Erin sat quietly for a time, deep in thought. David hadn't seen her this quiet all day. Finally she looked up at him. “Master, I think we should let Karen know what we've found out about Ronald.”
“That's a good idea, little one. We can call her now. It's not too late.” David pressed the speaker button on his phone. “Karen Akiyama, Erin's lawyer,” he said. The phone read out the number for confirmation, then David said “Call.” The phone dialed, then rang three times before it was answered.
“Law office.” David looked at Erin and nodded.
“Hi, Crystal! This is Erin Donnelly. I need to talk to Karen for a few minutes. Is she available?”
“Hi, Erin! Let me check. I'll just put you on hold.” The line went silent for a minute or two, then Karen came on the phone.
“Good afternoon, Erin! How are you doing?”
“I'm fine, Karen. David and I wanted to let you know what we've learned about Ronald today.”
“Is David there now?”
“I'm here, Karen. We're in my car so we're on speaker.”
“What have you found out?”
“OK. We've learned that Ronald is, and has been seeing a professional dominatrix since before the twins were born. We also have a suspicion that he's seeing at least one more, maybe two.”
“Where did you find this out, if I may ask?”
“I'm not at liberty to divulge my source, Karen. I hope you'll understand.”
“Well, are there any details you can give me?”
“Sure. I can confirm that his Tuesday/Friday sessions are by a prodomme named Mistress Payne. That's P-A-Y-N-E. Not confirmed at this time is his Monday/Thursday, but I'm told it could be another prodomme named Mistress Natasha. I should have confirmation of that by Monday.”
“How about his Wednesdays?”
“I've not been able to nail that info down, Karen. Hopefully I'll have a bit better idea on that by Monday, too.”
“That is interesting, David. It could be just the edge we need to convince him to settle our way. Anything else?”
“Erin has some information about their joint bank account.” David nodded at Erin.
“I opened a separate account as you suggested, Karen, and moved some money into it to shelter it.”
“Had he been draining the account, Erin?”
“That was my first surprise. There was more in the account than I had expected. It was at eighty seven thousand dollars when I checked three weeks ago. I transferred fifty thousand to the new account.”
'Did you get any reaction from your husband?”
“No, I didn't, and this is where it gets really odd. Ronald ran into me at a restaurant today, but when he did, he didn't say anything about the money I moved. It was like he wasn't aware that I had done it. We then went to the bank after lunch and I discovered that between lunch and the time I got to the bank, he had withdrawn all but about ten dollars of the money.”
“I guess he wanted to make sure you didn't claim any more of what I'm sure he thinks is his money.”
David jumped in. “That is, if it's his money at all.”
“What do you mean, David?”
“As unstable as he appeared today at lunch, I'm wondering just how he got that money, and if it's legal.”
“Are you implying he might have stolen the money?” Erin looked at David, shocked.
“I'll just say I'm not ready to rule out theft, embezzlement or loan sharking.”
“Erin, you know him. Does that sound feasible?”
Erin thought for a moment before she answered. “I'd have to say that, at this point, I'm not sure I know him all that well anymore. I'd say it's possible.”
“Don't do anything with that money yet, Erin. Just in case.”
“We've taken steps to make sure the money is secure,” David explained.
“Good. Well, then, get back to me Monday with what you've found out. If something comes up that can't wait, Erin has my cell phone number on my card.”
“OK, Karen. We will talk to you on Monday. Have a good weekend.”
“The same to you two!”
Erin pointed to the left. “There's Mike's!”
David parked in front of the garage as Mike was walking out the door. Erin jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped. Mike looked surprised to see her.
“Hi, Mike! I'm here to pick up my car!” Erin was excited.
“I didn't realize it was you. That doesn't look like Ronnie's car.”
“It's not. This is my friend, David. He's helping me.”
David got out of the car. “Erin, we might as well face it.” Turning to Mike, he stuck out his hand. “I'm David Saunders, and I guess you could say I'm Erin's boyfriend.” Erin turned around with a look of joy mixed with surprise.
“That's the first time I've hear you say that, David!” Erin ran up and hugged him. Mike had a puzzled look on his face. “Ronnie left me a long time ago. I just realized it a few weeks back. I don't care who knows any more. David has helped me so much and he's been so sweet...”
