted, “but super-short!” In fact it was about the same length as the pleated skirt.

“Looks good on you!” said Kelly. “Let’s take a photo.” He did so as Melanie posed again, and then he handed her the next skirt. This one bore a busy floral print on a pale tan background. It was longer than the previous two, but when Melanie pulled it on, she realised it had a much higher waist. In fact, once she had zipped it up at the back, she estimated it was revealed an inch more of her thighs than the previous two.

“Now that’s nice,” said Kelly, nodding in approval. “Suits you.” He readied his camera. “And smile!”

Melanie posed and smiled, but she was far from happy. “This is way too short,” she fretted, tugging at the hem.

“Try this next,” said Kelly, handing her the fifth skirt. This was pinkish-grey in colour, made of a faux suede material, and the shortest one yet.

“Kelly...” said Melanie plaintively, as she pulled the floral skirt off. She took the fifth skirt and put it on, zipping it up at the back. This one, fortunately, sat lower on her hips than the floral skirt, though its hem was at about the same level.

“Lovely!” said Kelly. “And pose ... and smile...” He took another photo. “And finally, this one.” He handed her the last skirt.

Melanie took it, and shivered. It was made of burgundy-coloured corduroy, with little brass buttons all the way down the front. It was a little longer than the faux suede skirt, but when she pulled it on, she discovered that it sat considerably higher on her hips. When she reached back to check the hem, she found that it barely covered her buttocks.

“Kelly, I can’t possibly wear this to work!” she exclaimed in dismay.

“Nobody’s saying otherwise,” Kelly reassured her. “I bought skirts I thought would look good on you, Melanie – ‘and I’m very pleased to see that they all do – ‘but I didn’t have you with me to try them on, so I just tried my best. I didn’t expect you to be happy with all of them, so please don’t worry about hurting my feelings if there are some you don’t like. All I ask is that you keep an open mind and see how you look in the photos.”

Now Melanie felt a little guilty. “Thanks Kelly, that does make me feel better,” she said. “And I’m sorry if I seem ungrateful; you know it’s just my anxiety and insecurity causing me to panic a bit.”

“Totally understandable,” said Kelly with a smile. “Just remember that you’re in control here; you decide what you do or don’t wear. I’m just here to help and offer my thoughts and advice ... for whatever they are worth.”

“They’re worth a lot, trust me,” said Melanie fervently. “You’ve been just wonderful, Kelly; I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful you’ve been to me ... to both of us. I’ll try to trust your judgment more, and not overreact when you take me out of my comfort zone. So go on, take your photo – ‘and I promise I’ll keep an open mind.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly, smiling warmly at her. “Same pose, then? Good – ‘and let’s see that pretty smile of yours. Dip your head a little. Perfect – ‘got it. Now let me plug this camera into my laptop, and we’ll review the photos.”

While he was out of the room, Melanie removed the corduroy skirt, then she took the whole pile of skirts up to her bedroom. There, she changed out of her blouse and back into her tank top, before going back downstairs.

Kelly was on the sofa with his laptop. “Come, sit down,” he said, patting the sofa next to him. “I’m just transferring the pics now.”

It did not take long, and when the transfer was complete, a folder opened with all of the photos. “Let’s look at the blouse pics first,” said Kelly. He opened up the photo of Melanie with her blouse buttoned up, her bra faintly showing through the thin material. “I think we can both agree that your boobs look a little constrained here,” he remarked. “Although, I shouldn’t make assumptions. If you disagree, by all means jump in.”

“No – ‘you’re right,” said Melanie. “They do look squished.”

He moved on to the next one. “This is better,” he said, “but that button does look like it’s about to pop off.”

“Yup,” Melanie agreed ruefully.

“Now this,” said Kelly, moving on again, “looks much better, insofar as your boobs aren’t so squished and there’s not so much strain on your blouse.”

“True,” Melanie admitted. “But on the other hand, way too much of my boobs and bra are showing.”

“That’s a subjective assessment,” said Kelly. “I happen to think it’s a very fetching look. But I suspect a lot of people would share your opinion. Fair enough; let’s continue.” He moved on to the next photo. “Plenty of coverage here, but again, your boobs look very squished and uncomfortable.”

“They do,” agreed Melanie.

“And in this one, again, that button looks like it’s under great strain,” said Kelly. “But in this last one ... look.”

“I’m showing a lot of chest, again,” said Melanie uncomfortably.

“True, but less than when you were wearing a bra,” said Kelly. “And no bra is showing – ‘obviously. And your blouse is no longer under such strain. Honestly, I think it’s the best look you could hope for.”

“But my nipples are visible!” protested Melanie.

“Very faintly,” said Kelly. “Are all your blouses so see-through?”

“No,” Melanie admitted. “I guess my chest would look less offensive with a more opaque blouse.”

“There’s nothing offensive about your chest,” said Kelly sternly. “It’s not your fault that you have large breasts, and if your colleagues have any decency, they will not hold you to a different standard than a woman with a smaller chest. In fact, I hope they would make allowances for the difficult clothing choices you have to make in order to accommodate your breasts.”

“They’re a good bunch,” said Melanie. “But I don’t know...”

“Well, you won’t know until you try,” said Kelly. “So here’s what I suggest. Tomorrow, go to work with no bra, and your blouse unbuttoned like this. Explain to your colleagues your difficulties in finding blouses that can sufficiently accommodate your breasts, and the reason you are not wearing a bra. If they are not satisfied with your explanation, then you can fasten a button or two – ‘whatever it takes to make your chest look acceptably modest in their eyes.”

Melanie groaned. “Oh God...”

“What’s the matter?” asked Kelly. “Not a good plan?”

“No, it is a good plan,” conceded Melanie unhappily. “That’s the problem. You’ve got me seriously considering showing up to work tomorrow with no bra on, and half my chest exposed.”

Kelly chuckled. “I know it’s outside your comfort zone,” he said, “but I have faith in you, Melanie. I believe you can handle it. But here’s the thing: if it turns out you can’t, then you just button yourself up. Granted, that’s not a perfect solution, but it should get you through the day.”

Melanie nodded. “Shall we look at the skirts, then?”

“Sure,” said Kelly. He backed up a few photos, until he had come to the first photo he had taken this evening. Melanie had already seen it, of course, but only on the little camera screen.

“You’ll have to imagine yourself in a blouse instead of the tank top,” said Kelly. “But I happen to think that skirt looks awesome on you.”

“It does look good,” Melanie admitted. “I do like that skirt. And my legs don’t look too bad, I guess.”

“Understatement of the year!” said Kelly, chuckling. “Your legs look amazing, Melanie.”

She blushed. “Thank you Kelly,” she said.

Next they looked at the pleated skirt. “Now how phenomenal do you look in that skirt?” said Kelly in an awed tone.

“I do like it,” said Melanie nervously. “I’m just not sure it says ‘librarian’.”

“It doesn’t,” agreed Kelly, “and why should it? The outfit that says ‘librarian’ is bland and unfeminine, because librarians don’t generally have an exciting public image. Why not challenge that? Why not take the stuffiness out of the stereotype?” He thought for a moment, then grinned. “Why not, indeed, take the ‘bra’ out of ‘librarian’?”

Melanie laughed. “Which would make me ... a lirian?”

“It makes you look young and fun,” said Kelly. “Which I personally think would bring a breath of fresh air into your workplace. But let’s see the next one. Ah yes. Now this is a little less frivolous, but still short enough to show off your lovely legs.”

“It’s nice,” Melanie conceded grudgingly. “Though I don’t know what my colleagues would say...”

“Didn’t you say they were okay with the idea of you wearing miniskirts?” Kelly inquired.

“They did,” said Melanie.

“Then they can hardly complain if you wear one,” said Kelly. “Anyway I think all three of these skirts look very good on you, but of the three of them, I think this might be the best to test the waters. It’s not the longest, it’s not the shortest ... but it looks great on you, it looks a little more serious than the blue one, and it will work with any colour of blouse.”

“Good points,” agreed Melanie. She shivered. “I’ll feel terribly exposed, though!”

Kelly moved on. “Now this one,” he said, “looks just beautiful on you. Yes, it’s shorter, but it’s super elegant.”

“It is ... I guess...” said Melanie hesitantly. In truth, she was very pleased with the way it looked on her. And, indeed, with the way she looked in the entire ensemble. She was showing an unnerving amount of skin, but the overall effect was still quite classy rather than slutty. “Perhaps I might be willing to try wearing this one ... but not on the first day. I’ll see if I can get away with the dark grey one first.”

“Fair enough,” said Kelly. “Let’s look at the next one... Oh wow, you’re rocking that one too! It’s not quite as nice as the flowery one, of course...”

“No, it isn’t,” Melanie agreed. “And it shows just as much skin, so it’s a little less acceptable, I think.”

Kelly moved on to the last photo. “Oh my...” he said.

“Yeah, that one’s just outrageous!” said Melanie.

“And yet,” continued Kelly, “it’s a nice skirt. And your legs are still looking fantastic. With a lot of women, unless they’re pencil slim, a skirt of that length would look awful. The fact that you can pull it off is quite a testament to the excellent quality of your legs.”

Melanie blushed. “You really think so?” she said.

“Totally!” said Kelly. “There’s not an single unsatisfactory part of you, from your feet up to your gorgeous ass. You can pull off a skirt of any length, Melanie – ‘and there’s a lot of women who would be very envious of you for that.”

“Well thank you,” said Melanie, glowing inside. “Of course, it all falls apart after that, unfortunately ... which is why you’ll never see me in a crop top.”

“Your belly, you mean?” asked Kelly.

Melanie nodded glumly. “It’s my least favourite area,” she said.

“Well we don’t have to talk about it now,” said Kelly, “but I promise you this, Melanie: by the time I’m done with you, you will feel good about your belly.”

“That’s a bold promise,” said Melanie, smirking slightly, “considering you haven’t seen it yet.”

“Perhaps,” said Kelly. “But I’m confident nonetheless.”

Melanie smiled. “I’ll look forward to that, then,” she said. “In the meantime, I think we’re done with these photos. Shall we watch some Vikings? Or would you rather play a game of something downstairs?”

“You choose,” said Kelly. “Both sound fun.”

“Then let’s do both,” said Melanie. “A quick game of something, then TV?”

“Perfect,” said Kelly.

Down in the basement, Melanie asked, “Ping pong or eight-ball?”

“Ping pong,” said Kelly.

They played one game, during which the ball did not once roll under the old sofa. Melanie felt a little guilty for being disappointed about this. She was amused, however, to note how distracted Kelly was by her freely bouncing breasts.

“Mind elsewhere, Kelly?” she teased him as she prepared to serve for the game.

“Those are some powerful weapons of mass distraction you’ve got there, Melanie!” Kelly chuckled.

Melanie giggled, and served, with plenty of sidespin. Kelly swung, and missed. “Shoot,” he said. “Well played, Melanie.”

Back upstairs, Melanie paused in front of the sofa. “Kelly, my back is aching again,” she said. “Do you mind very much if I put my feet up on you again?”

“Not at all!” said Kelly, moving a little to his right and then patting his lap. “Go ahead.”

Melanie sat down next to him, then she swung her legs up on to his, and lay down. “Here,” said Kelly, handing her the remote control, before laying his hands on her right thigh. “Let’s see what Ragnar’s up to, shall we?”

Melanie, her heart pounding and her stomach aflutter, switched the TV on and started the Amazon Video app. She was acutely conscious of Kelly’s left hand, which was at the very top of her thigh, his pinky finger resting against her panties. She should really tell him to move it ... but he did not seem to be aware that he was doing anything wrong. As long as he kept his hand still, and did not start stroking her or anything, then maybe she could just leave well enough alone. It was, after all, very nice – ‘and very exciting – ‘to have his hand there...

They watched an episode of Vikings, and Kelly did not move his left hand at all, except for one occasion when he raised it to his face to briefly rub the side of his nose. When he returned it to Melanie’s thigh, it landed almost exactly in the same place, only this time his fingertips were tucked a little further between her thighs, and both his pinky and ring fingers were now pressing gently against her labia through the thin material of her panties.

Melanie’s whole face became flushed and hot, but still she did not say anything. The rest of the episode went by in a bit of a blur, but Kelly’s hand did not make any further moves. Afterwards, however, he gave her thigh a light squeeze with both hands. “Time for bed, I guess,” he said, lifting his hands up so she could get up. “How’s your back feeling?”

“Not great,” she admitted.

“Why don’t you let me give you a quick massage?” Kelly suggested. “I guarantee it’ll make you feel a little better, at least.”

Melanie shivered. She was not at all sure what Richard would say about this ... but after all, it was only a massage... “All right,” she said. “Just a quick one.”

“Okay!” said Kelly. “Well, in lieu of a massage table, shall we use this sofa? It’s not ideal, since you’ll be on a slight slope, but we’ll manage.”

“Would a bed be better?” asked Melanie. “There’s a single in the spare room.”

“Perfect!” said Kelly. “Now, do you have any baby oil?”

Melanie’s cheeks turned a little pink. “Is that necessary?”

“It allows the hands to slide more easily over the skin,” said Kelly. “I can manage without.”

“We do have some,” Melanie admitted. “I’ll have to try and sneak into my bedroom and retrieve it without disturbing Richard.” She hesitated, and bit her lip. “You’re not going to try anything ... naughty ... are you?”

Kelly looked a little shocked. “Of course not!” he said. “My only goal here is to loosen up your back and ease your aches and pains.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, feeling relieved, and a little guilty for having expressed doubt in his motives. “Sorry – ‘it’s just that massages are necessarily a bit ... intimate. You know? I’m just a little apprehensive.”

“I totally understand,” said Kelly sympathetically. “But I assure you, you’re safe in my hands.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, with a slightly awkward smile.

As she ascended the stairs ahead of Kelly, Melanie was aware that his head was roughly on the same level as her bottom. It was exciting to think that he was probably checking her out, and even more exciting to think that he would soon be doing so again while massaging her back.

She slipped into her bedroom, and managed to find the baby oil without waking Richard. Tiptoeing out of the room, she gave it to Kelly.

“Thanks,” he whispered. “I’ll just go and warm this up. I’ll be right back – ‘you go ahead and lie down. And take off your top.”

“Oh!” said Melanie anxiously, as Kelly headed downstairs. Now that she thought about it, an oil massage would not be practical with her top still on ... but the thought of wearing only her panties while Kelly was massaging her... She shivered.

She switched the light on in the spare room, and walked over to the bed. Kelly would be back very soon; if she was going to take off her top without him seeing, she would have to do so quickly.

Taking a deep breath, she pulled her tank top up and over her head. Draping it over the back of a chair, she lay down on the bed on her front, her large breasts squishing beneath her. She was now naked but for her panties, and Kelly was about to enter the room to give her a massage. Was she crazy??

But she had little time to reconsider. She heard footsteps on the stairs, and a moment later, footsteps in the room. “Okay!” said Kelly, pulling over a chair and placing a little bowl of warm baby oil on the seat. “Let’s get started.” He sat down on the edge of the bed next to Melanie, and dipped his fingers into the oil.

Melanie jumped a little as she felt his oily hands touch the bare skin of her back, between her shoulder blades. Then she felt the firm pressure of his palms, pushing outward from her spine, then up towards her shoulders, then back to the middle. Then up her spine towards her neck, outward to her shoulders, then down again, and back to her spine. His touch was unhurried, assured, firm, and yet gentle. She found her anxiety at her near-nudity beginning to evaporate, and her whole body beginning to relax.

Kelly was finding little knots of tension in Melanie’s shoulders, and the muscles running down both sides of her spine were as tight as zip-lines. He focused his attention on these areas, and they soon began to soften.

“Oh my God,” Melanie murmured. “That feels so good...” But when he went down to the small of her back, and worked on the musculature there, she actually moaned with pleasure. It was a very sexual-sounding moan, and she was instantly mortified. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” she said.

“For what?” asked Kelly. “For enjoying the massage? That moan itself was a valuable release of tension; you certainly don’t need to apologise for it. Moan all you like.”

“I just didn’t want you thinking it was a sign of sexual arousal,” said Melanie, blushing to the roots of her hair.

“I didn’t,” said Kelly, “but so what if it was? There are lots of erogenous zones on the human body, and massages inevitably hit a few of them. Arousal is a natural consequence, and nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Good to know,” said Melanie, “but ... oh my God ... Kelly, you’re super good at this... I feel like I’m melting into a puddle on the bed.”

“Can you turn your head the other way please?” said Kelly. “I need to do the other side of your neck.”

“Sure,” said Melanie, complying.

“Now, I hope you won’t take this the wrong way,” said Kelly, “but would you like me to massage your butt?”

Melanie tensed up a little. “I don’t think so, Kelly,” she said. “This is supposed to be just a back massage.”

“Understood,” he said, “and that’s perfectly fine. The only reason I ask is that your glutes are part of your pelvic muscle complex, and massaging them can relieve lower back pain. If your back pain is solely because of the weight of your breasts putting pressure on your upper back muscles, then it’s probably not necessary. I just brought it up because you have quite a bit of tension in your lower back as well.”

“Oh,” said Melanie, relieved to learn he had a valid reason for asking, and annoyed with herself for not trusting him. “Well ... if you think it would be helpful...”

“Okay!” said Kelly. “Let’s just get these panties off, then...” He took hold of the sides of her panties, and began to pull them down.

Melanie squealed, and reached back with her right hand, catching her panties before more than an inch of her buttock cleavage had been exposed. “I didn’t realise you were going to take my panties off!” she said in alarm.

“Oh,” said Kelly. “Sorry. It doesn’t make much sense for me to rub baby oil into your panties, though.”

“It’s fine,” said Melanie, flustered. “But maybe on second thoughts we’ll skip the butt massage this time.”

“Sure,” said Kelly. “Whatever you like. How does your back feel?”

“Wonderful,” Melanie admitted. “You have magic hands, Kelly. I didn’t realise how badly I needed a massage until now.”

“Well I’m happy to do it again, any time,” said Kelly. “I’ll give you some privacy to put your top back on. Do you want to go through the bathroom first, or shall I...?”

“You go ahead,” said Melanie.

He left the room, and Melanie closed her eyes. She felt supremely relaxed. The massage had felt so good... And she might still be enjoying it now, if she had not panicked over Kelly pulling her panties down. She sighed. Then she turned herself over, and sat up.

“Oh wow,” she muttered, immediately noticing a difference in the way her muscles felt. She arched her back, then twisted it this way and that. It felt so loose! So flexible! She giggled happily, then murmured, “Best. Lodger. Ever.”

In bed ten minutes later, with her hand in her panties, she imagined Kelly pulling her panties all the way off while she lay on her front. She pictured him massaging her buttocks, then reaching down between her thighs to massage her pussy. “A pussy massage can really help condition the abdominal muscle complex,” she imagined him saying. It was an exciting image, and soon she was writhing and moaning softly in a wonderful orgasm.

Richard, lying next to her, fortunately did not even stir.

DAY 5

The following morning, Melanie got up and went through her usual routine. When she emerged from the bathroom, she was a little surprised not to find Kelly waiting outside. Back in her bedroom, she put on a clean white tank top and a pair of pink lacy panties, then she headed downstairs.

“Good morning Melanie!” said Kelly with a smile. “Crêpes?”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “Yes please. Just one though. I’ll make some coffee.”

“No need,” said Kelly. “It’s already made. I got up early so I could make crêpes for Richard.”

“Oh, I’m sure he was thrilled with that!” said Melanie, chuckling.

“He did seem quite pleased,” Kelly acknowledged. “How’s your back?”

“Wonderful!” said Melanie with a happy sigh. “I may just request a massage every night!” She laughed.

“It would be my pleasure to give you one every night,” said Kelly, smiling. “I like your panties today, by the way.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie, blushing. The reminder that her panties were on full display made her feel both embarrassed and a little tingly.

She sat down, and once Kelly had finished making her crêpe, he brought it over and set it down in front of her. “Mmm, that looks delicious,” she said. She cut off the end with her fork, and popped it in her mouth. “Mmmm...”

“Have you thought any more about whether you want me to take some sexy photos of you, for Richard?” asked Kelly.

Melanie bit her lip. It certainly was an exiting idea, but she was not quite sure if she would be doing it for Richard, or for Kelly... “Where and when did you want to do it?” she asked.

“I thought we could take some by the river,” said Kelly. “Maybe tomorrow morning? I have a late start tomorrow. The rest, I think, we could do in the spare bedroom – ‘it’s a nice room with plenty of light, and not much in the way of clutter. This evening, perhaps. Then we’ll have the whole weekend to put the album together. We can use your printer – ‘I’ve checked and there’s plenty of ink, except for yellow, which I can pick up today at lunchtime.”

“You’ve really thought this through!” said Melanie. She hesitated, butterflies fluttering around in her stomach. “All right ... let’s give it a try.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly with a smile. “In the meantime, have you decided which skirt you’re going to wear today?”

Melanie shivered. “Yes ... the dark grey one, I think. God knows what my colleagues will say!”

“I’m sure they’ll be very complimentary,” said Kelly. “But in case they aren’t, I suggest you take a longer one as a backup.”

“Good idea!” said Melanie. “Thanks Kelly.”

“You’re welcome,” said Kelly. “I’m going to make myself a sandwich. Would you like me to make one for you too?”

“Yes please!” said Melanie. “You make wonderful sandwiches.”

As Kelly worked on the sandwiches, Melanie finished her crêpe and drank her coffee. Then she said, “How are your studies going?”

“Pretty good, thank you,” said Kelly. “My courses this semester include the history of photography, censorship in the media, studio television production, and digital media technology.”

“Quite a variety!” said Melanie.

“Yes,” agreed Kelly. “Some parts are more interesting than others, of course. The history of photography requires a great deal of reading, which is not my favourite thing, being dyslexic.”

“I didn’t know you were dyslexic!” said Melanie.

“Yup,” said Kelly, nodding. “I haven’t let it hold me back, though.” He grinned.

They continued to chat for a while, until Kelly suddenly noticed the time. “Oh, I’d better get going,” he said. “Please excuse me.”

“Of course,” said Melanie.

Kelly went upstairs to brush his teeth, and Melanie sighed to herself, thinking about how amazing he was. When he came back down, a few minutes later, he was ready to leave. “Well, I’m off,” he said. “Have a wonderful day, Melanie.”

Melanie got to her feet, smiling. “You too, Kelly,” she said. “And once again, thank you for everything you do for us.”

“It’s my pleasure,” said Kelly. “I love you and Richard – ‘and I love being here. I’m happy to be able to help you guys out in any way I can.”

“Well, we love you too,” said Melanie, smiling and blushing. Impulsively, she spread her arms and stepped towards him for a hug.

Smiling, he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her in close. Melanie closed her eyes, feeling the pressure of his hand in the small of her back; the warmth of his breath on her neck. Seconds passed ... and then more seconds. When they finally disengaged, Melanie’s cheeks were quite flushed, and she was a little breathless.

“Well, I’d better get going,” he said. “Bye Melanie.” He leaned forward, and gave her a quick kiss on her cheek. “Have a good day.”

Melanie’s eyes widened. “Um, you too!” she said, flustered. As he went to the front door, she raised her hand to her cheek, touching with her fingertips the spot he had just kissed. Then she shook herself. “Get a grip, Melanie,” she muttered. It had just been a friendly peck on the cheek; it had not meant anything. Had it...?

Then, as she heard Kelly starting his car outside, Melanie noticed that he had left his sandwich container on the counter. She gasped, grabbed the container, and ran to the front door. As she was hurrying down the front steps, she saw his car drive past along the short driveway. “Kelly!” she cried out, but the car did not stop.

Cursing, she reached the bottom of the steps, then chased after the car, waving her arms. Still it did not stop, though it slowed a little as it reached the end of the driveway, before turning right and starting to accelerate.

“Kelly!” Melanie shrieked, running out into the road and waving both arms.

Kelly’s car suddenly came to a stop. Melanie ran over to it, and stopped beside the driver’s door as Kelly lowered the window. “You forgot this!” she panted, handing him the container.

“Oh!” he said, taking it. “Thank you!” Then he looked down at her panties. “I can’t believe you came all the way out here in your panties, though! I’m very impressed!”

“Oh God, I know!” she said, anxiously looking around. The Seagroves’ house directly across the road looked empty; both cars were missing from their driveway.

“Relax,” said Kelly, amused. “You’ll hear any car coming long before it appears. You’ll have plenty of time to get inside.”

“I guess so,” admitted Melanie. “Well, I should...”

“You know, Melanie,” said Kelly, “I hope you didn’t mind me giving you a peck on the cheek before I left the house. It’s just ... I feel like in the short time we’ve known each other, we’ve become pretty close friends. But if it made you at all uncomfortable...”

“No!” said Melanie quickly. “No, it was fine. But I should really get inside...”

“Of course,” said Kelly. “Sorry. Well, see you this evening!”

Melanie stepped back as Kelly drove away. Then she hurried back to the house, sighing with relief as she closed the front door behind her. She could hardly believe that she had just been out on the road in nothing but a tank top and panties. And she had got away with it!

Heading upstairs, she took off her tank top, and put on a pink blouse, along with the dark grey miniskirt. She left the top four buttons undone, which left a large area of her chest exposed. Feeling rather anxious about this, she pulled the two halves of her blouse together and fastened the lowest undone button, which was just below the level of her nipples. This tightened the blouse considerably, so that her breasts strained against the material, threatening to pop the button. Reluctantly, she unfastened it again, and her blouse gaped once more.

The skirt was alarmingly short, and she almost chickened out and went with a knee-length skirt instead. But she thought about everything Kelly had said, and this gave her courage. She really did not want to disappoint him. In fact, she was feeling such a strong desire to impress him that she almost decided to put on an even shorter skirt instead. But then she thought better of it.

On the drive to work, she became increasingly nervous. What would her colleagues say? Parking her car, she walked quickly to the library, feeling very self-conscious about her uncovered legs. She was glad to get off the street and into the building, but it was not long before she was spotted by Pam. Her heart sank as the older woman’s eyes flicked downward, and widened in shock.

“Damn, Melanie!” said Pam.

“Oh God!” groaned Melanie. “I know! I’m sorry! I did bring a longer one; I’ll go and change.”

Pam laughed. “Melanie, stop panicking,” she said. “Your skirt is fine. It’s just a shock to see you in such a sexy outfit, after years of long pants!”

“Oh!” said Melanie, and she heaved a sigh of relief. “It’s not too short, then?”

“Honey, you look great,” said Pam. “And look at that cleavage! Whoa – ‘wait – ‘you’re not wearing a bra?”

“No,” confessed Melanie, crossing her arms across her chest. “Oh God ... I’m sorry! It was kind of the least of several evils. I didn’t have a vest to match this skirt, so Kelly said I should go without one. But it’s my vests that hide the fact that my blouses are too small for my boobs! They look really squished and like they’re going to burst out of my blouse ... unless I undo my buttons all the way to below my boobs ... but if I’m wearing a bra, then my boobs look like they’re spilling out, and half my bra’s showing, and...”

Pam held up her hands. “All right, all right!” she said, chuckling. “But Melanie, can’t you just wear a bigger blouse? Or, I don’t know, another kind of top that has a little more give in it?”

“Bigger blouses look like bags on me,” sighed Melanie. “I have narrow shoulders. I suppose I could wear a different kind of top, but I like the formality of a nice office-style blouse.”

“You may have to concede that the style isn’t the best fit for you,” said Pam.

Melanie nodded ruefully. “I’ll try and figure something out for tomorrow. What shall I do for today, though?”

Pam laughed. “Melanie, you’re fine as you are. Sure, you’re showing a lot of chest, but I don’t care about that. And do you think Myron will? Or Renny? Wear a blouse today, wear one tomorrow ... wear one whenever you like. To be honest, it’s an improvement over the old combo, and you’re rocking it, seriously. If you can come up with a better outfit, great – ‘but don’t feel you have to on my account.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie gratefully. “I do feel very exposed, but it helps to know that you’re not judging me...”

“No siree,” said Pam, smiling. “No judgment here. And I’m sure the construction workers down the street will be very happy to see you when you go to Hamm’s Sandwich at lunchtime.”

Melanie felt a momentary stab of panic, until she remembered that she had brought her own sandwich. “Kelly made me a sandwich,” she said, relieved. “I don’t have to go anywhere at lunch.”

“Looks like you’re all set then,” said Pam.

“Yes,” agreed Melanie. “Well, I’d better get on with my scanning. Oh, but there’s one more thing...”

“Yes?” said Pam.

“Kelly bought me a bunch of new skirts for work,” said Melanie. “Which I still need to pay him back for, actually... Anyway, this is one of the longer ones...”

Pam laughed. “This Kelly sounds like he’s up to no good!”

“Oh but he’s not like that, really,” said Melanie earnestly. “I mean, yes, I think he has a bit of a crush on me, which is super flattering. But he’s tireless in his efforts to help out both Richard and me ... and he’s been working so hard to build up my self-confidence and my body positivity. Clearly I’ve got some way to go, but I’d never have been able to wear a miniskirt to work if it hadn’t been for him. And he’s teaching me not to be ashamed of my big boobs, which I’ve always regarded as a curse...”

“Wow!” said Pam, impressed. “Well in that case, you can include me in the Kelly fan club. I didn’t know you had these body image issues, but I’m very happy to hear that he’s helping you with them. And heck, if you want to wear even shorter skirts, then go ahead! Just be prepared to mop up the drool that Myron and Renny leave behind.”

“They can mop up their own drool!” Melanie retorted.

“That’s the spirit!” laughed Pam.

Feeling much better about her outfit, Melanie went to the printer room and resumed her scanning work. By eleven o’clock she had finished the last batch, so she went to the kitchen for a celebratory mug of coffee. On her way back to her office, she was surprised to encounter Lynette Padbury, the collections manager.

She was not nearly as surprised as Lynette, however. “Melanie!” Lynette exclaimed, looking her up and down. “What are you ... I mean, what the heck are you wearing?”

Melanese cheeks turned bright red. “Hi Lynette!” she said. “I wasn’t expecting you to be here today. I thought you were out until next week?”

“So this is what you wear when I’m not around?” Lynette inquired.

“No!” said Melanie, folding her arms across her chest. “I’ve never worn anything this skimpy before. I have this friend who’s been encouraging me to be more body-positive, and show a bit more skin.”

“Well that’s a lot more skin!” said Lynette. “And I don’t think it’s very appropriate for a public library! I know you don’t really have a public-facing role, but you still occasionally do interact with members of the public, and your outfit is entirely too sexy for that!”

“What’s going on?” asked Renny Silverman, emerging from his office. “Whoa! Melanie!”

It was now two against one, and Melanie’s nerve failed. “Oh God!” she groaned. “I knew this outfit was a bad idea!”

