"It'll turn up, Dorothy. Mrs Maloney must have taken it away with all the rest of the washing. And it's so incredibly warm and we're none of us going any further than the pool today. What the hell!"
Dorothy Chambers did not look very reassured by this at first. She had paid a lot for that blouse and it was too bad the way it had disappeared overnight, as well as weird - she always locked her door. It just HAD to be one of the other girls, clowning about. Funny, though, she'd known them all since childhood and silly practical jokes had never been a thing they had been prone to do. They had always been rather a serious and sober-sided bunch.
She glared at the other three and returned to her toast and marmalade, washing it down with a cup of delicious coffee. The sun shone through the large French windows and warmed her exposed arms, shoulders, chest, ample cleavage and midriff. It felt pretty nice, she had to admit.
Elspeth's words had been true enough. For most of the day they would none of them be wearing too much, not in this heat. This was the hottest summer any of them could ever remember. And next day the careless housekeeper would be back, perhaps with her missing blouse and if it WAS one of the others - well, plenty of time to play a trick on her - whoever she was!
As Elspeth had predicted, they spent all morning diving into and lazing beside the swimming pool. Harriet and she played tennis for a while and Jenny took herself off and went for a solitary walk across the moors. They were all busy career women by nature, cast out of their jobs by various and simultaneous misfortunes, holidaying at Frances' recently inherited country home as they took stock of their lives and relaxed together for the first time in years. For the first three days of their stay here, all had gone pretty well as planned.
"I'll go and catch up with Jenny," said Frances. "I don't like to think of her brooding on her own. I think she's taken misfortune much harder that any of us. She always was the sensitive one. We've got to be extra nice to her, I feel."
She went inside the house and came back looking furious.
"OK, you lot, just what the Devil's going on?"
Dorothy was the first to answer.
"Sorry, Frances; I don't understand. What's up?"
"What's up is that my walking shoes are not where I left them and some creep with a twisted idea of what constitutes a joke has left me with only one set of clothes - those I wore this morning. Very funny, girls! But the joke's over!"
She did not look a happy hostess at all. She went on, "I'll go after Jenny in any case, shoes or no shoes. When I get back, I want all my gear returned. I'm not laughing at your stupid childish joke and this is MY house - remember that!"
Dorothy watched her storm off in her flip flops. Before she had got very far she had stumbled several times in this rather unpractical footwear and discarded them, preferring to rely on her own bare feet to carry her. When their hostess was nearly out of sight she turned to the others. "I wonder what's going on; first my blouse then her shoes and all her other clothes. Let's go inside and check on our stuff. This is very odd."
In twenty minutes Dorothy, Harriet and Elspeth returned from their respective rooms. All had the same tale to tell. Their spare clothes had gone and none of them had a complete set, even of their remaining apparel. Dorothy, as has been already mentioned, had no blouse. Harriet, that inveterate topless sunbather had a blouse, but no bra and Elspeth, perennially barefoot, had no shoes. None had bothered to put these items on in the morning and thus not noticed their absence.
"It must have been Jenny," said Harriet at last. "As Frances said, she's taken our misfortunes more to heart than the rest of us. She's flipped somehow. Poor girl - when she gets back with Frances, we'll just have to be extra nice to her. It's a sort of cry for help, I suppose."
Dorothy suggested that they search Jenny's room for the missing clothing. The door was not locked and they had soon searched it from top to bottom. Nothing! Not only were the other girls' missing things not here, but Jenny's spare gear also seemed to have disappeared.
"What was Jenny wearing when she went for her walk?" asked Dorothy. "I seem to remember she wasn't very well covered below the waist, but it's so warm, I hadn't thought much of it."
Harriet agreed. "Right, Dot! She just had her blouse, bikini bottom and shoes on. I thought it a bit daring, but - what the hell! Who's she likely to meet around here?"
"So there we have it!" said Dorothy. "We are all of us missing one item of clothing and we've all had our spare gear swiped. We aren't alone here, girls! Someone had to have done this. I wonder who?"
