Running around the house, Erin searched for just the right piece of note paper to write her message to David. Francis and Thomas giggled in delight as they watched her. They didn't understand her emotional state, they just knew that Mommy wasn't crying any more.
Having found the paper, pen and envelope, Erin sat down and... She wasn't quite sure what to say. She didn't want to miss Val and her only chance to contact David, so she decided to keep it short and to the point. Having written the note, she stuck the paper in the envelope and, in her haste to finish, just tucked the flap of the envelope inside rather than sealing it.
Erin made sure that the boys were safe in the play yard, then sat down in the living room and watched for Val to come out of the house across the street. When she saw the technician return to her van, Erin jumped up and ran out the front door. Flying across the street, she came up to Val just as she was picking up the traffic cone before leaving.
“Val? Val?” Erin called out.
Val looked concerned until she remembered where she had seen the woman before. “Oh, hello, Mrs.... Donnelly, was it?”
“Please, call me Erin,” she replied.
“Right. Erin.” Val was confused as to why the woman had run over to her. She was red-eyed and had tear stains on her cheeks. Val was worried she would ask her to get involved in something she wouldn't want to do. “How are things going with you now?”
Erin could only be truthful. “Terrible,” she told Val. “I need you to do something for me as soon as you can.” She realized how she sounded and added, “Please?”
“Oh, here it comes,” Val thought. She gave a wan smile and said, “What would you like me to do, Erin?”
“Could you get this message to David?” Erin said as she held out the envelope. “It's important to me.”
Val relaxed as she saw the envelope offered to her. “Sure,” she said. “I don't know when I'll see David again, but I'll be sure to give it to him when I...”
“David doesn't work with you?” Erin asked, surprised.
“No, he doesn't” Val explained. “David is a customer service rep. He was riding with me to see what technicians do in the field.”
“Oh,” Erin said as she lowered her hand. “I'm sorry I bothered you.” Crestfallen, she started to turn away. Val suddenly realized there was something very wrong and Erin was counting on David's help.
“I talk to David from time to time,” Val told the disappointed woman. “I'll call him when I get back in the van and get this over to him today. Is everything alright?”
Erin was still disappointed. “No, not really,” she admitted. “Thank you for doing this for me. I know it's asking a lot of you. You don't know me except for the service call a few weeks back, but David's the only one I can turn to now and you're the only one that can get me in touch with David.” she held out the envelope again.
Val decided that she'd help Erin. She took the envelope and tucked it in her shirt pocket as she said, “I promise I'll call him as soon as I can, Erin. I hope he can help you with your... your”
Erin brightened and started to smile. “Thank you, Val. You're a lifesaver.”
“Take care, Erin,” Val said as she closed the van door. Erin walked back in to her house. She felt better than she'd felt in a few days and wondered when she'd hear from David. Then she had a thought... would she hear from him? “No,” Erin thought, “I've got to stay positive. He will call. I know it.”
Val started the engine and checked her mirrors. With the way clear, she pulled out to drive to a quick lunch at her favorite diner. Once she was on the road, she pulled her cell phone out of it's case and hit the “Contacts” icon. Scrolling through the list, she found David's number and hit “Call.” The phone went immediately to voicemail, so she left a message: “David, this is Val. I just ran into Erin and she gave me something for you. Please call as soon as you can.”
Val had just pulled into the parking lot at the diner when her phone rang. She pulled it out and saw that it was David. She touched “Answer” and said, “Hi David, nice to hear from you again.”
“Same here, Val,” David said. “I was in a meeting so I had to turn off my phone. You said you saw Erin? How is she?”
“Not good, I'd have to say, Dave,” Val explained. “She looked like she had been crying... in fact, she looked like a whipped puppy.”
“Oh, no!” David replied. “I hope she's OK.”
“Well, she gave me a note to give to you. When can we meet up”
“No, open it and read it to me,” David asked.
“David, it's addressed to you. I can't open it!” Val protested. “What if it has something personal in it?”
“Val, please, just open it and read it to me,” David insisted.
“Oh, alright,” Val said. She pulled the envelope out of her pocket. “Hmm... It's not even sealed.” She pulled out the note and opened it. “You ready, David?”
“Yes, yes, I’m ready,” David replied anxiously.
“OK. Here it is,” Val said, then started reading. “David, I need your help again. I know it's a lot to ask, but would you please call me as soon as possible?”
“How am I going to do that?” David wondered out loud.
Val cleared her throat. “It continues, “My phone number is...”
“Wait, Val, I don't have a pen!” David called out.
“I thought you said you were ready?” Val said dryly.
“I didn't know I'd need one,” David countered. “Go ahead.”
Val looked at the note again. “It's 999-555-8874. Did you get that, David?”
“999-555-8874,” David repeated. “Got it! Thank you, Val. See, it wasn't so hard.”
“Call me later and let me know what's happening,” Val asked.
“Of course I will,” David replied. 'Talk to you later!”
Val pressed “End”, then got out of the van to get her lunch.