“Well let’s not go making assumptions,” said Renny, staring at her legs. “I’m just surprised to see you dressed like this. What’s gotten into you?”

“My friend Kelly has been trying to get me to be more positive about my body,” explained Melanie miserably. “I’ve always been kind of ashamed of it, but he’s really built me up over the past few days, and he convinced me it would be okay to dress like this. But who am I kidding? I should just go back to wearing pants.”

“Whoa, hold up there a minute!” said Renny. “I personally think you look fantastic, Melanie. It’s a surprise to see you like this, sure ... but it’s a good surprise! Who knew you were hiding away such an incredible figure?”

Melanie blushed. “Thank you,” she said. “You’re very kind.”

“I mean it,” said Renny. “And I think it’s awesome that you have a supportive friend who’s helping you get over your hang-ups. I’m certainly not going to stand in the way of your progress ... in fact I’d like to help, if I can.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie gratefully. “Pam said much the same, earlier.”

“Pam is a smart woman,” said Renny.

“But Renny!” Lynette protested. “You can’t seriously think this is an appropriate outfit for a public library!”

“It’s not indecent,” argued Renny. “And it’s not like she’s on the front desk. She’s our archivist! But even if she were interfacing directly with the public, I would still sign off on her outfit. Body positivity is a good message to project. And so, frankly, is being supportive of a colleague’s personal struggles. Lynette – ‘be more like Pam.”

“Ugh, this is ridiculous!” said Lynette, scowling. “You just want to enjoy getting an eyeful of Melanie’s boobs and legs.”

Renny frowned. “Lynette, I suggest you tread carefully. I admire candour in my staff, but there’s a line between candid and insulting.”

Lynette seemed to realise she had gone too far. “I apologise,” she said stiffly. “I guess it’s none of my concern. Wear what you like, Melanie.” Then she turned, and marched away.

“Oh dear!” said Melanie anxiously. “I never meant to cause any friction!”

“You let me worry about Lynette,” said Renny soothingly. “She doesn’t decide the dress code around here; I do. And I say your outfit is just fine. Though I must admit, I’m curious why you’re not wearing a bra...”

Melanie took a deep breath, and then launched into an explanation of the problems she had with the tightness of blouses that did not swamp her shoulders. Renny listened patiently, and nodded.

“Well, now that I understand the issue,” he said, “it makes perfect sense. And I feel even more justified in approving your outfit. Your large breasts present some sartorial challenges, obviously, and it would not be fair for me, or anyone, to judge you for an outfit which would go unremarked-upon if your breasts were smaller.”

“Thank you!” said Melanie in relief. “That means a lot to me, Renny. I really appreciate your support. I was regretting letting Kelly talk me into wearing this outfit today ... but now I’m feeling like it’s okay.”

“It’s more than okay,” said Renny. “You look amazing! You should be proud of how you look. I’m sure Lynette’s just envious, frankly.”

Melanie blushed again. “You know...” she said, hesitantly, “Kelly bought me a bunch of skirts, and some are even shorter than this one. How would you feel about...”

“Feel free!” said Renny. “I’m happy to let you explore your newfound self-confidence. There’s a limit, of course, to how much skin I can let you show, but I’ll let you know when you’ve reached it. And of course, needless to say, when you do reach it, I won’t shame you for it. I’ll just say ‘Hey, perhaps we’ve got to that point, you know? Dial it back a bit?’“

“Thanks Renny,” said Melanie. “Believe it or not, I’m really feeling quite exposed and embarrassed in this outfit! But I’m trying to feel positive about it ... and you and Pam are really helping.”

“Good!” said Renny. “I’m glad. Okay then. Enjoy the rest of your day.” He went back into his office, and Melanie returned to hers.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Myron was out, which was a bit of a shame; of all of her colleagues, he was the one most likely to give her positive feedback on her outfit. But by the time her workday ended, Melanie was feeling quite a bit more relaxed about how she looked.

Leaving the library was like stepping into an oven. “Jeez!” she muttered, pulling out her phone to check the current temperature. It was 91 degrees. “Ugh,” she said. For the first time today, she was actually glad her legs were uncovered. She would have been roasting in one of her usual outfits.

Driving home, she found Kelly in the process of dishing up the chicken Alfredo he had made for dinner. He was wearing a pair of shorts, and not much else as far as she could tell. She could hardly blame him; it was uncomfortably warm in the kitchen.

“Hi Kelly,” she said. “That smells good!”

“Hi Melanie!” he replied with a smile. “I would hug you, but I’m kinda sweaty here!”

“That’s okay,” said Melanie a little ruefully. “I’m so sorry we don’t have air-conditioning in this house; I’ve been badgering Richard about it for years!”

“No worries!” said Kelly. “I hope you don’t mind me being topless, though – ‘I was drenching my t-shirt...”

“Not at all!” said Melanie quickly. “You have a very nice ... top half.” Then she blushed crimson, kicking herself at the clumsy compliment.

Kelly laughed. “You’re very kind to say so, Melanie,” he said. “I know I need to work on my pecs a bit ... well, a lot ... but I’m moderately proud of my abs.”

“Lucky you,” said Melanie enviously. “I don’t think I even have any abs.”

“Sure you do,” said Kelly with a chuckle. “But if you want them to look better, I can help you with that.”

“I might take you up on that!” she said, smiling. “Anyway, I’m just going to run upstairs and change.”

“Okay,” said Kelly. “Dinner’s ready when you are.”

Melanie left the kitchen, and climbed the stairs. As she entered her bedroom, she found Richard lying there in nothing but his jockey shorts, typing on his phone while being cooled by a fan standing next to the bed. He looked up, smiling ... and then his jaw dropped. “Holy cow!” he said. “You went to work like that??”

“Yes,” Melanie admitted sheepishly. “I can’t believe I went through with it ... but on the whole, my colleagues were very good and supportive about it.”

“Jeez, Mel!” said Richard, impressed. “You must have felt very naked! I’m kind of amazed you got through the whole day like that. Well done!”

“Thanks,” said Melanie, blushing. “Anyway, Kelly’s just dishing up...”

“Oh, dinner’s ready?” said Richard, climbing off the bed and putting on a pair of shorts. “Excellent. I’ll go and do drinks.”

He left the room, and Melanie stripped down to her panties. She put on her tank top from that morning, put away her blouse and skirt, and headed back downstairs.

As the three of them sat down to dinner, Kelly said, “So how did it go today, Melanie? How did your colleagues react to your outfit?”

“Mostly they were very supportive,” said Melanie, with a little shiver. “One of them, Lynette, thought I was underdressed. But my boss was very good about it, and I guess he’s the one that matters. He even said he’d be fine with me wearing shorter skirts.”

“Shorter??” said Richard. “You have shorter skirts than the one you wore today?”

Melanie nodded. “A couple, yes.”

“I bought a variety of different lengths,” said Kelly.

“Wow,” said Richard, and he chuckled. “Well I hope you don’t give poor old Myron a heart attack! My goodness, you have come a long way in a short time, haven’t you?”

“I guess so,” admitted Melanie. “I’m still not used to going around with so much skin on display though.”

“Well at the moment,” remarked Kelly with a wry smile, “you’re actually showing less than we men are!”

Melanie smirked. “True ... but I can’t go topless like you can.”

“Would you like to?” inquired Kelly. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind. I’m sure you’re uncomfortably warm.”

“I’m okay thanks!” said Melanie, slightly alarmed at the idea.

“Aren’t you uncomfortable, though?” Kelly asked. “It’s very humid, after all, and you do look you’re feeling a bit hot and sticky.”

“I suspect it’s more a matter of modesty than comfort,” said Richard. “Am I right, Melanie?”

“Yes,” she said, grateful for her husband’s support.

“Understandable,” said Kelly, nodding, “though I hate to think my presence is preventing you from dressing for comfort. I know I was just a stranger a few days ago, but already I feel like I’m part of your family. I hope that doesn’t sound weird. But the two of you have just welcomed me into your home and your lives...”

“It doesn’t sound weird at all!” said Richard eagerly. “We both feel like you’re part of our family, too – ‘don’t we, Melanie?”

“Oh yes!” said Melanie. “Definitely.”

“Oh good!” said Kelly, relieved. “I had sensed that there was a comfort level, between us all ... and for a moment I was wondering if I’d been imagining it.”

“No, no, I feel it too,” said Richard.

“Me too, obviously,” said Melanie. “I certainly feel like we’ve become very close in a short time.”

Richard looked at Melanie. “Darling,” he said, “you know, Kelly’s right – ‘it’s silly for you to suffer discomfort from the heat, just for the sake of modesty, when Kelly’s become part of our family. If you’re hot, why don’t you just slip off that top?”

It was now two against one, and Melanie began to feel rather flustered. “Um,” she said, her cheeks turning red, “you really don’t have a problem with me being topless in front of Kelly?”

“Not at all!” said Richard expansively. “Like I said, he’s family.”

“And the fact that you have breasts shouldn’t disqualify you from being as comfortable as we are,” added Kelly.

“A very good point,” said Richard.

The two men were looking at Melanie so expectantly that she started to feel like she would be somehow insulting Kelly if she kept her top on. “All right,” she said in a small, nervous voice. She put down her fork, and began to pull up her tank top.

“Good girl,” said Kelly, and he licked his lips. Perhaps he could feel a bit of Alfredo sauce on them.

Melanie’s breasts now came into full view, as she pulled her top up over her head. “My goodness!” said Kelly. “Your breasts are beautiful, Melanie!”

Melanie quickly folded up her top, and set it on the corner of the table. Then she folded her arms across her breasts. “Thank you,” she said quietly.

“I’ve been telling her that for years,” Richard said to Kelly. “But she never believes me.”

“Because I know you like small breasts!” said Melanie defensively. “All your favourite actresses have petite chests.”

“Then perhaps you’ll believe a second opinion?” suggested Kelly. “I love big boobs, and yours are exceptionally lovely.”

Melanie blushed. “Maybe I’m too hard on myself,” she conceded.

“There you go,” said Richard. “But you can’t eat your meal with your arms folded like that.”

“No indeed,” said Kelly. “I suggest you take a couple of deep breaths, relax, and lower your arms. Think of it as the next step in getting yourself more comfortable with your body.”

Melanie reluctantly unfolded her arms, and picked up her fork again. Anxious to change the topic of conversation, she said, “The Alfredo’s delicious, Kelly.”

“Thank you,” said Kelly. “It’s a recipe I picked up in Arizona, of all places. I was staying with an old middle school friend of mine, Armando, whose mom is – ‘I swear – ‘THE most Italian woman you could imagine...”

As he talked, Melanie was glad the focus of attention was no longer on her, but she was still feeling highly mortified to be sitting at the dinner table with her breasts completely exposed.

After the meal, Richard said, “How about another game?”

“Castle Panic again?” inquired Kelly.

“I was actually thinking about Bocce,” said Richard. “It’s still light out.”

“Not for long!” said Melanie.

“One game won’t take long,” said Richard. “Do you know how to play, Kelly?”

“Indeed I do,” said Kelly. “And I know the front yard is a little flatter than the back, but may I suggest that we play out back? Then none of us has to put our tops back on.”

“Good idea,” said Richard, getting to his feet. “Come on then – ‘the dishes can wait.”

Melanie stood up slowly, looking longingly at her folded-up tank top. “Don’t you think I should put this back on...?” she inquired plaintively.

“What would be the point?” asked Kelly. “It’s still hot out there. Don’t worry – ‘nobody will see you from the road.”

Melanie nodded with resignation. “I guess you’re right,” she said unhappily. Wearing nothing but her lacy panties, therefore, she followed Richard and Kelly outside. She was acutely aware that Kelly could now see her bare pudgy belly for the first time, and she was feeling very anxious about that. He had not said anything; what did he think?

As they played, she caught him staring at her naked breasts a few times, and once he seemed to be checking out her belly. But his expression gave away no sign of his opinion.

The sun set early in the game, but the light held until Richard managed to clinch his sixteenth point. “Thanks for the game!” he said. “Better luck next time.”

“How’s your back, Melanie?” Kelly asked in concern.

Melanie paused in the act of rubbing her lower back muscles. “It could be better,” she admitted. “It doesn’t really like those longer throws.”

“Would you like another massage later?” he inquired.

“Yes please!” she said happily. She had been hoping he would offer; the memory of last night’s wonderful massage still burned brightly.

“Another massage?” echoed Richard in surprise. “When was the first??”

“Last night,” said Kelly. “Melanie’s back was hurting, so I gave her a massage. I hope that’s all right with you. She really needed it. Hey – ‘would you like one? I’d be more than happy to sort out any aches and pains you might have.”

Richard laughed. “Thanks for the offer, Kelly, but no – ‘I have a comprehensive stretching routine that I go through each morning, and I run a couple of miles every weekday. That keeps me in shape and free from aches and pains. But Melanie’s suffered from back pains as long as I’ve known her, so please, if you can help her with that, go ahead! You don’t need my permission.”

“Well, massages necessarily involve some pretty intimate contact,” said Kelly. “I would completely understand if you had an issue with that.”

“Fair enough,” said Richard, nodding, “but if this is genuinely helping Melanie’s back, then I wholeheartedly support it.”

“Thanks darling!” said Melanie gratefully.

“I would like to run something else past you though, Richard,” said Kelly. “I wanted to massage Melanie’s butt, but she said no...”

“Her butt?” Richard raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Why?”

“The musculature in the buttocks connects to the lower back,” Kelly explained. “Also the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back, passes through the buttocks, so a butt massage can relieve or even prevent sciatica. There are benefits to bladder and bowel function, metabolism, digestion ... even breathing. It can relieve hip and back pain ... seriously, there’s a whole host of benefits.”

“Well heck!” said Richard, impressed. “You really know your stuff! By all means go ahead and massage Melanie’s butt, then, if she gets all that from it.”

“He wanted to take off my panties, though!” said Melanie.

“I was using baby oil, to reduce the friction of my hands,” said Kelly. “An oil massage has to be done on bare skin; it would be unproductive to massage oil into clothing.”

“That makes sense,” said Richard. “Well darling, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a butt massage, it sounds like you’ll have to get over your embarrassment about showing your naked butt to Kelly.”

Melanie’s cheeks reddened. She could hardly believe that her husband had just given Kelly permission to massage her naked bottom. She found herself becoming quite excited, though also quite anxious, at the prospect.

Inside, Melanie began loading the dishwasher, while Richard and Kelly went downstairs for a game of eight-ball. They were just finishing their first game when Melanie joined them. Kelly smiled to see that she was still wearing only her panties.

But she shivered. “It’s cooler down here,” she said. “I think I’ll go and put on my top.”

“A bit of physical activity will soon warm you up,” said Kelly cheerfully. “Shall we switch to ping pong?”

“Sure!” said Richard.

“I’ll sit out the first game,” said Kelly. “You two go ahead.”

He happily watched Melanie’s bouncing breasts as she played against Richard, eventually winning the game 11-9. At this point Richard handed Kelly his bat. “You take over,” he said. “I’m going to call it a night. Have fun!”

“Goodnight Richard,” said Kelly.

“Goodnight darling!” said Melanie.

Richard kissed his wife good night, then he left the room and went upstairs. Kelly stepped up to the table. “Ready for a spanking?” he asked mischievously.

“You wish!” Melanie retorted, and then she grinned. Now that she was alone with Kelly, curiously she felt a little more at ease with being topless.

“First, though,” said Kelly, “can we talk just briefly about your belly?”

“Oh,” said Melanie, her face falling. “Yes...”

“It’s not perfect,” said Kelly simply.

“No,” Melanie agreed sadly.

“So fucking what?” said Kelly. “Why does every part of your body have to be perfect? Your breasts are beautiful, your legs are shapely, your ass is gorgeous, you have a very pretty face ... isn’t that more than enough? And it’s not like your belly is unsightly, anyway. It doesn’t sag, it doesn’t have stretch marks ... it’s just a little bit bulgy. And I happen to think that’s kinda cute, actually. All in all, it doesn’t detract from the fact that you are a beautiful woman.”

Melanie was rather stunned by this speech. But it made her happy; very happy indeed. She put down her bat and the ball, which immediately began to roll off the table. Coming around the corner of the table, Melanie approached Kelly with tears in her eyes, opening her arms for a hug. “I’ve been so afraid to show you my belly,” she whispered, as he took her into his arms. “Thank you Kelly ... thank you.”

He held her close, stroking her hair with one hand, and caressing the small of her back with the other. Melanie, her breasts squished against Kelly’s stomach, found herself hoping he would start kissing her passionately. But she quickly dismissed this thought; it would be a terrible disaster if she had an affair with Kelly. Richard might be touchingly naive in his willingness to expose her body to Kelly, but his faith in her was not misplaced. She loved her husband, and intended to remain completely loyal to him.

Kelly disengaged, bending down to softly kiss her cheek, twice, barely half an inch from her mouth. Then he pulled back, and smiled at her. “I wouldn’t change a thing about you,” he said. “If, however, you want to tighten up your belly, I am certainly willing to help you do that. It’s one of the easiest things to fix.”

“Hmm!” said Melanie. “I might just take you up on that. I’m guessing it would involve some kind of fitness routine...”

“Crunches,” said Kelly. “Lots and lots and lots of crunches. They’re not particularly fun, but with determination and plenty of motivation from an exercise partner, you’ll start seeing results pretty quickly.”

“I like the sound of that!” said Melanie excitedly. “Maybe we could start tomorrow?”

“Sure!” said Kelly. “Shall we play?”

Melanie looked around for the ball. “Um,” she said, “do you see the ball anywhere?”

“It rolled off the table,” said Kelly. “It’s probably under the sofa.”

Melanie shivered. “I’ll check,” she said. Then she added, playfully, “I suppose you’ll want me to take my time about it, so you can take photos?”

Kelly grinned. “Well I don’t yet have any photos of your ass in those pretty lace panties,” he said.

Melanie chuckled, then she got down on her knees and elbows, and peered beneath the sofa. “Excellent,” said Kelly, behind her. “What a beautiful sight. Could you possibly just rotate your pelvis away from me a bit...?”

Not quite sure what he meant, Melanie began undulating her hips. But Kelly laid a hand on her left buttock, stopping her. “No,” he said. “Uh, do you mind if I use my hands to position you for the photo?”

“Go ahead,” said Melanie, a little nervously.

Kelly placed one hand on the small of her back, then he tucked the other between her legs, cupping her pussy through her panties. As Melanie gasped in panic, he pressed down on her back, using both hands to rotate her entire pelvic region so that the gusset of her panties became oriented approximately vertically. “There,” he said, withdrawing his hands. “Hold that pose for a moment please.”

Melanie, her heart pounding, remained motionless as Kelly took his photos. He did not seem to even be aware that he had just groped her. Perhaps it did not count as a grope, if the reason was something innocent like positioning her for a photo...

“Do you mind if I make another small adjustment?” asked Kelly.

‘This is it,’ thought Melanie to herself. ‘He’s going to pull my panties aside, and shove his cock inside me.’ She was not totally sure what she would do if he did. But she was burning with curiosity to know what he was planning to do. “Go ahead,” she said in a small, breathless voice.

Then she felt her panties being gathered together and pulled between her buttocks. “I just wanted to see how you would look in a thong,” said Kelly. “The shortest of your new skirts – ‘the burgundy one – ‘is pretty tight, and you may need to wear a thong under it, to avoid visible panty-lines.” He continued to adjust her panties, tugging them this way and that until they were bunched together in the narrowest possible strip. “Hmm! Very nice! Such a lovely ass, Melanie. Let me just take another couple of photos...”

Melanie said nothing, but she was getting increasingly excited. And this was making her anxious; she was afraid Kelly would see the dampness spreading through the material.

“Okay, I’m done,” Kelly announced. “I’ll just pull your panties back out of your butt...”

Melanie felt him slide a couple of fingers between the flesh of her right buttock and the elastic seam of her panties. Hooking those fingers around the bunched-up material, he slid them down into the cleft between her buttocks, and she stifled a squeal as she briefly felt one of his knuckles brush against her anus.

Then she felt the leg seams of her panties contacting her buttocks in the usual places, and she relaxed a little. “All done?” she inquired, affecting mild impatience.

“Yup,” he replied. “Have you found the ball?”

“No,” she said. “It doesn’t seem to be under here.”

“Oh, I see it,” said Kelly. He retrieved the ball, while a very red-faced Melanie got to her feet.

“What now?” she asked. “You wanted to take some sexy photos for Richard’s album...?”

“In the spare bedroom, yes,” said Kelly, nodding. “We also talked about a massage. We have time for an episode of Vikings, too, if you fancy it. Which would you like to do first?”

Melanie was still feeling rather nervous about the idea of a sexy photo shoot; perhaps a nice massage might put her more in the mood. But then, she was a little nervous about that, too. “I’m a little out of breath,” she said. “Let’s relax in front of the TV for a bit.”

“Sure!” said Kelly. He followed her up the steps, then into the living room, where he sat down on the sofa. Melanie sat down too, then she swung her legs up on to his lap, and lay back. As she switched on the TV with the remote control, she smiled as she felt Kelly placing his hand on the uppermost part of her right thigh, with his fingers tucked between her thighs, pressing lightly against her panty-clad pussy.

She sighed happily as she loaded up Netflix. “I do enjoy our little TV-watching sessions, Kelly,” she said.

Kelly smiled, and patted and stroked her thigh. “Me too, Melanie,” he replied. When his hand came to rest, his fingers were lying not so much on her thigh as on the front of her panties. “Last episode ended quite excitingly, didn’t it? I must admit I’m very curious to see what happens next.”

Melanie’s cheeks were burning as she felt Kelly’s fingers practically cupping her pussy through her panties. She felt she ought to object, but she really did not want to spoil the moment. “Um, yes,” she said, trying not to sound breathless. “I’m glad you’re enjoying it. But I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to watch something else instead, for a change.”

Kelly shook his head, and settled his hand more firmly on her pussy. “No, honestly, I enjoy binge-watching. I’m happy to continue until we’re all caught up.”

“All right then,” said Melanie, both anxious and aroused at the feeling of Kelly’s hand cupping her pussy so brazenly. “Um ... Kelly...?” she said, intending to ask him to move his hand. She did not want him to move it, but it was the right thing to do.

“Yes?” said Kelly, smiling down at her warmly.

She chickened out. “Um, can I get you anything, before we start?” she asked. “Coffee? A snack?”

He chuckled, and gave her pussy an affectionate squeeze, followed by a couple of gentle strokes, as he said, “Thank you, but I’m good for the moment. Unless you’d like something? I can get you something if you like.”

“No, I’m fine thanks,” said Melanie, her heart beating rapidly as he continued to very subtly massage her pussy through her panties. “But ... um ... Kelly?”

“Yes?” Kelly’s hand stopped moving, and he raised an eyebrow.

Once again, her nerve failed her. “I’m not sure we’ve got time for a whole episode,” she said, “as well as a photo shoot and a massage. How about just half an episode?”

“Fine with me,” said Kelly.

“Okay, good.” Melanie started the episode, but she found it very hard to concentrate with Kelly’s hand on her pussy. Mostly he kept still, but sometimes he would gently stroke her through her panties for a little while. Perhaps, she told herself, he was just doing it absent-mindedly.

After twenty minutes, she hit pause. “Good place to stop?” she asked.

“Yup,” said Kelly, nodding. “Massage next?”

“Yes please!” said Melanie, smiling.

They got up from the sofa, and Kelly set about heating up some more baby oil while Melanie headed upstairs to the spare room. She lay down on her front, debating whether to take off her panties or not. On reflection, she decided that it would be best to leave them on; if Kelly came in and found her naked, he might mistake it for an invitation.

When Kelly entered the room, he set down his bowl of baby oil on the chair next to the bed, then said, “Melanie, do you mind if I take my shoes off and kneel on the bed, straddling you? The massage will be easier on my own back if I’m facing you straight on, as opposed to sitting on the edge of the bed and twisting my torso to face you.”

“Oh ... sure,” said Melanie. She could see the logic in his suggestion, but she was a little apprehensive about the fact that he would effectively be pinning her to the bed.

“I’ll also take my shorts off, if you don’t mind,” Kelly said, unbuckling his belt. “I don’t want to get oil on them.”

Melanie watched with wide eyes as he kicked off his shoes, then pulled his shorts down. “Um,” she said, “I guess that’s okay. I mean, you’ve seen me with nothing but panties on my bottom half for the past few days...”

“This is true,” agreed Kelly, climbing on top of her. He straddled her waist with his knees, then he leaned over and picked up the bowl of oil. Dribbling some on Melanie’s back, he began rubbing it into her skin as he set the bowl back down.

“Mmmm,” murmured Melanie as she felt Kelly’s hands kneading her aching muscles. “Oh yes ... so good...”

Once again, his hands were working magic on her back. His attention to detail was amazing; he seemed to find every tiny muscle fibre as he worked his way inward from her shoulders to her neck, and then down her spine, pausing to explore her shoulder blades, then continuing toward the small of her back. As he reached the base of her spine, he climbed off her.

“Right, let’s get these panties off, shall we?” he said. He took hold of the sides of her panties, and began to pull them down, exposing her buttocks.

Melanie bit her lip anxiously. She was not at all sure she was ready for this ... but the deep relaxation he had induced in her had sapped away any inclination to try and stop him. So she merely held her breath, as the waistband of her panties cleared the base of her buttocks and began travelling down her thighs.

Soon enough, he was pulling it past her ankles, and off her feet. Melanie was feeling a little light-headed. She was naked, and Kelly was about to massage her bottom. It was like some strange erotic dream.

Kelly poured over her bottom some warm baby oil, which immediately ran down into the cleft between them. He began to knead her flesh, focusing first on her left buttock, which he firmly massaged with both hands. This involved pressing both hands down on to the top of the buttock, pushing them forward, then spreading them apart and pulling them back around both sides of the buttock ... which meant his right hand was sliding directly along the cleft, his pinky finger rubbing against her anus.

This was such an unexpectedly intimate contact that Melanie gasped, but the motion was so swift that Kelly’s hands were already back to their starting point, and repeating the circular movement. Over and over again, Kelly’s finger slid over her anus, with such an assured firmness that Melanie began to think that this must simply be a standard feature of this kind of massage.

Kelly now moved on to her right buttock, and now it was the turn of his left hand to slide repeatedly over her anus. Melanie, her eyes closed, tried to savour the delicious sensation of her buttock muscles being efficiently kneaded by Kelly’s slippery hands ... but it was hard to ignore the embarrassingly thorough attention being paid to her anus.

“Almost done,” said Kelly, now pulling her buttocks apart and squishing them together. Then, grasping one buttock in each hand, he kneaded them back and forth asynchronously, so that the oil-lubed mounds of flesh slid slickly against each other. Finally, taking hold of the entirety of each buttock in turn, and squeezing his hands together, he pressed his thumbs from the base of the buttock, up and over the top, with the side of one hand sitting firmly against her anus. He repeated this motion three times for each buttock, then he withdrew his hands.

“And that’s it,” he said. “How did that feel?”

“It was very ... nice,” said Melanie hesitantly. “It was a bit more ... intimate ... than I was expecting...”

“Well, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s your butt,” said Kelly. “It’s bound to seem a little gropey, especially the first time. You’ll get used to it. Shall we move on to our photo session...?”

Melanie gulped. “What will I be wearing for this?” she asked.

“How about we start with nothing at all?” suggested. “Since that’s what you’re wearing right now, and this is after all supposed to be a sexy photo shoot.”

Melanie shivered. “I didn’t realise that meant nude photos...” she said. “But I guess it wouldn’t be too radical, given how I’ve been dressed this evening!”

“True,” agreed Kelly. “Wait there a second, and I’ll get my camera.” He left the room, and returned a moment later, carrying not only his camera, but also the little lamp from his bedside table. Setting the lamp down on top of a chest of drawers, he plugged it in and switched it on. “Can’t have too much lighting!” he said cheerfully. He also switched on the lamp by the bed. “Now. Our slogan for this shoot is going to be ‘sexy, but tasteful’.”

“Okay,” said Melanie cautiously. “That sounds good...”

Kelly knelt down about five feet from the bed, and raised his camera. Then he lowered it. “Hmm,” he said. “your ass and shoulder are glistening beautifully, but your arm and leg aren’t. Do you mind if I give them a quick rub with the baby oil?”

“Oh ... okay,” said Melanie.

Kelly poured a little oil on to her upper arm, and briskly rubbed it around, coating her arm from her shoulder down to her hand. Then he poured some on her thigh, and coated her entire leg in similar fashion. “Might as well do the other leg,” he said. His touch was deft and professional, giving no indication that he was simply using this as an excuse to cop a feel. Melanie caught herself feeling a little disappointed that he did not get closer to her pussy ... and she silently admonished herself for being silly.

Kelly now resumed his kneeling position. “Okay, prop yourself up on your elbows, and turn your head towards me,” he said. “Good, good. Now raise your right foot – ‘yup, and point your toes, please. Now smile – ‘wait ... can you flick your hair back on this side...? Good, perfect. And smile – ‘not a grin, just a seductive half-smile...” He took a couple of photos. “Beautiful! Richard will love these, I’m sure.”

“Can I see?” asked Melanie.

“Of course!” said Kelly, and he showed her both photos on the little camera screen.

“Sexy, but tasteful,” admitted Melanie. “Damn, Kelly – ‘I don’t know how you manage to make me look so good, but I kinda love it.”

“Next,” said Kelly, “can you bend your left knee and stick it out towards me a bit? A little more, please.”

Melanie complied, though a little nervously; in this position, her pussy was rather exposed, and would be visible to Kelly if he chose to move around behind her.

But Kelly seemed happy to remain where he was. “Great,” he said. “Now please could you lean your upper body back away from me, and raise your left arm up, and put your hand behind your head. Under your hair. Elbow up a bit please. A bit more ... that’s it. Now lean back even further, so your left breast completely comes off the bed.”

“Um,” said Melanie, hesitating.

Kelly chuckled. “Melanie, I’ve already seen your boobs plenty this evening. And I’m sure Richard’s quite well-acquainted with them too!”

“I suppose so,” conceded Melanie. She leaned back some more, causing her left breast to rise fully into view.

“Okay,” said Kelly, putting his camera down. “As yet there’s no baby oil on your front; let’s fix that shall we? Hold that pose.” He picked up the bowl of baby oil in one hand, and stepped up to the bed.

Melanie’s eyes widened; surely he was not planning to oil up her breast? She was reluctant to appear foolish by asking, though, and so she remained silent while he quickly but thoroughly oiled up her neck and upper chest, partly hoping that he would stop short of her breast ... and partly hoping he would not.