The three of them trooped outside and waited for Jenny and Frances to return. While they waited they took off what clothes they still had and plunged into the pool. As they swam, the thief rubbed his hands and chuckled. What a jolly day he was having! And there were more days to come!
"Hi, Jenny! Thought you might like some company!"
Frances had finally caught up with the youngest of her guests. She had been worried about her ever since the five of them had arrived here, four days ago. Jenny was usually the most effervescent of girls, by far the most light-hearted of this quintet of lifelong buddies, but had lately she been quiet and subdued, smiling sadly at the others' little jokes and staring downwards seeming to be lost in thought. She had been devastated to lose her post at the merchant bank and seemed totally broken-spirited by it. Of all of them, Frances reckoned, Jenny was the one who most needed this time together.
Jenny smiled and allowed Frances to link arms with her. They walked together for some time and then Jenny laughed gaily, the first time she had not looked solemn for longer than Frances could remember.
"Lost your shoes, darling? Never mind, those are the sweetest feet! I always envied you them! Bet it feels sore, though with all this heat and everything so dusty and dry!"
"Yeah! It does a bit. I like your legs, come to that - and you sure seem to be showing a lot of them today!"
Jenny grinned. "I didn't see where I'd put my shorts this morning, Frances, and it's so warm, I decided to leave off looking for them until tonight. I love the sun on my legs - it feels so free somehow."
Frances became thoughtful.
"Jenny, I can't find my shoes, Dot can't find her blouse and now you say your shorts have disappeared. A pattern emerges! I wonder who the silly bugger is - surely not Harriet or Elspeth - not their scene at all, I'd have said."
"I don't know, Fanny! I wouldn't have thought any of us were that way inclined. Not really. Not like some of the other girls we've known. That Tricia Fordyce and her little gang at school - they liked horsing about - but we were always such goody goodies!"
'Yes. That's right, ' thought Frances, 'We were all five of us serious minded little prigs and went on to be serious minded hard working women and look where it's bloody well got us!' She knew that Tricia was still going from strength to strength in her career as a fashion designer, and the five of them in their solid respectable careers had all come terrible croppers. What a very unfair business Life was! Still inheriting this house had been a welcome surprise - life wasn't all bad.
The place had been built in the Eighteen Seventies by a great-great uncle who had made a fortune in questionable circumstances and then retired here to live out his long retirement. It had been left her by a distant cousin only a couple of years ago and she had not had time to spend a lot of time in it until she lost her job. It might be a bit of a ramshackle place and well off the beaten track, but it was certainly ideal for a summer retreat, with its extensive grounds, tennis court and enormous swimming pool, installed by the last owner.
She had fallen in love with the isolated and remote place, vowing to spend as much time here as she could, but work had been so hectic at the time that it had been impossible to get up very often. And then the crash had come and she was out of work, clutching a fat redundancy cheque and with all the spare time in the world!
As soon as she had become unemployed and learnt of her friends' simultaneous misfortunes, she had invited them all down here to lick their several wounds and think how to get their lives back together. The first day had been spent in a serious discussion, reviewing the ways they could all set up in some kind of business together and then the wonderful weather had reduced them all to a state of semi-comatose and hedonist abandon. And then, this morning, they had started to lose their clothes.
Jenny and Frances continued walking and soon arrived at the highest point for miles around. They stood together and looked down at the Victorian pile below, the sole dwelling in their field of view. Both of them agreed that it was wonderful to be utterly away from it all. They lay down side by side and contemplated the view for some minutes before Jenny fell asleep. Frances sat by her side, her arm around her friend, and then dozed off herself. When the pair woke it was well into the afternoon and the sun well past its strongest. A cool breeze, the first stirring of the air in weeks of hot sultry weather, ruffled Jenny's long golden hair as well as Frances's shorter black locks. They enjoyed this refreshing change in the weather for a while longer, and then Frances got to her feet.
"Let's get back, Jenny. We need to get together, the five of us and sort out what's going on. I have a feeling things are not as they ought to be, my dear. In fact I feel very uneasy indeed for some reason!"
