Not a Thing to Wear
Author's Note: This story is part of the On The Job story event. There's probably a link on the front page or something, so go check them out.
Still working in a clothing store was not what I envisioned for my early twenties. It had been fine in my teens, but I'd assumed I'd be somewhere more 'grown up' after that.
Which was not to say I hated it or anything. I liked it enough that I was still there, after all. It was a pretty chill place to work, in many ways, and I knew my shit well enough by now that I didn't have any worries of fucking up like I used to in my nervous early days of employment. Plus, my best friend Julie worked there too, which made a huge difference all on its own.
Julie and I working together made for the kind of employee duo that drove managers crazy. That had meant being separated many a time over the years. We'd gradually become two of the most senior workers, and at some point management had been forced to concede that in spite of our shenanigans and tendency to hang out together too much, we also got way more shit done than any of the newbies.
We were technically supervisors now, which didn't mean a hell of a lot. Mostly just that we were entrusted with opening or closing, when need be, and allowed to do our own thing most of the time. We also got stuck training the new hires and keeping an eye on them, which wasn't quite made up for by the pay bump, but we got to do some bossing around too, which evened things out.
Possibly my favourite part, in a weird sort of way, were the Saturday morning shifts. No one wanted them. They came too soon after a Friday night, and were dead as all hell for the first few hours. Julie and I had been saddled with them as a punishment of sorts after we'd flipped all the clothes on the mannequins inside out, which I thought was a little harsh at the time, but it turned out well for us. A few hours of ostensibly doing our job as normal, but actually just chilling together without any pesky customers, managers, or fellow employees to disturb us.
The lack of customers was not guaranteed, however.
This Saturday in particular we had a couple of them come in early. Early enough, as it happened, that Julie and I had only just settled in to our ritual lounging. She was perched rather unprofessionally atop the counter next to the registers staring at her phone, while I was making use of one the store's mirrors to fidget with my hair trying to get it sit just right.
I was the first to notice the two girls come in since Julie wasn't even making a pretense of watching the store. I sighed, left my hair the way it was, and stepped over to Julie to give her a nudge.
"Look alive," I said.
"Really?" Julie looked up, then nodded. "Huh, so there are. What the hell do they want?"
"You're asking me?"
She slipped off the counter, tucking her phone away in a smooth, practiced motion calculated not to draw any attention. She'd perfected it over the years.
"Damn inconsiderate of them," she grumbled.
"Tell me about it."
We stood behind the counter, casually keeping an eye on the girls and their progress. They were only browsing, not looking for anything specific yet. We still should have approached and offered assistance, but without any witnesses we were free to use our own judgement on these things. We knew when customers weren't ready for help yet.
"Still, at least one of them's cute," I said thoughtfully.
"Which one?" Julie asked.
"The cute one."
"Give me a hint."
"The one in the skirt."
"Ahhh," Julie said knowingly. "The shy, doe-eyed one."
I rolled my eyes. "How would you know if she's shy?"
"'Cause she's only following her friend around, and she keeps looking at us out of the corner of her eye to see if we're watching."
"Which means she's shy?"
"Probably. Maybe a shoplifter, but I don't get that vibe."
"You're so full of shit. One psychology course and--"
"Two and a half, thank you very much. Very nearly three."
"Yes, very nearly."
I accidentally caught the cute girl's eye. She looked away immediately, a slight flush rising on her cheek. Julie might actually be onto something, not that I'd willingly admit it.
"I guess one of us should meander over to the change rooms," I said. "Just in case."
"You go," Julie offered graciously. "It might give you a chance to flirt."
"You're such an ass."
"What? You said she was cute."
"She is. But what are the odds she's into girls? And if she is, what are the odds she and her friend aren't together?"
"I dunno. Fifty-fifty?"
I snorted. "Yeah, either she is or she isn't. Fantastic math there Jules."
"Thanks. I did it without a calculator even." She gave me a gentle push. "Just go, Bree. Give it a shot."
"Fine. Just to shut you up, though. And just for the record, even given your extremely suspect percentages, I'd have to win two coin flips, which only makes it one in four."
"Have fun," Julie called after me, ignoring my parting shot with ruthless cheerfulness.