Having oiled up her armpit, Kelly’s hand worked its way down her chest in small circles, went back for more oil, then slid down over her breast, coating it liberally in a slippery, glistening sheen. She gasped in alarm.

“Sorry about this part,” said Kelly, diligently massaging her breast. “I realise this must seem rather gropey, but I couldn’t leave your breast looking dry while the rest of your torso is gleaming so beautifully, could I?” He let go, and dipped his fingers back into the baby oil.

“Um ... I guess not,” said Melanie, blushing to the roots of her hair. “Not without compromising your artistic vision, anyway, right?”

“Exactly,” said Kelly. “And frankly, your breast is going to be the star of this particular photo, so I want to make sure it’s especially well-oiled.” His freshly-oiled hand returned to her breast, cupping it and sensuously smearing it all over with baby oil. Then he gently tweaked her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. “It’ll look best if your nipple is standing out,” he said.

Melanie was feeling a little shell-shocked. She honestly could not tell if he was taking an outrageous liberty here, or if he was being genuinely professional in his work as her photographer. As he let go of her nipple and returned to his spot a few feet away, she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt; he did after all know his craft very well.

“Great,” he said, raising his camera. “Give me a sexy smile ... imagine you have a sexy secret that I don’t know anything about.”

Melanie immediately thought of her nightly masturbation sessions in which she fantasised about Kelly, and her cheeks reddened even more. She managed a guilty little smile, but it looked embarrassed more than anything else.

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “Try imagining you’re Queen Cleopatra, the most powerful woman in Egypt, supremely comfortable with your own nudity ... and I’m a very flustered retainer that you have summoned to your chamber. You have no intention of sleeping with me, but it amuses you to make me uncomfortable.”

Appealing to the actress in Melanie was an excellent idea; she had greatly enjoyed taking part in school plays in her teens. It had allowed her to step outside her own awkward self, and pretend to be someone who was completely different. She had a knack for memorising lines, and this helped her to build her confidence on the stage, if not anywhere else in her life.

“Oh! Good smile!” said Kelly, taking the photo. “You nailed it. Here, check it out.”

Melanie shivered as she looked at the little screen. It was not easy to see herself as sexy, but somehow Kelly was managing to capture her at her best, every time. This photo was no exception; it was very easy to imagine Richard being very excited by it. “Thank you!” she said. “It’s a great photo.”

“I’m glad you like it!” said Kelly, pleased. “Now why don’t you sit up, and we’ll do a different kind of pose?”

“Sit up?” said Melanie nervously.

“I know what you’re thinking,” said Kelly. “You’re guessing that I’m planning to take a full frontal nude shot, with your pussy in the picture, and you’re not sure that you want that kind of photo to be a part of the album ... correct?”

“Yes,” said Melanie, relieved that Kelly understood. There was also the fact that she was uncomfortable with the idea of letting him see her pussy, but his reasons were accurate enough, and more than sufficient justification.

“Well,” says Kelly, “as it happens, I wasn’t planning for your pussy to be in the next photo. But I do think some full frontal nude shots would be great for the album. I assure you they would be perfectly tasteful.”

“I’m sure they would be,” said Melanie quickly, in case she had offended him. “I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.”

“Why don’t we try one?” suggested Kelly. “If you don’t like it, then I promise I won’t ask you to pose for any more shots like that. Does that sound reasonable?”

“Yes...” Melanie admitted reluctantly.

“Good,” said Kelly. “First, though, I’d like you to sit on the side of the bed with your feet on the floor and your legs crossed, with your hands planted on the very edge of the bed, either side of your thighs. I’ll be down low enough that your knee and thigh will be in the way of your pussy.”

Melanie hesitated. Could she get into that position without letting Kelly see her pussy? Probably. Would her efforts to do so seem foolish?

Kelly smiled at her. “Would you like me to turn my back while you sit up?” he asked her gently.

It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. “Yes please!” she said in relief. “I’m sorry I’m so shy, Kelly – ‘it’s just that all this is very new to me...”

“It’s perfectly fine, and there’s absolutely no need for you to explain,” said Kelly. He turned around to face the far wall. “Just let me know when you’re ready.”

Melanie rolled over and sat up, then gasped at how loose and supple her back felt. “Oh wow!” she said. “My back feels amazing!”

“Good!” said Kelly. “I’m very glad. I really think the butt massage made the difference.”

“I think you could be right,” agreed Melanie.

“Next time,” said Kelly, “if you’re willing, we should try a full-body massage. Do your arms, legs, hands, feet, abs, pecs ... everything.”

“Um, that sounds ... nice...” said Melanie, her thoughts whirring. Abs? Pecs? Did that mean she would be on her back...? Naked...?

She swung her legs over the side of the bed, then she crossed her left thigh over her right. Clasping her hands together over her pussy, she said, “Okay, you can turn around.”

Kelly spun around, pivoting on one knee, and he raised his camera. “Okay,” he said. “Plant your hands on the edge of the bed, right up against your thighs.”

Melanie bit her lip, but she correctly determined that Kelly would not be able to see her pussy from where he was kneeling, so she did as he instructed.

“Arms straight,” continued Kelly, “shoulders forward, elbows tucked in, so your upper arms squeeze your breasts together. Excellent. Oh but wait – ‘only half your front is oiled up. That looks weird. Hold that position; I’ll apply some more baby oil.” He picked up the ball, and walked forward on his knees.

Melanese stiffened in alarm; her instinct was to cover her pussy, but he had told her to hold her position, so she felt paralysed. At least, she thought to herself, he would not be able to see much, since she was leaning forward with her legs crossed.

He could see enough, however, to make his brow furrow. “You shave your pussy?” he inquired.

“Oh God!” Melanie gasped. “I was hoping you wouldn’t be able to see that!”

Kelly shrugged. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “It’s actually kinda cool. I’m just a little surprised, that’s all.”

Melanie was relieved; her fear of his reaction to her shaven pussy was a large part of why she had been so anxious about him seeing it. “I’ve always kept it shaved,” she said. “I hit puberty early, and I hated all that hair growing in. Shaving it off became a daily habit that I never broke.” She paused uncomfortably. “You’ve helped me come a long way in terms of accepting my body for what it is ... do you think I should stop shaving, and let my pubic hair grow?”

“That’s entirely up to you,” said Kelly, as he began to rub baby oil all over her upper chest. “This isn’t the same as accepting your body shape, though. It’s more of a stylistic choice, like how you choose to style the hair on your head. Personally, I quite like the shaved look, but you do whatever feels most comfortable to you.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, relaxing a little. “I’ll keep it shaved, then.” Then she gasped a little as Kelly’s slippery hand began oiling up her right breast.

“I must confess,” said Kelly, as he gently stroked and squeezed her breast, “this is my favourite part of the photo session. You have such beautiful breasts.”

Melanie blushed. “You’re not supposed to be enjoying it,” she said quietly. But she was glad he was, anyway.

“I know,” agreed Kelly, gently pinching Melanie’s nipple as he coated it with oil. “And I apologise for the inappropriate comment. It wasn’t very professional of me. I shall endeavour to remain detached and dispassionate.”

Melanie smiled. “It’s okay; I appreciate your honesty. And I don’t really mind if you enjoy your work!” She giggled, then abruptly stopped, feeling foolish. Had she gone too far in saying that?

“Thank you,” said Kelly, sliding his hand down to her belly. “That’s very kind of you.” Going back for more oil, he thoroughly coated her belly and abdomen, stopping just short of her pussy – ‘which Melanie was very relieved about. Then he oiled up her arms. “Okay!” he said. “That should do it.” He returned to his spot a few feet away, and turned around. “Ah yes, much better. Now tilt your head to the right just a little, and give me a pretty smile ... lips slightly parted. Perfect.” He took the photo, then showed it to Melanie.

“Damn, that’s a nice photo,” sighed Melanie. “You’re making me look so good, Kelly! I don’t know how you do it.”

“There’s no trickery involved,” said Kelly. “I’m just showing what’s there. Face it, Melanie, you’re beautiful.”

Melanie blushed happily. “Thank you!” she said.

“Now,” said Kelly, “shall we try that nude shot?”

Melanie gulped. “Um,” she said, “I guess so...”

“Good!” said Kelly, getting to his feet. “So, this is going to be very simple, very straightforward ... a classic nude. Can you lie down please? Yup, all the way down the middle of the bed ... oh but with your head in front of the pillow, not on it. Yup, just scoot down a bit.”

“Like this?” asked Melanie, acutely conscious of the fact that in lying flat on her back, she was giving Kelly his best-yet view of her pussy.

“Yup, that’s great,” said Kelly. “Tilt your head this way a bit ... more please ... good. Now, hands behind your head, please, elbows out. Oh yes, very good. Oh ... I’ll need to get some oil on those arms and legs though. Hold that pose.”

It was not an uncomfortable position, and Melanie held still while Kelly spread baby oil up and down her right arm, followed by her left. Then he moved on to her legs, drizzling oil up the front of her shins and thighs before using both hands to smear the oil everywhere from her feet up to her hips. As he approached her pussy, Melanie stiffened anxiously, wondering if he was planning to actually touch her there. Surely not...

“What’s fourteen times nine?” asked Kelly suddenly.

“Huh?” said Melanie, her train of thought momentarily derailed. Then she squealed, as Kelly slid his hand over her pussy, cupping her vulva and quickly smearing oil over the entire area.

Then he withdrew his hand, grinning. “Sorry,” he said. “I couldn’t leave your pussy dry when the rest of you is gleaming with oil. But you seemed to be stressing over how close I was getting, so I thought a little mental distraction might help.”

It had happened so quickly that Melanie had not even had a chance to pull her hands from behind her head. “I see the logic in it,” she admitted, very red-faced, “but I wasn’t expecting you to ... do that!”

“Well, now it’s done,” said Kelly, “and we can proceed with the shot. Are you ready?”

Melanie’s pussy was still tingling from Kelly’s touch. “Yes,” she said.

Kelly climbed up on to the bed, and stood astride Melanie’s feet. He adjusted the zoom, then he held the camera directly above Melanie’s midriff. “Okay, not a smile this time, and don’t look at the camera. Look over at the door handle. Can you look wistful? Try imagining that as you lie here naked, you’re hoping Richard will step through that door, and will then be so overcome with lust that he will take you as you’ve never been taken before.”

Melanie smiled at the thought, but immediately realised that was not the point, so she tried to look simply wistful instead.

“Yes! Good,” said Kelly, taking first one photo, then another. Checking the screen to make sure he was satisfied with the results, he smiled and nodded, then stepped down from the bed. “Here,” he said, squatting next to Melanie and showing her the screen. “Tell me you don’t like this photo, and I promise I’ll never suggest taking nude photos of you again.”

Melanie stared at the screen for a full ten seconds. Then she sighed. “I love it,” she said. “It’s a beautiful photo. You’ve done it again, Kelly.” She could hardly believe she was saying this about a photo in which her belly was on full display, not to mention about an inch of the cleft between her naked labia, but the fact was that this looked like a bona fide piece of art.

“Excellent – ‘I’m so glad you like it!” said Kelly. “Shall we take some more?”

Melanie shivered. She was sure that if they continued, Kelly would push her even further out of her comfort zone. It was all happening so quickly. “Perhaps,” she ventured, “we could continue this tomorrow night? It’s getting a little late...”

“Of course!” said Kelly. “I’ll just bid you goodnight, then.” He leaned over and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “Do you want to use the bathroom first?”

“Uh!” gasped Melanie, startled and flustered by the kiss. “No ... you go ahead.”

“Okay,” said Kelly. “Sleep well, Melanie.”

“You too!” said Melanie.

Her thoughts were racing as Kelly left the room. He had kissed her on the lips! What did it mean? Did it mean anything? He had not acted like it meant anything more than a peck on the cheek. But it hadn’t been on her cheek; it had been on her lips! Was that perhaps how his family kissed each other? A cultural thing? Or was he really, really pushing his luck?

She shivered. Perhaps Kelly had crossed a line ... but what if she confronted him about it, and he was genuinely shocked at the suggestion? In every other way, he was shaping up to be a most wonderful friend, and she was a little afraid of jeopardising that. Perhaps she should just assume he did not have any impure motivations, and let it go.

She got up from the bed, and put her panties back on. Then, a moment later, Kelly stuck his head into the room. “Melanie?” he said.

“Yes Kelly?” replied Melanie, smiling. It was strange how happy she was to see him again so soon.

“It occurs to me that you might have found it weird that I kissed you on the lips just then,” said Kelly. “I’m very sorry – ‘I hope it didn’t make you feel too uncomfortable.”

Melanie blushed. “Well, it was a little surprising...”

“My mom’s French,” explained Kelly. “Her family moved to the States when she was a little girl. She grew up kissing family members on the lips for hellos, goodbyes, and goodnights ... and nobody thought anything of it. And she would habitually kiss me and my sisters that way ... it’s just how I was brought up. I totally wasn’t thinking when I kissed you goodnight – ‘I’m sorry.”

“Oh, that’s okay!” said Melanie in relief. “See, I just knew it had to be a cultural thing! I was a bit taken aback, I must admit, but now that I know the reason, I don’t mind at all.”

“Good!” said Kelly. “That’s a weight off my mind. Goodnight then ... again. I’m done in the bathroom.”

“Thanks,” said Melanie. “Goodnight!”

Kelly retired to his room, and Melanie got herself ready for bed, wiping her oily body down with a towel before climbing into bed with Richard. “Goodnight, darling,” she whispered, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek.

“Mmmhmm,” he grunted, before returning to his slumber.

Sticking her hand into her panties, Melanie masturbated energetically while imagining Kelly rubbing oil all over her, and spending an extra-long time on her breasts and pussy. She spread her legs wide for him, and he slid his fingers inside her...

“Ohhhh...” she moaned softly, as her body shuddered in an intense orgasm. She panted for a while, then she slowly fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.

DAY 6

“Melanie?”

Melanie awoke with a start. Was that Kelly calling her? She fumbled for her phone, and gasped as she saw the time. She had overslept. Not by long – ‘just eight minutes – ‘but it meant that she had forgotten to set her alarm.

“Melanie?” came Kelly’s voice again, from just outside her door.

“I’m awake!” she said. She quickly got out of bed, and looked around for yesterday’s tank top ... but it was nowhere to be seen. Then she remembered she had taken it off in the dining room, and left it on the corner of the table. With a sigh of resignation – ‘Kelly had, after all, seen her even more naked than this – ‘she walked over to her bedroom door, and opened it.

“Good morning,” said Kelly, smiling at her, then dropping his gaze to her breasts. “You didn’t put a top on! I’m proud of you.”

Melanie chuckled. “I left it downstairs last night,” she said. “And it’s not like you haven’t seen my breasts already.”

“True,” Kelly agreed. “Um, here’s the thing. I overslept as well, and I was really hoping to take a shower before you. I don’t suppose we could shower together, to save time? Could we?”

Melanie stared at him. What an outrageous suggestion! “You ... you want to shower with me?” she stammered.

“Purely as a practical measure,” Kelly assured her. “No unnecessary contact. We can just keep changing places so one of us can lather up while the other rinses, and so on. Quick, efficient ... and we should still have enough time after breakfast for a little photo shoot by the river.”

“Oh God, I’d forgotten about that!” said Melanie. “But ... seriously? Whatever will Richard say? Or are you hoping he won’t find out?”

Kelly looked shocked. “Of course not!” he said. “There shouldn’t be any secrets between the two of you. I’m happy to tell him myself, if you like.”

“You’d do that?” asked Melanie in surprise. “You think you can tell Richard we showered together, and convince him that it’s okay?”

“Absolutely!” said Kelly. “He’s a great guy, very reasonable ... and he was okay with you being topless in front of me, wasn’t he?”

“That’s true,” conceded Melanie.

“Also,” added Kelly, “I’m told I can be pretty persuasive.”

“I don’t doubt that,” remarked Melanie ruefully.

“Anyway,” continued Kelly, “I’ve seen you naked. It’s only fair you should get to see me naked too.”

Now here was an argument Melanie could get behind. “Good point!” she agreed, her eyes lighting up.

Kelly chuckled. “Okay,” he said. “You go ahead and jump in; I’ll be right behind you.”

“Um ... okay,” said Melanie, not quite sure how he had got her to agree to this plan. She entered the bathroom, took off her panties, and turned the shower on. Pulling the curtain across, she held her hand under the descending water until it reached the right temperature. Then she climbed in, stood under the shower head, and tilted her head backwards in order to soak her hair.

As she was doing this, The shower curtain was pulled open, and a very naked Kelly stepped into the far end of the tub. Melanie instinctively reached down to cover her pussy, but then her eyes were drawn to Kelly’s penis, which was semi-erect and – ‘to Melanie’s relief – ‘a little smaller than Richard’s.

Kelly noticed her looking at it. “I apologise for my state of arousal,” he said sheepishly. “It’s not every day that I get to shower naked with a beautiful woman.”

Melanie giggled. “Quite understandable,” she said. “And there’s no need to be embarrassed; it’s very nice.”

“Thank you,” said Kelly, smiling. “Want to trade places so I can get wet and you can soap up?”

“Sure,” said Melanie, her eyes widening a little. Kelly’s cock was now fully erect.

He stepped towards her, and they began to shuffle past each other. In the narrow tub, they could not give each other a wide berth, and as Melanie’s bottom brushed past the shower curtain, the engorged head of Kelly’s rigid penis was pressing against her abdomen.

“I’m so sorry,” said Kelly.

“That’s okay!” said Melanie breathlessly. Then the swap was complete, and Melanie picked up a bottle on the side of the tub. Squirting plenty of shampoo into her hand, she closed the bottle and set it down, then she began massaging the shampoo into her hair.

“Want me to soap your back for you?” asked Kelly.

“I usually just use the excess lather from my shampoo to wash my body,” she replied.

“Well I can do that,” Kelly offered. “Might as well take advantage of the main benefit of showering together: washing those hard-to-reach places.”

Melanie shivered. It sounded nice ... and fairly harmless. “Okay,” she said. “Want me to do yours too?”

“Sure!” said Kelly. “Thank you. Turn around then.”

Melanie turned her back on him, whereupon he scooped up some of the shampoo lather from her hair, and used it to gently soap her entire back. As his hands reached the small of her back, she wondered apprehensively if he was going to try soaping her buttocks, too, but he stopped at the base of her spine.

“There!” he said. “Shall we swap?”

“Well I haven’t done the rest of my body yet,” said Melanie. “Sorry, I’ll just be a couple of minutes. I like to be thorough.”

“Of course!” said Kelly. “Sorry. How about I save us some time by working on your legs while you finish your hair and top half?”

Melanie hesitated. “Okay...” she said cautiously. “But start at the bottom ... my feet, I mean!”

“Oh, good idea,” said Kelly. “You work your way down from your head, I’ll work my way up from your feet, and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.” He crouched down, and immediately found his head right in the middle of the diverging streams of water descending from the shower head. “Gah!” he spluttered, standing back up. “That’s no good.” He turned and grabbed the shower head, pointing it more directly downwards. “That’s better.”

Melanie hurriedly finished shampooing her hair, as she felt Kelly quickly but thoroughly wash her feet (except for the soles) and move up to her ankles. By the time she had moved on to her face, Kelly’s hands were already at her knees. At this point, he stood up and retrieved another double handful of lather from her hair.

Melanie scrubbed rapidly at her face with her bare, shampoo-lathered hands. Her mother had taught her this method of facial care, which certainly seemed to work; at fifty-eight years of age, her mom had the skin of a forty-year-old. Melanie’s routine was meticulous, unvarying, and the perfect symmetrical. First she scrubbed her forehead, using the tips of her middle three fingers, working her way from the centre out to her temples, from her hairline down to her eyebrows. Then, her nose, rubbing up and down both sides in unison, until the lather was sparse enough to allow some friction to gently exfoliate. Along her cheekbones, all the way back to the hinge of her jaw, then back again, making circles with her fingers, covering the whole of both cheeks, until she reached her mouth. Scrub above the mouth, then both the mouth, then work backwards along the jawline.

But she had only just started on her nose when Kelly reached the tops of her thighs. “I can’t go any farther,” he said, “without getting into some intimate areas.”

Melanie was very relieved that he had stopped. “That’s okay,” she said. “I won’t be long.”

“Unless,” Kelly continued, “you trust me to maintain the same detachment and professionalism that I did when I was rubbing baby oil on you? After all, it’s pretty much the same process. I’ll do no more than is absolutely necessary for washing, I promise.”

“Um,” said Melanie anxiously.

“How about I continue,” suggested Kelly, “and you can tell me to stop if it gets too uncomfortable for you?”

“Oh God ... uh...” said Melanie, feeling rather torn.

But Kelly apparently was not going to wait for an answer. He went back to her hair for more lather, which he began massaging into her buttocks. His hands went all the way around the sides of her hips, then he held on to one hip while sliding his hand between her buttocks.

“Kelly!” Melanie squealed.

“I know,” said Kelly, rubbing his fingers over her anus, “but this part does need to get washed, doesn’t it?”

“Well yes,” admitted Melanie, who had paused her facial routine with her hands resting on her cheeks.

“I’m just being thorough,” Kelly assured her, withdrawing his hand and fetching some more lather. He put his arms around her waist, and began washing her abdomen with both hands.

Melanie was glad he had stopped washing her butt, but this new development was if anything making her even more breathless. She could feel Kelly’s erect cock pressing against and sliding around her slippery buttocks. Then his right hand slid downwards, moving more central, until he was cupping her pussy. “Kelly!” she said urgently, reaching down and grabbing his wrist with her right hand.

“What, your pussy doesn’t need a wash too?” inquired Kelly, gently pressing his middle finger between her labia, and sliding his hand down further until his fingertips reached her vagina. He pulled his hand back up, then slid it down again, then up, then down, then up ... and onward, up to her belly. “All done,” he said, working his way up her midriff. “Thank you for being so stoic; I’m sure that wasn’t easy for you.”

Melanie was feeling a little weak at the knees. She had been half-expecting him to bend her over and fuck her ... and she was not at all sure how she would have reacted to that. But, as usual, Kelly had been as good as his word; he had done no more than wash her. “It was a little intimate!” she said, releasing his wrist. “But I guess we got through it. I’m sorry for being so jumpy.”

Kelly went back for more lather. “No need to apologise!” he said, reaching back around and taking hold of her breasts. “Are you done with your face? I’ll be up at your neck soon!”

Melanie bit her lip as Kelly began soaping up her breasts. This was the most wonderfully erotic shower she had ever had ... but she was trying very hard not to enjoy it. She resumed rubbing her cheeks. “My face takes a long time because I’m very particular about the way I take care of my skin,” she said. “But I’m almost done.”

She quickly finished off her face and moved down to her neck, while Kelly continued massaging her breasts. Eventually, after he had gently tweaked both of her nipples between his thumbs and index fingers, she cleared her throat. “I think my boobs are probably pretty clean by now,” she said.

“Oh!” said Kelly, letting go of her breasts. “I’m so sorry. I kind of got lost in thought. I suddenly remembered I bought something for you yesterday, and I completely forgot to tell you about it.”

“You did?” said Melanie in surprise. “What is it?”

“It’s a blouse,” said Kelly. “I thought it would go very nicely with your burgundy skirt.”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “Well, I shall look forward to trying it on. How much was it?”

“Oh, don’t even think about paying me back!” said Kelly. “It’s a gift.”

Melanie turned around, and smiled. “Well, thank you very much,” she said. “That’s very sweet of you.”

“You’re welcome!” said Kelly. “Shall we trade places again?”

“Sure,” said Melanie.

As they carefully edged past each other, Melanie tried to ignore the erect cock pressing against her belly. It was not easy. But then Kelly turned away from her, and picked up his own shampoo. Then he handed her a bar of soap. “Still okay with soaping my back?” he asked.

“Of course!” Melanie replied, and she thoroughly soaped and scrubbed his back while he washed his hair. Then, as he was washing the rest of his body, she rinsed the shampoo off her body and out of her hair.

“I just need to rinse off,” said Kelly, “and then I’m done.”

“I still have to shave,” said Melanie. She let him past, and waited while he rinsed himself off. Then he pulled back the curtain, climbed out of the tub, and began getting himself dry.

Melanie was nervous about starting to shave when he was still in the room, but she began with her legs, and soon enough Kelly returned to his room to get dressed. Feeling a little more relaxed, Melanie continued with her shaving.

When she finally emerged from the bathroom, hair and make-up done and wrapped in her towel, Kelly was dressed and just leaving his room. He smiled at her, then chuckled. “Why so modest?” he inquired.

“Oh ... the towel?” said Melanie in surprise. “It’s just habit – ‘I hadn’t given it much thought. All this being naked around the house thing ... it’s a little new to me!”

Kelly nodded. “Of course,” he said. “So ... it’s not because our shower made you uncomfortable?”

“Oh, no,” said Melanie. “Well, yes, the shower did make me feel a bit uncomfortable ... but it was nice, even so.”

“Good!” said Kelly. “Anyway, I was thinking that just in case you decide to wear your burgundy skirt and your new blouse, you might want to put on a thong instead of regular panties.”

“Oh,” said Melanie. She was not at all sure she was ready to try wearing the burgundy skirt to work yet – ‘it was just so short! But putting on a thong would leave her options open, while not committing her to a skirt choice. “Okay...”

“Excellent,” said Kelly. “See you downstairs. Would you like me to make some pancakes?”

“Maybe tomorrow, when Richard can enjoy them too,” said Melanie with a smile. “Today I’ll just stick with cereal.”

“As you wish!” said Kelly, and he headed downstairs.

Melanie was about to go into her bedroom, but then she shrugged. Kelly was right; there was not much point in wearing her towel from the bathroom to the bedroom, only to take it off right away. Kelly had already seen her naked, and besides, he was now downstairs. She took off her towel, hung it up in the bathroom, and walked naked through to her bedroom. Finding a plain white thong in her underwear drawer, she put it on, then she opened another drawer, which contained her t-shirts and tank tops. At this point she hesitated. Would Kelly be disappointed if she put on a tank top? Probably. It was cooler this morning than it had been last night, but it was still warm enough to get away with being topless without feeling chilly. With a sigh, she closed the drawer, left her bedroom, and headed downstairs in just her thong.

“Hi!” said Kelly, looking her up and down and nodding in approval as she entered the kitchen. “Do you still want to do an outdoor photo shoot after breakfast? We’ll have a little time, despite our late start.”

Melanie shivered. “Okay,” she said.

They had a quick breakfast together, then Kelly went upstairs to fetch his camera. As Melanie accompanied him to the back door, he said, “You know, you might as well leave your thong here. We won’t be needing it, and I’m sure you won’t want it to put it down on a dirty rock or something.”

Melanie stared at him. “You want me to walk all the way out to the river completely naked?”

“Oh no, of course not!” said Kelly. “You should wear your flip-flops, to protect your feet on the walk.”

“I’ll still be essentially naked!” said Melanie anxiously.

He shrugged. “It’s hardly any different from walking out there in just a thong,” he said. “It’s just a little more practical. Don’t worry; nobody’s going to see you but me.”

Melanie had to admit that this was almost certainly true. “All right,” she reluctantly agreed. With her cheeks reddening, she pulled down her thong, stepped out of it, and put it on the corner of the counter. Then she fetched her flip-flops from by the door, and put them on.

The walk across the back yard and through the woods was nerve-wracking at first, but there was no sign of anybody else in the vicinity, so Melanie soon began to focus on a different problem. “Aah! Mosquitoes!” She swatted one on her right breast, but saw several more approaching her.

“Back to the house!” said Kelly. “We can’t have you covered in mosquito bites in your photos!” He flapped a couple of the hungry little flies away from her.

Melanie turned and ran, as fast as her flip-flops would allow, back along the trail towards the house. Once in the back yard and away from the trees, she could see no more mosquitoes around her. “So much for our photo shoot!” she said.

Kelly nodded. “We’ll need to cover you in mosquito repellent before we go back out there.”

“Not now though!” said Melanie. “I can’t go to work smelling of mosquito repellent, and I don’t have time to take another shower and do my hair and make-up again.”

“Right,” agreed Kelly. “But we can take some nice photos right here in the yard.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, kicking off her flip-flops. “Where shall we start?”

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “How about we get a shot of you coming down the steps? One hand on the banister, looking down at the next step with a little smile...”

Melanie climbed the steps, stopped on the second step from the top, and turned around. With a slightly anxious smile, she looked downward, holding on to the rail, and slowly took a step downward.

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “Are you feeling nervous, Melanie?”

“A bit,” she confessed.

“Then let’s use that,” said Kelly. “Instead of smiling down at the steps, let’s see you looking around furtively, like you’re not quite sure whether you’re going to get away with venturing outside naked.”

“Not a lot of acting involved there!” Melanie remarked. She did exaggerate her apparent sense of nervousness, however, as she looked towards the driveway.

“Excellent!” said Kelly. “Now let’s back up a bit, and get a shot of you emerging from the house, peering around timidly. I think we can tell a fun little story here – ‘make a series out of it.”

“Okay,” said Melanie with a smile. “That does sound fun.” She went back into the house, then she cracked the door and peered out cautiously.

“Open it a little more,” Kelly instructed her. “I want your right breast to be fully in view. Perfect! Now let’s have you stepping on to the deck ... nice! Okay, now come down the steps – ‘let’s have you tiptoeing across the grass.”

Melanie trotted down the steps, then assumed a tiptoeing posture, with her hands held out to the sides. Kelly moved around in front of her, looking for a good angle, then he said, “Stand up a little straighter. Shoulders back, chest out... Good!” He took another photo.

“May I see?” asked Melanie. Kelly had certainly achieved enough great results to earn her trust, but these did not feel like elegant, classy, glamorous poses, and she was feeling some apprehension about looking a little silly.

“Certainly!” said Kelly, and he showed her the photos on his camera’s little screen.

Somehow, even in this unconventional series of poses, Kelly had managed to capture her at her best. And as she viewed the photos, she suddenly saw his vision as he himself saw it: as a microcosm of her journey over the past few days. Stepping out from the safety of her comfort zone, she was exposing her body to the outside world, overcoming her natural timidity and bravely, yet anxiously, moving farther and farther away from her starting point. “I love this series!” she said. “You’re doing an awesome job. What’s next?”

“Let’s take it to the next level,” said Kelly. “I’d like you to go over and crouch down behind the front of my car, and peer around the end of it towards the house across the road.”

“Oh! My goodness!” said Melanie. “That’s a little risky!”

“It’s supposed to look that way,” acknowledged Kelly. “But actually, there’s not much of a risk at all. Your neighbours have both left.”

“Okay...” said Melanie nervously. “I guess I can do that…” She walked over to the corner of the house, peeked anxiously around the corner, then made a dash for Kelly’s car. Keeping a low profile, she crept along the side of the car, then she squatted down and peered around its front end.

