Erin saw David off, then started breakfast for the boys. She nursed each one, though for a shorter time than they had before. As Thomas was nursing, Francis was eating finger food with the same gusto that he had shown for his Mother's milk. Erin realized that her babies were growing and soon would be weaned from her breast. While she felt a tinge of sadness for the upcoming loss of intimacy with her children, Erin looked forward to the increased opportunities she would have for play with David.
Once both boys had eaten, Erin moved the play yard into the master bedroom and put the twins in it. “Mommy has some work to do here but we'll play when I'm finished,” she told the boys. She then retrieved a shopping bag from the kitchen and unloaded it onto the bed. Out came a box of large trash bags, a package of card tags and a pair of markers that Erin had picked up the day before.
She pulled out a bag and headed over to the dresser, opening one of the dresser drawers Ronald used. She placed the contents of the drawer neatly into the bag, then did the same with the next drawer. Once a bag was filled, she wrote on the tag his name and what clothing or other possessions were inside and tied the bag shut with the string on the tag.
Hearing a giggle from one of the boys, Erin looked over and saw that they were watching her intently. “I'm just packing your father's clothes to make room for David's. One day he'll be your Daddy.” She then turned back to her work. Once the dresser drawers were cleared of all of her husband's belongings, Erin moved to the nightstand to continue her bagging of Ronald's things.
As Erin worked through the room, she would come upon items that would bring back memories. Sometimes she would have to fight back tears, but other times she felt her resolve strengthen as she uncovered items that reminded her of Ronnie's peculiar actions of the past year. She realized she had loved him at first but that he had never really revealed himself to her, so she couldn't be sure if he had ever loved her.
As Erin moved over to the closet, she heard the front door open and her mother's voice call out, “I'm here, Erin! Where are you?”
“I'm in the bedroom, Mom!” she called back. A minute later, Colleen came into the room. Spying the line of trash bags with labels attached to them, Colleen said, “I take it you're packing up all of Ronnie's stuff.”
“Yes, I am, Mom. David is moving out of his condo today and I want to make room for his clothes and things.”
“Good! Let me help you.” Colleen walked over to the storage bench at the foot of the bed and opened the lid. “Um... Erin... Is this...”
Erin looked over at her mother. “No, Mom, there's nothing of his in there!”
Colleen still held the lid open, staring at the amassed pile of toys, implements and leather outfits. “Um, Erin? Just what is...”
Erin walked over to the bench, gently moved her mother's hand and closed the lid. “Those are some things David got us at The Emporium on Thursday, as well as some items he brought over from his condo yesterday,” she said sweetly as she guided her mother over to the closet. “There's nothing of Ronald's in there.”
Colleen slid open the closet door only to come face to falls with the two floggers David had used on Erin for her first flogging. They were hanging from a rack that also held Ronald's belts. All she could get out was, “Ah... Ah... Ah...”
Erin looked up and blushed a bit as she realized where her mother had started. She walked over and closed the door, smiling at Colleen. “On second thought, Mom, why don't you say hello to your grandsons.” She guided her mother over to the play yard.
“Does... Did... Has David used those... those things on you?” Colleen was looking a bit paler than usual as she asked Erin the question.
“Only once, Mom, on my first visit to the Emporium,” Erin explained as she carefully folded some dress slacks and laid them in a bag.
“How could he have done that?” Colleen's voice was a bit shaky
“Remember that Shiatsu massage we got about two years ago when we had that spa day?”
“Oh, yes I do, Erin. I felt soo good after that!”
Erin nodded. “The flogging felt like that.”
Colleen gave her daughter a surprised look. “It didn't hurt?”
“I'm looking forward to my next one, Mom. But...” Colleen interrupted her.
“But I thought this was all about, you know...” She looked at the boys as if to show she was concerned about their hearing them talk.
“I'm sure it can, Mom, but then anything done wrong can be painful.”
“I see...” Colleen looked thoughtful as she turned to the play yard. “Why, there's my two handsome boys! How are you today?” Francis started giggling and Thomas smiled as he held up his arms to be picked up. Tickling his belly, she asked, “So what are you going to do with his stuff?”
“I'm going to put the bags in the garage for now. I'm wondering when he'll ask for it. I think he still believes I'll take him back.” Erin shook her head as she placed a folded suit in a bag and closed it up.
“And if he doesn't?”
“I'll have to talk to David, but my thought is to hold them for, like six months, then give them to a charity if he doesn't claim his stuff.”