Jenny and Frances took their time getting back to the house. Poor Frances had lost count of the number of thistles, briars and razor sharp stones her delicate little feet had trodden upon by the time she was finally able to relax by the poolside and examine her sore and weeping soles. To think that in some parts of the world a shod person was a rarity, though people like that were mainly peasants who had a higher pain threshold!
She recalled an account she had once read of the life of the Zulu King Shaka, who had forbidden the wearing of sandals by his soldiers, training them to be able to cover scores of miles each day barefoot. This ruthless despot would force them to perform tribal dances on a floor strewn with thorns and those who missed their steps would be clubbed to death as an example to encourage the others. Well - she would have lasted maybe two minutes in an outfit like that!
Tomorrow, if the missing clothes still hadn't turned up, she might drive into the nearest town, some twenty miles distant and buy some more shoes. Her flimsy sandals had been quite ruined before she had been forced to ditch them. As she and Jenny relaxed after their walk, the others came out of the house and settled themselves around their two returned friends.
"We have a confession to make, Jenny," began Dorothy, "We thought you were behind these mysterious losses, so we looked through your room. Sorry, about that darling - it was just that we thought you were behaving unlike your usual self. Anyway, you're obviously in the same boat as the rest of us. We do apologise."
Jenny smilingly forgave them. "I suppose we're looking at each other and wondering which of us it is. I vote we forget it for today! Tonight we must all lock ourselves in our rooms and close the windows, stuffy though it is in this heat. And one of us should be in the corridor for an hour at a time to keep guard, armed with something suitably heavy in case we have visitors."
Frances agreed, except that she suggested two of them at a time and for two hours at a stretch. Frances and Jenny agreed to take the first two hours, Dorothy and Harriet the next, and Frances and Elspeth the remainder of the night until everyone had got dressed. Frances resigned herself to a more sleep deprived night than the others, but she had always been the natural leader of the group and leaders have responsibilities.
They carried out an audit before retiring for the night.
Jenny: Top, bikini top, bikini bottom and shoes.
Dorothy: Bikini top, bikini bottom, slacks and shoes.
Elspeth: Blouse, bikini top and bottom, shorts
Harriet: Cotton blouse, Bikini bottom, hot pants and shoes.
Frances: Tank top, Bikini top, bikini bottom, micro skirt.
The three watches went off without incident. No one reported any further loss. At seven am all went to their several bathrooms to shower and brush their perfect and gleaming white teeth. Then they assembled for breakfast.
Dorothy was dressed in her bikini and shoes. While in the bathroom, her slacks had disappeared. She had heard nothing, but when she had pulled back the shower curtain, the said garment had gone!
Harriet had lost her blouse, which did not worry her, since she spent most of the day bare-breasted in any case. With her tanned upper body, she looked the least put out of all at her loss. As in Dorothy's case, it had vanished when she was looking the other way for a second. "Pretty smart piece of thieving - unbelievable!" was her comment before breaking her fast with her usual gusto.
Elspeth had lost her bikini bottom. "Never mind!" she said, surprisingly brightly. "We're all girls together! Shouldn't cramp my style too much".
Jenny had lost her shoes and Frances her little skirt.
It was a very thoughtful quintet which ate silently and reflectively. 'We ought to be afraid, ' thought Jenny, 'but somehow we aren't.' It was as though all of them knew they were in no danger, (apart from ending up completely stripped after a few more days of this). And it was still very warm, with a long-range weather forecast seeing no end to the drought for the foreseeable future.
Just as they were about to clear up the breakfast things and transfer themselves to the pool, to spend as much time splashing around in it as lying beside it, the telephone rang. Frances went to answer it. She came back looking annoyed.
"That was Mrs Maloney. Her sister is no better. She wants to stay away a few more days. Damn! I was hoping to get her to buy a few clothes for us all before she came back. Never mind! We are, as Elspeth has reminded us, all girls together. Any of you fancy a drive into town to buy the stuff ourselves? I'll go and get the car out of the garage, while you make up your minds!"