“That looks very brave and cool from back here,” said Kelly, “but it’s not all that sexy. Could you possibly raise your butt towards me? Higher than that. A little higher, please?”

“Um, this seems like it’s going to be rather explicit!” said Melanie in concern, with her back now almost horizontal.

“Will you trust me?” said Kelly.

Melanie slowly exhaled. “I do trust you, Kelly,” she said. “I’m sorry. Like this?” She raised her bottom even further.

“Good,” said Kelly. “Now arch your back a bit, and spread your feet about eighteen inches apart.”

Half-convinced that she was lewdly displaying her pussy to Kelly, yet determined to trust in his artistic vision, Melanie nervously complied.

“Perfect!” said Kelly, as he took the photo.

“May I see that one please?” asked Melanie in an apologetic tone, as she crouched down again.

“Of course,” said Kelly, coming over with his camera. He showed her the latest photo.

Melanie sighed with relief. Her faith in Kelly had not been misplaced. With the morning sunlight streaming down from her left, the right-hand side of her body was in shadow ... as was the area between her buttocks. No details of her pussy could be seen. The photo was a huge tease – ‘and very sexy. “That’s awesome,” she said with a little chuckle.

“i’m glad you like it,” said Kelly, smiling. “Now, let’s see you standing up and venturing out along the driveway, past the end of the car.

Melanie gasped. “What if a car comes?”

“Then just duck back behind the car again,” said Kelly with a shrug. “You’ll hear it coming; you’ll have plenty of time.”

“I guess so,” Melanie admitted. As Kelly backed up a few feet, she took her courage in both hands, and stood up straight. Stepping around the front of the car, she began to walk slowly and timidly down the driveway towards the road.

“Don’t ball your fists like that,” said Kelly behind her. “Open your hands and keep them flat and pointed out sideways, like they were in the back yard.”

“Yup, okay,” said Melanie. As she took another tentative step, she stared fearfully at the house across the road, terrified that a face would suddenly appear at one of the windows.

“Great!” said Kelly. “Now hold it there; let me come around in front of you.”

Melanie paused, her ears on high alert, ready to bolt back behind Kelly’s car at the first sound of a vehicle coming down the road. Kelly walked past her, continuing all the way to the end of the driveway, where he turned around. “All right,” he said. “Start walking towards me, looking around anxiously.”

Melanie was beginning to worry that Kelly would ask her to go all the way to the road. Her stomach felt like it was tying itself in knots. But she wanted to show him how brave she could be, so she steeled herself, and began to walk towards him.

“Your expression looks great,” said Kelly, “but your whole body looks quite stiff and awkward. I know it must be difficult, but see if you can try to relax a bit.”

“Easier said than done!” said Melanie with a nervous laugh.

“Try to imagine,” Kelly suggested, “that you’re an actress who is merely playing the part of someone who is nervous and afraid. In fact this is a closed set, and you are being paid a million dollars to appear nude in this scene.”

“A million dollars!” Melanie echoed. “That would be nice…” Summoning her inner actress, she tried to get her head around acting like an actress; the mental gymnastics this entailed had the desired effect of jarring her brain out of panic mode.

As she made her way down the driveway, Kelly took more and more photos, encouraging her all the way and suggesting tweaks to her expression and posture. Before she knew it, she was standing at the side of the road.

“God!” she exclaimed in an awed whisper. “I can’t believe I’m all the way out here, naked!” She shuddered. “Can we go back inside now, please?”

“Just one more photo,” said Kelly, “and then yes, we’ll go back inside. Could you please go about twenty feet down the road, then stop and look back this way, holding out your thumb like you’re trying to hitch a ride?”

“Oh God,” said Melanie nervously. “Okay…” She trotted away from Kelly for what she estimated to be about twenty feet, then she stopped, turned, and stuck out her thumb like a hitchhiker.

“Good,” said Kelly. “Now look past me, down the road ... not at the camera.”

Then they both heard the sound of a car approaching. “Shit!” exclaimed Melanie.

“Hide!” said Kelly.

Her breasts bouncing wildly, Melanie ran back to the driveway and made a beeline for Kelly’s car. She tucked herself behind it and crouched down, heaving a sigh of relief. Five seconds later, a red pickup truck cruised past.

Shaking like a leaf, Melanie slowly emerged from behind Kelly’s car, listening intently for other vehicles.

“Well done!” Kelly called out to her. “Shall we try that one again?”

“Are you kidding?” said Melanie in disbelief. “We nearly got caught!”

“You got yourself hidden in plenty of time,” Kelly assured her. “It wasn’t even close. Besides, if you hear another car, why not just hide behind that tree? It was much closer to you than my car!”

“It’s a little thin!” said Melanie doubtfully.

“If you stand sideways, it’ll hide you well enough,” said Kelly. “Perhaps not totally. But nobody passing in a car is going to be scrutinising every tree to see if somebody’s hiding behind it.”

“I suppose that’s probably true,” Melanie admitted. “All right, let’s try again.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly.

Melanie returned to her hitchhiking position, and posed with her thumb held out. On Kelly’s instructions, she made a couple of adjustments to her expression and body position.

“Good!” said Kelly, having taken the photo. “Oh – ‘one last thing. I had a cool idea. Why don’t you check the mail while you’re out here?”

Melanie was anxious to get back inside, but the mailbox was right there at the end of the driveway. “Sure,” she said, guessing correctly that he planned to take another photo. Still listening for cars, she walked quickly over to the mailbox, opened it, and peered inside. That was nothing in there – the mailman had not been yet – but that was not really the point.

“Arch your back,” Kelly instructed her. “Breathe in ... and ... that’s it. Perfect. Let’s go back inside.”

Melanie was very relieved to get off the road back to the house. Inside, she said, “Oh no, look at the time! I need to go and get ready!”

“Why don’t you put on your burgundy skirt?” suggested Kelly. “You still haven’t tried on your new blouse, and I’d like to see how it coordinates with that skirt.”

“I don’t have much time!” fretted Melanie. “I need to leave in two minutes. And if it doesn’t fit…”

“I’m sure it will,” said Kelly firmly. “You’ll be out of the door in no time.”

Melanie sighed. She was not at all sure that she wanted to wear her burgundy skirt at all – it was terribly short. But she really had come to trust Kelly’s judgment, and she did not want to disappoint him. “All right,” she said. She grabbed her thong from the counter, and put it on. Then she dashed upstairs, and found the burgundy skirt still sitting atop her dresser. She pulled it on and buttoned it up, then she whimpered in panic; it was even shorter than she remembered. Reaching back, she could feel that it only just covered her buttocks; if she bent over even slightly, her bottom would be showing.

She almost misgave. But Kelly had bought her a new blouse... Biting her lip, she hurried into the bathroom, where she quickly washed and dried her feet. Then she hurried back downstairs, and found Kelly waiting for her by the front door. “Here you go,” he said, handing her a cream-coloured blouse.

Melanie took it, and put her arms into the sleeves as she stepped into her shoes. Then she tried pulling it together at the front in order to button it up. “Oh my God!” she said, horrified.

The blouse was tiny. She could not get the two halves even close to each other, no matter how much she tugged them and squished her breasts. “Kelly!” she wailed. “I can’t wear this! It’s too small!”

“It’s the perfect size for your shoulders,” said Kelly, “and for your waist. I didn’t expect you to be able to close it over your breasts ... but you didn’t do that with yesterday’s blouse either. You can do up the bottom two buttons, and tuck it into your skirt... Try it and see.”

Melanie tried, and found she could indeed fasten the bottom two buttons. She tucked it into her skirt, then she stared down at her chest with a mounting sense of panic. Her breasts, only partially contained within the strained fabric of the blouse, looked as if they were about to burst fully into the open. They were forcing the front of the garment open in a wide, deep V that extended almost all the way down to her navel. Her areolas were only just concealed. “Oh my God!” she groaned.

Kelly took hold of her shoulders. “You look absolutely amazing,” he said. “I know you’re feeling worried about what your boss and colleagues will think about you looking so sexy at work, but just take a few deep breaths, and remember that this is just a slightly more revealing version of yesterday’s outfit, which seemed to go down pretty well.”

“Slightly!” Melanie laughed mirthlessly.

“Your boss said it would be okay to show more skin, right?” said Kelly. “He can’t exactly fault you for doing so. It’s possible he might decide that this is too revealing a look, in which case you’ll have a better idea of what you can and can’t wear next week. But if nothing else, it will be useful to figure out where the lines are drawn.”

“But my boobs are so ... exposed!” said Melanie, tears beginning to come to her eyes. “Ugh ... I hate that they’re so big!”

“Melanie,” said Kelly gently. “You can’t help the size of your breasts, and you should never have to feel bad or apologise for how big they are. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of; your breasts are beautiful, and nothing says body positivity more than showing them off and demonstrating that you are done hiding them away.”

“Kelly...” said Melanie desperately, but she was not sure how to follow that up.

Kelly took her cheeks in his hands. Stepping towards her, he leaned in and planted his lips on hers. The kiss was firm, yet gentle, and it lasted for over three seconds. “You’ll knock ‘em dead, Melanie,” he said to her with a smile, as he finally pulled away. “Have a good day.”

Melanie felt light-headed as she walked down the front steps, clutching her bag. Was that really just a kiss goodbye? It had seemed very long!

Then, as she sat down in the driver’s seat of her car and looked down at her chest and thighs, she shuddered in fear at the thought of showing up at the library like this. How had Kelly managed to talk her into wearing to this ridiculous outfit? Was it the kiss? Did his lips have some kind of magic powers of persuasion?

But no – ‘she had to admit to herself that she had been leaning towards wearing the outfit to work anyway. The past few days had been a rollercoaster ride of scares and thrills; she had never felt so anxious and uncomfortable, but she had also never felt so beautiful, so sexy, or so alive. Kelly was a wonderful young man, and his high opinion of her was extremely flattering. She was finding herself constantly eager to please him.

Nevertheless, she was feeling incredibly stressed at the thought of arriving at work like this. Fortunately, about five minutes after she had left the house, her phone rang. It was Kelly. “Hi!” she said. “What’s up?”

“It occurred to me,” said Kelly, “that you might benefit from some kind of mantra today.”

“I might!” agreed Melanie.

“Well then, here it is: you’ve got this. Say it back to me.”

“I’ve got this,” said Melanie. “Except that I’m really not sure that I have!”

“Of course you have,” said Kelly. “A few minutes, you were out on the road, completely naked. This is nothing.”

“It’s different!” said Melanie. “Nobody could see me then!”

“I could see you,” Kelly pointed out.

“But I know that you think I have a nice body,” said Melanie, “and I know you like seeing me naked. It’s different with my colleagues.”

“How different, though?” asked Kelly. “From what you’ve told me, your colleagues seem pretty supportive. Have you any reason to think any of them don’t like your body? Or that they don’t want to see more of it?”

“I’m pretty sure Lynette doesn’t!” said Melanie. “The guys, I’m sure, would enjoy seeing more. And Pam was very positive about yesterday’s outfit. But is this one too much?”

“She was open to the idea of you wearing less, if I understood you correctly,” said Kelly. “So I’m guessing you’re mostly worried about Lynette? Her opinion means a lot to you?”

“Well ... not as much as, say, Pam’s or Renny’s,” said Melanie. “But nobody likes to be thought badly of by a colleague. I still have to work with her.”

“But why let her stifle your freedom of expression?” said Kelly. “Why let your least favourite colleague dictate the way you dress? Has she earned that right?”

“Heck no,” Melanie muttered.

“Melanie,” said Kelly, “you are a beautiful and sexy woman. Showing that in public may not come naturally to you, but you deserve the opportunity to explore it. You have more strength than you realise; you are more than up to this latest challenge. You’ve got this.”

“Thanks Kelly,” said Melanie gratefully. “That does help.”

“Good,” said Kelly. “Text me if you need any more support and encouragement.”

“I will,” promised Melanie. “Thank you Kelly.”

For the rest of her commute, Melanie was feeling a little better thanks to Kelly’s pep talk, but once she had parked her car, her anxiety returned. “I’ve got this,” she muttered to herself. “I’ve got this.”

In mounting fear, she walked quickly to the library with her arms folded across her chest. Inside, she made her way quickly to her office, but her hopes of meeting nobody on the way were dashed when she saw Renny and Myron chatting to each other in the corridor. By now she had unfolded her arms; the instinct to return them to her chest was strong, but she managed to resist it. For better or worse, she needed to own her clothing choice.

“Melanie!” exclaimed Renny in astonishment, while Myron simply stared, open-mouthed.

Melanie quailed, and lifted her bag to cover her chest. “Oh God!” she said in a panic. “Too much? Should I go home and change?”

“No!” said Myron instantly. Then, in an unconvincing attempt at nonchalance, he added, “I mean, I think you look great. You certainly don’t need to change on my account.”

Renny chuckled, and shook his head. “Myron’s right,” he said. “For the wrong reasons, perhaps, but he’s right. I told you yesterday that you could wear a shorter skirt, and while I didn’t expect to see quite such a tiny one on you, it does appear to cover everything, so I think we’re good there. I’m a little more on the fence about the blouse, though – whatever possessed you to wear a smaller and tighter one than yesterday’s?”

“I know – I was shocked at the blouse too,” said Melanie wretchedly. “Kelly bought it for me. The thing is, it’s the right size for my shoulders and waist. It’s just my horrendous boobs that are the problem. But Kelly says that I shouldn’t have to apologise for their size. He thinks I should proudly display them, actually, to show I’m not ashamed of them.”

“That ... actually makes sense,” said Renny. “And frankly, good for you for overcoming your fears and taking such a positive step. Clearly, you’re still very anxious about it, but for what it’s worth, you have my full support.”

“And mine!” added Myron.

“Thank you!” said Melanie in great relief. “I guess Kelly was right – ‘as usual! I just hope Pam feels the same way. I suppose it’s too much to ask for Lynette to be supportive...”

“If Lynette gives you a hard time,” said Renny sternly, “you come straight to me. I won’t tolerate any bullying among my staff.”

“Okay,” said Melanie gratefully. She was not the type to tattle on a colleague, but it was nice to hear the expression of support.

Feeling much happier, she entered her office and began digging through the library’s electronic archives, checking the long lists of filenames against an Access database and completing or correcting the database entries where necessary. She was busily engaged in this work when Myron entered, rapping his knuckles against her open door to announce his presence.

Melanie swung her chair around. “Hey Myron,” she said, quickly clasping her hands in her lap as she saw his eyes flick downwards and widen. ‘Dammit!’ she thought to herself. ‘He probably just saw the front of my thong!’

Myron raised his eyes to her chest, then, with an effort, to her face. “I was hoping you could help me,” he said. “I would ask Pam, but she’s taking her son to a doctor’s appointment.”

“Sure!” said Melanie. “What do you need?” Myron was past retirement age, but he was single, and loved working at the library, so Renny planned to let him continue working as long as he was willing and able. His role was varied, but included some janitorial responsibilities. Sometimes these involved a level of physical activity of which he was no longer capable. He hated asking for help, but the younger employees were always happy to assist him with tasks he could not manage by himself.

“I just need help moving a desk,” said Myron. “It’s not all that heavy, but it’s long, and it’s really a two-person job.”

“Absolutely,” said Melanie. “Happy to.”

She got up, and followed him to the old Reading Room, which was in the process of being repurposed as a political reference section.

“Here’s the desk,” said Myron, pointing to a long, low, black-veneered MDF monstrosity with two sets of drawers that Myron had already removed. “I did try dragging it, but the feet just dig into the carpet tiles.”

“No problem,” said Melanie, walking to one end of the desk. Since the desktop did not overhang the ends, or the front or back, she had to grab hold of one of the open drawer spaces with her left hand, and as Myron lifted and the desk tilted backwards, to Melanie’s right, she grasped the back of the desktop with her right hand. It was an awkward way to lift the desk, and she was not sure how long she could hold on like this.

“Over there,” said Myron, jerking his head.

As they carried the desk between them, Melanie puffed with effort. Then she noticed that Myron was staring at her chest. Glancing down, she squealed as she saw that her left breast had popped completely out into the open. She hastily dropped her end of the desk, and tucked her nipple back inside her blouse. “Oh my God!” she exclaimed, mortified. “I’m sorry!”

“No need to apologise,” said Myron, grinning. “That just made my ... year!”

“I’m sure,” muttered Melanie, very red-faced. She could not believe that her elderly colleague had just seen her naked breast. “Um ... I’m not quite sure what to do now!”

“Maybe the same thing won’t happen next time,” suggested Myron.

“Maybe,” said Melanie dubiously. “All right, let’s try again.” What was the worst that could happen? He had already seen her breast. She stooped, grasped both sides of the desk, and lifted it a second time.

Her left nipple popped out almost immediately. “Dammit!” she said, lowering her end of the desk back to the floor. Once again she tucked her nipple away, feeling highly embarrassed.

“It could be worse,” Myron remarked, his eyes twinkling. “Think how bad you’d feel if you didn’t have gorgeous breasts.”

Melanie chuckled ruefully. “Thanks Myron,” she said. “I guess I won’t be wearing such skimpy blouses in future!”

“Awww, don’t say that!” said Myron. “I adore your outfit today! You weren’t to know I’d be asking you to lift an awkward and heavy desk. It’s just unfortunate happenstance. Well ... unfortunate for you. Personally I’m feeling like this is my lucky day! But I’d feel terrible if this incident caused you to go back to your old wardrobe. I’m sorry that you’re feeling embarrassed ... and I apologise for enjoying the view.”

Melanie managed a little smile. “It’s okay,” she said. “I suppose I can’t blame you for liking what you saw. I guess it would be worse if you didn’t.”

“Well,” said Myron, “I won’t torture you any further. I’ll just wait until Pam gets in.”

Melanie looked down at the desk, then over at the wall where Myron wanted it put. She sighed. “Thanks Myron,” she said, “but it seems silly to wait for Pam. You and I might as well just finish the job now.”

“Are you sure?” asked Myron, raising his eyebrows.

“Yes,” said Melanie. “Quickly, though, before I change my mind.”

“Okay!” said Myron.

Almost as soon as she picked up her side of the desk, Melanie’s left nipple popped free. She uttered a little whimper, but began walking sideways with the desk. After three steps, her right nipple popped out as well. “Oh God!” she groaned.

It was another twenty feet to the wall. When they finally reached it, Melanie was about to set her side down, when Myron said, “Actually, can you walk backwards a couple of feet?”

He was staring unabashedly at her exposed breasts. “Is that just a ploy so you can keep looking at my boobs?” she inquired peevishly.

“No!” he said earnestly, his eyes flicking up to meet hers. “I just want the desk centred on the power socket.”

“Oh – ‘okay,” said Melanie. She took a couple of steps backwards, then stopped. “How’s this?”

“That’s good,” said Myron. He took one last, longing look at her breasts as he set his end down.

Melanie lowered her end, then quickly tucked her nipples back inside her blouse. “All right – ‘well I hope that was fun for you,” she said, feeling slightly aggrieved. “Do you need me for anything else?”

“No – ‘that’s it,” said Myron. “Thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome,” said Melanie, and she returned to her office.

Pam arrived shortly before lunchtime, and she gasped when she passed Melanie’s office and saw how short the younger woman’s skirt was. “Good morning Melanie!” she said. “That’s quite the microskir... Jesus Christ!”

Upon hearing Pam’s voice, Melanie had swung her chair around, giving Pam a good look at her chest. “Hi Pam,” she said, covering her chest protectively and looking rather sheepish. “How are you?”

“Melanie, you’re practically naked!” said Pam.

Melanie bit her lip. “I know,” she said. “This outfit was Kelly’s idea. Myron and Renny seem to like it, fortunately.”

“I’ll bet!” said Pam. “But what about you? Do you like it?”

“It kinda terrifies me, being seen like this,” Melanie confessed. “But I do so want to make Kelly proud of me. He’s been wonderful...”

Pam stared at her. “Are you and Kelly having an affair?” she inquired.

“No!” said Melanie quickly, blushing as she thought of Kelly’s hand gently washing her pussy. “I mean, yes, he’s attracted to me, and yes, he gets a kick out of seeing me naked...”

“He’s seen you naked?” Pam smirked, and folded her arms.

“Yes,” Melanie admitted. “But it’s not like that. He’s a great photographer, and we’re making an album of sexy photos for Richard’s birthday.”

“Uh-huh,” said Pam, grinning in amusement.

Melanie groaned. “Oh, I know how it sounds,” she said. “But it really isn’t like that. Kelly’s just a really good friend.”

Pam chuckled. “Look, it’s really none of my business,” she said. “I’m just a little concerned at the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to please him.”

Melanie sighed. “It’s true that I’m finding myself out of my comfort zone a lot this week,” she said. “But honestly, it’s been good for me. Kelly’s rationale for me wearing this blouse today is that it’s not my fault that I have large breasts, and that I should show them off, to demonstrate that I’m no longer ashamed of them.”

“That’s a healthy philosophy, in principle,” conceded Pam, “but not everybody thinks like that. You’re lucky that Renny and Myron are understanding enough, or pervy enough, to get on board with your new clothing choices, but what happens when you want to go to the sandwich shop at lunchtime? Or are you going to bring in your own lunch from now on, and avoid the street entirely?”

“Oh my God!” exclaimed Melanie in horror. “Kelly didn’t make me a sandwich this morning! We were too busy taking photos!”

Pam chuckled. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll go there myself, and pick you up a sandwich.”

“Thank you!” said Melanie gratefully. “I just can’t face walking past that construction site like this!”

“You’re welcome, “ said Pam. “And for what it’s worth, believe me, you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. You look incredible.”

Melanie glowed at this praise. “Thanks Pam!” she said. “That’s very kind of you.”

“Just FYI, though,” Pam added, “you may want to keep in mind how short your skirt is when you turn around to face someone. I can see your panties.”

“Oh no!” said Melanie, quickly moving her hands down to her lap.

“And now your nipple’s out,” said Pam, rolling her eyes. “Jeez, Melanie.”

Melanie squealed, and tucked it back in. “God, I’m so sorry!” she said. “That happened in front of Myron too!”

“I’m sure he was thrilled,” said Pam wryly.

“I think he was,” Melanie admitted. “I was mortified, of course.”

“There you are, Pam,” said Lynette, appearing in the doorway. She glanced at Melanie, then did a double-take. “What ... the ... fuck! Melanie, you can’t come to work like that! Have you lost your mind??”

“Take it easy, Lynette,” said Pam. “She’s not hurting anyone.”

“Except for the reputation of this library!” Lynette exclaimed. “Jesus, what if our patrons see her? What if kids see her? It’s fucking indecent! She’s dressed like a fucking hooker!”

“Hey!” said Pam sharply, as Melanie quailed at Lynette’s words. “That was borderline abusive. If you have a problem with Melanie’s outfit, take it up with Renny.”

“Oh, I will!” said Lynette venomously. She turned on her heel and marched off towards Renny’s office.

“God ... that woman,” muttered Pam. Then she noticed Melanie’s shoulders shaking. “Oh honey...” She went over, crouched down, and gave Melanie a hug. “Hey, hush, it’s okay...”

“M...maybe she’s right,” stammered Melanie tearfully. “I am terribly underdressed, aren’t I? I certainly don’t want to bring this place into disrepute.”

“No – ‘fuck Lynette and her opinions,” said Pam firmly. “Don’t let her negativity bring you down after Kelly’s worked so hard to build you up. I’m sure Renny will back you up, but if he doesn’t, then I sure as hell will.”

“Thanks Pam,” said Melanie, sniffling a little. “But I think perhaps I just don’t have the self-confidence to pull off this look. Look at me – ‘reduced to a quivering mess at the first bit of negative feedback!”

“You think you can grow your self-confidence from zero to sixty in a week?” said Pam, ignoring the sounds of raised voices coming from Renny’s office. “Think how far you’ve come already! Could you have imagined, this time last week, what you would be wearing today?”

“No, certainly not,” said Melanie with a little shiver. “You think I can get used to this, then?”

“I don’t know,” said Pam with a shrug. “But just the fact that you drove here this morning, and came in like this instead of hiding in a panic, shows me you have self-confidence way beyond what I would have given you credit for.”

Melanie nodded. “Maybe in another week I’ll be more relaxed about an outfit like this,” she said. “Right now it’s kinda freaking me out that you and Myron have seen my nipples and my thong...”

“Oh – ‘it’s a thong?” said Pam politely.

Melanie blushed. “Yeah – ‘well, I didn’t want any panty lines showing – ‘it’s quite a tight skirt.”

Pam smiled. “Well, maybe you can text your friend and let him know that the outfit he picked for you today is ... problematic.”

“Yes!” agreed Melanie. “I really should. He did say I should text him if I need moral support.”

“There you go, then,” said Pam. She stood up. “I’d better get back to work. Good luck with Renny. Sounds like it’s getting heated in there.”

Melanie shuddered. Once Pam had left the room, she pulled out her phone and texted Kelly: ‘Hi Kelly! Can you talk?’

But he did not reply immediately. Two minutes later, she heard a door slam, and a rapid clip-clop of high-heeled shoes disappearing down the corridor. She listened for further sounds, but heard nothing more, so she turned her attention back to her computer.

Two minutes later: “Melanie?”

Melanie swung round in her chair at the sound of Renny’s voice. She saw his eyes widen as he glanced at her lap, and she hastily slapped her hands over her visible thong. Her left arm nudged her left breast, causing her nipple to pop out from behind her blouse. With a little gasp, she tucked it back in with her right hand, while keeping her thong covered with her left.

Renny paused for a long moment. Then he said, “Would you mind stepping into my office please, Melanie?” Turning on his heel, he left the room and headed back down the corridor.

“Shit!” muttered Melanie. Now she was in trouble. Nervously, she got to her feet and walked to Renny’s office. It felt like she was going to her own execution.

His door was open, and she timidly stepped inside. “Have a seat,” he said.

Carefully, keeping her hands together in her lap, Melanie sat on the chair in front of his desk. “Am I in trouble?” she asked anxiously.

Renny looked surprised. “No, absolutely not,” he said. “I called you in here to let you know that Lynette just quit.”

“Oh no!” said Melanie, appalled. “Because of me?”

“Because I refused to discipline you,” said Renny. “And for some other reasons, which I don’t need to go into. Frankly, she was so insubordinate that if she hadn’t quit, I’d have had to fire her. I think she knew that, and that’s probably why she pre-empted me by quitting.”

“Oh my goodness!” said Melanie. “I feel so bad! I feel like this is all my fault.”

Renny shook his head. “I believe you just forced out into the open something that was already there,” he said. “I’m sorry to say that I won’t miss Lynette all that much. We’ll get one of the interns to cover her position until we can fill it properly. But for right now, I would like to apologise on behalf of the library for the treatment you received today from Lynette. Pam emailed me with a little description of what she said to you, and it was totally unacceptable.”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “You’ve no need to apologise. It’s fine. I’m just glad to hear I’m not in trouble myself. When you came in, and I ... well...”

“Had a little wardrobe malfunction?” said Renny with a smile. “Believe it or not, Melanie, I enjoyed that as much as the next man would. I’m not going to fault you for it, nor am I going to ask you to cover up. I would, however, ask you to be careful around members of the public. I will defend you to the hilt if I need to, but parents might make an official complaint if their kids see a nipple. I would like to avoid such trouble, if possible.”

“Understood!” said Melanie, blushing bright red. “I’ll be careful.”

“That’s all I ask,” said Renny. “And that’s all I had to say. Do you need anything from me?”

“No,” said Melanie. “Thank you.”

“Back to work, then,” said Renny. “See you later.”

Melanie returned to her office, feeling upbeat, though a little guilty. She had not meant to cause Lynette to quit, but she could not help thinking that now all of her colleagues were cool with her skimpy outfit.

Shortly before noon, Kelly called. She smiled as she picked up her phone. “Hi!”

“Hi Melanie!” said Kelly. “Sorry I only just saw your text; I was in a lecture. How are things going?”

“Well, three people have seen my thong, and my nipples, which keep popping out ... and Lynette quit after a row about my outfit with Renny. Otherwise, not bad.”

“Wow!” said Kelly. “Quite an eventful morning! Are you okay?”

“I’m feeling mortified about everyone seeing my nipples,” said Melanie, “but I’m coping. Kelly, this blouse just isn’t working out. It’s too small. I can’t spend my day worrying about whether my nipples are going to pop out.”

“So don’t worry about it,” said Kelly. “If they pop out, just put them back. Has anyone but Lynette told you your blouse is unacceptable?”

“No,” Melanie admitted. “But Kelly ... you can’t really think it’s okay for me to flash my nipples at my colleagues?”

“You’re not doing it deliberately, are you?” said Kelly. “And I’m sure the guys, at least, enjoy the view. Has Pam said it makes her uncomfortable?”

“No, but it’s possible it does, and she’s just too nice to say so,” said Melanie. “But anyway, that’s only half the point. It makes me uncomfortable! It’s really embarrassing to see people look down at my chest, and realise they can see my nipples! And my thong – ‘when I’m sitting down, if I don’t remember to put my hands in my lap, anyone standing in front of me can see up my miniskirt!”

“Well, we can’t do anything about your colleagues’ level of discomfort,” said Kelly. “If they can’t accept your outfit, then we have to change the outfit. But Melanie, you and I have spent the whole week working on helping you to feel less embarrassed about the amount of skin you have on display. And you’ve made amazing progress. Your own level of embarrassment is definitely something we can address, because we’re addressing it right now and the results are obvious. So try to stick it out for the rest of the day, and if your nipples pop out, maybe just let them stay out for a bit. See if you can overcome your mortification. You have more inner strength than I think you realise. Your embarrassment is an enemy you are very capable of defeating.”

This was a novel concept. “I don’t want to give Myron ideas, though...” she said.

“What ideas?” asked Kelly. “Letting him look at your nipples is not giving him permission to do anything else. If he tries anything, sharply correct him. If he continues to push his luck, go to Renny. Sexual harassment is never okay, and I’m sure Renny will fully support you on that.”

“Hmm,” said Melanie. “Well, it might not happen again today in front of Myron anyway.”

“If it doesn’t, then great,” said Kelly. “I’m sure you won’t be heartbroken about that.”

“Indeed!” said Melanie. “And as for my thong, I’ll just have to get used to putting my hands in my lap when I turn around, I guess.”

“Or not,” replied Kelly. “Same principle applies as with your nipples. Try getting used to having your thong showing. If Myron stares at it for too long, you can say something like ‘My eyes are up here, Myron’. But covering up your thong is just reinforcing the idea that you have something to be ashamed of. Which you don’t.”

“Oh heck,” said Melanie, with a nervous swallow. “I’ll try.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly. “You can do it – ‘I have absolute faith in you.”