“It's complicated, Mike. About the easiest way I can boil it down is that Ronald took himself out of the picture before Erin had the twins. Erin is just now making it official.”
“Well, I hope it all works out the way you want it to,” Mike said. “The car is over here and ready to go.” They walked around the building to where a champagne colored four door car was parked.
Erin ran over to the car and opened the driver's door. “Oh, Mike! This car looks nice!” She looked in the back seat and squealed. “You already put the baby seats in!”
“Yeah. Ronnie left them here when he signed over the title so I held them for you, Erin.”
“What's the story on this car?” David asked.
“It's a one owner car. The driver was an older man and he didn't drive it very much, so it is really low mileage. He passed away suddenly a few months ago and I bought it at an estate sale last weekend. All I had to do was to clean it up a bit. Oh, yes, he was a non-smoker, too.”
“So all Erin needs to do is to pay the repair bill for her car and this one becomes hers?”
“That's right, Dave, and I’ve decided to also give her a twelve month warranty, including normal oil changes and servicing.”
“That's generous of you, Mike.”
“It's the least I can do for her. I feel so bad leaving her without a car.”
David shook his head. “It wasn't your fault, Mike, and you're not the only one that Ronald's lied to, we're discovering.” He looked over at Erin and smiled.
“I felt so bad for her the day I told her, but she looks so happy now. I'm guessing it's your doing?”
David continued to watch his slave lovingly. “I think it's mutual.” David turned to Mike again. “Did you hear from my insurance agent?”
Mike nodded. “It's all settled. He asked me to tell you that he also put Erin on the policy for your car and you on the one for her car.”
David smiled. “He's a good man. I'm loyal to people who take care of me... and mine.” He nodded towards Erin. “I appreciate all you've done for her. We will be back.”
“You're welcome. Well, I guess we should settle up and get out of your hair.” He looked back to Erin. “Erin! Did you bring your money?”
Erin looked up at the sound of her Master's voice. When he asked his question, she realized she had left the money at home in her haste to leave. She blushed and hung her head. “No, Sir.”
“Can you take a credit card?”
“I don't usually take credit cards for vehicle purchases but as all she's paying for is the repairs for her first car, I guess I can accept it this time.” Mike headed for the office. David followed. Erin ran over to David, still shame-faced. “I'm sorry, Sir,” she whispered, “I'm making you spend more money on me.”
“Well, we don't want to inconvenience Mike, do we?” David chuckled softly.
David walked Erin over to what was now her car. “I'm guessing you didn't bring your cell phone, either, little one.” His voice was soft but Erin felt the strength in it. She blushed as she hung her head.
“No, Master,” she whispered. “I forgot my purse.” She looked up at him. “Will I be punished?”
David smiled. “No, not now. As I've said before, this has been such a strange week that I can't hold you responsible. What I want you to do is to follow me home. I've got the garage door remote so I'll go first.”
Erin looked relieved. “Thank you, Master. You have been so patient with me. I don't think I...”
“Shh... Don't go there, little one. That's my job. Now, get in your new car!” David gave her a playful swat on her ass. Erin yelped a bit, then giggled as she sat down in the driver's seat, then yelped again. “Still sore, eh?”
Erin got a big smile. “Um hm, Master. It hurts sooo good! My clitty is tingling!”
David smiled. “We'll see about attending to that after we get home. Let's head out.”
Colleen had enjoyed another day with her grandsons. They were really getting used to her and she enjoyed doing everything with them... even changing their diapers was a labor of love for her. She considered telling Erin that she wouldn't mind taking care of them every day.
She was sitting on the floor playing with Francis and Thomas. Neither Erin or David had called in to touch base with her so she was relieved when she heard the garage door rumble open. Colleen looked at the two boys and said, “You hear that? That means your Mommy and Daddy are home!” She stood up to go greet them and it hit her. She had referred to David as “Daddy.” “Why not?” she thought to herself, “David's spent more time with them in the last forty eight hours then Ronald has since they were born, according to Erin.”
The couple walked into the living room arm in arm. The twins, seeing their Mommy and her friend both started giggling and holding their hands up to be picked up. Erin picked up Francis and David picked up Thomas. Thomas was as content as Francis was. “That is such a sweet picture,” Colleen commented.
