A New Way of Seeing Things Ch. 03byBusyBadger©
(Author's note: Thank you to all who have sent encouraging comments and e-mails, as well as the constructive critique! Writing is much easier when you know you have an interested audience. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, places, and/or things is coincidental.)
The dream returned that night. She was again chained and bound in the center of the mall, slowly turning as shoppers strolled by. The naked man was back, this time joined by her admirer from yesterday. The two were standing on opposite sides of the stage so that while one had a perfect view of her breasts and opened legs, the other had an equally clear view of her tensed rear-end and bound arms. As the pedestal turned beneath her, she could see the pot-bellied man stroking his inhuman length while the man with the chiseled chest and muscular arms did the same to his own massive shaft. Again, Gwen awoke before she could see how it ended.
By the time Tim stumbled into the kitchen that morning, Gwen had made pancakes and a decision on what she had to do.
"You getting up early like this is going to make me fat," Tim teased as he sat down.
"You work too hard to get fat," she gently admonished, mind racing in all directions while the Lady sat triumphantly on her shoulder. "You really need to relax more."
"Last night was pretty relaxing," her husband replied, risking a joke. Sex was something rarely discussed and never made light of, but he sensed something had changed.
Gwen grunted in response, wanting to tell him how much she had enjoyed it too, but knowing to admit that would be wrong, that it would also be further evidence of her mental instability.
Tim rose and hugged her. "I haven't seen you get up early like this since the girls were still here. What's bothering you?"
Gwen smiled and patted his arm, then stood and moved to the coffee maker. "Nothing serious, dear, just silly woman's stuff." She really wanted to confess to him how she thought she was becoming a pervert, how she thought she was going crazy, but not now. Not until she had a chance to talk to someone else, maybe get some professional help...
He let it slide and the morning went on as it normally did. The last truck was pulling on to the road when Gwen dialed the phone.
"...hello?" came a sleepy voice on the other end of the line.
"Hi Natalie? It's Gwen. It sounds like I woke you?"
"Yeah, I've got the three-to-midnight shift at the hospital. One of the other supervisors is on maternity leave," the slowly waking voice replied. "What's up?'
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize!" Gwen stammered. "I can call back later!"
"No, no, it's fine, I was going to get up soon anyways," her sister-in-law lied. "What's up?"
"Well, I was uhhh, wondering if you, uhh, might like to go riding today?"
"Sure, sounds like fun. Are you coming, too?" she asked with a hint of teasing sarcasm.
"Of course!" Gwen answered, not missing the jibe. While she and Natalie had always been polite and civil to each other, they had not developed a bond—Gwen had always thought her too spirited and carefree for her tastes, Natalie seeing her sister-in-law as a prim stick-in-the-mud. "I thought since I'm taking Dart out, and Tigger hasn't been ridden since KD was home before she went off for her summer internship, that you might like to come up?"
"Sounds great," the voice answered. "Be up in a couple of hours?"
Both horses were groomed and saddled when Natalie pulled into the yard. Out of sheer force of habit Gwen appraised the woman's attire as she approached—snug fitting jeans that Gwen knew from experience just barely contained and concealed a very round rear-end, and an equally tight white pocket-T. She noted with grim amusement that Natalie's pink jogbra was clearly visible underneath the shirt, the woman's abundant chest bouncing slightly despite the evident support. Gwen could never understand how women could wear only a jogbra when exercisinga—a bra was a bra as far as she was concerned, and should not be seen. The fact that Natalie's was covered by layer of thin white fabric was only slightly better. At least she was wearing proper boots, Gwen sighed to herself.
A polite hug and pleasantries were exchanged, and she watched as her sister-in-law effortlessly swung into the saddle. She was a natural rider, Gwen had to admit to herself. Natalie had never ridden prior to meeting Gwen's brother Adam, but took to it naturally every time she was offered the chance to ride one of the Nelson horses. She's very comfortable in the saddle, she thought, but Miss Ritter, the chief riding instructor at the stable Gwen had worked at before meeting Tim, would have an absolute fit if she could see her posture. Memories from that time began to collect. Not now, Gwen told herself angrily. Not now!
The pair started up the trail into the woods behind the house, exchanging small talk about various family interests and goings on. Gradually, the two lapsed into silence, the sound of eight hooves thudding against the packed dirt keeping time with the songbirds sitting above the by the the treelined path.