“I wish I did!” said Melanie. “But you’re helping – ‘you really are. And actually, so are my colleagues. I’m surprised at how supportive they’ve been. Especially Pam. She’s even offered to go and pick up a sandwich for me at lunchtime.”

“Oh yes!” said Kelly. “I’m so sorry – ‘I forgot to make your lunch!”

“Oh it’s fine,” said Melanie hastily. “I didn’t mention it as a hint or anything. I don’t expect you to make my lunch every day. I’m absolutely fine with a sandwich from Hamm’s.”

“Okay,” said Kelly. “So ... you’re sending Pam out to get it for you?”

“She offered,” said Melanie. “And given my skimpy outfit...”

“Of course,” said Kelly. “That’s very nice of her. I can’t help wondering, though, if it might not be a little counterproductive to our efforts.”

Melanie’s heart sank. “You think I should go to the sandwich shop myself?”

“It’s entirely up to you,” said Kelly. “But I think it would be the better choice, for several reasons. First off, it would prevent you from getting into a habit of hiding yourself away, that might be hard to break later. Secondly, it would reinforce in your mind the notion that it’s okay for you to wear an outfit like that in public. Which, of course, it is ... but I’m not really sure that you believe it, deep down, at this point. Thirdly, a successful run to the sandwich shop will do wonders for your morale.”

“That’s my worry, though,” said Melanie nervously. “What if it’s not successful? It might undo a lot of my self-confidence. Between here and the sandwich shop, there’s a construction site, and the workers there aren’t exactly shy about calling out to women that pass on the street.”

“Okay?” said Kelly. “For a start, that kind of behaviour isn’t acceptable from anyone, and their foreman shouldn’t be tolerating it. But let’s just say that you go to the sandwich shop, and those guys do what you expect them to do. What’s the worst case scenario here?”

Melanie bit her lip. “They humiliate me? They jeer at me? They tell me what they’d like to do to me? They make me want to crawl into a hole into curl up into a foetal position?”

“All right,” said Kelly, “let’s unpack that. Only two of those things are about what the construction workers would actually do. The other two are about how you would respond to their actions. Now, you can’t control what they do – ‘unless you go and complain to their foreman, which to be honest I’d argue would be a good idea. But let’s assume you’re not up to doing that just yet.”

“Yes please,” said Melanie with a shudder.

“Okay,” said Kelly. “You can, however, control how you react to their offensive behaviour. Nothing they say can hurt you, if you don’t let it. If they call out that you have nice boobs ... well duh! If they point out that you’re showing a lot of skin, similarly, they’re just stating the obvious. If they say they want to fuck you, well, no doubt they do! It’s not going to happen. If they ask you to come over and give them blowjobs, or flash your boobs, or even just talk to them ... take comfort in their disappointment when you fail to comply. Just ignore them. Pretend they don’t exist. They have absolutely no power over you unless you give it to them. Their words – ‘whether they are complimentary, insulting, demeaning, or even threatening – ‘are designed to provoke a reaction. If you don’t react, you win.”

“That’s ... a great pep talk,” said Melanie, slightly awed. “But what if I can’t help reacting?”

“As long as you’re prepared, you should be fine,” said Kelly. “If they catch you off guard, you might react instinctively – ‘but that’s not going to happen, is it? You know they’re there; just keep your eyes fixed on a point ahead of you, and walk towards it.”

Melanie shivered. “You almost make me believe I can do it,” she said.

“I know you can do it,” said Kelly. “As I’ve told you, you’re stronger than you realise. I think you should go for it – ‘today. You’ll only believe in your own strength once you’ve demonstrated it to yourself.”

Melanie gulped. “Oh God,” she said. “All right ... I’ll do it.”

“Good girl!” said Kelly. “Let me know how it goes.”

“Okay,” said Melanie. “Talk to you later then.”

Having hung up, she then went to see Pam. “I’m going to pick up my own sandwich,” she said. “Kelly thinks it’ll be good for me.”

Pam looked a little shocked. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Good grief – ‘however does Kelly talk you into these things?”

“He’s persuasive,” Melanie admitted.

“Well, I’m coming with you,” said Pam firmly. “If those assholes give you any trouble, they’ll have me to answer to!”

“Thank you,” said Melanie gratefully. “But I’d rather you didn’t engage with them; Kelly said it’s best just to ignore them. Your company certainly would be comforting, though.”

“Okay then,” said Pam. “One o’clock?”

“Yup,” said Melanie. “Thanks Pam.”

An hour later, therefore, the two women left the library and headed for the sandwich shop. Melanie, with her tiny skirt barely covering her bottom and her chest massively exposed, felt very vulnerable as she tried to ignore the stares and dropped jaws that met her along the way. “I feel so naked!” she muttered anxiously to Pam.

“Put some clothes on!” snapped one young woman, glaring at Melanie as she passed.

“Judgmental much?” Pam fired back angrily. “Jeez!”

“Heyyy!” said a delighted young man in cargo shorts and a reversed baseball cap, as he stared at Melanie’s breasts. “How ya doin’?”

“Fine thank you,” said Melanie quietly, increasing her pace slightly. “God, this is awful!”

“Do you want to turn back?” asked Pam. “It’s not too late.”

Turning back would mean running into Cargo Shorts Man again almost immediately. “No,” said Melanie reluctantly. “Let’s just finish this.”

They were approaching the construction site: a two-acre lot on which a dilapidated apartment building had stood until early this year. In its place, apparently, would shortly stand a modern office complex, fourteen storeys high. Melanie steeled herself, preparing to brave the barrage of sexual harassment that would doubtless ensue.

What followed was almost surreally anticlimactic. An astonished “Whoa!” and a single wolf-whistle, both of which Melanie ignored, were the only sounds Melanie heard from the construction workers. She was more bothered, in fact, by the contemptuous look given her by a another young woman as they passed each other.

With the construction site behind her, Melanie sighed with relief. But she was still running a gauntlet of disapproving and lustful looks and comments, and she made herself continue with her strategy of staring straight ahead and ignoring the attention. Soon, she and Pam reached the door of Hamm’s Sandwch, and Melanie hurriedly stepped inside.

The young man behind the counter was familiar with Melanie, and he initially smiled, but then his expression turned to surprise and confusion as his eyes lit upon her largely exposed breasts. “Um, hi there,” he said, flustered. “What can I get for you?”

“Could I please have a half-size roast chicken on wheat bread, with everything except tomatoes,” said Melanie.

“Uh, sure, of course,” said the young man, with a nervous little laugh. “Don’t know why I asked!”

“I’m a creature of habit,” Melanie acknowledged.

“Uh, yeah...” agreed the man, momentarily distracted by her left areola, which was showing slightly. He shook himself, then set about fulfilling her order, his cheeks burning bright red.

Melanie found herself feeling oddly powerful, but also rather guilty. She had caused this young man’s discomfiture. At least he was neither criticising her nor drooling over her ... but it was still far from a positive experience. She did not wish to make the strangers around her angry, uncomfortable, or horny on account of her clothing. She just wanted them to accept her as she was, without judgment of any kind. She wished everybody could be like Pam.

Two minutes later, she had her sandwich and was heading back to the library with Pam. Approaching the construction site, she set her jaw and stared grimly ahead ... and this time, her mettle was put to the test. Word had apparently spread; it seemed like the entire construction crew had turned out to watch her walk past. Their shouted comments made her stomach turn cartwheels.

“Hey Baby, why don’t you come over and say hello?” “The boobs! The boobs! My eyes!” “Your outfit today is quite an improvement!” “I’m loving the new look!” “Smile baby – ‘you look great!” “Aphrodite and Athena ain’t got nothin’ on you, sweet thing.”

This last comment was so jarringly atypical that it stopped Melanie in her tracks. She turned incredulously towards the construction workers, who all abruptly fell silent.

“Who said that?” Melanie demanded. “That last thing. About Aphrodite and Athena?”

“Melanie!” muttered Pam in alarm. “Don’t engage!”

For a moment, none of the construction workers moved or spoke. But then a slightly sheepish-looking man in his early twenties raised his hand. He was tall, well-muscled, and shaven-headed. “Uh, that was me.”

“You’re familiar with Greek mythology?” Melanie inquired, puzzled curiosity temporarily overcoming her anxiety and embarrassment.

“Just because I work in construction doesn’t mean I don’t read,” said the young man, somewhat defensively.

“Yeah, but,” said Melanie, “the Trojan war? That’s a little ... esoteric.”

“Oh, I love that stuff,” said the young man. “The Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, the Peloponnesian war...”

“You’ve read Thucydides?” said Melanie in amazement.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Well, a translation, obviously.”

“What’s your name?” Melanie inquired.

“Colby,” replied the young man.

“Well Colby,” said Melanie. “I’m impressed that you know your Greek mythology, and I’m flattered by your compliment ... but do you think maybe you and your friends could in future let me pass without yelling things at me?”

“Aww come on,” said one of the other men. “You can’t dress like that and then complain when it gets you some attention.”

“I can and I will!” retorted Melanie. “If you think I dressed like this in the secret hope that men would yell at me on the street, you are seriously clueless! The way I dress is not an invitation to harassment. And if you want me to keep dressing this way, I suggest you learn some manners!”

“Understood,” said Colby, preempting an outburst from his colleague. “We’ll behave better.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie. “Good day, gentlemen.” She turned, and resumed walking down the sidewalk, with an astonished Pam in tow.

“That was awesome!” exclaimed Pam. “I didn’t know you had that in you! You totally put them in their place!”

Melanie shuddered. “God – ‘I’m not quite sure how I did it!” she said. “I was just so distracted by Colby’s reading habits, I forgot to be afraid of those guys!”

“I guess!” said Pam. Then, as another passing female pedestrian began to voice her disapproval at Melanie’s clothing, she said, “What are you, the fashion police? Or just a judgmental bitch?”

Melanie giggled. “Thanks Pam,” she said. “I’m glad you came along!”

“You’re welcome,” said Pam. “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s women undermining each other. Like we don’t get enough judgment from men!”

Melanie felt a lot more relaxed and confident for the rest of their walk back to the library. In her office, she texted Kelly: ‘I did it! It wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. I even stopped to chat with the construction crew, and told them off!’

Kelly took a while to respond, so Melanie got on with eating her lunch. When Kelly’s text finally came in, it said, ‘That’s my girl! Well done – ‘knew you could do it! Proud of you!’ Melanie smiled happily.

Around the middle of the afternoon, she heard Myron knock on her open door and say, “Um, Melanie?”

Remembering Kelly’s words, Melanie bit her lip, then she turned her chair around, deliberately keeping her hands out of her lap. She was not surprised to see Myron’s eyes immediately flick down to her thong. “Yes Myron?” she said, feeling desperate to cross her legs or cover her thong with her hands. But this was a test of her nerve, and she wanted to make Kelly prouder still.

Myron wrenched his eyes away from the large white triangle between her thighs. “I was wondering,” he said, red-faced, “if you could help me move some more desks in the old Reading Room.”

Melanie wondered if he had tried asking Pam first. Or had he come straight to her because he was hoping to see her nipples again? She sighed. It did not matter; she had no desire to make her clothing an excuse for not helping Myron. The job had to be done, and she was as capable of doing it as Pam. And this time, she was determined not to worry about her exposed nipples. Myron was going to see them, and that was okay.

But it was not okay, as she discovered when she lifted her end of the first desk Myron wanted to move. Try as she might, she could not quash her instinctive sense of mortification as first one nipple, then the other, popped out of her blouse. Myron’s grin as he stared at her exposed breasts did not help matters, of course.

Yet she was determined to follow Kelly’s advice and conquer her embarrassment, so when she finally set the desk down where Myron wanted it, she forced herself not to tuck her breasts away. Leaving her nipples exposed – ‘much to Myron’s delight – ‘she followed him to the next desk.

It was not until the third and final desk had been moved that she allowed herself to put her nipples back inside her blouse. By this time, she was feeling incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed. But she also felt proud that she had endured it all.

“Would you mind plugging the desk lamps in for me, while you’re here?” asked Myron hopefully.

“You can’t manage that by yourself?” Melanie inquired.

“I can,” admitted Myron, “if I need to. But my back and knees are not what they were, and ... never mind. It’s fine. I’ll manage.”

“No, don’t be silly,” said Melanie with a sigh. “Of course I’ll help.”

“Great!” said Myron. “Thank you.” He retrieved one of the desk lamps from the table on which he had placed them all, prior to moving the desks. He set the lamp down on the desk, and fed the plug and wire down behind the back of the desk. “Okay,” he said, taking a step backwards. “You’ll need to crawl under the desk, grab the plug, and reach up behind the back of the desk to plug it in.”

Melanie realised immediately what sort of view this would present to Myron, and she shivered. She wanted to ask Myron to please look away as she crawled under the desk, but she could not help feeling that Kelly would likely disapprove of this. He would surely want her to overcome her embarrassment, and not allow herself to panic over Myron ogling her bottom. Perhaps the old man would be a gentleman, and avert his eyes of his own accord.

Clenching her teeth, she got down on to her hands and knees, crawled under the desk, and found the plug at the end of its wire. Reaching up behind the flat vertical panel at the back of the desk, which came down to just six inches above the carpet, she felt around for the socket, found it, and tried to get the plug inserted. But the gap between the wall and the back of the desk was so narrow that it was a tricky job, and took almost a minute of feeling around, working the plug into position, lining up the pins with the socket holes, and sliding it in.

When she finally backed out and got to her feet, Melanie was embarrassed, though not really surprised, to see Myron blushing and grinning guiltily. “Did you have a nice view?” she asked him grumpily.

“It was amazing!” gushed Myron, apparently relieved to be allowed to comment on what he had seen. “Such a beautiful sight!”

Melanie’s cheeks reddened even more than Myron’s. “All right, well thank you,” she said, feeling quite flustered. “I guess you’ll be seeing it again now.”

“Oh! Yes,” said Myron. He fetched a second lamp, and placed it on another desk, once again dropping the wire down the back.

Melanie got down on to her hands and knees again, and crawled beneath the second desk. Knowing that Myron was behind her, staring at her buttocks and the thin strip of her thong between them, she worked as quickly as possible to get the plug in.

“I don’t suppose...” said Myron hesitantly. “I don’t suppose I could ... take a photo...?”

Indignantly, Melanie replied, “No you may not!” But as she continued to struggle with the plug, it occurred to her that he could very well be taking photos right now, and she would never know.

“Okay,” said Myron, sounding disappointed.

Melanie got the plug inserted, then she backed out from beneath the desk. Standing up, she noticed that her nipples were both showing again. She sighed, then walked over to the next desk as Myron fetched another lamp. He placed it on the desk, posted the wire down behind it, and Melanie dropped on to her hands and knees again.

There seemed to be less room behind this desk than there had been behind the others, and Melanie found it quite difficult to get the plug into position. While she struggled with it, she could not help wondering if Myron was sneakily taking photos of her bottom. She also wondered what Kelly would say about it. Would he approve of the idea of Myron taking naughty photos of her bottom? She had a sneaking suspicion that he would.

But what if Myron showed them to other people? She considered this possibility for a moment, then dismissed it; Myron might be a bit of a pervert, but he was not a jerk. What harm, then, was there in letting him take such photos? She had let Kelly do the same, and more. But that was different... Or was it?

If Myron had not taken any photos yet, he was probably dying to. “All right Myron,” she said with a heavy sigh, “go ahead and take a photo – ‘I guess I don’t mind as long as you don’t show it to anyone else.

“Absolutely not!” said Myron, ecstatically pulling his phone out of his pocket. “Can I maybe take more than one? You know ... different angle...”

Melanie rolled her eyes. One or several; she supposed it did not really make much difference. “Fine,” she said resignedly. “Go on then – ‘take as many as you want.”

Myron gleefully took photo after photo, hurriedly but carefully, of Melanie’s thong and buttocks while she tried to work the plug into the socket. Eventually she got it in, whereupon she backed out from beneath the desk, and stood up.

Myron grinned at her exposed nipples, and he raised his phone. “Say cheese!” he said.

Melanie gasped, and covered her breasts with her hands. “I said you could photograph my butt!” she said. “Not my face and boobs!” She quickly tucked her nipples away.

“What difference does it make?” inquired Myron. “Surely it’s no worse than photographing your butt?”

“It is if my face is in the picture!” retorted Melanie. “A butt without a face could be any butt ... but if my face is in the shot, then it’s identifiably me.”

“But I already know it’s you,” said Myron, confused.

“Yes, I know,” said Melanie, “but if the photos got into the wrong hands...”

“Oh!” said Myron. “Well that’s not going to happen – ‘I won’t be showing them to anyone, and my phone is password-locked.”

It was reassuring to have this confirmed. “You promise you won’t show them to anyone?” she said.

“I promise!” said Myron firmly. “I’d swear on a bible if I had one handy.”

“Thank you,” said Melanie, feeling a little better.

“So...” said Myron, “can I have one with a smile...?”

“I guess so,” said Melanie reluctantly, and she smiled half-heartedly.

“Um,” said Myron, “I meant ... with your boobs...”

Melanie’s cheeks turned crimson. “Oh. Well ... I guess so...” She tugged the two sides of her blouse outward a little, allowing her nipples to pop free.

“Wonderful!” said Myron, grinning happily. “Now smile...”

Melanie managed a small, slightly forced smile, and Myron took the photo. Then he grabbed another lamp, and they proceeded to the final desk. While she worked on inserting the plug, Melanie guessed correctly that Myron was taking more photos of her bottom.

Then, as she began to back out from under the desk, Myron said, “Actually, could you please stop there for a second, and look back at me over your shoulder? And smile?”

“Myron!” she snapped at him in exasperation, as she got to her feet. “I have a job already, and it isn’t as a model for your erotic photography!”

Myron, looking stung, bowed his head in shame, and nodded. “I’m so sorry, Melanie,” he said. “I got carried away. This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in ... oh, decades. Please would you forgive an old man his foolishness?”

Melanie felt suddenly sorry for him. The poor man had probably not seen this much of a woman since the death of his wife, twenty-five years ago. “Look,” she said, more gently, “I’m not saying you can’t take any more photos of me. It doesn’t cost me anything, and I believe you’ll keep them secret and safe. I just don’t want you getting the idea that I’ll pose for you whenever you like.”

“Of course,” said Myron earnestly. “I apologise if I sounded like I was taking you for granted. I really wasn’t; I am deeply, humbly appreciative of your kindness.”

Melanie smiled. “All right then,” she said. She pursed her lips for a moment, then she added, “Okay – ‘one posed photo, and then I’m going back to my office.”

“Thank you!” said Myron excitedly. “Thank you so much! Okay, could you please get on the floor, right there, on your hands and knees?”

Hoping she would not come to regret her generosity, Melanie got down on all fours, and looked back at Myron over her shoulder. “Like this?”

“Yes!” said Myron. “Now smile please?”

Melanie smiled ... and this time it barely looked forced. Myron took the photo – ‘a beautiful shot, with her white thong prominently displayed in the exact centre, her shapely buttocks either side, and her smiling face very slightly out of focus in the upper left corner.

“Fantastic!” said Myron gleefully. “What a great photo! You might not be a professional model, Melanie, but you certainly could be!”

“Thank you,” said Melanie. “May I see?”

“Uh ... sure,” said Myron. He showed her his phone.

“Not bad,” said Melanie, though she was thinking to herself, ‘He’s no Kelly!’ She was a little surprised to find herself eagerly looking forward to another photo shoot with her lodger.

Myron helped her to her feet. “Thank you so much, Melanie,” he said. “This means a great deal to me. If there’s anything at all I can do for you in return, just name it.”

“Just don’t let anyone see the photos!” said Melanie lightly, with a little laugh.

“You got it,” replied Myron, smiling.

Melanie returned to her office, and texted Kelly with the story of what had happened with Myron.

‘Seems like you handled it well!’ was his response, after the initial wows and OMGs that punctuated her story-telling.

‘You don’t think it was a mistake, then?’ she typed back. ‘To let him see and photograph so much?’

‘You know the guy,’ replied Kelly. ‘If you think he’s trustworthy, then I don’t see the harm. In fact I’m impressed, not only with your control over your natural sense of embarrassment, but also at the kindness you’ve shown to a lonely old man. You know he’ll be back for more, though, right?’

‘Yeah, I’m sure he will,’ Melanie responded glumly. ‘How do you suggest I handle that?’

‘Well it’s up to you how many photos you let him take, and how much you are willing to show him ... my advice would be to play it by ear. If he asks you to do something you’re not willing to do, tell him so. Then you’ll both have a better idea of where the line is drawn.’

‘Good advice!’ replied Melanie. ‘Thanks Kelly.’

A couple of hours later, she got the chance to put Kelly’s advice to the test. “Melanie?” came Myron’s tentative voice from behind her.

Melanie swung her chair around. “Hi Myron,” she said, eyeing the phone in his hand a little warily. “What’s up?”

“I was wondering,” said Myron, his eyes firmly fixed on her thong, “whether you’d be willing to let me take some more photos. I know I shouldn’t ask, particularly so soon after the last photos ... I just ... I’ve been unable to think about anything else this afternoon!”

Melanie smirked. “All right, Myron,” she said. “What kind of pose did you have in mind?”

“As you are, I think,” said Myron. “Except, maybe, with your nipples showing...?”

Melanie bit her lip, then nodded. She had let him photograph her nipples already; clearly the line was somewhere beyond that point. After a moment’s hesitation, she pulled open her blouse again, and smiled, a little tightly.

“Lovely,” said Myron. “And ... uh ... maybe part those knees a bit?”

“What, you can’t see enough of my thong already?” inquired Melanie, slightly peeved.

“I was just hoping for a bit more,” said Myron apologetically. “Obviously you don’t have to; just show as much as you’re willing to show. However much that is, I’ll love it.”

Melanie considered the request. Was this where she was going to draw the line? Keeping her knees together? How much of a difference would it make to part them a little? Not much, probably ... but it would depend how much she parted them. He had already seen and photographed a much more explicit view of her thong; even a fairly wide spread would not be as naughty as the photos he had taken in the old Reading Room.

Reluctantly, she began to spread her thighs apart. When her knees were six inches from each other, her upper thighs were still touching. She continued to widen the spread, until her knees were over a foot apart and her thighs were separated by about an inch at the top.

“Wonderful!” breathed Myron, staring in fascination at her thong.

Melanie shivered. Was this her limit? Another few inches would not make much difference. She spread her thighs even wider – ‘to eighteen inches, to two feet, and further still. When the muscles in her groin began to feel uncomfortably stretched, she stopped. “Okay, that’s as wide as I’m going,” she said sternly, as if she had made just a trifling concession.

“It’s perfect!” exclaimed Myron in delight. “Smile please? Good, thank you...” He took a photo from the front, then he squatted and took another, then he stood up and took a few more, from different angles and distances.

“All right, that’s enough,” said Melanie good-humouredly, closing her legs and tucking her nipples away.

“Beautiful!” said Myron joyously. “I can’t thank you enough!”

“You’re welcome,” said Melanie, amused. Once Myron had departed, she turned back to her computer, wondering if this had been Myron’s last visit of the day.

A little after five o’clock, there was another knock on her door. Smiling, she swung her chair around, carelessly leaving her knees about ten inches apart.

But it was not Myron. “Hi Renny!” she said, closing her knees at a speed she hoped was slow enough to seem casual.

“I just caught Myron looking at a photo of your ass!” said Renny, looking upset. “I was about to fire him for taking voyeuristic photos of you, but he said he had your permission??”

“Oh Myron!” groaned Melanie in despair. “He promised he would keep them secret and safe!”

“But why?” demanded Renny. “Why would you let him do that?”

“I don’t know!” said Melanie desperately. “He asked! I was helping him in the Reading Room – ‘the old one – ‘and I couldn’t help giving him quite a view... He asked if he could take a photo, and I figured I’d never know if he did anyway, so I said yes. I guess I felt sorry for the poor guy – ‘he’s pretty lonely. And he was so appreciative. But he promised nobody else would see them!”

“Well – ‘I saw them!” said Renny. “At least, I saw one. But Jesus, Melanie, what if a patron had walked in and seen Myron taking those photos?”

“I’m sorry!” said Melanie miserably. “Today’s just been ... a little unusual, with my outfit and everything. I guess I’m still figuring out how to cope with it. Oh God ... am I fired?”

“No!” said Renny. “God no. Jeez, you know how valuable I consider you. But ... I’m honestly not sure how to deal with this. In a couple of days you’ve gone from this timid little thing ... I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the new look, but I do have the library’s reputation to think about, and ... well, frankly, I’m kinda shocked! It’s a little disturbing that you would let Myron take such photos of you. I mean, you’re young, and married, and he’s...” He trailed off, and shrugged.

“I know,” Melanie agreed with a shudder. “It’s weird. I know it is. This time last week, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a thing. Probably I wouldn’t have done it even yesterday. But things have happened fast. Kelly’s brought me a long way in a short time. And he’s been teaching me to be more comfortable showing off my body. When I told him about my nipples popping out of this blouse this morning, and how embarrassing that was, he encouraged me to try leaving them uncovered, and to try not to freak out about people seeing them. And you know, it’s still totally mortifying, but I do think that enduring all of this stuff is making me stronger. At lunchtime, I even faced down the construction crew on the building site down the street!”

“I heard about that,” said Renny, nodding. “From Pam. So ... you really think all this is doing you good?”

“Yes, I really do,” said Melanie. “But I certainly don’t want to cause problems for the library! You know how much I love this place. Perhaps it would be best all round if I just go back to wearing my old sensible clothes...”

“No, that won’t be necessary,” said Renny quickly. Then, candidly, he added, “I like your outfit today, Melanie. I really like it. It just galls me to think of Myron... I mean ... I guess I’m a little envious...”

Melanie’s eyes widened. “Of Myron? Oh! Wow. Um ... you mean, you want to take photos of me too...?” This was an unexpected, and rather uncomfortable, development in her relationship with her boss.

But “No!” he said vehemently. “Most importantly, I’m married, but aside from that, you’re married too, and I’m your boss! It would be wrong on so many levels!”

Melanie nodded, relieved. But this was a problem. She could not afford for her boss to be eaten up with envy because one member of his staff was taking sexy photos of another. “I’ll tell Myron he can’t take any more photos,” she said.

Renny sighed. “I don’t know that I want that either,” he said. “Like you said, he’s a lonely guy. And if you don’t mind him taking photos, and he’s getting a kick out of it, then it would seem like a dick move on my part to forbid it. As long as you’re discreet about it, and don’t do it in a publicly accessible place like the old Reading Room!”

“Understood,” said Melanie. But the problem still remained. She bit her lip. “What if ... what if you got to see the photos Myron takes?”

Renny stared at her. “Um,” he said. “That’s a tempting idea, but I don’t feel right about asking Myron to send me the photos.”

“He’s probably keeping them on his Q drive,” said Melanie. “You have access to that, right?”

“Actually I don’t,” said Renny. “It’s always been important to me to respect my staff’s privacy. Your Q drive is your own private corner of the server space, accessible by you alone. Well, and Jacob of course. But he kinda needs unlimited access.”

“God, I’d forgotten about Jacob,” said Melanie with a shudder. “You mean, he could have seen my photos too?”

“I suspect he has better things to do than poke around in Myron’s Q drive,” said Renny. “I think you’re safe there.”

Melanie sighed. “Perhaps I could suggest to Myron that he keep them somewhere else,” she said. “Somewhere both you and he can access. What about the J drive?”

“Pam’ll have access to that too...” said Renny.

“I’m not worried about that,” said Melanie. “As long as Myron buries the photos in an obscure subfolder, and doesn’t call it something obvious like ‘Melanie’s Sexy Photos’, then she’ll probably never find them. But even if she does, I trust her completely. I’m more worried about Jacob.”

“Jacob’s a busy guy,” said Renny. “I really don’t think you have anything to worry about there.”

“All right,” said Melanie, feeling butterflies in her stomach. “I’ll talk to Myron.”

“Thank you,” said Renny gratefully. There was a moment’s awkward silence. Then he added, “I’ll see you later then.” He smiled briefly, then returned to his office.

Melanie got up, and hurried out of her office. Myron only worked until five, at least in theory, though he had been known to stay later if he had a lot of work to do. Her heart sank as she found his office empty ... but then she noticed his screensaver was on. He never normally left without turning his computer off.

She was debating whether or not to go in search of him, when he appeared at the far end of the corridor. “Melanie!” he said. “Hi! Do you need something?”

“I thought you were going to keep my photos safe!” she said reproachfully.

His face fell as he approached her. “I’m so sorry about that!” he said. “The pics were so small on my phone ... I just wanted to see them bigger... Did you get into trouble?”

“Not really,” said Melanie, “but it was an uncomfortable talk!”

“I’m sure,” said Myron with a sigh. “I suppose that’s it for the photo-taking, then?”

“Well, not really,” replied Melanie, though she wished it was. “Renny says we can keep taking photos as long as we’re discreet about it. No more public areas like the old Reading Room.”

“That’s fair!” said Myron happily.

“Where are you keeping the photos?” Melanie asked.

“On my Q drive,” said Myron. “Safest place I could think of.”

“Hmm,” said Melanie. “Would you mind moving them to the J drive? But, like, super well-hidden? I want to be able to see them for myself, and if necessary delete any I don’t like.”

“Oh!” said Myron in surprise. “Well, I guess so... Aren’t you worried about other people seeing them, though?”

“Hence, super well-hidden!” said Melanie. “Pick an obscure subfolder.”

“Hmm, okay,” said Myron, walking over to his computer and sitting down. He moved his mouse, and on his screen appeared a large photo of Melanie, sitting on her chair with her legs spread wide and her blouse pulled open, her thong and breasts very prominently displayed.

“Jesus Myron!” exclaimed Melanie, horrified.

“Oops!” said Myron apologetically, as he hurriedly closed his picture viewer window. “Sorry – ‘forgot I’d left that open.”

“You’ve got to be more careful, Myron!” said Melanie anxiously.

“I will,” Myron promised. He opened a file browser window, and clicked on the J drive. Drilling down into a little-used folder tree, he found a subfolder named ‘2007 expansion’, which had been created way back in 2006. It was empty except for a Word document titled ‘Meeting notes.doc’. “I think this’ll be a good place,” he said. “Our big expansion in 2012 was first proposed back in ‘06, but it was shelved for budget reasons. Nobody’s likely to look in here.”

“I agree,” said Melanie. “Go for it.”

Myron flipped to another window, which showed the contents of his Q drive. He right-clicked a folder called ‘Melanie Pics’, and then clicked Copy. Flipping back to the ‘2007 expansion’ folder, he right-clicked again, and clicked Paste. A new ‘Melanie Pics’ folder appeared, and files began copying across.