"I'm happy to stay here for the day. It's too hot to get in the car. Anyway, I want to see what happens next!" said Elspeth as she prepared for a day by the pool. Having no bikini bottom, she felt it would look silly to wear the top, and was already plastering her white parts with a protective cream.
Beside her lay Harriet, her breasts already deep brown like the rest of her. She was also naked in order to keep Elspeth company. Neither girl had ever done this before and were still finding it a bit of a novelty. Jenny and Dorothy looked at them both a little doubtfully. They were not ready to follow suit just yet, although Jenny rather thought they might have no choice before long!
She shivered despite the heat and looked around. No one there, but she felt something - a kind of presence. "I'll go with Frances in the car" she said. "I need shoes as well. Let's hope we don't get arrested going shopping barefoot and in bikini bottoms."
The other two said not to worry. In this heat, nobody would bat an eyelid at two reasonably attractive young women showing considerably more leg than usual. It would most likely make quite a few young gentlemen's days for them!
Jenny went around to the garage just as Frances had got the car out. She climbed in and off they went to town, the shops and replacement clothes for all five. Jenny sat back and decided to enjoy the journey. The scenery around here was magnificent with all the expanse of gorse, bracken and heather. Such a wild area compared to the gentle downland pastures of her native Sussex.
Frances seemed not to be her normal confident and efficient self. Jenny became aware that her companion and driver was cursing under her breath. Also she noticed that the car was not behaving itself. A few miles away from the house, at the bottom of a long if not too steep hill, the engine gave out a few discreet coughs and gave up the ghost.
The two barefoot and bare legged girls got out and Frances pulled up the radiator. It did not take her long to see what was wrong.
"Fucking sugar in the tank, Jenny! Look at that horrible mess! I don't like jokes at the best of times, but this is the perishing bloody limit! Who of us is that fucking moronically terminally fucking stupid - not to say malicious! And I thought I knew you all so well!"
"What do we do now, Frances?" asked Jenny. 'Why am I not a bit surprised by this?' she silently asked herself.
"We turn this thing around, push it back to the house and phone for someone to come and take it away to be repaired. It's fifteen miles to the nearest garage. I hope you are feeling strong and fit, Jenny! Let's get started."
"Quite hot, really isn't it - the tarmac, I mean" gasped Jenny at one point. She was convinced that her newly bared feet must be a mass of blisters by this time.
Frances did not deign to reply. After her walk of the previous day, she was already in agony, even after a few yards up the hill, straining and gasping as she put her shoulder against the back of the broken down car.
To think she had fallen in love with this bloody house! It was going on the market first thing tomorrow! She never wanted to see the cursed place again, or this ghastly deserted countryside! She began to dream about London, where a situation such as this could never arise. Fucking countryside! She hoped never to see a blade of grass ever again as long as she lived!
It might have seemed a gentle enough slope when they were driving down it, but it was another matter again as the two sweating young ladies heaved and panted and pushed the heavy vehicle laboriously back up it and then the few yards back to the house. The other girls looked on in horror as Jenny and Frances propelled it slowly back up the drive.
The naked Elspeth and Harriet were the first to see the premature return of the two would-be shoppers. They left their places by the poolside and wandered over to give a hand as Jenny and Frances, red, sweating and flustered, pushed the car the final few yards back to the garage.
"Are you two trying to get yourselves fit, or is there something wrong," asked Harriet.
Frances's brief and robust reply was unprintable and I will therefore not reproduce it here.
"I think I must have about a fucking ton of gravel embedded in the soles of my feet" she fumed as she examined the said body parts.
Jenny seemed to be taking it all with much better grace.
"I could murder a long cool drink" was her only comment as she looked amusedly at her red faced and apoplectic companion. "I think this looks like being one hell of a vacation."
"The word's 'holiday'," spat Frances viciously. "The last thing I need is any of your fucking Americanisms. One long weekend in New fucking York and she tries to pass herself off as Hillary fucking Clinton."
"Calm down, Frances!" said Jenny, looking cheerful for the first time since she lost her job. "At least we all have each other. Just go and phone the garage, and for goodness sake get a grip on yourself! It's hardly the end of the world, you know!"