"Natalie, you took some psychology courses when you went to school, didn't you?"
The content and suddenness of the question surprised the younger woman. "Yeah, it's part of the curriculum at any accredited nursing college. I also did a rotation in the medical psych ward when I was getting my certificate. Why do you ask?"
"Well..." the woman next to her shifted uneasily and pressed on. "Well, I'm hoping you can give me your opinion on something."
Natalie chose her words carefully. "OK, you know I'm not a mental health expert, right? I can give you my opinion, but it's just that."
Gwen smiled in acknowledgement. The family had assumed when they first meet Adam's new girlfriend that she was just a bubble-headed blonde hoping to score some money from the family in an 'oops, I'm pregnant" sort of way, but she had proven herself to be a very smart, savvy woman, scoring high marks in the nursing program she had attended before earning praise and recognition for her abilities and grace under pressure in the Emergency room. In turn, she had parlayed this into a move into the Cardiac Care wing, and now, a supervisory position. No, she was not a mental health expert, but probably the closest to one that Gwen knew.
"I know, but maybe you can point me in the right direction. I can trust you to keep this a secret, right? Even from Tim and Adam?"
"What's said between us, stays between us," Natalie replied gravely. "That goes both ways."
"Thank you, I appreciate that. So..." Gwen mustered her courage, unsure how to start now that she was here. "So, I was shopping for a new dress earlier this week, and I tried one on. Unfortunately, I accidentally left the dressing room curtain open a little, and I think there was a guy in the waiting area who might have seen me in my underwear." Natalie looked at her sister-in-law impassively, waiting for more.
"It was a complete accident," Gwen repeated, "and at first I was upset, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was kind of excited by it, by the idea this guy would want to look at me."
"A guy saw you in your underwear and it turned you on. Not seeing the need for shock therapy yet. Is there more?" Natalie deadpanned.
"Yes, of course," Gwen responded, mildly surprised her riding companion did not find her admission the least bit shocking. "The next day, I spent the day running around the house in my underwear, and I, uhhh, this is so hard to say...I touched myself down there." The blushing woman dropped her gaze to her crotch.
Natalie's looked over at her sister-in-law. "Did you know that at the turn of the century, physicians would use vibrators to give orgasms to women showing signs of 'hysteria'? Said it relaxed and quieted them, and that it was a sure cure. Imagine that. I'm sorry, I interrupted you. I'm guessing you were imagining that someone could see you running around like that? Or maybe hoping?"
Gwen nodded her head, unwilling to make eye contact.
"Yesterday, I went dress shopping again. This time I intentionally left the curtain open a little. I didn't think anyone would see me, but..."
Again her sister-in-law nodded miserably, and Natalie could sense the torture she was putting herself through. "Anything else?"
"Natalie, isn't that enough? That I like showing myself to strange men, so much so that I can't stop thinking about it? And my dreams.—" Gwen stopped herself, unwilling to discuss that aspect.
"You had dreams about it, Gwen? Do you remember them? C'mon, you can tell me, your secret is safe with me, right?"
Still Gwen resisted, wanting to lie and tell her she could not remember them.
"Dreams are just dreams," Natalie said gently. "They're where the mind goes to take time off from the serious business of keeping our bodies going. Look, when I first started in Cardio, there was this patient—really handsome guy, really big penis." Gwen looked at her in shock. "Hey, I'm a nurse, not a robot," Natalie explained. "We notice these things. Anyways, he was in because of an arrhythmia. Well, all the cardio patients' heart rates are monitored from the nurse's station, in case someone goes into arrest, that kind of thing. I was on the late shift one night, and this guy's heart rate and BP start to climb. I saw it and got up to go to his room to see what the problem was, but one of the older nurses stopped me. 'He's fine,' she said.
But look at the monitor, I told her. That doesn't look good.
He's fine, she told me again. It'll be back to normal in a few minutes.
How do you know that? I asked.
She laughed and said, "he's masturbating. Once he finishes he'll be back to normal. He's cleared for light exercise, and I'd say this qualifies, don't you? But if you want to go help clean up, make sure the monitor leads don't get wet..."