“Could you have picked a more obvious name for the folder?” demanded Melanie in disbelief.

Myron shrugged. “Nobody will see the name, though, unless they come into the 2007 expansion folder. And you agreed that wasn’t likely.”

“I guess so,” Melanie conceded, though she was still a little concerned about sexy photos of her being housed in a folder with such an obvious name.

“While you’re here,” said Myron with a sudden grin, “would you mind posing for a couple more photos?” He picked up his phone.

Melanie rolled her eyes. “Should’ve seen this coming, I suppose,” she said. “All right then – ‘just a couple.”

“Awesome!” said Myron. “Could you maybe, uh, take off your blouse?”

“Jeez, Myron!” Melanie exclaimed. “I give you an inch, and you take a mile!”

“What?” said Myron defensively. “I’ve already seen your boobs! Is this really so much worse?”

He did have a point. “I guess not,” she admitted reluctantly. “All right then.” She unfastened the bottom two buttons on her blouse, slipped it off her shoulders, and tugged her arms out of the sleeves. Loosely folding the garment, she placed it on the corner of Myron’s desk. Then she posed, with her hands on her hips, feeling very self-conscious about her exposed belly.

“Excellent!” said Myron, grinning at her breasts. Then his eyes dropped to her skirt. “Now if you could please pull your skirt up, to show me your thong...?”

Melanie shivered. It was not an unreasonable request, given that he had seen plenty of her thong already, but he was gradually getting her more and more naked, and despite her instinctive rebellion against this, and the fact that she had no sexual interest in Myron whatsoever, a small part of her was getting aroused. She grasped the sides of her skirt, and slowly pulled them up, until her thong was peeping beneath the hem.

“Nice,” said Myron, wide-eyed. “Keep going...”

She continued lifting her skirt, until it was little more than a bunched-up belt around her hips, and most of her thong was showing. Myron excitedly took a photo.

“Actually could you just take the skirt off?” he asked. “It’s not like it’s covering anything now.”

“Myron...” said Melanie uncomfortably.

“This’ll be the last photo, I promise,” Myron assured her.

Melanie sighed. “All right then,” she said. She unbuttoned her skirt, pulled it down, and stepped out of it. Then she posed, with her right hand on her hip and wearing a half-hearted smile, while an overjoyed Myron took another photo.

“Just beautiful!” he said. “Oh my goodness, Melanie, you’ve made me so happy today! I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am. May I … may I give you a hug…?” Putting his phone down, he got to his feet and spread his arms hopefully.

“Sure,” said Melanie, without enthusiasm. She gingerly put her arms around his middle as he encircled her in a warm embrace. With her naked breasts pressing into his shirt, she said, in a rather muffled voice, “I hope you enjoy the photos.”

“Oh, I shall,” said Myron happily as he held her body closely against his. Then, reaching down, he grasped her left buttock with his right hand, and gave it a squeeze.

“Hey!” said Melanie, pulling away from him. “Be nice, Myron.”

“Sorry, I just couldn’t resist,” he replied with a cheeky grin. ‘I’ll probably never again have a beautiful, nearly naked young woman in my arms, so I figured I might as well make the most of it.”

The strong likelihood of this being true was enough, just, for Melanie to cut Myron a little slack. “All right,” she said, “well I’ll bid you goodnight, then. And have a good weekend.”

“You too!” said Myron.

Preferring not to get dressed in front of him, Melanie stooped and picked up her skirt, then retrieved her blouse from his desk. Retreating quickly from the room, she headed back to her own office, clutching her clothes to her chest.

Her phone was ringing; it was Kelly. Quickly setting her blouse and skirt down on her chair, she went to pick up her phone, but she was too late; it had stopped ringing. Switching it on, she called Kelly back.

He answered right away. “Hi!” he said. “Sorry, did I call at a bad time?”

“No, not at all,” said Melanie. “I was just in Myron’s office. I let him take a couple of photos of me. You’ll never guess what I’m wearing right now…”

“Overalls? Scuba gear? Kevlar body-armour?” Kelly hazarded.

“All of the above,” said Melanie. “You see, the pipes burst, so I got my toolbox and put on some overalls, but I couldn’t fix the pipes fast enough, and the room filled up with water – ‘hence the scuba gear.”

“I see,” said Kelly. “And the body-armour?”

“There were sharks,” explained Melanie. Then she burst into a fit of giggling.

“Quite a day you’re having there!” said Kelly, laughing. “But go on, tell me – ‘I’m dying to know.”

“Just my thong and my shoes,” said Melanie. “Myron managed to talk me out of my blouse and skirt.”

“Holy cow!” said Kelly. “Impressive! And he took photos of you like that?”

“Just one,” said Melanie. “And one with the skirt still on, but pulled up.”

“Melanie, you’re amazing, do you know that?” said Kelly. “Knowing how hard that must have been for you ... I’m kind of in awe.”

Melanie smiled happily. “So you’re proud of me?”

“Extremely!” said Kelly. “So, are you planning to finish out the day like that...?”

Melanie shivered. “Would ... would you like me to…?” she inquired hesitantly.

“That would be awesome,” said Kelly, “but don’t get yourself into trouble.”

“Well it’s just me and Myron here right now,” said Melanie. “The library closes to the public at five on a Friday, so Pam and our intern, Joey, have both left. And Renny ... well, I assume he’s gone. I haven’t seen him in a while, and he normally leaves at five.”

“Okay then!” said Kelly. “Well, by all means finish out your day in just a thong. And shoes. Or ... why not take off the shoes too, for good measure?”

Melanie chuckled, as she kicked off her shoes beneath her desk. “Done,” she said. “Now I’m wearing only my thong! At work!”

“Exciting, isn’t it?” said Kelly.

“A little,” Melanie admitted. “It helps to know that there’s nobody here who will judge me or shame me or anything like that. There’s just Myron, and he’s already seen me like this.”

“Okay!” said Kelly. “Good girl. Well, I just got home so I’m going to make a start on dinner. Richard’s doing a grocery shop – ‘I’m a little short of some of the ingredients I need.”

“What are you making?” asked Melanie.

“You’ll see,” said Kelly, with a chuckle. “You wouldn’t want me to ruin the surprise, would you?”

“Fair enough,” laughed Melanie. “All right – ‘see you soon.”

“Bye,” he said.

Melanie hung up, and resumed working. But just two minutes later, she heard Renny’s voice behind her. “Melanie?”

“Renny!” said Melanie, covering her breasts in alarm as she turned her chair around. “I thought you’d gone home! I’m so sorry I’m so underdressed; Myron was taking photos of me and I didn’t think it was necessary to get dressed right away.”

Renny smiled. “Well it’s after hours; don’t feel to have to get dressed on my account. As long as the public doesn’t see you like that, I don’t mind.”

“Oh!” said Melanie, relieved. “All right then.” She lowered her hands, exposing her breasts to Renny, who stared at them with a broad grin.

“Melanie, your breasts are just something else,” he said. “Just beautiful!”

“Thanks,” said Melanie, blushing.

“Anyway,” said Renny, “I was wondering if you’d had any luck persuading Myron to move his photos of you...”

“Yes!” said Melanie. “It’s in a folder called ‘2007 expansion’. I can’t remember the exact path, but I’ll find it and send you the link. Or you can do a search on that folder name yourself if you like.”

“I’ll do that,” said Renny. “Thanks Melanie – ‘it’s really extraordinarily generous of you to let me and Myron see so much of you. I’d like to make it up to you in some way.”

“You could give me a raise,” said Melanie hopefully.

“I would if I could!” said Renny. “Not because of your wonderful naked breasts, but because of your excellent work. But the money just isn’t in the budget. Unless...” His expression grew thoughtful. “I need to replace Lynette,” he continued, “but it likely wouldn’t be at the same rate of pay. If I hire someone with less experience, I could pay them less, and shift some dollars over to you.”

“Thank you!” said Melanie happily. “That would be great!”

“Okay,” said Renny. “Well, I’ll let you get back to work. Oh, but we need to talk briefly about next week. You’re teaching a class at the university, right? May I ask what you’re planning to wear for that?”

This had been on Melanie’s mind. “I’m not sure,” she said. “Obviously I’ll need to cover up a bit.”

“I trust your judgment,” said Renny. “Try not to get the library into trouble, but I’m guessing you’ll go as skimpy as you dare. I just want you to know that if there are any complaints, I’ll back you up to the best of my ability.”

“Thanks Renny!” said Melanie, smiling. “You’re a good boss.”

Renny chuckled. “Have a good weekend, Melanie,” he said.

“You too!” said Melanie.

Renny left, and Melanie got back to work. At six o’clock, having shut down her computer, she put her blouse and skirt back on, followed by her shoes. Heading out to the parking lot, she got in her car, and drove home.

“Oh my God, what’s that lovely smell?” she asked, as she walked in through the front door.

“Chicken tikka!” said Kelly, as he chopped up some salad greens. “It’ll be ready in fifteen minutes. I’m a little behind, sorry; I had to wait for Richard to get home.”

“No worries!” said Melanie. “I know it’ll be worth the wait. Where’s Richard?”

“Living room,” said Kelly.

“Thanks,” said Melanie, and she walked a little nervously through to the living room.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Richard, his eyes like saucers. “You wore THAT to work??”

Melanie nodded. “Do you ... do you like it?”

Richard jumped to his feet, took her face in his hands, and kissed her long and passionately. Then he took her by the hand. “Come on,” he said, “we’re going upstairs.”

“Okay!” said Melanie excitedly. It had been a long time since Richard had shown such an enthusiastic desire to make love to her.

The sex was wonderful. As they lay side by side, basking in the afterglow, Melanie sighed happily.

“Oh ... my ... goodness,” said Richard, panting heavily. “That was nice. I’m loving the new you, darling – ‘I never knew you could be so sexy!”

Melanie beamed happily. Then she chuckled. “You don’t know the half of it,” she said. “I spent the last half hour at work wearing nothing but a thong!”

“What??” exclaimed Richard, turning on his side to stare at her. “Tell me more! Tell me everything!”

Melanie laughed. “I don’t think I have time to tell you everything,” she said. “Dinner will be almost ready.” She sighed. “This is all Kelly’s doing, you know. He’s very keen for me to wear as little as possible – ‘in order to help me get over my body image hangups – ‘and he’s terribly persuasive.”

Richard grinned. “He’s a godsend! I wish he could stay forever!”

Melanie bit her lip. “I do have to tell you some things, though,” she said. “For starters ... this morning he showered with me.”

Richard gaped in astonishment. “What??”

“He overslept!” said Melanie quickly. “I did too, actually. So there wasn’t time for us both to shower separately. And he ... well, he persuaded me that it would be a good idea to shower together ... in the interests of saving time.”

Richard looked stunned. “So ... he saw you naked?”

“Yes,” Melanie admitted, “though it wasn’t the first time for that. He gave me a butt massage last night, and I was naked for that.”

“Oh ... yes,” said Richard.

“But there’s more,” said Melanie, feeling wretchedly guilty. “He touched me, too. I mean ... he washed me. Again, to save time – ‘while I was washing my hair and face.”

“He touched you ... everywhere?” asked Richard incredulously.

Melanie nodded. “Pretty much,” she said sadly. “I ... I don’t know why I let him. I’m so sorry, Richard.” Her eyes began to well up with tears.

“Did you ... enjoy it?” asked Richard.

“Yes,” Melanie admitted. “It was very exciting. Sorry...”

“Did it ... lead to anything?” Richard asked, uncomfortably. “Like ... kissing...?”

“No!” said Melanie firmly. “He just washed me; that’s all.” Then she guiltily recalled his lingering goodbye kiss as she left for work. “He has ... kissed me on the lips a couple times, though. He says it’s standard practice in his family ... you know, when saying goodbye or goodnight or whatnot.”

“Oh ... wow,” said Richard, looking uneasy.

“But Richard,” said Melanie urgently, “I need you to know that I’m your wife and that means everything to me. I’m yours. I’m completely loyal to you. I’d never cheat on you with Kelly or any other man.”

Richard sighed with relief. “Thank you,” he said. “That’s what I was hoping to hear. But ... are you in love with Kelly too? Even just a little?”

Melanie bit her lip. “I ... I guess so,” she said. “I mean ... he’s quite a guy...”

Richard nodded. “I can’t say I blame you,” he said. “Heck, I’m half in love with him myself! And I guess I knew he had a crush on you; it’s pretty obvious, the way he looks at you. But dammit ... I really don’t want him to have to leave...”

“Neither do I,” said Melanie mournfully.

“I mean, he’s been nothing but good for us, right?” said Richard. “Everything he does for us ... all the odd jobs around the house ... we’ve never eaten better! And you’ve never been sexier ... and we just had the best sex we’ve had in a long time...”

“Yes!” agreed Melanie fervently.

“Maybe,” said Richard hesitantly, “maybe this is just the price I have to pay for all the awesome things Kelly does for us.”

Now it was Melanie’s turn to be astonished. “You don’t want to tell Kelly off? You want to let him get away with kissing me and touching me?”

Richard fidgeted with the edge of the sheet. “I’m afraid that might lead to awkwardness between the three of us,” he said. “To the extent that Kelly might feel that he has to leave.”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “Hmm. You’re right, that might be a risk... So, what do you want to do?”

“Nothing, I guess,” said Richard. “I’d rather Kelly didn’t know that I know you showered together ... or that he’s kissed you.”

“That puts me in a bit of an awkward position,” said Melanie. “Kelly’s adamant that we don’t keep any secrets from you. If he thinks I haven’t told you any of this, he’ll probably tell you himself.”

“Really?” said Richard in surprise. “That’s a little ... confusing.”

“Guys?” called Kelly from the foot of the stairs. “Dinner’s ready.”

“I’ll have to think about it,” said Richard, climbing out of bed and pulling his underwear on. “We’ll be right there, Kelly!”

Melanie grabbed a couple of tissues from the box on her bedside table, and mopped up the semen leaking from her vagina. Then she got out of bed, and put her thong back on. As she walked out of the bedroom, Richard said, “That’s all you’re wearing?”

Melanie stopped. “You want me to put something else on?”

“No!” said Richard quickly. “Carry on.”

They went downstairs and sat down at the dining table, where Kelly served up delicious-looking plates of chicken tikka on assorted greens, with vegetable samosas on the side.

“Kelly, your cuisine is truly global!” remarked Richard. Then, after taking a bite, he added, “Mmmm, oh my god, this is amazing!”

“It really is!” enthused Melanie.

“Thank you!” said Kelly. “I’m so glad you like it!”

“I love it,” said Richard. Then, after a few more bites, he added, “Melanie tells me you showered with her this morning.”

“Yes,” said Kelly. “I’m glad she told you about that. I was itching to tell you myself when you got home, but I wanted to give Melanie the opportunity to tell you first.”

“Okay,” said Richard. “Well I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that most men would be pretty upset to find out their wife had showered with another man. Honestly, I’m still mulling over how I feel about it myself. But I wanted to get your take on it, before I pass judgment.”

“Your concern is totally understandable,” said Kelly. “I would not have made the suggestion, had we not been so pressed for time. It was a decision based on pure expedience. Having said that, I cannot deny that it was an enjoyable experience. It probably comes as no surprise, to either of you, that I am very attracted to Melanie ... but I’m very fond of both of you, I have a lot of respect for you both, and the last thing I want is to cause any problems for your marriage. My earnest wish is to enrich both your lives, and be a positive force in your marriage. Richard, I have no desire to steal Melanie away from you ... and Melanie, while I consider it a joy and a privilege to put my hands on you, I assure you that I have no sinister agenda in doing so. I want to strengthen your marriage, not weaken it. The moment I see a rift opening up between the two of you because of me, I will pack my bags and leave. That is, if you don’t rightly kick me out first.”

“Wow,” said Richard. “Quite an eloquent little speech! Thank you for your honesty, Kelly. It’s done a lot to ease my mind.”

“Mine too,” said Melanie.

“Look,” said Richard, putting his fork down and resting his elbows on the table, with his fingertips pressed together. “It seems like both of you enjoyed your shower together. And perhaps you got a little handsy, Kelly, but clearly both of you enjoyed that too. And yet, oddly enough, I’m not feeling threatened by that. I’m confident in Melanie’s loyalty to me, and I’m impressed by your forthrightness regarding your intentions. So I’m not going to tell you you can’t ever shower together again, and I’m not going to proscribe goodbye kisses on the lips. I’m guessing you both enjoy the massages, too, and I’m okay with that. All I ask of you, Kelly, is that you stick to your word and don’t do anything to undermine the strength of our marriage. And all I ask of you, Melanie, is that you continue to put me, and our marriage, first.”

“I will absolutely do that,” said Melanie.

“And I will indeed stick to my word,” said Kelly.

“Good!” said Richard brightly. “Then I think we can move on. Tonight, as you may recall, my friends Woody and JT are coming around for game night. Melanie sometimes joins in, but more often than not she sits it out and does her own thing. You’re more than welcome to join us, Kelly, but I should mention that we only have four controllers, so if five of us are playing, we’ll need to take turns.”

“If Kelly wants to play, I’ll just sit out this time – ‘I don’t mind at all,” said Melanie. “I’ll get some laundry done.”

“What laundry?” inquired Richard. “Kelly’s been keeping right on top of it.”

“Oh ... right,” said Melanie. “Jeez, Kelly, are there any chores you don’t do?” She laughed, and smiled at him affectionately.

“We talked yesterday about maybe doing a little workout together today,” said Kelly. “I don’t know if that’s something you’re still interested in…?”

“Oh yes!” said Melanie. “Kelly thinks he can fix my bulgy belly,” she explained to Richard.

“Well perhaps you could do both?” Richard suggested. “A bit of gaming with the guys, followed by a workout with Melanie?”

“Sounds good to me!” said Kelly.

“You also promised me another massage...” Melanie reminded him.

“Of course,” said Kelly. “Best not to do that before a workout, though ... nor too soon afterwards. Shall we say, around ten o’clock?”

“Works for me!” said Melanie.

“What are you going to wear, for when the guys get here?” asked Richard.

“Oh!” said Melanie, suddenly anxious. “Um ... what do you think, Kelly? I can’t possibly wear what I’m wearing now...”

“No,” agreed Kelly. “I would suggest you change into some regular panties, and put on a tank top. But I don’t know your friends, Richard; would they object to such an outfit?”

“Are you kidding?” said Richard. “They’d be thrilled! Of course, Woody’s wife might not let him come back, if she finds out about it...”

“Maybe I should wear a skirt,” said Melanie with a shiver.

“Woody’s jealous wife isn’t your problem, Melanie,” said Kelly. “As long as you don’t flirt with the man, you’ve got nothing to worry about. You should be able to dress how you like in your own house.”

“I agree,” said Richard. “Tank top and panties it is, then.”

“Okay,” said Melanie quietly. Her stomach was tying itself in knots at the thought of Woody and JT seeing her panties, but if she could strip down to her thong in front of Myron, she figured this should be a breeze in comparison.

After dinner, Kelly insisted on washing the dishes so that Melanie and Richard could enjoy a little cuddle on the couch in the living room while watching an episode of Survivor. The episode was only half over, however, when the doorbell rang.

“Oops! You’d better run and change,” said Richard.

Melanie jumped up from the couch, and hurried upstairs while Richard went to meet his friends. Kelly had already let them in.

“You must be the lodger!” said JT, a tall, slender man in a short-sleeved plaid shirt and a baseball cap. He extended a hand. “I’m JT.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Kelly, shaking his hand. “I’m Kelly.”

Woody was also tall, but he was of considerably greater girth than JT. The white t-shirt stretched around his expansive torso bore a fading image of Rey and BB8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “Hey man,” he said to Kelly. “I’m Woody.”

“Who’s up for some LittleBigPlanet?” asked Richard. “I’ve just completed a new 4-player versus shoot ‘em up level ... I think you’ll like it. Kelly’s seen it.”

“It’s awesome!” said Kelly.

“Cool!” said JT. “I too have new level out there, but it’s multiplayer co-op. Survival horror.”

“Both sound good to me!” said Woody.

They all settled down in the living room, and Richard handed out the controllers. He then switched on the television, and loaded up LittleBigPlanet on the PS4.

Then Melanie entered the room. “Can I get drinks for you guys?” she asked. “What would you all like?”

“Whoa!” exclaimed JT, staring at Melanie’s pink-and-white patterned panties. “Did you forget your pants, Melanie?”

Melanie blushed to the roots of her hair. “No,” she said awkwardly, “but it’s a warm evening; I’m just more comfortable like this.” But she looked far from comfortable.

“Is that a problem, guys?” asked Richard. “Melanie can go put a skirt on if her panties are making you feel uncomfortable.”

“Nope!” said JT quickly. “Melanie’s just fine as she is.”

“So fine,” muttered Woody.

“All right then,” said Richard. “Could you grab me a beer please, darling?”

“And for me, please,” said Woody.

“I’ll just have a Doctor Pepper, please,” said JT.

“Certainly,” said Melanie. “And for you, Kelly?”

“I’m fine for now, thank you,” said Kelly.

As Melanie fetched the drinks, the four men began playing Richard’s level. Upon Melanie’s return, however, Richard was obliged to pause the game, as everyone had stopped looking at the screen.

“Well, I’ll leave you to it,” said Melanie. “Have fun!”

“See you later, Melanie!” said Woody. Then, once Melanie had gone upstairs, he added, “Jesus, Richard – when did Melanie get so ... hot?”

Richard chuckled. “She’s always been this hot,” he said with a grin. “But I think she never really believed it until this week. Our lodger here has been helping her to get more comfortable with her body. He’s done wonders for her self-esteem. We’re both very grateful to him.”

“I’m happy to help!” said Kelly.

“So you don’t mind us ... looking...?” asked Woody.

“Not at all ... as long as you’re not a dick about it,” said Richard.

“Fair enough!” said Woody.

Richard’s level was a lot of fun to play, and it kept them entertained for the better part of an hour. Then Kelly excused himself, and went in search of Melanie.

He found her upstairs, reading a book on her Kindle. “Ready for a workout?” he asked her.

“Sure!” she said. She got up from her bed, and followed Kelly downstairs, all the way to the basement.

“This is my little workout room,” said Melanie, switching the light on in a small room adjacent to the games room. “I try to use the exercise bike at least twice a week, usually Saturday and Sunday ... but I haven’t been that great about it recently. The weights are Richard’s, but I think he’s only worked out with them a couple of times.”

“I see you have a couple of yoga mats,” said Kelly. “Those’ll be perfect.” He laid them down, side by side, and then he gestured to one of them. “Okay – ‘let’s get crunching! You’ll work up a sweat pretty quickly; how about you take off your top?”

“Okay,” said Melanie, with a little shiver, and she pulled her tank top up and over her head. As she lay down next to Kelly, naked but for her panties, she half-expected the situation to escalate somehow, in an erotic direction ... but in fact Kelly was an excellent exercise partner, supporting her and encouraging her while also challenging her.

After half an hour, she was exhausted. “God!” she gasped. “I’m going to be a wreck tomorrow!”

“You’ll certainly feel it,” said Kelly, nodding. “A nice full-body massage should help to mitigate the worst of it, though. And it will get easier, I promise.”

“Ooh – ‘a massage!” said Melanie, smiling. “Yes please.”

Kelly chuckled. “Well, you need some cool-down time first,” he said. “And we should really wash the sweat off you before we start applying baby oil.”

“Oh,” said Melanie. “You want me to take a shower?”

Kelly nodded. “Might as well,” he said. “I probably should, too ... but don’t worry, we can shower separately. It’s not like we’re pressed for time.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, not quite sure whether she was relieved or disappointed that he was not planning to shower with her.

“Although,” added Kelly, “it would save us some time, and we were also planning to do another photo shoot tonight... How late do Richard’s friends usually stay?”

“Depends,” said Melanie. “Sometimes they leave as early as eleven-thirty, but they’ve been known to stay as late as two in the morning.”

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “Well it would be good if we’re done with the photo shoot before they leave. We don’t want Richard walking in on us while you’re posing. We can always explain to him what we’re doing, but that would spoil his birthday present. I think we should save time by showering together. Do you mind...?”

Melanie did not mind at all, but she did not want to seem too keen. “I guess that makes sense,” she said with a shrug.

In the bathroom, they both disrobed, then Melanie turned the shower on, and they climbed into the bathtub together. At this point Melanie hesitated. “I don’t really need much more than a rinse,” she said. “I’m not sure it’s worth washing my hair.” Deep down, she wanted Kelly to wash her again, but she knew there was no justification for it.

“You’ve been seriously sweating,” said Kelly. “You should use some kind of soap. What do you use if you’re not washing your hair?”

“I don’t,” Melanie admitted. “I wash my hair every day. I don’t normally have two showers in one day though!”

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “It occurs to me that it would be an interesting experiment to photograph you with wet hair. You’ll be all oily and glistening anyway; wet hair will give you a nice just-stepped-out-of-the-shower look.”

“Okay...?” said Melanie. She liked where this was going.

“And if you’re going to get your hair wet,” Kelly continued, “you might as well lather up, and use the lather for washing your body.”

“I guess so,” said Melanie. “Okay then.” She took a step backwards, putting her head right under the shower, then turning it this way and that until her hair was thoroughly soaked. She then turned herself around a couple of times, wetting her whole body. “Trade places?”

“Sure,” said Kelly. Face to face, they shuffled past each other, and Kelly’s erection prodded against Melanie’s abdomen. “Sorry about that,” he apologised.

“It’s okay,” said Melanie with a little laugh. Then, because Kelly had said so many nice things about her body, she added, “You have a very nice cock.”

“Thank you!” replied Kelly. “It’s certainly very fond of you.”

Melanie giggled. Then she picked up her shampoo bottle, and poured some shampoo into her hand. Then a little more; she wanted it to make plenty of lather. Putting the bottle down, she raised both hands to her head, and began working the shampoo thoroughly into her hair.

Once she had built up a good lather, Kelly said, “Shall I wash your body while you wash your face, like last time?”

“Um, sure,” said Melanie, trying not to let her excitement show in her voice.

Kelly scooped up some of the excess lather from Melanie’s hair, then he began soaping up her back, starting with her shoulders and working his way down towards her bottom. At the base of her spine he paused, then went back for more of the shampoo lather. As he started massaging the slippery suds into her bottom, Melanie smiled to herself. Then she gasped a little, as his right hand slid between her buttocks and began rubbing back and forth over her anus.

Having retrieved some more lather, Kelly began working on her legs, working his way up quickly from her left ankle to the tops of her left thigh, where he was not shy about rubbing her pussy with the side of his right hand while ostensibly still soaping her inner thigh. Then he washed her right leg, and this time it was the side of his left hand that spent more than a few seconds rubbing against her pussy.

Standing up straight, Kelly fetched more shampoo suds from Melanie’s hair, then he put his arms around her waist and began gently soaping up her belly. Then, while keeping his left hand on her abdomen, he slid his right hand up between her breasts and started washing her upper chest, with her right breast caught in the crook of his elbow. As he worked his hand from right to left, and his left hand on her belly worked from left to right, Melanie became enfolded in his soapy embrace; it was a lovely feeling. But as his torso pressed up against her back, his erect cock pushed between her buttocks, making her gasp.

“Sorry about my cock,” Kelly apologised. “It’s a little in the way, isn’t it?”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Melanie breathlessly. “It’s fine; you can’t help it.”

Now Kelly moved his right hand down to her left breast, and his left hand up to her right breast, and he began to sensuously massage both breasts with his wrists crossed in front of her sternum. Melanie, half-heartedly washing her face, was thrilling to the sensation of his hands kneading her soft flesh, his fingers stroking her sensitive nipples.

But then he slid his right hand off her breast and down her soapy belly, down her abdomen, until his fingertips, following the curve of her crotch, slipped between her legs. Cupping her pussy, he started to slowly stroke it, his hand sliding back and forth, his middle finger gently pressing between her labia. Melanie’s arousal reached new heights.

“Would you like to make this a regular thing?” Kelly murmured in her ear, rhythmically sliding his cock up and down between her buttocks as he simultaneously washed her right breast and her pussy. “We do seem to have Richard’s permission, after all.”

Intensely focused on Kelly’s middle finger stroking her clitoris, Melanie struggled to keep her voice under control as she replied, “Yes ... that would be nice...”

Kelly spent over a minute washing Melanie’s pussy ... which she could not help feeling was an unnecessarily long time. Yet she was enjoying it so much that her will to object was almost nonexistent. Nevertheless, she had almost summoned the fortitude to say something, when Kelly abruptly withdrew his hands and stepped away from her, his erection slipping from between her buttocks.

“Well, I’m done,” he said. “You ready to swap?”

“Sure,” Melanie replied, feeling sexually frustrated but morally relieved.

They traded places, shuffling past one another with Kelly’s erection once again poking against Melanie’s abdomen. Melanie rinsed herself off beneath the shower, and Kelly soaped himself up. Then Melanie climbed out, and dried herself off while Kelly was rinsing under the shower.

“I’ll see you in the spare room,” said Kelly. “You might as well stay naked.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, shivering despite the humid heat in the bathroom.

She had not been waiting long in the spare room when Kelly entered, still naked and carrying the bottle of baby oil. “Since it’s still so warm and muggy,” he said, “I thought it might be best not to warm up the oil. The coolness of the oil might actually feel quite pleasant.”

“I agree,” said Melanie, nodding. She lay down on the bed on her front.

The oil was room temperature, but it did feel nice and cool as Kelly began applying it to Melanie’s upper back. She sighed, and smiled, closing her eyes and letting herself savour every movement of Kelly’s talented hands on her skin.

She soon discovered that he had not been exaggerating when referring to this as a full-body massage. Having loosened up her shoulders, he proceeded to knead his way down her left arm, and when he reached her hand, he massaged her palm and then her fingers, all the way to each fingertip. His thoroughness and attention to detail were amazing.

He did the same with her right arm and hand. Then he moved down to her left foot, and gave her toes the same treatment that he had given her fingers. Having finished with her toes, he methodically proceeded to the ball of her foot, them the instep, then the heel, before moving on to her ankle. From here he continued up her leg, leaving every inch of massaged skin feeling tingly and refreshed.

Melanie’s vagina started to lubricate involuntarily as Kelly’s advancing hands neared her bottom, but to her disappointment he stopped at the top of her thigh, his fingers having barely grazed her left buttock. He switched to her right leg, again starting with her toes and working his way up to the top of her thigh. And again, he stopped just as his fingers reached her buttock.

Any thought that Kelly was just using massage as an excuse to feel her up departed from Melanie’s mind. The young man was behaving like a consummate professional ... and the job he was doing was simply amazing. This was easily the best massage she had ever had.