Frances saw the sense of this and stalked off to make the phone call. Within seconds she was back. She looked even angrier than ever.
"Forget the phone call, girls! Some bastard has fixed that! Phone's smashed beyond repair. We're totally cut off - who's feeling up to a long walk back to civilisation? After what I've been through, I'm bloody crippled for life and Jenny's not a whole lot better."
"Well, it wouldn't have been any use anyway, Elspeth. We're so far away from the nearest mast," said Frances as Jenny examined her mobile phone, the only one between the five of them. The battery had been removed by person or persons unknown. It was late afternoon and Jenny had belatedly remembered that she had brought her mobile with her, despite a mutual agreement to leave them all behind.
Now that she had recovered from the rigours of her barefoot experience with the car, Frances had recovered her composure. The five were lying beside the pool, three bikini clad and two nude. The sun still shone and the sky was still blue. There was plenty to eat and plenty to drink. Mrs Maloney was bound to come back fairly soon. A mood of acceptance had settled over them all. Despite Frances's earlier fury, the magic of this remote retreat was once more exerting its influence over them all.
"I wonder what we will have lost in the morning..." speculated Jenny.
"We won't," answered Frances. "We will none of us sleep alone again. I'll share with Jenny and Elspeth and Harriet can sleep with Dorothy. That should fix it!"
Jenny doubted this, but held her peace. She declined to give up her privacy and nothing any of the others said could change her mind. Whatever the others did, she knew how she was going to react to this bizarre situation!
Next day, Dorothy found that she had joined the ranks of the barefoot and her companion Harriet was now without her minuscule shorts.
Frances sported her ample bosom at breakfast, having involuntarily shed her bikini top overnight - this despite having slept in it! "Extraordinary - I never noticed a bloody thing!" she gasped to the others. Frances's companion, Elspeth had lost her shorts and breakfasted in bikini bottom and shoes.
All four expectantly awaited the arrival of the solitary Jenny. They gasped as this young lady arrived downstairs totally naked.
"Golly, Jenny! We warned you not to sleep alone!" gasped Harriet. "At least the rest of us still have something to cover some of ourselves."
Jenny laughed merrily. "Oh! I threw all my stuff out of the window before I went to bed! Why fight it, girls? We're all doomed to be starkers sooner or later. You should join me! It feels great!"
Frances went outside to see if Jenny's clothes were still underneath her bedroom window. They were - minus her bikini bottom. She handed them over to Jenny without saying a word. She wondered whether this was actually happening or whether she was going insane.
Beside the pool later in the day, Frances, now the only non-nude member of the group, was talking about the gentleman who had built this house all those years ago.
"He was a very disreputable fellow," explained Frances. "Made his money out of the exploitation of women - a kind of high class pimp. Ghastly man. Ebenezer Braithwate, his name was. At the age of forty he was so stinking rich as a result of his activities that he retired prematurely and built this place. Funny thing, though - he left very little money when he died, despite having lived pretty frugally in his retirement.
"The place came down to me after his great grandson died a few years ago. He was the only one to live here for much of the time. For some reason the place has always had a bit of a bad reputation, but I love it, even if we are being stalked by some madman!"
"I don't think he is mad," said Jenny. "He just likes the sight of naked young women. I think that's extremely sane! Now that I've given him what he wants, I feel so lovely and peaceful. I feel somehow that I've made him happy, whoever he is!"
Before anyone could reply, the sound of an approaching car was heard. 'Thank God, ' thought Frances, 'Mrs Maloney is back - we are saved!'
They moved over to the front of the house and watched the open two-seater approach. No! This was never Mrs Maloney! That car cost a great deal more than that good lady earned in a year! As the expensive vehicle came to a noisy, squealing halt, they all stared open-mouthed as a pretty girl got out. It had been years since any of them had last seen this effervescent young lady, but all recognised her immediately.
"Tricia Fordyce! My God, what the hell brings you here?" spluttered Frances.