Natalie laughed. "I guess this was a common occurrence and kind of an initiation that all the new nurses go through. And you know what, for a week after that I had a recurring dream where I had to resuscitate that guy by rushing in there and giving him head! Now, I knew from my training that CPR didn't work that way, and it would get me fired and possibly prosecuted, but my brain knew no boundaries when I was asleep. Same thing for you. Just because you're dreaming something doesn't mean it has to happen in real life, So, what are you dreaming about?"
Gwen decided to bare all, to reveal just how sick she really was. "I had the same dream, twice," she muttered while looking down at the trail moving along below her. "I was tied up on the center stage at the mall, and I was naked. The two guys who saw me in the dressing room were naked too, and they were looking at me. They, were, uhh, touching their things..."
"Sounds interesting. Anything else?"
"Isn't THAT enough?" Gwen wailed, again spooking Dart below her. "Why are you making fun of me? I need help!"
Natalie's voice softened. "Gwen honey, if I thought you needed professional help I would be right there to find you the best person in the state. But honestly, I'd bet that after they get your insurance money they'd say you're normal. Knowing what I do about your parents and your brother, I think you've repressed your sexuality all these years, and now it wants out. To put it bluntly, you need to get laid."
"But, Tim and I were...intimate... twice this week, and still I want more, I still had those dreams!"
"There's nothing that says you can't get off more than twice a week...is Tim a once in a while guy?"
"Oh, no!" Gwen assured her. "I get the feeling he'd do it every night if he could, but he's a guy. He's supposed to be like that."
"Why can't a woman be like that?"
They rode in silence for a moment, Gwen trying to put into words why that was unacceptable. "I guess, just because," she finally offered.
"Until you can come up with a good reason, 'because' is no reason at all."
"But I'm exposing myself to strange men! That can't be normal!" Gwen countered defensively.
"It's not abnormal...more women enjoy being attractive to others than I think you want to admit. If you want to show off a little and the guys want to look, who's suffering in the exchange?"
Gwen began to answer, but stopped. Neither of the men had seemed to be offended by what they had seen.
"Does Tim know?" Natalie asked quietly.
"Oh God, no. No man wants his wife exposing herself to other men."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that, either. Have you ever brought it up with him? Maybe as part of some bedroom talk?"
Gwen quickly corrected her sister-in-law "Oh, we don't talk when we're being, uhh, intimate."
"That's too bad. You should try it. It drives guys wild to hear your fantasies. The old 'saint in the kitchen, whore in the bedroom' thing. Tell him about your first accident. He can't get mad at you for that—it wasn't your fault. See what he does."
"I don't know..."
Natalie pulled Tigger's reins, bringing him to a halt. "Gwen, allow me to give you my diagnosis and suggested treatment as Dr. Natalie Curran, amateur psychologist and unabashed female sexuality advocate. You are very normal, just way behind where you should be in your sexual awakening. Let it out, explore. It sounds like you have some catching up to do. Take Tim along for the ride. As you pointed out, he's a guy, and we both know guys think with their little head if you let them.
Most girls have someone more...experienced...they talk about this kind of stuff with. I know I did, I know Ali and KD did, and I know Annie talks to me and your daughters. It sounds like you missed out on that, so if you want, I would be glad to be that person. Just our secret, I promise."
Gwen hesitated for a moment. How did Natalie know that her daughter was talking to Ali and KD? How did she know that Ali and KD had someone to talk to? "Thank you Natalie, I appreciate that," Gwen finally replied, trying to stay focused on her problem, "but still think I'm mentally ill."
"You will be if you keep trying to push this away," Natalie warned. "Let it out. You'll feel better, and it sounds like Tim will, too. And speaking of Tim, your prescription tonight is to say something sexy in bed to him. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering, just something you've never said before that you wouldn't say at Sunday dinner. I'm guessing there's a lot that would qualify.
I have no doubt he's the person you trust most in this world, so open the door to your new world jut a crack. Maybe little by little at first, at least until you can convince yourself there's nothing to be afraid of, but show him. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Promise?"
"I don't know, Natalie, I'll try..."
Don't try, do it. Now, I want to gallop back to the barn. Can you watch me and make sure my form is acceptable?"
Gwen was happy to switch to the role of teacher, to be in control again, calling out small corrections as they rode, her mind temporarily back at the stables where she had been an instructor.
The two women groomed the horses before turning them out in the paddock. "Well, I am certainly fragrant," Natalie announced as she stored the last brush.
Gwen smiled. "Horseflesh and this heat will do that."