I moseyed over to the changing room alcove, which someone was always supposed to be guarding, according to the rules. God forbid a customer might have to wait half a minute for someone to come over and help them.
Still, it gave me an excuse to pass nearer the two girls without actually having to disturb them or make it obvious I was getting a closer look. They both appeared to be around the same age as Julie and me, which was preferable if I was going to engage in even a fleeting crush on one of them. Not that I was planning on taking things even that far, but it was good to know all the same.
I caught the cute one watching me as I walked past. She didn't know the angles on the strategically placed mirrors like I did. I smiled to myself and put a little extra swing in my hips, feeling silly about it even as I did. I'd meant what I told Julie. The odds just weren't in my favour. Let alone the horrible logistics and potential consequences of actually flirting with a customer.
I pretended to tidy up around the area for a while, only watching the girls when they were busy looking at clothes. Julie sent me a couple texts in the interim, but I ignored them. I could make out her impish grin from where I was, and I was quite sure whatever she'd sent wasn't helpful.
The girls finally headed my way with a few selections each. I set myself in a professional stance with a customer service smile plastered on my face.
"Finding everything ok?" I asked cheerfully.
"Yes, thanks," said Cute Girl's Friend, a slightly slyer smile on her lips to mirror mine. "We'd just like a couple rooms to try things on."
"No problem at all."
I glanced at Cute Girl, but she wouldn't look directly at me.
I maintained my retail courtesy as I set them each up with a changing room, just a small room with some hooks, a full-length mirror, and a curtain drawn across the doorway. I tried asking Cute Girl directly if she needed anything else before I left her to her decisions, but I didn't get much out of her other than a faint blush when she finally met my gaze. It might have meant something, or it might not, but it was an adorable reaction either way.
Any lingering hopes I had, not that they'd been all that high at any point, were dashed when the friend snuck across to Cute Girl's room. I pretended not to notice, though in fact it was hard to slip much of anything by me. I knew the exact type of sneak too. It came up every now and again when two people wanted to occupy the same room for less than virtuous reasons.
Just to be sure, I padded silently next to the room once they were settled, and indeed there were soft whispers, giggles, and eventually some barely audible sounds of making out.
Well fuck. Won one coin flip, lost the other pretty hard. Better than I thought I'd do, and yet all the more painful for it.
It was Julie's fault, I decided. Left to my own devices, I very sensibly would never have considered things going anywhere at all. It wasn't like I knew this girl even a little, except that she was cute, and that she did, in fact, like girls. And that when she thought I wasn't looking, she'd given me looks like....
No, bad Bree. Stop that. All in your head. She definitely wasn't checking you out. Not when she was out with her girlfriend.
Julie caught my eye as I paced out into the main store area just to get a little space. She shot me a questioning glance. I shrugged in return. Then, because I might as well get it over with, pulled out my phone and shot her a text.
"They're in there together making out."
Julie, thankfully, didn't make a joke of it. She sent back a sad face, then mouthed a, "Sorry," when I looked up at her again.
I went back to stand by the counter in the changing area, summoning my retail happy face back for when I needed it. They'd be gone soon enough anyway, and the whole thing would blow over.
I got another text from Julie. "Want me to come kick them out for you?"
We weren't supposed to let people use the change rooms for sexy times, though in practice that wasn't always an easy rule to enforce. And when left to our own devices, Julie and I would use our own discretion as to whether to interfere or not. Oftentimes it came down to whether we liked the customers in question or not.
This time was a bit different. It was tempting to get them out sooner, but it also felt a little too petty.
"Nah. Leave them be. Thanks, though."
"I got your back, Bree. No one breaks your heart on my watch."
I smiled for real, if only for a moment. It wasn't all that funny, really, but I'd cooled down just enough to appreciate what humour there was. Plus, Julie was really good to have around at times like these. Even if they were basically her fault. As soon as the girls were out of there, we could huddle back up and talk shit about them. Or about relationships in general. Or whatever. It'd be fine.
The problem was, the girls took fucking forever. And when the curtain finally did move, only one of them came out. The friend. I had no idea why they weren't leaving together. Surely they knew that staggering their exits wouldn't prevent me from noticing they'd been in the same room. Or maybe they weren't thinking things through that thoroughly. Who knew.
