Now that he was covered by the cloudy, foggy bubbly bath water and didn't have to worry about being seen small, SD began to relax a little. Sherrie kept refreshing the water with hot re-enforcement and the skunk stink seemed to gradually be succumbing to all the other scents in the room.
"How did you first get interested in photographing?" SD asked in an effort to make conversation, not quite believing he was having a 'bathtub conversation' with a naked girl.
"I wanted to pick a new art form instead of following my mother into painting," Sherri replied. "My uncle gave me a camera when I was ten around. I started pictures taking. It was sort of like a visual diary. I'd try to get at least one quality shot day every, from life drama to innocence lost and found. Finding stuff to photograph makes me genuinely happy and doing it for myself and nobody else is special."
"You have the talent."
"I think I have a perspective fresh and I like putting my own spin on what I do, but I'm always learning," she said. "There's always improvement for room." She gave him a look. "What about you?"
He shrugged. "My grandfather had an old camera," he said. "Gave me something to do."
"Plus you can hide behind the camera."
"Where I'm not seen," he agreed knowingly.
"You live with your grandparents?" Sherrie asked with interest.
He nodded affirmatively. "My paternal grandparents," he clarified.
"What happened to your parents?"
"My mom died when I was four," he revealed. "My father was in Iraq and he got killed before they could send him home as a widower. His parents inherited me."
"That's so sad," Sherrie said with understanding sympathy. "I guess us two have a lot more in common than just photography."
"Unconventional family story," he agreed.
"Kind of loners both too," she said, raising an eyebrow.
"Our camera is our companion," SD said.
Sherrie pulled the plug in the drain and the greasy, soapy, contaminated water began to drain.
SD's eyes went wide. "What are you doing?" He asked, trying not to panic.
"We're done with this part," she announced as the water level dropped. "We're soaked through pretty good."
Her breasts began to form on the water surface and a moment later they were exposed for him to see.
"We should have made this part of our project," she smiled. We could have called it 'After the Skunk.'
"We'd get arrested for indecency," SD worried.
"Art isn't indecent, James," she rebutted.
The water level was to their waists now and SD was becoming increasingly nervous. Sherrie stood, surprising SD and he couldn't help but watch the filmy suds and colored water drip from her skin. He felt himself getting tight between the legs and now he knew he couldn't get up, but the water level was quickly dropping and it was only a matter of a few moments before his secret would be revealed. He dropped his hands down to his groin as the water lowered past his thighs.
Sherrie reached her hand down. "Come on, I'll help you up, it might be slippery," she said.
Now SD had no choice. He sighed and met his hand with hers and she helped him to his feet. He was still small but it was obvious that he had an erection. He couldn't help it. He was excited by the sexy image of her in the nude.
"Oh," she said when she noticed. "Thanks, I'm flattered."
"I'm sorry," he groaned with embarrassment.
"Don't be," she urged. "It's a perfectly normal reaction. It's supposed to happen, isn't it?"
"I don't know," SD blushed. "But it's still pitifully small."
"Maybe I'm just as excited by the sight of you naked," she said. "We're both young, inexperienced, and ourselves unsure when it comes to this stuff but I was comfortable enough being with you to invite you to do this, partly out of necessity thanks to Sammy the Skunk but also because I wanted to. Isn't this healthy and normal? So lighten up and stop worrying. I think you're perfect just the way are you."
SD reddened but suddenly he didn't feel quite so self-conscious about being in this situation with Sherrie, even with them being naked. She stepped out of the tub and found two towels in the cabinet, handing him one as she began to dry herself off. SD did the same and once they were done, they wrapped the towels around themselves and SD followed her up the stairs to the second floor.
"Do we still stink?" Sherrie wondered.
"There's a whiff," SD admitted.
Sherri led them into the bathroom. "I'll go first,' she said, digging some perfume out of the medicine cabinet. "Sit there," she instructed, pointing to the closed commode. She turned on the shower, dropped the towel and stepped into the shower stall.
By now, SD should have been used to seeing her naked but he kept glancing at her through the clear glass door she had closed behind her and he realized that was the photograph he should have gotten – waiting for just the right moment to capture her in an artistic pose, natural not sexual. He could smell the aroma of the perfume he was washing herself down with under the shower spray and after a few minutes she turned the water off, stepped out of the shower, grabbed her towel, and tried herself off.
"Your turn," she said. "You might smell like a girl using this," she said, handing him the bottle of perfume. "But that's better than smelling like a skunk or douche!"
SD laughed – it felt good to laugh in such an awkward situation – and he took the perfume bottle in one hand while using his other hand to unfasten his towel and he stepped into the shower, feelingly slightly disappointed when Sherrie left the bathroom.
SD felt foolish for smelling "feminine" when he emerged from the shower but it beat the stink of Sherrie's Sammy the Skunk. He dried off, wrapped his towel around his waist and went in search of Sherrie who was dressed in fresh clean clothes, sitting on the bed waiting for him.
"We still have to bury our clothes," she said as he entered the room.
"How am I supposed to get home with no clothes?"
"Oh, my uncle stays a lot here," she answered. "There's plenty of clothes extra in the spare bedroom."
"We smell like the perfume section at Donovan's Department Store," SD said as Sherrie stood.
"Are you as nervous as am I?" she asked bluntly.
"Now you're nervous?" SD asked with disbelief. "After everything we just did...and saw!?"
"Aren't you kind of intrigued about what might come next?" She wanted to know.
"What's going to come next?" SD asked with confusion.
"I know don't," Sherrie admitted. "That's kind of my point."
"Maybe we should go bury the clothes," SD suggested.
"It's weird to explain… but I've appreciated being with you on this project."
SD studied her beautiful smile and her wide eyes and he realized that this was the moment - that he had suddenly broken out of his shy insecure prison. They had already kissed, she had already seen his...smallness...and she didn't mind being with him. It was time for him to show some guts for once in his life.
So SD walked across the room and took him in her arms, trembling ever so slightly. Sherrie was aware of his movement and of his intent and she closed her eyes as their lips met.
"Okay," she said when she finally broke the kiss. "We definitely should go bury the clothes."
SD smirked. "Does that mean you like me?" He teased.
"Much very," she answered.
"You'd better show me where your uncle's clothes are then," SD said, still holding her.
"I'm going to go out there and thank that smelly skunk too!" Sherrie laughed as she started for the door.
"We're going to have a pretty good finished project, aren't we?" SD asked as he followed Sherrie out of the bedroom.
"I so think," Sherrie answered confidently.