"My, oh my! We are letting our hair down, aren't we! Hi, Jenny - gosh, but you do look gorgeous! I always hungered for your lovely body! And the rest of you! I see old Fanny here is still maintaining a bit of propriety! Nice tits, Frances - now let's see that glorious bush!"
Tricia looked around the undressed and half-dressed group delightedly. She had never had an uncharitable thought in her life, even towards these rather humourless good and industrious paragons of virtue.
Jenny was the only one who returned Tricia's friendliness. She had often half wished herself a member of her fun loving and highly mischievous circle, but her respect for and fear of Frances had always held her back somehow. She guessed how this high spirited and fearless young woman would have reacted to the situation they were in. Tricia would have loved it!
"I was in the area, Frances, and thought it would be nice to see my old school buddies again! Mind if I stay the night? Thought not! I'll go and take my stuff upstairs. I don't require the very best room, Fanny old sport! The second best will be just fine, unless Jenny likes to share, of course!"
"I'd love to, Tricia," replied Jenny eagerly. "How lovely!"
A few minutes later, the self invited guest emerged from the house, totally naked and plonked herself down beside the pool and next to Jenny. She put her arm around the girl and kissed her hungrily and thoroughly on the lips, very noticeably working her tongue into every corner of Jenny's wide open and welcoming mouth. Frances looked away in disgust. She had never liked this woman! And what was Jenny looking so bloody pleased about? Why wasn't she fighting off the advances of this repulsive creature!
Having finished with Jenny for the time being, Tricia addressed herself to the rest of them
"I say that Jenny here has got the right idea! Don't fight this thing, girls! Get that silly thing off you, Frances and join the club! Let's see that bush! I bet it's a sight - nothing like Jenny's, though - hers is something else, just like the rest of her!"
With this she returned to her earnest and enthusiastic exploration of Jenny's body. She covered that sweet flesh with passionate dripping wet kisses and her hands expertly fondled the now moaning and ecstatic Jenny from top to sweetly delicious toe. Jenny responded with equal energy. Finally, the two got up and walked away together. They strolled to the edge of the grounds and ducked under the fence, making off into the distance where Frances and Jenny had walked a few days previously. Soon they were out of sight.
"Disgusting bitch!" fumed Frances. "How dare she push her way into my house and seduce one of my dearest friends? Bitch!"
"Jenny looked happy enough, Frances," said Dorothy. "And she's a big girl now - it's her life. Let them be! She really came alive as soon as Tricia got out of her car. I haven't seen her look so happy in months! Good luck to both of them! That's what I say!"
Harriet and Elspeth nodded their agreement. They too had noticed Jenny's delighted smile as Tricia had gotten out of her car. All at once they all four of them called back to mind numerous instances of their friend's liking for Tricia. It had often been touch and go whether she would attach herself to her little coterie. Now that Tricia had forced the issue, saw how inevitable this had always been, even Frances, who finally joined the rest of her companions in their nudity, removing her bikini bottom and tossing it to one side with a gesture of finality.
From his vantage point high up in an attic room, the thief sighed contentedly!
"Can't you stay a bit more than just the one night, Tricia?" asked a sweat-drenched Jenny during a pause in their love-making. They had found a nice smooth area of the moor to lie down on together. It was a bit itchy for them both, naked as they were, but their delight in having finally discovered each other made up for all that minor discomfort.
"Why don't you come away with me tomorrow, darling? I only came for you, in any case. Someone told me about you losing your job and said you were up here with the others. I just had to come and see how I could help out. I'm sure I can fix you up with something - my body for starters! Let those other four look after themselves, my sweet!"
Jenny shook her head, although without any great deal of conviction. In any case, she had nothing to wear! She ditched her remaining clothes and they had disappeared. The thief was obviously taking no chances on her changing her mind!
Tricia arranged Jenny so that she was resting her head on her lap. She then stroked her body very tenderly for some moments, before speaking.
"Oh, you gorgeous lovely girl. I've loved you since we were both eleven year olds in our first term at St Olave's. Why have we wasted so much time, my love? Anyway, we're wasting no more! Right?"