I was bored and frustrated, but all that was safely hidden behind my customer service shell. I smiled and took the pile of clothes back, setting it on my counter to be refolded and rehung.
"Hang onto my friend's things for her would you?" the girl asked with an even broader version of her sly smile from before.
I tilted my head uncertainly. "Would she like to buy some of these?"
She gave me a wink, then sauntered off without bothering to explain. Nor, indeed, without waiting for makeout accomplice.
None of it made sense. She'd winked at me very deliberately. I felt like she had to know that I knew what they'd been up to. Yet they weren't leaving together. And she'd seemed to think something was terribly amusing, but I couldn't begin to guess what.
I absently began organizing the pile of clothes to put back on the floor while I pondered the morning thus far. It took me a moment to realize some of the clothes I was sorting weren't ours, and a moment longer still to recognize that they formed a complete outfit, excepting shoes. A complete outfit such as....
My eyes tracked toward the still-occupied changing room. I slunk toward it without really making the conscious decision to do so. There was only a small gap under the curtain, not enough to see much of anything, but enough for me to spy a pair of shoes and a bare, fidgety pair of feet next to them.
I knocked on the side of the room. "Doing ok in there?"
"Uh... yes, thanks."
A rather nervous voice. For good reason, if I'd put the pieces together correctly. And I was pretty sure I had.
"Is Cindy still there?" the girl inside asked.
"Your friend? No, she left."
I waited to see if I'd get more out of her. Then, with a certain amount of self-satisfaction that I just couldn't contain, "Would you like your clothes back?"
Silence a moment, then a rather meek, "Yes, please."
I leaned against the side of the girl's flimsy prison. "Is this the sort of thing Cindy does to you often?"
"Well... not this specifically, no. Could I please have my clothes?"
"In a minute. I'm trying to figure out if this game is something you both play, or if it's mainly just her."
"Does it matter?"
"Kinda. If it's just her, I'm gonna grab your clothes for you and advise you to tell her to fuck off." I shrugged. "If it's both of you, then I'm gonna be spiteful and not get your clothes."
"Nope. You'll have to come out and get them."
"I told you. Spite. For involving me in your games without even asking if I was cool with it."
"Oh. If it helps any, I didn't know she was gonna do this."
I felt a 'but' coming, and calmly waited for it.
"But... it's not exactly like I don't know how she thinks."
"So a little of both?" I hazarded.
"I guess. Kinda."
"Well you know that makes things complicated for me. Now I don't know whether or not to help you out."
"Yeah. I know."
This was getting interesting. I still wasn't quite sure what was happening, but that was ok. I also didn't know who I was talking to, and that at least could be easily resolved.
"I'm Bree," I said by way of introduction.
I could practically hear the anxious hesitation before I got an answer. "Riley."
I nodded. "Well, Riley, we've got a bit of a predicament now, don't we?"
"Sort of, I suppose."
"Well, uh... is there anyone else around?"
I peeked out to the main floor. All quiet on the western front.
"Just Jules over at cash."
"The other girl working here?"
"And she's not looking?"
"Got her face buried in her phone. Why?"
The curtain slid back and Riley stepped out. She did the traditional, very awkward attempt at covering herself at first; hunched over, arm across her breasts, hand covering her pussy. Once she'd verified that there really wasn't anyone else around, she dropped her arms to her sides, hands clenching and unclenching with nervous energy.
"Huh," I said.
I really hadn't expected to see anything. I'd been messing with her, mostly out of spite just as I'd claimed, but had no intention of forcing the issue in the end. Maybe just make her beg a little or something.
She was even cuter without clothes on. Partly because of her nudity itself, but more so because of how adorably shy she was about it. Eyes darting away from mine, cheeks gone rosy pink, and constant fidgeting like she wanted to hide herself or turn away, but was resisting the urge.
"Wow," I said after a moment.
"You don't mind, do you?"
I tilted my head. "Are you kidding me? Why would I?" I cleared my throat. "But, uh, you really don't have to do this. I can grab your stuff for you."
I had no idea why it was ok, but I let it bed.