Now he tackled her neck. Lifting her hair, he gently but firmly manipulated the trapezius and associated musculature on one side, then he had her turn her head the other way so he could do the other side. It seemed to Melanie, feeling him work on muscles she didn’t even know she had, that his knowledge of how her body worked far surpassed her own.

Having massaged her entire back, he got to work on her bottom, and a thrill of excitement shot through Melanie as she felt one of his hands sliding between her buttocks. Even more than the previous evening, he seemed to have absolutely no compunctions about running his fingertips over her anus.

“Okay, that’s the back half done,” said Kelly. “Turn over, and I’ll do your front.”

“My front?” asked Melanie, wide-eyed.

“Of course!” said Kelly. “It’s not called a full-body massage for nothing, you know.”

“Oh!” said Melanie. “Right.” Her loins tingling with arousal, she turned herself on to her back, marvelling that she had become so used to showing Kelly her breasts and pussy that she was not feeling driven to cover them up in panic. At least ... the urge was there, but it was overshadowed by her eager anticipation of what he was going to do to her next.

“I’ll begin with your tibialis anterior,” said Kelly, squirting baby oil up and down her right leg. Putting down the bottle, he began to knead her shin, working his way up from her ankle to her knee. “Now the rectus femoris...”

“Your knowledge is just amazing!” said Melanie in disbelief. “How have you managed to acquire so much, at such a young age?”

Kelly shrugged as he massaged his way up her thigh. “I read widely, and I’m good at retaining information. When I was about fourteen, I became almost obsessively interested in the human body, and memorised the names of all the bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and so on. The stuff you memorise as a kid never really leaves you. I’m about to massage the muscles of your inner thigh and groin; I’m afraid this will inevitably get a little intimate.”

“Okay!” said Melanie, trying hard to remain composed. She noticed that Kelly’s penis was fully erect; he was apparently enjoying this too.

Kelly saw where she was looking. “Sorry for my erection,” he said. “I’m doing my best to remain professionally detached, but there’s no escaping the fact that you are beautiful and naked.”

Melanie smiled. “I don’t mind,” she said. “I take it as a compliment.” Then she gasped as Kelly’s right hand, now massaging her uppermost inner thigh, began firmly rubbing against her pussy.

After a few moments, he moved on to her groin, and as his fingers manipulated the upper end of her adductor longus, her pussy got even more incidental attention. She shivered as her right labium received a thorough kneading from the side of Kelly’s index finger, quickly becoming coated with baby oil as a result.

Then Kelly moved back down the bed, and started working on Melanie’s left leg. Before long, her left labium was also getting a thorough unintentional massage. And, perhaps because the angle was a little more awkward for Kelly on the left side, his index finger even brushed against her clitoris a few times.

“Nearly finished,” said Kelly, scooping up some more baby oil and then moving on to her shoulders. Having massaged them thoroughly, he gradually worked his hands down her upper chest, until he was running his hands over her breasts.

“Um ... what muscles are you massaging now?” asked Melanie nervously, as he diligently kneaded her supple breast flesh. She hoped he had a good answer, because she was rather enjoying this.

“A breast massage helps to strengthen your pecs,” said Kelly, “but there are ancillary benefits, too: it stimulates circulation in your breast tissue, it builds resiliency in the ligaments, and it will even help to break up benign cysts ... at least it would if you had any.”

This was more than sufficient justification. “Wow!” said Melanie happily. “Carry on then!”

“Regular breast massages will keep your breasts firm and healthy,” continued Kelly. “You should consider making them a part of your daily routine.”

“Okay!” said Melanie breathlessly. “Sounds like a good idea.” She closed her eyes, and allowed herself to fully enjoy Kelly’s hands caressing and squeezing her breasts, secure in the knowledge that this was a legitimate and healthy aspect of the massage. Inevitably, though, Kelly eventually moved down to her belly.

Despite the fact that his hands were thoroughly working areas that she normally found very ticklish, she did not flinch even once. His slippery hands gliding over her skin were firm and assured; clearly her body trusted him completely. Further and further down crept his hands, and as they neared her pussy, Melanie became more and more breathless with anticipation. His right hand had reached her pubic bone, his fingers edging closer and closer to her labia with each stroke.

And then ... magically ... his hand slid right over her pussy, and began massaging it with slow, soft caresses. His middle finger slipped between her labia, and started sliding back and forth over her clitoris. His index and ring fingers, flanking her labia, gently squeezed them against his middle finger as they dipped between her thighs and rose up again.

“And what are the benefits of this bit of the massage?” she panted, her eyes still closed.

“Oh, this isn’t actually part of the massage,” said Kelly. “I’m pretty much just groping you at this point.”

Melanie’s eyes snapped open. “Kelly!” she gasped. “You can’t...”

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding!” he laughed, his middle finger now rubbing her clitoris in small circles. “Massaging your pussy does indeed confer enormous benefits, and while it’s not something a professional masseur would do, owing to its level of intimacy, I figured I’ve touched your pussy enough now that you wouldn’t mind me including it as part of the full-body experience.”

“Well ... you should have asked!” said Melanie reproachfully.

“I apologise,” said Kelly, his finger sliding down to her vaginal opening, then back up to her clitoris. “Should I stop?”

Despite how much she was enjoying the wonderful sensations emanating from her loins, Melanie was feeling the need to assert herself. “I think you should,” she said, albeit reluctantly.

“Of course,” said Kelly, instantly removing his hand from her pussy. “I’m so sorry, Melanie – ‘the last thing I wanted was to make you uncomfortable. I honestly thought it would be okay. I was wrong. I hope you can forgive me.”

He looked so contrite, so ashamed of himself, that Melanie’s heart melted. “It’s really okay,” she assured him. “I can totally understand why you would think it was fine to massage my pussy, after having washed it so intimately in the shower. I’m just a little anxious about what Richard would think. I want to make sure he’s okay with it before I let you ... do that.”

“Absolutely,” said Kelly. “Whatever you need in order to feel comfortable about it. It’s very important to me that both of you are happy.”

Melanie sighed. “I know,” she said. “And it just amazes me how good you are to both of us. We’re so lucky to have you in our lives.”

Kelly smiled. “It’s my pleasure, really,” he said. “Would you like to take some more photos for Richard’s birthday album? Or did I ruin the mood for you?”

“You didn’t ruin anything,” Melanie said, taking his hand and squeezing it. “Of course we can take some photos.”

“Oh good,” said Kelly, relieved. “I’ll fetch my camera.”

When he returned, Melanie sat up. “How do you want me?” she asked.

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “Well I dare say the baby oil has rubbed off your back by now, but your front is still glistening nicely. Can you grab your right shoulder with your left hand, with your arm beneath your breasts?”

“Sure,” said Melanie. “Like this?” In this position, her arm was lifting her breasts and pushing them together, which she had to admit was a nice effect.

“Yup,” said Kelly. “And just lean on the other ... yes, good. Lean back a bit though. Head tilted to your right ... smile ... perfect.”

He talked her through a few more poses, and Melanie happily complied. Sometimes she would ask to see the photo he had just taken, and each time she was very happy with how she looked ... a fact which continued to amaze her.

Then Kelly lowered his camera, his expression thoughtful. “Shots like the ones we’ve been taking ... do you think they’re as explicit as Richard would like to see? Or do you think he would enjoy something a little ... naughtier?”

Melanie shivered. “I’m sure he’d love a naughtier shot in the mix somewhere,” she said. “Whether I’d be comfortable with it is another matter!”

“Can we try one?” asked Kelly. “As an experiment?”

“Um ... I guess we could give it a try...” said Melanie apprehensively. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well,” said Kelly thoughtfully, “let’s see ... can you get on your hands and knees? Actually, let’s make it elbows and knees.”

“Okay...” said Melanie. She got on to all fours, then lowered herself on to her elbows.

“Now move your knees apart,” said Kelly. “About eighteen inches. That’s it ... good. And arch your back.” He moved around behind her.

“Oh God!” said Melanie anxiously, fretting about what Kelly could see. “This is going to be awfully explicit!”

“More explicit than previous photos, yes,” Kelly acknowledged. “But will you trust me?”

Melanie sighed, and nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I trust you, Kelly.”

“I need to get some more oil on you though,” said Kelly. “It’s largely rubbed off your back and butt.”

“Okay,” said Melanie.

Kelly squirted baby oil liberally over Melanie’s back, and deftly rubbed it all around, covering every inch of non-glistening skin. He squirted some more on to her buttocks, and covered them, too. As the oil trickled between her buttocks, he slid his fingers down over her anus, then onward until he was once again rubbing oil into her pussy. “Sorry about this,” he said, “but the oil had got rubbed off your pussy too.”

“That’s okay,” said Melanie breathlessly. “I guess it’s necessary.”

“It really is,” agreed Kelly, cupping her pussy and gently massaging it. “You wouldn’t want your pussy to look dull and dry while the rest of you is all bright and shiny; it would ruin the aesthetics of the shot.”

“Well I definitely wouldn’t want that,” panted Melanie, closing her eyes and savouring the delicious sensation of Kelly’s middle finger sensuously stroking her clitoris. The pussy-oiling seemed to be going on for an unnecessarily long time...

But then it was over. Wiping his hand on the bedspread, Kelly took a step backwards, and raised his camera. “Look back at me,” he said, “with a sultry smile. Not quite so smiley; your eyes will carry most of the emotion. That’s good! Perfect!” He took the photo, then he squatted down next to the bed, and showed her the picture.

Melanie shuddered as she stared at her glistening anus, vaginal opening, labia, and clitoral hood. “God, that’s explicit!” she said. “Everything’s showing!”

“Yes,” agreed Kelly. “And it’s beautiful, and perfect, and out-of-this-world sexy. But we don’t have to include it in the album if you don’t want to. There are two questions you should seriously consider. The first is: would Richard want to see this in the album?”

“Yes,” replied Melanie with a sigh. “I’m sure he’d love it.”

“I think so too,” said Kelly, nodding, “but you know him better than I. Good. The second question is this: would you yourself be happy for this photo to be in the album? Do you like the way you look? How does the thought of Richard, flicking through the album and seeing this photo, make you feel?”

“That’s three questions,” remarked Melanie.

“True,” agreed Kelly. “I guess I meant the second and third questions to be ones you should ask yourself before answering the first.”

Melanie thought about Richard looking through a photo album full of naked photos of her ... and getting to this one. She imagined his reaction. She looked again at the image of her glistening pussy. Really, there was nothing wrong with it ... it was just embarrassingly explicit. But she was clean, and smooth, and shiny, and she did not look too fat from this angle ... perhaps she could be okay with this.

“All right,” she said slowly. “I do think I look pretty good. And I’m sure Richard will love it. I guess I’m happy for you to include this photo.”

“Good girl,” said Kelly. “I’m proud of you! Shall we take a couple more naughty ones, for some variety?”

The alternative was to conclude the photo shoot, and Melanie, feeling embarrassment about her explicit exposure but nonetheless extremely horny, was not quite ready for this evening’s adventures to end. “I ... I guess we could do some more,” she said hesitantly.

“Okay!” said Kelly, delighted, his cock springing from near-horizontal back to full attention. “Let’s have you lying down on your front, propped up on your elbows, looking across the room, so I get your face in profile.” As Melanie complied, he returned to his position behind the foot of the bed. “Knees well apart, feet in the air. Wider apart please – ‘let’s get a nice good look at that gorgeous pussy of yours.”

Melanie’s stomach turned cartwheels as she spread her thighs obscenely wide apart. She was way, way outside her comfort zone right now, but her faith in Kelly, and also her horniness, were keeping her going.

“Point your toes, please,” said Kelly. “Nice wistful look ... good! Got it. Now can we try one with you looking back at me? Nice pretty smile? Excellent! Very nice. Now let’s try a different pose.” He walked around to the side of the bed. “Can you turn and lie on your side please, facing me?”

Melanie did so, and at Kelly’s further prompting, she spread her legs apart again, with her right thigh lying flat on the bed and pointing toward Kelly, and her left thigh pointing up at the ceiling. Both knees were bent; her feet were just a couple of inches apart. “Like this?” she asked.

“Hmm,” said Kelly, noting that the effect of gravity on her breasts and belly was less than ideal. “Hang on a minute.” He stepped forward, grabbed the pillow from the head of the bed, and tucked it behind Melanie’s upper back. “Lie back a bit on that,” he said, “with your left arm behind you, and your left elbow supporting you as well as your right. A little more ... great. Legs a little wider apart please. Oh ... superb. But ... oh man. I’m afraid a lot of the baby oil has rubbed off your front. Well, I guess it soaked into the bedspread. I’m so sorry, Melanie – ‘I’m going to have to oil up your front again.”

Melanie chuckled. “All right,” she said, quite content with this plan. “I don’t mind.”

“I should have planned the shot sequence better,” said Kelly. “I’m sure the oiling is a lot less fun for you than it is for me.”

“Actually it’s fun for me too,” admitted Melanie. “I ... um ... I enjoy it quite a lot...”

“Oh!” said Kelly. “Well, thank you – ‘that makes me feel better about my error.” He picked up the bottle of baby oil, and squirted some over Melanie’s chest. “Going to need another bottle of this, the rate we’re going through it!” He began to rub the oil across her upper chest with both hands, from one shoulder to the other.

Melanie’s eyes widened in excitement as he moved down to her breasts. “Maybe we should get two or three bottles while we’re at it,” she suggested, with a little giggle.

Kelly smiled as he caressed and kneaded her breasts, thoroughly coating them in baby oil. “Well, this stuff is good for your skin, and totally benign even in large quantities, so I guess we don’t have to worry about over-application.”

“Good to know,” said Melanie happily.

Kelly picked up the bottle again, and squirted an unnecessarily large amount of baby oil over Melanie’s breasts. It poured down over her nipples, running in rivulets between her breasts and over her belly, heading for the bedspread ... but Kelly kept catching it in his cupped palms and sloshing it back over her breasts. Having covered and re-covered then several times over, he moved down her belly, coated her entire abdomen in a gleaming oily sheen, and finally slid his hand down to cup her vulva once more. There, he paused. “Hmm,” he said. “Let’s get your pussy really super-oily. It is after all going to be the star of the shot.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, her loins burning with intense excitement.

Kelly picked up the bottle, held it directly over Melanie’s pussy, and squeezed it long and firmly. Oil poured out, deluging her labia and clitoris, and he began sensuously rubbing it all over, taking his time, exploring every fold and crevice ... while Melanie closed her eyes, her oil-soaked breasts heaving as she panted with mounting pleasure.

But she was not yet approaching an orgasm when, over a minute later, Kelly stopped massaging her pussy. Disappointed, yet relieved that he had not taken the further advantage of her that she was half-expecting him to take, she opened her eyes in time to see him wiping his hand clean on the bedspread.

He took a couple of steps back, and readied his camera. “Can you give me a coquettish sort of smile?” he asked her.

She did her best, and apparently it was good enough. “Wonderful!” he said. “Well, I believe I’ve got all the shots I need for this album. And I bought a perfect album today at lunchtime. I’ll stay up and put it together tonight – ‘if I might make use of your printer?”

“Of course!” said Melanie, finally closing her legs. She sat up. “I’d better go and towel myself off.”

“Yes, and I’d better get dressed,” said Kelly. “See you downstairs?”

“Sure,” said Melanie. She went to the bathroom, and wiped all of the baby oil off her body – ‘at least, as much of it as had not already soaked into her skin. Then she returned to her bedroom, and put on her tank top and panties.

When she emerged, Kelly was just coming out of his bedroom. He looked her up and down, and smiled. “How brave do you feel?”

Melanie shuddered. “Not very – ‘as usual,” she said. “Why do you ask?”

Kelly stepped forward, took hold of the sides of her top, and began lifting it upwards. “I just love seeing you topless, that’s all,” he said. “It seems a shame to cover up those beautiful breasts.”

“Kelly,” she said anxiously, but she reluctantly allowed him to pull her top up and over her head. As much as she dreaded letting Woody and JT see her breasts and belly, she was getting quite a thrill out of Kelly undressing her.

Kelly tossed the tank top back into her bedroom. “That’s better,” he said with a smile. “Shall we go and watch the jaws drop as you enter the living room?”

“How will I explain it, though?” she asked him apprehensively.

“Why do you need to explain it?” inquired Kelly. “This is your house. If you want to walk around it topless, why shouldn’t you? It’s not like Woody and JT are going to object ... right?”

“Richard might!” said Melanie.

“Do you really think he will?” asked Kelly. “If so, then feel free to put your top back on. Otherwise ... well, if he does object, then you can apologise and come back upstairs to put it on.”

“He’ll probably love it if I walk in there in just my panties,” said Melanie with a sigh. “All right, let’s get it over with.”

She followed him downstairs, and entered the living room.

“Whoa!” exclaimed JT.

“Boobs,” murmured Woody, staring in awe. On the screen, his avatar crashed and burned.

Richard chuckled. “Nice outfit, darling!” he said. “Did Kelly give you a massage?”

“Yup,” said Melanie, smiling happily at the memory.

Woosy and JT both looked stunned. “Dude!” said Woody to Richard. “Aren’t you worried they ... you know...”

Richard frowned. “Of course not. Why would I be? I trust Melanie, and Kelly’s become a valued friend.”

Woody held up his hands. “Fine! Whatever, dude. I’m just sayin’, if it were my wife...”

“Well I’m sorry that you don’t trust your wife as much as I trust Melanie,” said Richard.

Woody looked a little annoyed at this, but he simply shrugged, and turned his attention back to Melanie’s breasts.

The awkwardness in the room never fully dissipated, however, and it was not long before both Woody and JT excused themselves and went home. At this point Richard, thrilled that Melanie had been willing to hang out with his friends in just a pair of panties, grabbed her by the hand and led her upstairs.

After a sweaty, passionate, all-too-brief bout of lovemaking, Richard rolled over on to his back, panting. “Oh God!” he said. “You’re awesome, Mel! Thank you so much for letting Woody and JT see your boobs. That was wild!”

Melanie smiled. “It was Kelly’s doing, of course,” she said. “He talked me into it.”

“Oh man, I’m really starting to love that guy!” said Richard, with a little laugh. He turned to look at Melanie. “I honestly feel really indebted to him. He’s made me see you in a whole new light, Mel. I just love the new you; I’d never have imagined you had it in you to be so sexy and brave.”

Melanie leaned over and kissed him. “I even feel different,” she said. “He’s definitely had a huge impact on me. But ... I worry that you might not approve of everything he’s done with me...”

“Oh?” inquired Richard. “Wait ... I’m not sure I want to know. The only question I have is, are you still loyal to me?”

“Yes!” said Melanie. “Absolutely! But Richard, please don’t make me keep things from you: it makes me feel awful to have secrets. I want you to know everything...”

Richard sighed. “All right,” he said. “Go ahead.”

“Well,” said Melanie wretchedly, “during the full-body massage, Kelly massaged my breasts. Very thoroughly. I was a bit anxious about that, but he explained all the physiological benefits of a breast massage, and they sounded very legit ... so I let him go ahead...”

“Okay...” said Richard uncomfortably.

“Then,” said Melanie, her stomach cramping in fear, “he started massaging my ... my pussy.”

“Jesus!” exclaimed Richard.

“I know!” said Melanie quickly. “I stopped him, of course. He said there are many benefits to a pussy massage, and I’m sure that’s true ... but I just couldn’t let him go ahead with that until I’d talked to you about it.”

“Holy cow...” murmured Richard, rubbing his temples. “Well ... thank you for stopping him. But damn! I’m not sure what to do about this. I’m guessing you wanted him to continue? It was just your conscience that made you stop him?”

“Pretty much,” admitted Melanie. “I’m afraid I was kinda horny ... well, out-of-my-mind horny, actually.”

“And yet you still managed to stop him,” remarked Richard. “Well, that’s encouraging at least.” He said nothing for the next minute. Then he said, “I suppose you want me to give you permission to let him massage your pussy?”

“No,” said Melanie awkwardly. “I mean ... well ... I guess I just want to know where you stand.”

Richard smirked. “My position hasn’t really changed, Mel. All I want is for you to stay loyal to me. I can’t really blame Kelly for pushing his luck with the massages; clearly he’s into you, and I don’t hold that against him. I appreciate you pushing back – ‘that helps me to feel that our marriage is still secure – ‘but your interactions with Kelly are benefiting us both, and I’m not sure I want to put my foot down and forbid this or that. It’s ... it’s a bit of a tricky issue, to be honest. I feel like Kelly deserves a huge reward for everything he’s done for us ... but I don’t want you to just let him do anything he wants. Finding where the line is drawn ... that’s the tricky part.”

Melanie bit her lip. “He ... washed me again this evening...” she confessed.

“Again??” said Richard, astonished. “In the shower?”

“Yes!” said Melanie miserably. “We were both hot and sweaty from our workout, you see, and Kelly suggested we save time by showering together ... since you didn’t mind last time...”

“Huh,” said Richard, and he pursed his lips slightly.

“And ... he washed my pussy again,” said Melanie guiltily, “and I’m afraid I ... I just let him... I’m sorry, Richard ... it just felt so good!” She buried her head in his shoulder.

Richard mused on this revelation for a few moments. Then he said, “Okay ... so why didn’t you push back that time?”

“I don’t know!” said Melanie fretfully. “I guess I just felt it was more ... justified, or something.”

“But you enjoyed it,” said Richard.

“Yes!” said Melanie despairingly. “It felt really good! If he’d kept rubbing me much longer I’d have...”

“Wow!” said Richard. “That good, huh? He must have quite the expert fingers, I’m guessing!”

“Yeah ... he does,” said Melanie uneasily.

“While I, on the other hand, really struggle to get you off,” said Richard. “To the point where I hardly ever try anymore. I’ve felt bad about that for a long time. Perhaps I should just outsource the job to Kelly?”

Melanie’s stomach clenched; Richard sounded bitter. “I’m sorry,” she said in a low voice. “I really didn’t mean to hurt you. I know I’m being selfish, for enjoying Kelly’s attentions.”

Richard sighed. “Or, you’re just being human,” he said. “I’m not really mad, Mel. You deserve to have your own orgasms, and doing it yourself isn’t as much fun, I’m sure. Maybe I should just let Kelly give them to you. You’d enjoy that; I’m certain he would, too ... and maybe I’d feel a little less guilty for failing to do the job myself.”

“Don’t say that!” said Melanie earnestly, grasping his hand with hers. “You’re a wonderful lover; I’ve never felt deprived.”

Richard smiled. “Thank you,” he said.

“You know ... I’ve let Kelly get way too handsy,” said Melanie, making up her mind. “It’s really not fair to you. I’ll stop showering with him, and I won’t let him massage me anymore. And no more goodbye kisses on the lips.”

“Whoa, hold on a moment,” said Richard, alarmed. “I like where things are right now ... and I think you do too. I’m concerned that if you rebuff Kelly now, it’s going to make things awkward. Neither you nor Kelly will be happy, Kelly will back off, and his positive influence on you will diminish. I think it’s a terrible idea to backtrack so drastically. I think it’ll change things for the worse.”

“But ... if I don’t tell him to back off, he’ll keep touching me!” said Melanie. “And that’ll make you miserable, however good it makes me feel. And you have to be my number one priority.”

Richard smiled. “The fact that you feel that way is evidence enough that I don’t need to worry about what’s going on between the two of you,” he said. “I love the direction you’ve taken under Kelly’s influence, and I don’t want to spoil the magic. So I want you to carry on letting him massage you ... and you can shower with him if you want ... and if he touches your pussy ... well, I guess I can handle that, if there’s a good reason for it. I mean, I don’t want him just coming up to you and feeling you up! But if he’s washing you, or he’s massaging you and it’s a legitimate part of the massage, then just go ahead and enjoy it. Don’t encourage him or anything ... but if it happens to make you climax, then please don’t feel guilty about it.”

“Are you sure about this?” asked Melanie in astonishment. “This is really ... I mean, it’s a lot to ask a husband to put up with!”

Richard shrugged. “But I’m benefiting enormously from the arrangement. Needless to say, I’ll let you know if I change my mind. And I hope...”

“Of course!” Melanie interrupted. “I’ll immediately cease all physical contact with Kelly.”

“I wasn’t going to suggest anything that drastic!” said Richard. “I was just going to say that I hope you’ll be willing to renegotiate.”

“Oh,” said Melanie. “Well of course!”

Richard nodded. “Then I think we have an understanding...?”

“Yes,” Melanie agreed.

Richard got out of bed, and put on his jockey shorts. “I’m going to get ready for bed,” he said. “Unless you want to go through the bathroom first?”

“No, you go ahead,” said Melanie.

While Richard was in the bathroom, Melanie reached between her legs and began to stroke her clitoris. Five minutes later, she was arching her back and moaning into her pillow. By the time Richard re-entered the room and climbed into bed, she was feeling very relaxed and happy, and in some danger of drifting off to sleep. But she still needed to wash her face and brush her teeth, so she reluctantly dragged herself out of bed. For a moment she considered putting her panties on, but then she decided against it.

Naked, she wandered through to the bathroom, where she brushed her teeth, flossed, washed her face, and used the toilet. Having washed her hands, she left the bathroom, only to see Kelly waiting to get in. He was naked but for a pair of briefs.

“Hi!” he said, looking her up and down with appreciation. “You going to bed?”

“Yup,” said Melanie, her cheeks turning pink. “You?”

“No, I’m still putting the album together,” said Kelly. Then he smiled playfully. “I think Richard’s going to love it. You look amazing in the photos.”

“Awww,” said Melanie, blushing further. “Thank you.”

“Do you think I might get a hug from my favourite landlady and model?” Kelly asked, holding out his arms hopefully.

“I guess so,” said Melanie, and she stepped forward into his arms.

He held her close, gently caressing her back with his hands while her breasts pressed against his chest. Then he looked deep into her eyes. “Goodnight Melanie,” he said softly, and he pressed his lips against hers ... tenderly at first, and then more firmly.

Breathing heavily through her nose and lightheaded, Melanie felt as if she were melting in his arms. When one of his hands slid down to cup and squeeze her buttock, she wished he would reach further, between her legs, and slip a finger inside her. But a more principled part of her was relieved when he let go, and pulled away. “Sleep well,” he said.

“You too!” Melanie replied breathlessly. She hurried back into her bedroom, and climbed into bed. “Are you still awake?” she whispered.

“Yup,” Richard replied.

“Kelly just groped me!” she told him on a low, urgent voice. “He was kissing me goodnight ... and he grabbed my butt with one hand!”

“Uh ... did you object?” Richard inquired.

“I didn’t have time! It was over before I could say anything.”

“Hmm,” said Richard. “Well it kinda pales in comparison with rubbing your pussy – ‘I’m not sure I’m inclined to be all that upset about it. You didn’t do anything wrong, after all – ‘it was all him. And I don’t really begrudge him a quick butt grab, in the light of the more extreme things he’s done with you. Unless ... you were upset by it?”

“No, not at all,” Melanie admitted. “I kinda liked it ... except for worrying about how you would feel about it.”

“Well, worry no more,” said Richard. “And don’t feel you have to report to me every little naughty thing that Kelly does. You’ll know when you’ve done something wrong.”

Melanie sighed. “All right, darling,” she said. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, my love.”

Day 7

Melanie was awoken by a knock on her bedroom door. She was still gathering her senses together when she heard Richard say, “Come in, Kelly.”

Melanie yawned, blinked a few times, and dragged herself up into a sitting position as Kelly entered the room carrying two large wooden trays.

“What’s this?” asked Richard in surprise.

“Happy birthday, Richard!” said Kelly cheerfully. “I’ve made you some breakfast – ‘I hope it’s not too early for you.”

“Breakfast in bed? What a treat!” said Richard happily. “Thank you Kelly!”

Once Richard had sat up straight and laid a pillow across his lap, Kelly carefully set down one of the trays in front of him. Melanie set herself up in a similar manner, and Kelly set down the second tray in front of her. “Oatmeal?” she asked in surprise.

“I know it might seem like an odd choice for hot weather,” said Kelly, “but I really think you’ll enjoy it. It’s apple caramel oatmeal – ‘a favourite recipe of my grandmother’s. You’ve also each got a blueberry crêpe, and some French vanilla yogurt with strawberries. And coffee, of course.”

“This is wonderful!” Richard enthused. “Kelly, you’ve outdone yourself!”

“I’ll leave you to it,” said Kelly. “Bon appétit!”

Once he had left the room, Richard began tucking into his food with gusto. But Melanie said, “I feel bad! It should have been me bringing you breakfast in bed.”

“Awww, Mel,” said Richard, somewhat indistinctly, “don’t feel bad! I wasn’t expecting this, from you or from Kelly. Just enjoy it!”

Everything was delicious, of course. Once he had finished, Richard set his tray aside, and sighed with pleasure. “Man ... we should be paying Kelly to live here! That was amazing.”

Melanie nodded as she scraped the last spoonful of yogurt out of her little bowl. “He’s a treasure.” She picked up her mug, and took a swig of her coffee.

A moment later, Kelly knocked on the door again. “Come in, Kelly!” said Richard. Kelly entered, carrying two large wrapped presents.

“Oh my!” said Melanie, alarmed. “Apparently we’re doing presents now.” She jumped out of bed, still naked. “Just a moment please!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” said Kelly. “I didn’t mean to ruin your plans, Melanie! I should have consulted with you last night. How thoughtless of me.”

“It’s quite all right, Kelly,” she assured him. “I just need to get a couple of things from my secret hidey-hole.” She hurried past Kelly and out of the room, then she trotted to the spare room and opened the closet. Inside the closet was a cardboard box; inside the box were two presents, and a small stack of envelopes.

She took them back to the bedroom, where Kelly handed her one of his presents. “Here,” he said. “This one’s really from you; I just wrapped it for you.”

“Oh ... okay,” said Melanie, taking it. This must be the photo album, she thought, her stomach performing gymnastics. “You go first with yours, though.”

“Are you sure?” he asked. When she nodded, he handed his present to Richard. “Many happy returns of the day, landlord.”

“Thank you!” said Richard. He unwrapped the present, and pulled out a box with a picture of a pillared building on the front, along with the LEGO logo.

“What is it?” asked Melanie curiously.

“The Parthenon!” said Richard. “In Legos! I didn’t even know this existed. Lego Architecture – ‘huh. God, I don’t think I’ve played with Legos since I was ten years old. But cool! It’s very detailed – ‘I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun putting this together. Thank you Kelly!”

“You’re welcome,” said Kelly.

“My turn now,” said Melanie. “Or do you want to open cards first?”

“Presents first, please!” said Richard with a grin.

Melanie handed him the smaller of her two presents. Richard smiled as he took it; from the shape, it had to be either a movie or a video game. He opened it up, and gasped. “Uncharted 4!” he exclaimed. “Thank you!”

Melanie smiled. “Well I know how much you enjoyed the first three,” she said, handing him another present.