"Right, darling. Oh! How right!"
She put her arms around Tricia's haunches and buried herself in the other girl's profuse pubic forest, inserting her tongue into the moistness. It was a long time before either felt capable of speech.
"It interests me - this mysterious thieving. I think I WILL stick around a day or two. I love whodunits! Let's have a look at your poor darling feet, Jenny, my love! As I thought - much too sore to walk on any more today. Fancy being carried back to the house?"
With this she picked Jenny up as if she weighed no more than the proverbial feather and carried her back home, pausing frequently to kiss her. Jenny just lay back in her new lover's strong arms and surrendered herself to being cherished. As they came within sight of the others, Dorothy let out a low whistle.
"Wow! Doesn't she look sweet - our Jenny. And doesn't Trish look the part! I feel quite envious - how about you, Harriet? Fancy a cuddle?"
Harriet giggled at this and moved smartly away.Frances looked angry. Elspeth agreed with Dorothy that they were looking at two very happy people.
Tricia walked up to them, carrying her precious burden. She gently put Jenny on the ground and sat next to her with her strong arm around those slight shoulders.
"You realise you have a ghost, don't you?" she asked.
"Don't be stupid" snapped Frances. "There are no such things. No. Someone is lurking about the house, and has cut the phone line and smashed the phone and sabotaged my car. If you want to be useful why don't you drive over to the police and get some help? And STOP doing that to Jenny! It's revolting!"
"No it isn't, Frances," replied Jenny. "It's lovely and beautiful."
At this, Frances got up and stalked haughtily into the house, her slightly oversized bottom swaying angrily from side to side and detracting a little from her dignity. Tricia and Jenny snorted and giggled at the sight and the other three were soon grinning, despite their loyalty to their hostess.
"I think Tricia may have a point" said Dorothy. "It's pretty uncanny the way our clothes seem to vanish into thin air, almost from under our noses. I wonder what history there is to this place."
"It's not that old," said Harriet. "Eighteen Seventy Six it was completed. At least that's what Frances said. Let's go in and try to make peace with her! Try to keep your hands to yourselves for a bit, you two. Stop winding her up!"
"Keep my hands off this gorgeous expanse of sweet flesh? Get lost. I've been keeping my hands off her for far too long as it is! What say, Jenny?"
"Too bloody right, Tricia. Even a millionth of an inch is too far to be away from you! You keep your hands right where they are and doing what they are!"
Tricia picked Jenny up again and carried her inside. Frances was seated in the lounge and the others trooped in and sat down. Tricia casually tossed Jenny onto a large sofa and immediately leapt on top of her. As the two crawled all over each other, Tricia looked up in the midst of her love-making and spoke to Frances.
"I think a supernatural explanation is the only one. Tell us about your ancestor Frances. He interests me."
Frances ignored Tricia for some seconds. The sight of her best friend being virtually raped in front of her eyes in her own house was doing dangerous things to her cardio-vascular system. She could feel the blood coursing through her veins and there was a red mist in front of her eyes. She was not a happy chick!
She forced herself to be calm. As the others had said, Jenny was old enough to know her own mind and she DID look very happy, as she lay in Tricia's arms and allowed herself to be loved.
"He was a nineteenth century Hugh Heffner, I suppose you could say, Tricia. Ran some very shady enterprises and was a pornography merchant, always just on the right side of the law, and always making money hand over fist. Then he came up here and lived the life of a recluse for thirty years until his death. He had a few servants, but not many by the standards of the time. He kept a very modest establishment and died relatively poor."
Tricia took a while to digest all this. She returned to Jenny's sweet mouth, inserting her tongue inside it for the thousandth time that day. Then she transferred her attentions to another orifice with Jenny enthusiastically reciprocating! The others looked on in wonder. Fancy Jenny being like that! Dorothy, for one, felt she would never again disbelieve anything about anybody. Jenny withdrew from Tricia's pussy after giving it a final loving lick and spoke.
"Let's talk this over tomorrow. Come on Trish darling. Let's get to bed. I'm tired!"