"Would you mind if I took a swim and changed here? I brought my scrubs, and I can go straight to the hospital after."
"No, not at all," Gwen assured her. "Come on in and change into your suit while I go get mine."
"I didn't think to bring a suit. Would it be OK if I swim in my underwear?"
Gwen hesitated, trying not to look directly at the pink bra now clearly visible through the sweat-soaked t-shirt clinging to her sister-in-law's skin. "Umm, sure why not? But if you want," she hurriedly added, "I can see if KD left a suit behind—you might fit into hers."
"Don't put yourself out," Natalie insisted. "This will be fine. Need any help inside?"
"No, no, you go up to the pool. Do you think you'll need a towel?"
Natalie smiled. "That would be great."
Gwen hurried to the bedroom, closing the door behind her without even thinking. Sweat-sodden clothes were carefully dropped in the hamper and replaced by her modest one-piece black bathing suit and a robe-like cover-up, sandals slipped on her feet. Grabbing two beach towels, she made her way back outside and up the short hill behind the house to where the pool overlooked the property.
Tim had built the pool back when the girls were still very young as a refuge from the brutal summer heat. He had also had the foresight to mount solar panels on a nearby cabana as well as small propane tankless heater to help keep the water at no less than 72 degrees at all times. As a result, regardless of the time of year the girls had spent most of their young lives going back and forth between barn and pool. The cabana also had a small changing room and shower, though Gwen could never imagine changing out there, though.
No extra heat was required today. The water sparkled in the hot bright sun, and even though Gwen could not see her sister-in-law from the bottom of the rise, she could assume from the jeans and t-shirt hanging over the low fence, Natalie had not used the changing room either. She was at the top of the stairs before she could see her head breaking the surface, a very full bra plainly visible just below the water while a matching pair of pink panties could be made out further down.
"It's perfect!" she called out, pushing her long blond hair back. "C'mon in!"
Gwen demurely removed her robe and adjusted her suit before stepping down the wide stairs and wading towards the deep end.
"Gwen, if you don't mind me asking, that's the only suit I can ever remember you wearing. Do you have others, or do you just keep that one for when somebody's around?"
"No, I have another one just like this. I bought them together." Gwen paused for a moment, letting's Natalie's question sink in. "What do you mean, 'for when somebody's around'?"
"Well, this is a perfect spot for skinnydipping. Don't you ever?"
"Oh no, I would never do that! What if somebody came by?"
"What if somebody did?" Natalie replied, one eyebrow arched conspiratorially. "Do customers or your employees after stop in after hours?"
"No, not really," Gwen had to admit. "Still, what if they did?"
"Yeah, what if they did?" Natalie let the topic drop and crouched at the bottom of the pool, pushing off to the deep end. The women stayed in a few moments more, Gwen just huddling in one spot while her sister-in-law casually paddled about.
"I should probably get to work," Natalie said with some reluctance as she headed for the pool steps. They both got out and toweled down, Gwen noting that the other woman's nipples were plainly visible through the wet, straining fabric.
"Hey, can I borrow your sandals?" Natalie asked as the pair reached the kitchen deck. "Forgot my stuff in the car." Gwen slid them off, and Natalie hurried across the gravel, trading her jeans, t-shirt and boots for a bag on the back seat. Gwen marveled at the fact that this woman was in the middle of her yard in just her underwear, seemingly unfazed in the slightest. She briefly imagined herself doing the same.
The woman clad in bright pink hurried back, breasts bouncing as she moved. "Thanks," she breathed as she reached the deck and kicked off the borrowed sandals.
Gwen opened the door for her. "If you want a shower before you go, you know where the bathroom is," she called as Natalie moved down the hall.
"Thanks, but the swim was perfect," she heard her call over her shoulder as she moved out of sight. Gwen checked the phone for messages. Seeing none, she started to her room to change.
"Natalie, I really want to thank—" she stopped as she looked past the open door on her left to find her sister-in-law bent at the waist and totally nude, vigorously toweling her wet hair. Natalie's mounds swinging violently as she dried, "Her breasts are huge—so much bigger than mine," she thought before looking further down and seeing just a small tuft of already-dry blonde hair sitting above a cleanly shaven pair of vaginal lips. "Oops—sorry, I'm so sorry—I didn't realize you had started changing," she blurted while turning and moving back up the hall.