David's hands got a bit clammy as he looked at the phone number he had just written down. Val had said that Erin looked like she was crying and the message sounded desperate. David was worried that his advice had backfired. He'd be really mad if Erin got hurt as a result.
He punched the number into his cell phone and listened to it ring a few times before it was answered. David found that he was holding his breath as it rang. He finally heard a click as the phone was answered.
“Hel... hello?” It was a tentative voice, but David recognized Erin's voice immediately.
“Erin, it's David,” he said. “What's wrong?”
“Oh! David... David... I...” Erin choked out before starting to cry.
“Erin, where are you? I'll come...” David exclaimed as he jumped up.
“No, David, don't,” Erin insisted. “I'm... I'm alright...” she tried to assure him.
“You don't sound alright, Erin,” he countered.
Erin took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down. “David, right now, I need to talk. Can you talk?”
“Give me a minute,” he said as he walked over to a secluded spot. “OK, now, what's going on?”
Erin took another deep breath to steady her nerves. “I called Ronnie after you left. He... he...”
“Gave you a lame excuse?” David offered.
“No,” she said. “He said I should grow up and take care of the babies and forget about playing silly games!” She sighed heavily.
“Oh, no!” David said in surprise. “I never thought he'd be like that. What did you do?”
“There was no one else I could call,” Erin continued, “so I called my mother. She hired a private investigator and he found... he found...”
“He was seeing another woman?” David asked.
“Three women!” Erin wailed.
“It's OK, Erin, it's OK,” David assured her.
“Well, I filed for divorce on Monday and, and...” Erin went silent.
“What happened, Erin?” David asked, beginning to worry.
“He called me this morning and threatened to tell my mother and the court about our BDSM,” Erin said almost in a whisper. “He said he's going to claim that I mad him do it and make me out to be a slut and a pervert.” She started crying softly.
“Erin, Erin,” David said. “I'll do whatever I can to...”
“I don't want to lose my babies!” Erin cried.
“Erin... little one... I won't let that happen,” David said reassuringly. “I won't let him hurt you any more.”
“Oh, David, what can I do?” Erin wailed.
“Erin, listen to me,' David started.
“What am I going to do?” Erin continued.
David lowered his voice. “Erin, stop that crying and listen to me,” he ordered.
Something in Erin's being responded to the command. She started to breathe deeply in an attempt to obey. “I'm sorry, David, I'm...”
“Shush, Erin,” he commanded in a gentle but insistent voice.
“Yes, Sir,” she replied, sniffling.
“Erin, we will get through this together,” David told her, “and then I will never let you be harmed again.”
“How... How will you do that, Sir?” Erin replied.
David thought for a minute. “The first thing we'll have to do is to take away his advantage.” he said.
“How can we do that?”
“You'll have to tell your mother about your...” David explained
“How can I do that?” Erin gasped, suddenly frightened.
“I'll be there with you. I'll support you,” David told her.
“You will?” Erin asked, surprised by his promise.
“Erin, I know it's a bad time, a very emotional time for you right now,” David said, “but ever since I've met you, I haven't been able to stop thinking about you. I thought it was a pointless exercise, but now that you need someone, I want you to know that I will be that someone.”
Erin started weeping softly again. “I've been thinking about you all the time, too,” she admitted. “David, I want to be with you so much! You showed me more kindness in an hour than I've had in my whole marriage. I... I... think I love you.”
“God help me for falling in love with a married woman,” David said, “but I love you, too.” the phone went silent. “Erin? Erin?” David exclaimed.
“I'm here, David,” she said quietly.
“Erin, my pet,” David said softly.
“I don't know how, but you know me better than anyone else,” Erin admitted. “maybe even better than myself. I... I feel I'll be able to get through anything if I'm with you.”
“And I will protect you, too, Erin,” David promised. “But, you know that comes with a price.”
“A... A price?”
“I think you recognize something in me, just as I recognized something in you,” David said.
“Yes, Sir,” Erin replied.
“And you recognize that what you had been living was a pale imitation?”
“Yes, Sir, I do,” she admitted.
David thought for a minute. “Erin, I want to make it clear. I will help you to get away from your husband. That's not what I mean. I won't abandon you in your time of need. But if you recognize what I am, you'll understand what having a relationship with me will entail.”
“I thought I had it with Ronnie,” Erin said, “but you... but you...”
“Please, Sir. I want to give my submission to you.”
David nodded his head. “There will be plenty of time for that later. Right now, we must take on what is right in front of us. Could you get your mother over to your house in a few hours? I'll help you show her that you are the normal one.”
“I... I will,” Erin said.
“OK,” David replied.
“Sir,” Erin added.
David smiled. “I didn't want to tell you this way. I wanted to see your face when I did, but I'm happy that you know now.”
“As am I,” Erin said.
“OK,”David said. “I have to go now. I need to make some arrangements so I can get over to you. You get your mother there. I'll help you with the rest.”
“I love you... Master,” Erin said tentatively.