Richard opened it. “Oh wow!” he said. “Egyptian architecture!” He began to thumb through it. “Ooh, this looks good... Thank you!”

There was one present left, but Melanie was getting very anxious at the thought of Richard seeing it. As he looked up at her expectantly, she said, “Um, this one ... it’s ... from me and Kelly...”

“Go on, Melanie,” said Kelly gently. “It’ll be fine. Trust me ... and trust Richard.”

“Well now I’m intrigued!” said Richard, holding out his hand.

Melanie reluctantly gave him the present, and then she clenched her fists nervously while he opened it. What if he exploded in a rage when he saw how she had posed for Kelly?

Richard peeled off the wrapping paper, and found himself looking at a very professional-looking photo album. “‘The Beauty of Melanie’,” he read. “Have you been modelling, Mel?” Then he opened it up. “Oh my God!”

Melanie panicked. “Oh no!” she said. “I’m sorry! I don’t know why I let...”

“No no, that was a good ‘Oh my God’!” Richard hastily assured her. “What a beautiful photo! I had no idea you were such a talented photographer, Kelly!”

“It’s easy when you have such a beautiful model,” said Kelly.

“I guess!” said Richard, turning over the page. “My goodness, Melanie ... wow ... you look sensational in these photos! He’s really captured ... wow ... you know, I see you every day, so it’s easy just to see you without really looking at you, and appreciating you... These photos ... man, they’re really showing me how lucky I am. I’m married to a true beauty!”

Melanie blushed. “I’m glad you think so!” she said. “But I dunno – ‘Kelly works some kind of magic with that camera of his!”

“The camera doesn’t lie, Melanie,” said Kelly with a smile. “Those photos aren’t showing anything that isn’t there.”

“Holy shit!” said Richard, having turned over another page. “This one’s a little ... wow.”

“Oh!” said Melanie, seeing he was staring at a photo of her on all fours, looking back at the camera. Her cheeks burned bright red. “Yes – ‘I know it’s a bit explicit... I’m sorry...”

“No need to be sorry!” said Richard. “It’s ... awesome! I think I’m going to be spending quite a lot of quality time with this album! Holy shit... And oh my God, this one’s even better! Damn...” He reached under the sheets absent-mindedly, then he glanced up at Kelly, and hastily pulled his hand back. “Look, I guess I’m a little taken aback that you were spreading your legs for Kelly’s camera behind my back, Mel ... but I can’t argue with these results. The end justifies the means, I’d say, in this case. This photo album is absolute dynamite; I think it’s the best present I’ve ever received!”

“Really? Oh, I’m so relieved!” said Melanie happily.

“Me too!” said Kelly. “I’m very glad you like it, Richard.”

“You checked the mail in the nude???” gasped Richard, staring wide-eyed at the next page.

“Yes,” said Melanie, with a nervous giggle. “It was pretty scary. I don’t know how Kelly managed to persuade me!”

Then Richard turned another page. “Oh!” he said, finding no more photos.

“I left the last few pages blank,” said Kelly, “in case you had any specific requests. Like, if you want some photos with a bit of clothing, or more outdoor photos, or more explicit photos...”

Richard chuckled. “Well, I have to say the explicit ones are my favourites,” he said. “Closely followed by the outdoor ones. But honestly, they’re all so good; I’m happy for you to surprise me with whatever. I trust your creative vision!”

“All right,” said Kelly with a smile. “I’ll give it some thought ... and I’ll talk it over later with you, Melanie.”

“Okay,” said Melanie, who was quite happy with the idea of another photo shoot.

Richard was now flipping slowly back through the album. “You’re so shiny in these photos, Mel! Is that ... oil?”

“Baby oil,” said Melanie. “Lots and lots of baby oil.”

“Uh-huh,” said Richard. With a sigh, he closed the album, and Melanie handed him the stack of envelopes. He opened the first, and took out a card. “Ah, this’ll be from Aunt Dee.”

The next card was from his parents, and the one after that was from his brother Harvey. The rest were from various other family members. “Well!” said Richard. “What are we going to do today?”

“Pity it’s raining right now,” said Kelly ruefully. “Otherwise I’d have suggested a hike...”

“It’s supposed to clear up by around eleven,” said Richard. “And I like the sound of a hike. Maybe we could throw a picnic together and head up to Solace Falls?”

“Oh yes!” said Melanie. “That’s a lovely hike. But what shall we do this morning?”

Richard chuckled, and said, “Do you guys maybe want to work on some more photos together...?”

Melanie stared at him in surprise. “You want us to abandon you on your birthday? But what are you going to do?”

Richard looked a purple sheepish. “I thought maybe I’d check out my new game...”

Melanie laughed. “Aha – ‘I see,” she said. “Well okay – ‘I don’t mind posing for more photos if you want some game time. I do need to shower first though.”

“Didn’t you shower last night?” inquired Richard.

“Yes, but I didn’t shave,” said Melanie, her cheeks reddening. “And I’m feeling a little sticky from last night’s baby oil.”

“I’d like to have a shower too,” said Kelly. “Would you prefer to shower separately or together?”

Melanie glanced at Richard, whose eyebrows were raised. “I think perhaps separately might be best,” she said.

Richard smirked. “Guys, if you want to shower together, go ahead. I’ve said I’m okay with it; I trust you not to misbehave.”

“Well, okay then...” said Melanie hesitantly. “If you’re sure...”

“I’m sure,” said Richard. “Go ahead.”

“See you in a bit, Richard!” said Kelly, and he left the room, with Melanie following close behind.

I’m the shower, it was not long before Melanie was covered in soap suds, and was smiling happily with her eyes closed while Kelly gently massaged her breasts and slowly thrust his erect penis up and down between her buttocks. Then he slid one hand down her belly to her pussy, and she moaned softly as he began stroking her clitoris and labia.

A minute later, Kelly was softly pinching her right nipple between his left index finger and thumb, while his right middle finger rapidly stroked her clitoris. Melanie, intensely aroused, was breathing heavily and uttering little, high-pitched moans of pleasure. She knew that Kelly was no longer even pretending to wash her, and that she ought to stop him ... but on the other hand, she felt like she had Richard’s permission to allow Kelly to stroke her to orgasm.

Kelly’s strokes became faster, and yet longer, his whole finger sliding up and down the groove between her pussy lips. As her climax approached, she felt the top of his finger actually dip inside her vagina at the end of each downward stroke.

“Oh God!” she gasped. “Oh God!!!”

Then it hit: a powerful orgasm that made her knees buckle. As she shuddered and moaned, Kelly sank his finger deep inside her, rapidly stroking her g-spot in order to prolong her climax. She pressed her hand against her mouth, trying to muffle her loud exhalations.

Then Kelly pulled his finger out of her. Exhausted, she bent over, putting her hands on her knees. She knew this was a very vulnerable position, but she did not care. She desperately wanted Kelly to slide his cock into her; sure, she would vehemently protest, but hopefully he would ignore her pleas and just give her the good hard fucking she needed.

Except that he could not, and would not; she knew that. After panting for a minute, she straightened up, turned around, and let Kelly take her into his arms. “Thank you,” she whispered. “But you really shouldn’t have done that last thing...”

He kissed her softly on the lips. “Sorry, I just couldn’t resist,” he said. “I’ll meet you in the spare room?”

“Okay,” she replied. Once Kelly had stepped out of the tub, she resumed washing herself. Then, after he had left the room with his towel around his waist, she set about the business of shaving.

Twenty minutes later, she walked naked into the spare room, and lay down on the bed. Kelly, also naked, was ready with the baby oil, and he smiled at her as he applied a slippery coating to her entire front. Of course, he spent an unnecessarily long time fingering her pussy ... but although he brought her close to another orgasm, he did not let her climax this time.

Instead, he stepped back, and picked up his camera. “Just lie there with your legs spread wide, and slowly masturbate,” he said. “Let’s give Richard the most exciting, explicit photos he’s seen yet.”

“Okay!” said Melanie breathlessly. She reached between her legs with her right hand, as she spread her thighs wide apart. She began to caress her clitoris with her middle finger.

“Good!” said Kelly, taking photo after photo. “Now let’s see you slip that finger inside...”

Melanie’s eyes widened, but she did as he instructed her, slowly dipping the tip of her finger into her vagina, and sliding it in up to the second knuckle.

“Fantastic,” said Kelly, taking another photo. Then he paused, thoughtfully. “Do you happen to have any sex toys?” he inquired. “Like a dildo...?”

Melanie blushed. “Yes, I have a pink latex dildo that Richard bought me a few years ago. “You want me to go get it?”

“If you could, yes please,” said Kelly.

Melanie climbed off the bed, and hurried through to her bedroom. Opening the bottom drawer of her dresser, she pulled out a zip-lock bag containing her pink dildo. With a shiver, she pulled the dildo out of the bag, then trotted back to the spare bedroom. “On my back again?” she asked.

“Hmm,” said Kelly. “How about on all fours this time?”

“Okay,” said Melanie. She got into position, and waited while Kelly oiled up her back and bottom. Then she closed her eyes and sighed with pleasure as his oily hand slipped between her buttocks, down to her pussy, and began massaging her labia. “Mmmm,” she murmured. Then she gasped as she felt two of Kelly’s fingers slide into her vagina.

“Sorry,” said Kelly, “I just figured I should make sure you’re all lubed up inside, to prepare you for the insertion of the dildo.

“You’re going to ... put it inside me?” asked Melanie breathlessly.

“Of course,” said Kelly, gently sliding his fingers in and out of her. “Here it comes.” He pressed the head of the dildo against her vaginal opening, and slowly pushed it inward. Melanie’s vagina dilated to accommodate the bulbous head of the dildo, which then inexorably sank inside her.

“Oh God,” breathed Melanie, closing her eyes and sinking to her elbows. “That’s nice...”

Kelly pushed the dildo in as far as it would go, then he began to thrust it slowly in and out of her. “Okay,” he said, “can you hold that in position while I take a photo?”

Melanie reached back between her legs with her left hand, and grasped the shaft of the dildo. Kelly moved back, and readied his camera. “Knees wider apart, please?” he said. “And arch your back a bit more.” When he was satisfied with her pose, he took a couple of photos. “Perfect,” he said. “You can let go.” As Melanie released the dildo, he took hold of it, and slowly eased it out of her. Then, massaging some oil up and down the shaft of his own erect penis, he pressed it against Melanie’s vaginal opening, and sank it deep inside her. Then, with a quiet sigh of pleasure, he began thrusting it in and out of her.

Melanie, thinking at first that he had merely reinserted the dildo, also sighed happily. But then she felt Kelly’s hips bumping up against her buttocks with each thrust, and she realised what he was doing. Instantly she was both thrilled and horrified. “Kelly!” she exclaimed in anguish, looking back at him over her shoulder. “What are you doing??”

“Something I’ve been longing to do all week,” panted Kelly, as he repeatedly rammed his cock deep inside her. “And I’m very much hoping that you’ve been wanting it too.”

“But you can’t!” wailed Melanie. “Kelly, no! Please stop. This is wrong! I love Richard! I can’t do this to him!”

“I’ll stop if you tell me you haven’t been wanting this,” said Kelly, now gripping her hips with his hands and pulling her towards him with each thrust. “Be honest now.”

“Okay ... yes, I admit it,” groaned Melanie. “But wanting it isn’t the same as actually doing it!”

“That’s true,” agreed Kelly, fucking her harder and harder. “But ... ohhh ... damn, this feels so good...”

It did feel good, and Melanie’s body was responding despite the rational objections of her head. She knew she should pull away, fight back, throw him off ... but then this lovely fucking would end, and she really did not want it to end... “Kelly,” she objected feebly, “please don’t...”

Then, to her surprise and disappointment, he suddenly pulled out of her. After a moment’s hesitation, she began to climb off the bed ... but then he took her arm and pulled her back, rolling her over on to her back. He deftly pulled her legs apart, then he lay down on top of her.

“Kelly!” she exclaimed, as he positioned his cock, then slid it back inside her. “No...”

But he was already thrusting intensely inside her, and she could not fully stifle a moan of pleasure. Reasoning that she could not stop this now even if she tried, she gave in to the delicious sensations, and wrapped her legs around Kelly’s back. She opened her mouth to moan, and suddenly felt Kelly’s lips on hers, and his tongue in her mouth. She responded enthusiastically, twirling her tongue around his, and arching her back as she ground her pussy against his pelvis.

Then Kelly groaned, and shuddered, pressing his cock deep inside her as it spurted wads of semen all over her cervix. Melanie held him tightly with her arms and legs, moaning in ecstasy as she, too, reached a powerful orgasm.

For the next two minutes they lay entwined with each other. Then Kelly rolled off her, his softening cock slipping out of her. “Oh God,” he panted. “That was amazing... If Richard bludgeons me to death with a hammer, it will still have been worth it. All the same ... I feel bad.”

“Yeah, me too,” said Melanie morosely. “It was lovely ... but I need to go and talk to Richard.” She climbed off the bed, fetched a tissue, and mopped up the semen leaking from her vagina. Then she left the room, and went downstairs with a heavy heart.

She found Richard in the living room, playing his new game. He glanced up at her, then he paused the game. “Hi Babe!” he said. “What’s up?”

“Richard,” she faltered, with tears springing to her eyes. “I ... I messed up. I’m so sorry...”

“What do you mean?” asked Richard, frowning.

“I ... Kelly and I ... we ... we just had sex!” And then she burst into tears, and sank to her knees next to the sofa. “I’m so sorry...”

But to her surprise, Richard was suddenly on his knees next to her, holding her. “Hey,” he said gently. “Did you really have sex with him? Or was it ... you know ... forced...?”

“It wasn’t ... forced,” she said miserably, between sobs. “I ... wanted it...”

“Yeah, I figured out you it,” said Richard. “But did you consent to it?”

“Well ... kind of,” she responded, wondering when he was going to get angry with her.

“You did?” said Richard. “So you didn’t say, for example, ‘No Kelly, please stop, this is wrong, I love Richard’?”

Melanie gasped, and pulled away, staring wide-eyed at him. “You heard?”

Richard nodded. “I came upstairs for my phone charger, and the sounds coming from the spare room ... well, they kind of commanded my attention. I listened for a minute or so, then came back downstairs.”

“But ... why didn’t you stop it?” asked Melanie in astonishment.

Richard shrugged. “I thought about it,” he said. “But would you really have wanted me to? Honestly?”

“I ... I don’t know,” said Melanie. “But that’s not the point! Another man was having sex with me! Why didn’t you storm in and...”

“And what?” Richard inquired. “Pull him off you? Beat him up? Throw him out of the house?”

“No!” said Melanie quickly. “Well ... maybe. I don’t know.”

“I don’t know either,” said Richard. “But I kinda felt like I needed to talk to you about what we should do about this. Storming in and getting all WWE on Kelly’s ass would’ve pretty much committed us to one specific course of action. But I figured that on some level at least, you were having fun, so I decided to let it play out, and see how you felt afterwards.”

Melanie was a little perplexed. “So ... you’re not mad at me?”

“No,” said Richard. “I mean, there’s been like a ton of sexual tension between the two of you; I should have seen it coming. And in the end, you told him no – ‘and that’s what matters. You didn’t consent.”

“Maybe not at first,” said Melanie dolefully. “But I eventually gave in and took part willingly. I even kissed him back when he kissed me.”

“So you made the best of a bad situation,” said Richard. “I can’t blame you for trying to legitimise what you couldn’t stop from happening. But the fact is, he fucked you without your consent. And not only did you not consent, you very forcefully told him no! The fact is, Melanie ... he raped you.”

Melanie shivered. Rape! What a word. She did not feel like she had been raped. But she supposed that, technically, it was an accurate term. “What do you want to do, then?” she asked. “Call the police?”

“Do you want me to?” asked Richard. “And that’s not a loaded question; there’s no wrong answer. Just tell me how you feel.”

Melanie bit her lip. “I don’t want him to go to prison,” she said. “Maybe it was rape, but I can’t honestly say that I didn’t want it. I think prison would be way too harsh a punishment...”

Richard nodded. “I’m inclined to agree...” But he got no further, for at this point they both heard Kelly’s footsteps on the stairs. A moment later he walked into the room, carrying his bags.

“Well,” he said, looking a little sad, “I guess this is goodbye. If you wish, I’ll drive straight to the police station, and turn myself in.”

Richard and Melanie both stared at him in surprise. “You accept, then, that you just raped Melanie?” Richard inquired.

“Yes,” said Kelly, nodding. “It was a crappy thing to do, and I’m sorry. Not as sorry as I probably should be, but I’m prepared to accept whatever consequences you deem appropriate.”

“Well thank you, Kelly, for accepting responsibility like this,” said Richard. “But neither of us wants you to go to prison. I think we’re all aware that there are certain ... mitigating circumstances. I’m sure the temptation to misbehave was substantial, and Melanie’s feeling quite ambivalent about the whole thing...”

“I am,” Melanie admitted. “I mean, let’s face it, after everything else we’ve done, it wasn’t a big step further; it feels almost like it was ... inevitable.”

Richard nodded. “I’m not sure I’m even all that mad at you, Kelly. I can’t speak for Melanie, but ... well, how mad at Kelly are you, Mel? On a scale from one to ten?”

Melanie’s cheeks reddened. “Um ... two...?”

“Wow!” said Richard. “Well, there you go, Kelly. We’re not really all that mad at you for raping Melanie.”

“I confess I actually enjoyed it,” said Melanie.

“Thank you,” said Kelly. “Thank you both. I’m glad I’m not going to spend the next few years in prison, at least. But I should go now, before I cause any further trouble.”

“Well ... hold on,” said Richard. “Must you go? Mel, do you want Kelly to leave?”

“No!” said Melanie. “I’d miss you terribly, Kelly!”

“As would I,” agreed Richard. “We’re both very fond of you, Kelly, and while I certainly disapprove of you raping Melanie, I for one am willing to forgive your little crime, and move on. How about you, Mel?”

Melanie nodded. “Me too,” she said. “Please stay, Kelly.”

Kelly stared at both of them. “Guys!” he said. “I’m kind of blown away by how well you’re taking this, but I don’t deserve such kindness. If Melanie is this okay with what I did, then I have to worry that I’m in danger of coming between the two of you; of driving you apart. It’s incredibly important to me that your marriage stays strong; if I’m jeopardising it, then I need to go.”

“Our marriage is fine, Kelly,” said Richard, firmly. “Wouldn’t you say, Mel?”

Mel nodded. “As long as you’re willing to forgive me for giving into the ... rape ... and enjoying it ... then yes, I think we’re fine.”

“I don’t forgive you,” said Richard, “because I don’t think there’s anything to forgive. As far as I’m concerned, you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Well, that just blows me away!” said Melanie. “I think it makes me love you even more.”

Richard smiled. “And the fact that you said no to Kelly, even though you obviously wanted him, makes me love you even more.” He turned to Kelly. “You see? You’ve actually strengthened our marriage, Kelly.”

“Guys,” said Kelly, “I appreciate your efforts to make me feel less guilty about what I did ... but I find it hard to believe I actually made things better for you. I heard you crying, Melanie – ‘and that’s something I never ever wanted to do.”

“I was crying,” said Melanie, “because I was afraid I’d hurt Richard, and that I was going to lose him.”

“Both of which were unfounded fears,” said Richard. “So ... please stay, Kelly.”

Kelly sighed. “If I do, things will have to be different,” he said. “Melanie will need to put clothes on, and the photo sessions, showers, and massages will have to stop...”

“Awww ... I’m going to miss the showers and massages,” said Melanie with a half-hearted pout.

“And I’ll miss the photos and the nudity,” added Richard. “Is a complete moratorium on all those things really necessary, Kelly? I’m sure you enjoy them too...”

“Yes, of course,” said Kelly. “But do you really think it’s a good idea for Melanie and I to arouse each other? Aren’t you afraid it’ll go too far again?”

Melanie shivered. “I guess that’s a risk,” she conceded. “How do you feel about that, Richard?”

“I’m thinking it’s possible, as crazy as it sounds,” said Richard, “that the benefits may outweigh that risk. I mean, we’ve reaped such benefits so far, haven’t we? I don’t want to lose what we’ve gained. And if it means Kelly rapes you again ... well, how would you feel if that happened, Mel?”

Melanie bit her lip. “I’d be less traumatised next time, I think, knowing that you wouldn’t be angry with me for it. I’d probably enjoy it, to be honest.”

“In that case,” said Richard, “I think it’s a risk worth taking. I’ll just have to come to terms with the idea that these photo shoots, as sexually charged as they are, might end up with Kelly raping you. Is that something you can come to terms with too?”

“Yes,” said Melanie quietly, her loins tingling with arousal.

“What if it’s not rape, though?” Kelly asked. “What if Melanie consents? Or even initiates?”

“Do you think there’s a danger of that, Mel?” Richard inquired.

“No,” said Melanie immediately. “I would never do that to you, Richard. But I’m kind of in love with Kelly, and I’m afraid I do love it when he touches me ... so I fear I wouldn’t put up much of a fight...”

“I understand,” said Richard, “and I don’t need you to put up a fight in order to demonstrate your loyalty. Just tell Kelly ‘No’, and if he ignores that and fucks you anyway, it’s not your fault, and you might as well go ahead and enjoy it.”

“And what are the consequences for me, if I ignore that ‘No?” asked Kelly, puzzled.

Richard shrugged. “What do you think, Mel? What should Kelly’s punishment be, for raping you?”

Melanie looked uncertainly from Richard to Kelly, and back to Richard. “I dunno,” she said. “He has to do the dishes, maybe? Although, if he’s worked hard on dinner, I’d feel bad about making him do the dishes as well…”

“True,” agreed Richard. “Honestly, with everything Kelly does for us, I’d feel bad about inflicting any kind of punishment. Even if Kelly starts raping you regularly, perhaps we’re still coming out on top. As long as you continue to enjoy it, that is. If it stops being fun, obviously we’ll need to rethink. Um ... how does that sound...?”

“I really don’t like the word ‘rape’,” said Melanie, grimacing slightly. “I don’t care how accurate it is; it’s a very evocative word, with very unpleasant connotations. “Can we please use a euphemism of some kind? Like ‘forcing himself on me’ or something?”

“I’m so glad you said that, Melanie!” said Kelly. “But, if I may, how about ‘taking you without permission’?”

“Yes, I like that!” said Melanie.

“That’s fine with me,” said Richard, nodding.

“In that case,” said Kelly, “I will go and unpack my bags again. If you’re genuinely happy, Richard, for me to continue massaging Melanie, and showering with her, and so on ... and willing to tolerate me taking her without permission...”

“I am,” Richard confirmed.

“I do have a question, though,” Kelly said thoughtfully. “When I take Melanie without her permission ... do you require her to say ‘No, Kelly’ ... or is it enough that she simply doesn’t give me explicit permission? Like, if I stick my cock in her and she doesn’t say anything ... I’m still taking her without permission, right?”

“Hmmm ... I guess so...” said Richard dubiously. “As long as she hasn’t done anything to actively encourage you.”

“What, like stripping naked and showering with me?” inquired Kelly. “Lying on a bed and spreading her legs during a photo shoot? Moaning in pleasure while I massage her pussy?”

“Okay, I see your point,” said Richard. “I can’t reasonably demand that Melanie does nothing to encourage you. And, I guess, in those situations, the temptation for both of you must be enormous. Fine – ‘Melanie doesn’t have to say no. And as long as she hasn’t explicitly given you permission to fuck her, then I don’t mind if she throws herself into it, once you’re inside her. I think that’s only fair.”

“Oh! Thank you,” said Melanie, relieved. “So I can take an active part in it? Including ... kissing?”

Richard paused, then nodded. “Yes ... I can’t really expect you to hold back in that situation.”

“It sounds like we have an understanding, then,” said Kelly. “Now ... Melanie and I were in the middle of a photo shoot. Richard, are you comfortable with us going upstairs now to continue with that? If not ... if the wounds are still too raw ... I’ll understand completely.”

“I have no wounds to speak of,” said Richard. “You can go ahead, as far as I’m concerned.”

“How about you, Melanie?” asked Kelly. “I’ll understand if you’re still feeling a little traumatised...”

“I’m still feeling a little shaken,” Melanie admitted. “But I think I can handle a photo shoot.”

“Good!” said Kelly. “Then I’ll see you shortly in the spare bedroom.” He picked up his bags, turned, and left the room.

Melanie turned to Richard. “Are you sure you’re okay with this?” she asked him quietly. “You know what’s going to happen...”

“You think so?” said Richard, raising an eyebrow. “He only just ... I mean ... he climaxed, right? Just a few minutes ago?”

“He did,” Melanie confirmed, “but ... well, I have a hunch he’ll have recovered enough for a second round.”

Richard shrugged. “All right,” he said. “Then yes, I’m okay with it. If this is the price I pay for the many benefits of Kelly living with us, then so be it.”

He still looked troubled, so Melanie took his hand and squeezed it. “I’m still yours,” she assured him. “Always.”

“Thank you,” he replied with a smile. “Now go on upstairs. Have fun.”

“I will,” said Melanie, her eyes shining with excitement. Getting to her feet, she hurried out of the room, then she climbed the stairs, and went into the spare bedroom. Kelly was already there, and he was naked.

“On the bed, please,” he said. “On your hands and knees.” As Melanie complied, he poured some baby oil on to her bottom, and began rubbing it all over. As his fingers slipped between her buttocks, he pressed the tip of his middle finger against her anus, then he gently pushed it inside.

Melanie gasped. “Kelly...”

“I thought we might take some shots of your dildo sticking out of your ass,” he said. “But I can’t just shove it in; it’ll hurt too much. I need to work up to it, slowly and gently.”

“Okay,” said Melanie with a little shiver.

Having finger-fucked her rectum for a full minute, Kelly slowly inserted a second finger. As Melanie winced, he said, “Try to completely relax your anus,” he said. “If you clamp down, it’ll hurt. Try, if you can, to push a little bit ... like you’re trying to poop. That will allow your anus to expand more comfortably.”

Melanie nodded, and bore down a little. Sure enough, her discomfort eased considerably. “Okay,” she said, “I’m good.”

After thrusting two fingers in and out of her anus for a few moments, Kelly said, “Okay, let’s try something bigger. The dildo’s quite a lot thicker than two fingers, though – ‘I need something intermediate... Oh ... I know just the thing. Is it okay if I use my cock...?”

Melanie shivered. “You know I can’t give you permission to do that, Kelly,” she chided him.

“You can’t give me permission to fuck you,” conceded Kelly, “but this is different. I want to use my cock to carefully lubricate the inside of your rectum and prepare it for your dildo. But I’m certainly not going to do that until you say it’s okay – ‘I need to make sure you’re relaxed and prepared.”

Melanie was not entirely sure about this, but as Kelly lubed up his erection and pressed its rounded tip against her anus, she decided that it was probably enough of a grey area to warrant a slight bending of the no-consent rule. “All right,” she said, “go ahead – ‘you can put it in.”

“Thank you,” said Kelly happily, and as he slowly pushed forward, Melanie’s anal sphincter gradually expanded to accommodate the full girth of the head of his cock.

She gasped as his full shaft sank deep inside her. “Oh, that feels ... weird.”

“You’ve never had anal sex before?” Kelly inquired in surprise.

“No,” said Melanie. “Richard’s never been interested. I think the idea of getting poop on his cock bothers him too much.”

Kelly began thrusting gently. “Mmmm, god this feels good though...” He reached beneath his cock with his fingers, and slid two of them into Melanie’s vagina. “So, what will you be wearing for our hike today?”

Melanie closed her eyes, and answered breathlessly, “I don’t know. You decide.”

“How busy is this place, Solace Falls?” asked Kelly.

“Not too bad,” panted Melanie. “We’ll see a few other hikers. It’s just over a mile from the parking lot to the falls.”

“A tank top and panties, then,” gasped Kelly. “And sneakers.”

“Not even a skirt?” asked Melanie anxiously.

“No,” replied Kelly firmly.

“Okay,” said Melanie. “What about next week, at work? Remember I’m teaching classes...”

Kelly pondered this while gently fucking Melanie’s rectum, and finger-fucking her vagina. “Microskirt and see-through blouse, for the classes. I want you to be able to button it, at least partially, but your nipples need to be showing through clearly. For when you’re back in the office, you should wear just a thong.”

“Oh God!” whispered Melanie, both alarmed and aroused at the idea.

“And take a bottle of baby oil to work with you,” added Kelly. “You know ... to enhance Myron’s photos of you. Let him apply it.”

“Oh God ... but he’s old!” Melanie protested.

“I know,” said Kelly, thrusting harder. “Will you do it?”

“Yes,” Melanie panted. “Oh God...”

“Will you let him rub oil into your pussy?”

“Yes!” Melanie moaned. “I’ll even let him stick his fingers inside me...”

“Good girl!” exclaimed Kelly, hammering his cock in and out of her anus. Then he climaxed, shooting his semen deep inside her rectum. “Good girl...” He pulled his penis out of her, then quickly pushed the head of the dildo into her anus before it closed. “Roll over on to your back,” he instructed her, “and spread your legs wide.”

Melanie did as he asked, and the photo shoot resumed. After capturing several poses with the dildo lodged deep in her rectum, Kelly grinned and said, “Shall we continue the photo shoot on our hike? Looks like the rain’s stopped.” He started to pull the dildo out, then he paused, slid it back in, and began gently fucking her with it.

“That sounds like fun,” said Melanie. “Are we taking the dildo?”

“Why not?” said Kelly, pulling it out of her. “I’ll go and give it a wash.”

Once he had washed the dildo in the bathroom, as well as his penis, he looked into the master bedroom and saw Melanie, still naked, looking through her underwear drawer. “Which panties should I wear?”

Kelly had a quick rummage. “This one,” he said, pulling out a skimpy white thong.

Melanie shuddered. “Okay,” she said, stepping into it and pulling it up. “And which top should I wear...?” She closed her underwear drawer, and pulled open the next one down.

“Something white, I think, to go with the thong,” said Kelly. He poked through her tops, but could not find one he liked. “You know what? If you wear a top, it’ll rub off and soak up any baby oil we put on you. I think you should just go topless.”

The idea of hiking to Solace falls in just a thong and sneakers was terrifying. “Okay,” said Melanie nervously. Then, slowly and deliberately, she pulled down her thong. “In that case, I may as well just be naked...”

“All right!” said Kelly cheerfully. “Let’s go, then.”

Downstairs, Melanie put on her shoes, while Richard stared at her in astonishment. “You’re going hiking like that?” he inquired. “Awesome!!”

They left the house, got into Richard’s car, and set off, heading towards Solace Falls for what would turn out to be merely the first of Melanie’s many naked outdoor adventures...

THE END

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