Colleen grinned. “No bonfires?”
“Nope. I'm not angry with him any more. I'm just done. The love... or whatever it was I felt... is long gone now.” Erin took down one more hanger and folded the suit jacket that was on it, then put it in the bag. “That's it for the closet,” she said as she closed and tagged the bag. She looked around the room to see if she had missed anything.
“So are you moving the bags now?”
Erin stared at the bathroom door. “I will, in a few minutes. I'm trying to remember if there's anything in the bathroom.” she got up and went into the bathroom. Colleen could hear noises as Erin apparently dumped bottles and tubes into a container. Erin walked out with a wastebasket filled with toiletries, then dumped them in a new bag. Closing that bag, she declared, “Now I'm done.”
Erin picked up two bags. “Could you watch the boys while I move the bags?” she asked as she walked out of the room. Colleen smiled at Erin then turned to the play yard to put Thomas down and pick up Francis. Erin returned a few minutes later and continued to shuttle bags into the garage. After another six or seven trips, the bags were gone.
“Let's move out to the living room,” Erin suggested as she picked up Thomas. The two women walked out with the twins, then set them on the floor. Erin went back into the bedroom and returned with the play yard, setting it up in its usual place before sitting down on the floor with her mother and the boys.
“I see you're getting around better,” Colleen observed.
“Yes, I'm not as sore today. There's just a slight ache but it's enough to remind me of Him.”
Colleen shook her head. “I'm still having a tough time understanding all this.”
“I know, Mom. It's really foreign to you and you're worried about what I've gotten myself into. All I can say is David has been open with me and all the people he has introduced me to have been nice.”
“Speaking of which, when are you leaving for Barb's?”
Erin looked at the clock. “I'll be leaving in a few minutes. I'm giving myself time to get lost, since I haven't driven myself there before. David programmed the address into my smartphone so I can use its GPS function, but I'm still giving myself extra time.”
“That's a good idea, Erin. When will David be coming back?”
Erin frowned. “He didn't say. I imagine it will depend on how long it takes him to pack and load what he's bringing here in the van. If you want, I can call him and find out.”
Colleen shook her head. “Don't worry about it. I was just curious. Is there anything else you need to do before you go?”
“Just say good bye to the boys, I guess.” Erin stood up and went over to Francis, picking him up for a hug and a kiss. Thomas saw Mommy with his brother and wanted attention, so Erin picked him up and said good bye to him, too. She got her purse and headed to the garage and her car. Turning her smartphone's navigation function on, she pulled out of the garage and headed for the Emporium.
Erin arrived at the Emporium about ten minutes early, which made her happy. She went inside and let herself in with the access code Barb had texted her the day before. The lights were already on in the shop so she went back to the office to find Barb sitting at a computer reviewing emails. She looked up as Erin walked in and smiled. “Hi Erin! I didn't expect you this early.”
Erin smiled back. “I gave myself plenty of time to get lost, but David set up my phone for GPS and I didn't have to worry anyway. What would you want me to do first... er...”
Barb laughed. “Don't worry, Erin, today we're just girls. I've printed out a list of items to pull from the warehouse. You'll put them on a cart and then we'll pack them when you have a cart load. If an item is too high to reach or too heavy, just mark it on the list and leave it for George to pull later.”
Erin took the list and went into the warehouse. She found the cart and started pulling the listed items off the shelves and placing them in order on the cart. As she did, she made a mental note to ask Barb about some of the items she had never seen before. After about twenty minutes or so, she had gone through the list and pulled everything she could. She went into the office and said, “I've finished, Barb. What's next?”
Barb got up from the computer and headed into the warehouse. “The next step is to sort the items out by order. You see these bins with the orders clipped to them?” Erin nodded, so Barb continued, “Match the item number up with the order and place them in the bin. By the time you're done, every bin should have all the items on the order sheet. Then we'll box them up for shipping.”
“I didn't realize you sold so much by mail,” Erin observed as she began sorting the orders out.
“It's the bulk of our sales,” Barb replied. “We wouldn't be able to stay in business without online sales, or at least have as good of an inventory in the store as we do.”
“Why do you have the store?”
“It's a convenience for local customers and the occasional visitor. Otherwise, we could conceivably do all this from our kitchen table.” Barb looked over the list Erin had used. “So the items circled you couldn't find?”
“Yes, or couldn't reach,” Erin acknowledged. “Plus there was one thing that was too heavy for me to lift. Those should be clearly marked.”