“What do you mean, Mom?”
“You already look like a family.”
David was tickling Thomas' belly. He looked up at Erin and smiled. “I guess we do.” Erin's eyes got misty. “I... I better make sure they're changed” she said, then she turned and hurried into the nursery.
“Is there anything wrong, David?”
David smiled at Thomas again. “No, Colleen, I think Erin just didn't want to start crying for joy again.”
“I see. I was wondering because Erin didn't have her, um, collar on.”
“You noticed?” David chuckled. “Actually, she does. I never meant for the leather collar to be a permanent collar. I took her back to the Emporium and got her a permanent collar today.”
“Permanent collar?” Colleen looked worried.
“Don't worry. Permanent is a relative term here. What is meant is that it can't be removed without the proper key or tool except by cutting it.”
“You mean that necklace with the heart?”
“Yes. It's a heart-shaped lock with a special key locked onto a medical-grade stainless steel hoop. It's subtle but very meaningful.”
“I'll say. What happens if Erin is rushed to the ER?”
“She has an emergency key encased in a glass vial. You break the glass and use the key to remove the lock, then the hoop comes off easily. Otherwise, it will have to be cut off. I also have a key so I can remove it for planned medical tests such as MRIs and when we have to go through security at airports, courthouses and the like.”
“So it can be removed but only by your doing or as an emergency.”
“Correct, Colleen.” Erin came in with Francis wearing a clean outfit. Colleen looked at Erin's collar. “David was just telling me about your new collar, Erin.” Her face lit up.
“Isn't it lovely? I almost love it more than a wedding band.”
“Aren't you afraid of getting injured by it?”
“No, Mom, it's safe. David's explained it to me and given me my emergency key.”
Colleen inspected the collar. “Well, it does look like you could cut it with a bolt cutter if needed.”
“That's right, Colleen. You can also drill out the screw that locks the collar and it will come off. Either way, it's not hard to remove in an emergency.”
“It does look much better than the leather collar.”
“Plus you don't have to worry about getting it wet.” David turned to Erin. “Are you ready for Thomas now?”
“Yes, Master. Give him to me. Mom, take Francis.” They passed the babies around, then Erin went back into the nursery.
Colleen bounced Francis on her hip. “So, did you learn anything new today?”
“Boy, did we! Melissa confirmed that Ronald was seeing her. He's terrible at being sneaky... he used his middle name with her. Something's going on with him, too. He ran into Erin today at lunch and he looked like hell. He also withdrew almost all of the money Erin left in their joint account.”
Colleen had a shocked look on her face. “He... He ran into Erin? What do you mean?”
“We were at lunch, but I had to go to the rest room and I stopped to make a call after that. While I was away from the table, Ronald spotted Erin and started demanding to know what she was doing there.”
“Did he see you with her?”
“No, he didn't. I caught a lucky break, thanks to Erin. I asked her to pick out an outfit to wear today and the one she did looked similar to the servers' uniforms at CJ Callahan's, so I pretended I was one and kinda shoved him out the door.”
“Wait... That's not what you were wearing this morning.”
“I didn’t have any clean clothes here so I took a shower over at my place and changed while Erin packed my bags. She laid this out for me to wear.”
“I thought you were supposed to pick out what she wears?”
“Have you been looking on the internet, Colleen?”
“No, I think I read it somewhere, but not on the internet.”
“Good, because I don't treat my slave the way you read about on the net. I value Erin's fashion sense and her powers of observation. I did ask her to pick out my clothes as a test, but she passed with flying colors, not to mention she's a speed demon at packing suitcases. She even had time to join me in the...”
“Aha!” Colleen was smiling. “I take it you two had some good, clean fun.”
“All I'll say is a gentleman never tells.”
Colleen laughed. “Good answer. After all, you are both consenting adults. So you pretended to be a waiter and hustled Ronnie out before he could do anything to Erin?”
“Yes, but I have to say I was proud of the way my little one stood up to him. She not only answered everything he threw at her, but she got off some good shots herself.”
“That's my girl!”
“We're in complete agreement on that!” Erin returned with Thomas. “What are you two in agreement on?”
