Woman meets her online Master in person.
"You got it, Ms. D.," he said with a conspiratory wink. "I'll go ahead now--arrive early. Who knows, it might give me brownie points with the boss. You take care of yourself, ok?"
"Thanks, Parsons. I'll be fine."
It was a relief and yet not to see him go. Erica curled up in her bed and wondered what was wrong with her. With Parsons gone, she was better able to focus. She didn't know why she had done what she had but Parsons seemed to be willing to not make an issue of it. He would brag about it, no doubt--men always did--but he would make a show of being discrete so when the story spread it would be treated as one of many rumors that circulated about her. She had long ago mastered the art of casting doubt on rumors, especially the ones that were true.
She got dressed and headed for the office. She had to make up for the time wasted yesterday with her little problem. Once the first weekly went out, she would find a discrete therapist to help her keep from doing anything so stupid again.
As she was driving towards the office, her pager went off and instinctively she checked it.
Oh, that reminded her: She needed to go shopping! She needed to buy something sexy! She cut across 3 lanes of objecting traffic and headed for a boutique she had once visited at the urging of her second husband. Luckily, it was still there. She needed to buy something sexy.
She told the saleswoman about her need. The bright-eyed Persian woman smiled and nodded. She would help her. That was good. She needed to buy something sexy.
The saleswoman showed her an assortment of clingy, low cut dresses. She took one that was shorter than most in a leopard print.
"I think this would look lovely on you," she said.
"But is it sexy?" asked Erica. It needed to be sexy.
"Oh yes, Miss. Very Sexy," the woman assured.
Erica sighed in relief.
"Good. I need to buy it."
"Don't you want to try it on?" asked the confused saleswoman. "Make sure it fits?"
"Oh...Yes. I should try it on." said Erica. "Make sure it's sexy."
She rushed to the dressing room and stripped down, then wiggled into the dress. It only stretched a third of the way down her thighs and displayed all the cleavage she had to offer. She was pretty sure it was sexy but she decided she should check with the saleswoman.
"Is this sexy?" she asked.
"Oh yes, Miss," said the saleswoman. "Very sexy. The men will go crazy over you in that dress."
Men. Parsons was a man. She wanted to look sexy for Parsons.
"I need to buy this," she insisted.
"Of course, Miss," said the saleswomen. "Do you need shoes to match the dress? It will look more sexy with the right shoes."
More sexy. The woman was brilliant. She set her up with a pair of black heals with faux-leopard fur across the toes and around the ankles. She also presented her with fishnet stockings, a black leather belt, matching hand bag, a pair of dangly gold earrings and topped it all off with a leopard skin pillbox hat, assuring her that each item made the outfit more sexy.
At last, she could buy her sexy outfit. She tottered to the dressing room and grabbed her purse. She gave the woman her credit card without bothering to ask what the total was. She signed the credit slip and was done. She had bought her sexy outfit.
Why was she shopping? She was supposed to be at work. She couldn't wear this outfit to work. She couldn't wear this outfit anywhere! It was indecent!
"This was a mistake," she told the saleswoman, "I can't wear this."
"But Miss," said the confused woman, "It is very sexy--like you wanted."
Before she could respond, her beeper went off. The beeper she had held in her hand ever since it went off in the car, never putting it down even when she changed clothing.
She had to go to the office. Now. She rushed for her car as fast as she could, not bothering to retrieve the clothing she had left in the changing room. There wasn't time and it didn't matter. She had to go to the office. It was important.
The sense of urgency continued as she tore into the parking lot, rushed into the building and