“We'll just put those bins aside until George gets back. He can finish those orders.”
Erin was matching item numbers with order sheets. “Is this everything you sell, Barb?”
“No, we have some specialty items and larger pieces for which we use a fulfillment house. I was e-mailing those orders to them when you came in.” She noticed Erin had a puzzled look on her face. “Is there anything wrong?”
“I thought I had pulled all the correct items on the list,” Erin admitted, “but now I have two extras of this item and I'm missing two others.” Barb looked at the item Erin held up. It was a set of three tweezer-type clamps connected by lengths of chain.
“I think I know what the problem is here. Let me show you.” Barb led Erin to the shelf that held the bin with the set of clamps in question. She looked through the bin, then picked up two similar looking sets. The only difference was one clamp had been replaced by a metal ring. “These can be easy to confuse, Erin.”
“No, I pulled them out of that bin,” she insisted.
“Then George got sloppy when he sorted them. I'll take care of that later.”
Erin nodded. “That reminds me. I figured they were nipple clamps but what's the third one for, and why do some have metal rings?”
Barb smiled. “Think about it, Erin. If two of the clamps go on your sensitive nipples, what other sensitive spot could the third one be clamped to?”
Erin thought for a few seconds, then her eyes grew wide as she realized the obvious choice. “But... but... my clit... it would hurt too much!”
Barb couldn't help but laugh. “Isn't that the idea, dear?” she said with a hint of sadistic glee. “Not everything here is strictly for the sub's pleasure.”
Erin blushed as she squirmed, imagining the bite of the metal pincers on her most sensitive bud. “I... I don't know if I could stand it!” she exclaimed. “But...”
“But what, Erin?”
“I have to confess, I just got so wet thinking about it. I guess I'm really turning into a pain slut.”
Barb smiled. “but are you imagining just anyone doing it?”
Erin blushed and she lowered her eyes. “No, Ma'am. I can only see myself letting David put it on me,” she said in a breathy voice.
“And you trust him, right?”
“Of course!” Erin's eyes snapped back on Barb's. “For Him, I'll do anything... I'll let him do anything!”
“Because you trust him to know what you can take and what you can't.”
Erin thought for a moment. “You're right. He won't hurt me.”
“But he'll push your limits.”
Erin nodded her head. “Mm, mm!” Then she said, “But why do some have a metal ring?”
“That's for male subs.”
Erin thought again, then smiled. “Oh! I get it. It's a cock ring.”
“Right! So let's get those expectant male subs the toys they're dreaming of sent out,” as she handed the correct sets of clamps to Erin.
“Right away!” She took the two packages and went back to the sorting bench to add them to the correct orders. “What's next, Barb?”
“Set the incomplete orders aside, then take shipping boxes from that stack over there and fill each one with an order. You can use that scrap paper for cushioning and the mailing label is with the order. The postage is already printed on it. Just affix the label to the box, seal it and it's ready to be picked up. I can help you now. I'm all finished with emailing off the orders for the fulfillment house.”
The two women filled the shipping boxes with the items ordered and stacked the completed packages on the cart Erin had used to collect the items. As she was filling one box, Erin held up a card with a spiked wheel mounted on it. “Barb, I'm curious. What is this and what is it used for?”
“It's called a Wartenberg wheel, and it's actually a medical device. It's used to test nerve sensitivity in hands, feet, legs, arms and other places. They're not used by doctors any more, but they are a popular item for medical and sensory play.”
“Medical play? Like playing doctor?”
“You could say that, Erin, but it's more like your worst gynecologist visit ever.”
“Oh.” Erin mulled it over, then a grin spread across her face. “But in a good way, right?”
“I guess you could say that,” Barb admitted. They both broke out laughing. “Getting back to the Wartenberg wheel, it's most often used for sensory play, where you're blindfolded and your Dom uses various items to overload your senses. He may use anything from a feather to a flogger, though they are usually used for the sensation, not for the pain.”
“That sounds nice.”
“It is. George did it to me when we first started out. When done right, you can even go into subspace with it.”
“Wow! That sounds interesting. Does David like to do that?”
“He's done it before, but I don't know if it's his preference. However, Erin, I'm sure if you ask him, he'll do it for you.”
Erin's phone started ringing. She ran over to her purse and fished it out. “It's David,” she said, “I wonder what he wants?” She answered the phone. “Hello, Master! How is it going?” She listened for a few seconds. “She what? When do you want to get together?” Erin nodded. “No, five will be fine. What do you want me to make?” She looked at Barb and smiled. “Sure, I can! I'll pick up some extras on the way home... What?” Erin's brow wrinkled as she listened. “Oh, sure! That'll be fine. Oh, and I've cleared out the dresser and the closet for you... OK, see you then. I love you, Master!”