Jenny woke up in the morning and was disappointed to find herself alone. Had she dreamt about yesterday? Had she not, after all, spent those incredible hours, doing all those nice things, with Frances's arch rival Tricia? Certainly everything about the last few days had been pretty unreal.
Clothes disappearing and all five gradually becoming nudists. Yes. It must have been a dream. When she got up she would find all her clothes neatly folded on her chair as usual. Then the door opened and in walked a naked Tricia, holding a tray on which reposed two teacups.
"Here you are darling. One early morning cup of tea - the first of many I'll be bringing you over the years!"
Tricia looked anxiously as a grateful Jenny took a sip.
"Well, I do like it rather stronger actually and I don't take sugar, but it's so awfully sweet of you. I'm overwhelmed, I really am!"
Tricia whipped the cup away from her and scurried out, returning minutes later with another.
"Better this time, petal?"
Jenny professed herself satisfied. As she drank it a tear trickled down her face. A concerned Tricia got into the bed beside her. Jenny continued to finish her tea and wriggled closer to Tricia.
"Sorry to be so silly, Trish darling. It just reminds me of when Johnny brought me the first morning cuppa after we were married. I've been very lonely since he died. Today's the first day I've woken up and not been alone."
"Well, you won't ever be alone again, darling little Jenny - not as long as there's breath in this body of mine!"
The two lay together for a while. Then Tricia asked if Jenny wanted to go down to breakfast or whether she wanted it brought up to her.
"Oh, Yes, please. Let's have it up here together, just the two of us. We can go and join the others a bit later."
Once again Tricia took herself busily away and soon returned with a tray containing breakfast for two. They sat side by side in bed and shared the first meal of the day. They each took alternate bites out of the same piece of toast. They shared the same cup, making sure to put exactly the same spot to their lips in as had the other. Both felt themselves to be in Heaven.
Meanwhile, the others had emerged from their several rooms and drifted downstairs. None had bothered to check which item of clothing had vanished overnight, having resigned themselves to a life of nudity. They were all naked as they sat around the table.
"I guess those two love birds are having breakfast in bed" murmured Dorothy. "Lucky old Jenny. She looked so happy yesterday. Let's face it - she deserves it after all she's been through!"
The others agreed. Jenny was the only one of the five to have married and her husband had fallen prey to some mystery illness on a trip to the Far East dying after only a couple of months of marriage. Jenny had thrown herself into her career after that. Loss of her job had hit her very hard, bringing back her earlier sadness to combine with her distress at the ruin of her career.
Harriet and Elspeth were the first to finish eating. They took their plates out to the kitchen and washed up. Then they decided to go for a walk over the moors. Soon they were at the same high point from which Frances and Jenny had surveyed the scene at the start of their adventures.
"If anyone had told me two weeks ago that I would be wandering stark naked across the open countryside, I would have thought they were crazy!" said Dorothy.
"And now look at us!"
"I wonder what our mysterious thief thinks now he's got what he apparently wanted?" said Elspeth.
"If he is a ghost, then I can't say how he'd be feeling. I'd have thought it hard for a phantom to masturbate, but then, I'm no expert on the paranormal!"
Elspeth agreed. "I imagine it's an aesthetic experience for him, whoever he is!"
Dorothy laughed loudly. "I wonder what he makes of Tricia and Jenny? It might make him a bit wild to think of two of us turning out to be dykes!"
Elspeth joined in her amusement. "Well, I guess Tricia can look after both herself and Jenny. They'll be OK. It's the ghost I'm sorry for if he tries anything on with that woman!"
At the same time as these two were wandering naked across the open country, the practical Frances was going through the contents of the fridge and freezer. In three days they would be running short of food. She waited impatiently for Tricia to come downstairs. In due course, she arrived, carrying Jenny as though the girl did not have legs of her own. Once again she dumped her laughing companion onto the sofa and flopped down beside her.
Before the two of them could start their, to Frances, irritating and loathsome little games together, she spoke firmly to Tricia, ignoring Jenny altogether.