“Let's not worry about that right now, little one,” David gently ordered her. “We will work that out, but first things first.”
“I understand, Sir,” Erin said.
“See you later.”
I look forward to it, Sir.”
David ended the call, then leaned back against the wall he was standing by. “What have I done now?” he thought to himself. “I've fallen in love with a married woman...”
Navigating back to his contact list, David looked up Val's number and called her back.
“That was quick,” Val said. “What's up?”
“Val, I need to ask a big favor of you,” David said.
“Um... what is it, Dave?” Val sounded a little concerned.
“Could I borrow your van for a little bit after work today?”
David took a deep breath. “OK, Val, here it goes. Erin found out her husband has been cheating on her and she's filed for divorce. She's hit a snag and I need to go to her house to help her.”
“I can't believe what you're saying,” Val shot back.
“Val, I need to get to Erin but not draw attention to myself,” David said, talking rapidly. “And how better to go unnoticed than as a tech in a van?”
“Why do you need to...” Val asked.
“Erin's husband is threatening to make her out to be a pervert and a slut. I need to help her make her mother understand...”
“David,” Val said. “Have you thought this through? You'll be a civilian getting out of a van,”
“I still have my uniform from the ride along.”
“I see,” Val said.
“Val, he's cheating on her with multiple women and treating her like a slave... and when I mean slave, I mean in the old definition.”
“You know I can't predict when I'll be done,” Val warned.
“I know,” David replied, “but it's the best I can do on such short notice.”
“OK, OK... So Dr. Phil turns into Don Quixote,” Val kidded.
“I'd rather think I'm more of a Prince Charming, myself,” David retorted.
Val laughed. “OK, I'll give you a call when I'm done.”
“Where can we meet?” David asked.
“How about that diner?” Val suggested.
“Yeah,” David agreed. “Then I can buy you a cup of coffee.'
“Oh, you're going to owe me more than a cup of coffee,” Val warned.
“I'm good for it,” David said.
“I'll be the judge of that,” Val chuckled.
“You won't know until you've tried,” David retorted.
Val laughed. “I'll talk to you later.” the call ended.
As David put his phone in his pocket, he thought to himself, “Now, all I have to do is to talk my way out of the rest of work, go to my place and change into the tech's uniform, make it out to the diner, drive Val's van to Erin's house, convince her mom she's nor a pervert and return Val's van to her. Piece of cake.” He laughed as he headed for his manager's office.
After getting the rest of the afternoon off due to a “family emergency,” David drove over to his condo. Running inside, he went up to his bedroom and stripped, then went into the bathroom and showered. He shaved afterward, then walked back into his bedroom to change into the technician's uniform he had worn the first time he met Erin. He stopped for a moment as he remembered their first meeting, then put the shirt to his nose and inhaled. There was still a faint trace of Erin's scent on the front. He smiled as he slipped it on.
David went back to his car and drove over to the diner. Walking in to the place, he saw Jo over taking an order. He sat down at the counter and waited. As she headed back to turn in the order, she saw David sitting there. “David!” she exclaimed.
“Mrs. Blackwell, how nice to see you again,” David said as he slid off the stool and gave her a quick hug. “You know what I want,” he said with a wink as he sat back down.
“Coming right up, as soon as I turn this in, hon,” she promised as she walked back into the kitchen. Coming back out, she went over to the coffee pot and poured David a mug of coffee. Setting it in front of him, she said, “The coffee's on the house for any of Lenny's men.”
“Then I'll just have to buy something to eat,” David replied as he picked up the menu. “Besides, I haven’t eaten lunch yet.” He scanned the offerings, then said, “Oh! I'll have the patty melt with fries,” as he put the menu back.
“Right away!” Jo said as she went back into the kitchen.
David sipped his coffee and picked up a discarded paper while he waited. He was perusing the local news when Jo slipped his order in front of him. “The ketchup is right in font of you,” she said with a smile. David dug in and before long, the burger and fries were history.
David and Jo were chatting over a cup of coffee after the late lunch crowd left. They traded stories about Jo's husband and reminisced about the Norfolk area. David's phone rang and when he pulled it out of his pocket he saw it was Val. He glanced at the clock on the wall. It was about 3:30 PM. “How's it going, Val?” he asked.
“I had a cancellation at the last minute and the job before that was an easy one so I’m heading over to the diner now,” she answered.
“I'll see you when you get here,” David told her.
“You're there already?” Val said, chuckling.
“Yes, I was catching up with Jo after a nice lunch,” David explained.
“I'll be there in about five minutes.”
“See you then.”
David then called Erin, got her address and programmed it into his phone's navigation system. When Val arrived, she walked into the diner and sat by David. “Jo, coffee for Val... on me,” he said with a wink. Jo laughed as she brought over a mug and filled it.
“Here's the keys,” Val said as she handed them to David. “Be sure to lock up and please, don't forget the back-up cone!”
“Wish me luck!” David said as he walked out of the diner.