“What's going on, Erin?”
Erin put her phone away. “Melissa called Master. She needs to talk to the two of us. David invited her to dinner. She'll be there by five.”
“Do you need to leave now to get dinner started?”
“No, David asked me to make spaghetti... actually, He said Melissa wanted it.”
“She does love her Italian food. I wonder what she needs to talk to you about?”
“I'm guessing Sonja told her something big, or they came up with something.”
“So when do you want to leave?”
“Master said they were finished except for taking our old living room set to the condo. It sounds like He's got someone to move in today. Then only furniture He wanted to keep was the couch, love seat and His chair. He said that He'll send George back in about an hour.”
“Good! You'll be able to leave when he returns, then. You'll have plenty of time.”
With the ordered packaged and waiting for pick-up, Barb and Erin prepared the store for opening, restocking items on the shelves and racks. Once the doors opened at noon, the two women waited for the first customers of the afternoon. As they waited, they chatted.
“So how has the last few days with David gone?” Barb asked.
“On one hand, it's been wonderful,” Erin replied. “I've never felt so loved as I have with him. David seems so attuned to my needs, it's almost like he's reading my mind.”
“Yes, he can be that way. David gets as much from giving you pleasure as he does from receiving it himself-or that's the way he appears to me. But you said “on one hand.” Is there something concerning you?”
Erin shook her head. “No, that's not it. The 'other hand' is that it's been a whirlwind of activity since Wednesday. We've ran all over the city Thursday and Friday, ran into Ronald on Friday and David nearly had a fight with Sam...”
“David had a fight with Sam?” Barb exclaimed.
“No, no, they almost had a fight. I stopped them.”
“You stopped them, Erin?”
“I better start from the beginning. When Melissa found out that Ronald was my husband she freaked out. David was stunned at her reaction and Sam was with me, so when he got to Melissa he didn't know why she was collapsed on the floor, crying. He accused David of doing something... what, I don't know. I had to yell at them to get them to help me with Melissa.””
“You yelled at David?” Barb was wide-eyed and had her hand over her mouth.
“I didn't know what else to do. It snapped them out of their macho stupors and they got Melissa on her couch. I finally convinced her it wasn't her fault for what happened. She didn't know me when Ronald started seeing her and he lied to her like he lied to me.”
“You yelled at David? And he let you?”
Erin laughed as she nodded her head. “He offered to apologized to me for being so insensitive to Melissa's and my needs, but I was on my knees apologizing to him at the time.”
Barb shook her head as she laughed. “If you could yell at David and have him apologize to you, Erin, then you are one special woman! He's really in love with you!” At that, Erin got a worried look on her face. “What is it, Erin?”
“I was at my bank to check on my accounts and the woman I was talking to... she... she knew David... she said she was envious of me. She looked like she was in love with David... and...and she was gorgeous! How... how could I compete with her? Are there any more out there like her?” Her lower lip trembled.
Barb walked over to Erin and embraced her. Erin was trembling. “Erin, are you scared? What's wrong?”
Erin was near tears. “David has had so many women in his life... so many experienced submissives... so many he's trained... What does he see in me?”
“Only David can answer that,” Barb said. “However, I've known him just about since he moved here and I've never see him so happy... his face light up so... as when he's around you.”
They heard the door click open and George walked in the store. “Honey, I'm home!” he called out as he walked up to the register. He stopped when he saw Erin wrapped in Barb's arms. “Are you alright, Erin? David's going to be worried about you. He's been wanting to get back to your house so he could see you again.”
Erin looked up at George with the beginnings of a smile. “Did He say that?”
“I can tell, Erin. He didn't have to say a word. He tore through the packing and moving as quickly as he could. That's why I’m back early.”
“See, Erin,” Barb added. “You don't have anything to worry about.” She smiled at her friend.
“I guess I'm just being silly,” Erin said, drawing back and wiping tears from her eyes. “I'm still listening to Ronnie's voice when I should be listening to my Master's.”
“I think you hit it on the head, Erin. Just trust in David. He will take care of you.” Barb hugged Erin again. “You did a great job today. Go home and get ready for Melissa.”
“Thanks, Barb, I will.” Erin got her purse and headed for her car and home.