Riley stood there, gradually getting her reactions under control. She didn't move toward her clothes, nor back to the safety of her changing room. Just stood, letting me look if I wanted. Which I did.
"Cindy said you were checking me out," Riley said softly. "I wasn't sure if you were or not."
"Oh I totally was."
I scanned up and down her naked form, taking in the cute features of her face, the smooth paleness of her uncovered skin, the curve of her breasts, the soft lines of her tummy and hips, and the forbidden slit of her pussy.
"Cindy's better at seeing that kind of thing. She caught me looking at you too."
"She's an observant one." I swung my eyes back up to hers. She was getting more comfortable, but still wouldn't quite meet my gaze. "I thought you were looking too. I got thrown off a bit when Cindy snuck in there with you."
Riley's fading blush brightened back up again. "That's probably not quite what it looks like."
"She left you naked," I said lightly. "And I heard you making out."
"Yeah, but... we....." Riley folded her arms, though it seemed more a gesture of conversational discomfort than one of trying to cover her tits. "I'm not good at this."
I sighed. "Sorry, I'm being a bit of a dick about it too."
"No you're not."
"I am. This is, like, not a situation I know what to do with."
"I get that." Riley smiled tentatively. "I'm really too shy to be doing this kind of thing too."
"You're a very confusing kind of shy."
"That's... fair. That's pretty much how I feel about it too."
I gestured to my counter. "You wanna sit? We can talk more, if you want." I shrugged. "Or you could grab your stuff and leave, too."
Riley bit her lip and looked longingly at her clothes before coming to a decision. "I could talk for a bit. If you wanted."
I nodded. "Ok."
It would have been nice to have chairs to offer or something. As it was, we used the counter as seating, much as Julie and I so often did when no one was watching.
Riley took the end against the wall where she was partly covered from anyone wandering through the store. I took a seat on the other end where I had a better view through the doorway, and where I could spot trouble more easily. I folded one leg under me and left the other dangling over the side. Riley adopted a cross-legged pose, which left her pussy quite well displayed, more than she realized I assumed, but she couldn't decide what to do with her hands, and they alternately covered and uncovered her as she fidgeted with them.
I got a text from Julie as we were getting settled.
"Was that a naked girl I saw? What's going on over there?"
I texted back quickly, "Tell you later. Promise. Keep watch?" then put my phone away, ignoring the follow up buzz.
There was a moment of awkward silence between Riley and me. I didn't quite know what to say to her, nor was I sure how much I could safely check her out without bothering her. It was a delicate balance.
Riley picked anxiously at one of her nails a moment, then dropped her hands again. She took a deep breath, unwittingly drawing my attention to her chest in spite of my efforts to make eye contact.
"There's kind of a thing between Cindy and me," she said. "Obviously."
"Obviously," I agreed.
"But it's, uh, I don't know exactly what you'd call it."
"She's not your girlfriend?"
"No." Riley shook her head and shrugged ruefully. "She's got a boyfriend."
"Oh. Ohhh. And he doesn't--"
"No, he knows. He's cool with it. But I'm very much 'on the side' for her."
"Huh. Well then."
Riley shifted, then peeked at me cautiously to gauge my reaction. "I honestly don't know if Cindy was just being Cindy here, or if she was legitimately trying to set us up or something." She bit her lip. "Maybe some of both."
A small thrill ran through me, and it was my turn to pause and take a breath. "She likes getting you naked?"
"Not naked very often. I mean, not in risky places. Usually something less extreme than that."
"Right. But she'd also be ok if we... if you... you know."
Riley flushed and adjusted an errant strand of hair. The gesture was as cute as I was coming to expect from her. "I mean, she cares about me. I think she'd be happy if I found a real relationship of my own." She went even brighter red. "Not that you... we... not that that's what this is, necessarily. It could be, but it doesn't... you don't...."
"Riley? Chill. It's all good."
She nodded, but it took a moment to get her panic levels down. "It is?"
"Yeah." I let my dangling leg swing with calculated carelessness, even though I felt anything but careless inside. "I get it."
"Oh. Good." She hesitantly met my eyes. "Could you explain it to me?"
I laughed, expelling some of my nervous tension. Riley joined in and giggled along with me. Her body untensed somewhat and uncurled from itself.