“David was just telling me about your running into Ronnie at lunch.”
“I know!” Erin giggled. “I was so scared, but I just thought about Master and I felt the strength to take on Ronald, but after Master threw him out, I was about to collapse! If He hadn't hugged me...”
“Sounds like you had a crazy day today.”
“We did, Mom. I'll be glad to tell you all about it but I need to start dinner for Master and me.”
“I understand, Erin. I need to get home, too. When do you need me tomorrow?”
“About eleven will be fine, Mom. See you then. I love you!” Erin hugged her mom.
“I love you too, dear.” Colleen walked to the door. “Thanks for watching over Erin, David. See you tomorrow!”
David turned to Erin. “Speaking of dinner, little one, what do we have that you can make quickly?”
“Let me see.” Erin went into the kitchen, and David heard doors opening and closing. Erin came back out a few minutes later with a serious look on her face. “We don't have that much, Master. I haven't been able to get out to shop much lately.”
“That's OK. It doesn't have to be fancy. Do we have ground beef, spaghetti and sauce?” David asked.
“Yes to all three, Master.”
“Spaghetti and meat sauce is fine by me. It's quick and easy.”
“Then spaghetti it is, Master.” Erin turned to head back to the kitchen when the doorbell rang. “I'll get it!” she called out as she reversed direction and headed for the door. When she opened it, Grace stood there with a covered dish in her hands. Erin broke into a smile as she invited her neighbor in, “Come in, Grace!”
“I know you two have been busy the last few days, so I thought I'd help by making you dinner.” There was a delicious aroma coming from the dish in her hands. “All I did was double the recipe.”
David got up from the floor. “Grace, that is a lovely gesture. You're too kind. We really appreciate it.”
“No, we... and I mean the whole neighborhood... really appreciate what you've done for Erin, David.” Grace was smiling and a tear formed in the corner of her eye. “Where do you want this?”
“Why don't you put it on the table. I'll get a hot pad.” Erin headed off to the kitchen.
“I really mean that, David,” Grace insisted. “We wanted to do something to help Erin but Ronnie was getting so hostile no one wanted to come over here for fear of confronting him. I don't think I've seen Erin happier than I have this last few days.”
“That is kind of you, Grace, especially as I was a stranger to you before yesterday.”
Grace shook her head. “We all had seen you the first time you were here. We could tell that you had some sort of feelings for Erin and she really lit up after your visit.”
David laughed. “But my first advice to her was to try and get back with Ronald.”
“I know, but when that plan crashed and burned and she needed a strong, loving man in her life, you were right there.”
“I guess it showed. I fell for her the moment I saw her, even with the way she looked then.”
“What do you mean, David?”
He smiled. “She was disheveled and tired but she was valiantly trying to take care of her boys... almost at the price of her own health.”
“I wouldn't think a man would like a woman who looked like that.”
“Maybe not an average man, but I looked past the surface and saw a strong, determined woman whose only problem was she had no one to support her.”
Grace nodded. “That's the Erin we all know and love. It hurt us to watch her get beaten down emotionally by Ronnie.”
Erin returned to the living room. “Master, why didn't you let Grace put down that dish?”
Grace smiled at Erin. “I hardly noticed it. David is easy to talk to.”
“I know!” Erin agreed with a giggle. “Do you want to stay and eat with us?”
“No, I have to get back to Harold.” Grace looked a bit down when she said that.
“I'm looking forward to meeting him on Sunday. What time should we come over?”
“Four PM would be fine, David, and you won't be meeting just Harold. It seems that the whole neighborhood wants to meet Erin's white knight!”
Oh, my,” David said. “I don't know if I deserve that title.”
“But you do, Master!” Erin exclaimed. Grace nodded.
“You know how she was not even a month ago, David. Don't downplay your influence on Erin.” Grace's smile was genuine. “Well, I'll let you two eat before it gets cold. See you Sunday if not before!” She let herself out while David and Erin brought the boys into the dining room and sat down to dinner.
After dinner, David and Erin worked together to get the boys ready for bed. David started by giving Francis a bath. Erin stopped to watch, taken by the gentleness of David as he tended to Francis. He held the baby's head and back steady with his left hand while gently cleaning his legs with a wash cloth in his right hand.
“Those hands,” she thought to herself, “those hands so tenderly care for Francis, yet they are the same hands that have spanked my ass until it's red and hurting even now. Those hands have wielded the flogger that sent me into subspace for the first time ever. They have made me cum more times than I can think of just in the last two days. They have also caressed my face and body, protected me from harm and helped me with so many things they didn't need to do. Those hands are beautiful.”
David looked up at Erin and wondered what she was thinking. He didn't ask because he didn't want to break the spell she seemed to be under. Her joy, no, her serenity was etched across her face. He was happy at that realization-not because he had caused it, but because she deserved it so much. All David wanted to do at that moment was to preserve that serenity in Erin for as long as he could... forever, if possible.
With both babies in their cribs and the lights out in the nursery, David and Erin returned to the living room. David went over to the door to make sure it was locked. Erin went to the living room window and closed the drapes, then she stood in front of the easy chair. David walked over to the chair and sat down.
Erin pulled the straps of her sundress off her shoulders and let it fall around her feet. She then reached up and undid the fastener for her bra and let it slide down her arms until it, too, lay on the floor. She stood there, wearing only his collar, butt plug and a loving smile.
David got up from the chair and approached Erin. He circled her as if he was inspecting a valuable treasure. He reached out to feel her soft skin and his fingers trailed around her body. When he stood in front of her again, he took her hand and led her to the chair. David pulled off his shirt and then sat down, pulling Erin into his lap as he did.
Erin curled up into David's lap, her cheek resting against his left shoulder, close enough that she could feel the beating of his heart. David pulled Erin up until she snuggled into his lap. His right hand began to wander over her body, idly tracing her lines and curves from her neck to her thighs. They sat like that in silence for a time.
“Little one, you've had a busy day,” David finally whispered into Erin's ear. “As have you, my Master,” she replied, enjoying the warmth of his body against her skin. “What would you like me to do for you, Sir? Would you like to use my mouth? My cunny? Perhaps you would want to fuck my ass for the first time? Perhaps you'd like to whip me or spank me? Tie me up? Whatever your pleasure is, just order me.”
David lifted his hand to her lips and placed a finger on them to shush her. “Right now, I desire nothing more than this, my pet... feeling your skin on my skin, the beat of your heart, the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. Knowing you are so close to me. Knowing you love me as I love you. I will desire more at other times, and I will take it, but this is all I desire now.”
They sat there, cuddling, with the time just passing, until Erin lifted her head with an “Oh!”
“What is it, little one?” David asked.
“Um, may I ask you for something, Master?”
“Anything. I will do my best.”
“Could we please go to Mass on Sunday? I haven't been since before the boys were born.”
David was a bit surprised at the request. He hadn't been inside a church since just before the divorce. As far as he knew, he wasn't even considered a Catholic any more. Yet, he wanted Erin to return to as close to normalcy as she could get, so he decided that he'd go to be with her, if nothing else.
“I'm not sure that the roof won't fall on me if I set foot in a church, but for you I'll take the risk. Just one thing... please don't ask me to go to the early Mass.”
Erin giggled. David always enjoyed her giggles-so childlike yet so sensuous. “Master, by the time we get the boys ready to go, I just hope we won't miss the last one!” She lifted her head and kissed David on the cheek. He turned his head so that he captured her lips with his mouth and deepened the kiss. It was passionate but relaxed. When it ended, she looked in his eyes and said, “Thank you, Master.” That was all the reward David needed at the time.
They continued to sit there, not saying anything but not needing to, either. Finally, David looked up at the clock on the mantle. It read nine forty five PM. “Erin?” he said softly. She didn't stir. “Erin” he said a bit more loudly, but still no response. He lifted her chin slightly and looked at her face. She had fallen asleep on his lap.
David scooted to the end of the seat, then slowly stood up with his sleeping slave. He carried her to their bedroom and laid her on his side of the bed. He turned down the covers on her side and climbed on the bed to lift her onto her side, then covered her. He stripped off his clothes, turned out the light and climbed into his side of the bed, then moved over to where she lay and wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close. Kissing her shoulder, he whispered, “Good night, my sweet slave.”