“Hey there.” Dave smiled when Erin opened the door.
“Hi.” She put her arms around him, pulling him into the condo and a kiss.
He was about to say something when he walked into the door. It left his mind completely as soon as her mouth was on his. From their very first kiss, date #4 where Dave spent damn near a month’s allowance at Charlie Palmer Steak, she made him breathless. Pulling her closer, Dave’s hands slid down to cup and squeeze her ass.
“David…” Erin reluctantly moved out of his embrace. “We’re in the foyer.”
“Sometimes I can't help myself, baby.” He smiled. “You know you drive me crazy.”
“You have the rest of your life to ravage my body.”
“Believe me I know.”
“Where's your dress bag?” Erin asked smirking.
“I left it in the car. I figured you'd have things for me to carry.”
“I hope you don’t mind if my mother comes with us.” She walked into the living room and Dave followed. “She’s so excited about these pictures. It'd be nice to take her to lunch afterward.”
“That’s fine with me.” Dave was looking at the photos above the mantelpiece. They were all of Erin in a huge diamond shaped photoset with 7 frames. The one in the middle was empty, surely for her engagement picture.
The other pictures varied from infancy to her college graduation. How much pressure was it on her to always be everything her parents wanted her to be? Dave was so glad to have six other buffers in his life even when he wanted to strangle one of them. “Where's your dad?”
“He had a breakfast meeting and then went to the University.”
“Are you sure he wasn’t avoiding me?” Dave asked.
“No, I'm not.” She shook her head. “I don’t care either way, David.”
“And I love you for it.”
He caressed her face, kissing her nose. Then Dave wrapped his arms around her and held her close. Being with Erin always relaxed him. It was the smell of her skin, her hair, and how her hands felt on his neck or back. The first, second, and third time he asked her out and was turned down flat, Dave never thought they'd be here.
They were college graduates and engaged to be married. Erin Strauss was going to marry him. Eat that world…eat that Erich Strauss! And in a few months he and his best friend would be in the FBI Academy. Life was wonderful right now.
“Hello there, David.”
“Hi, Mrs. Strauss.” Dave let go of Erin long enough to kiss her mother’s cheek. “I hear you're joining us this afternoon.”
“I hope you don’t mind.” Joanna Parkinson-Strauss smiled. It made her look just like her daughter. “I won't get in the way, I promise. I hate to admit this but I've been planning Erin’s engagement pictures virtually since she came into the world.”
“Oh Mum,” Erin covered her eyes. “That’s so embarrassing.”
“Shush.” Joanna gently chided her daughter. “I only get to do this once and I want to enjoy every second.”
“Let me carry this stuff, Mrs. Strauss.” Dave said. “What is it?”
“It’s makeup and a selection of dresses for Erin to choose from. Sweetheart, go and change into the pink sorority tee shirt.”
“It shows some of my stomach. Are you sure Daddy will be alright with that?”
“Maybe, maybe not; it’s an adorable tee shirt. David you have your fraternity shirt?”
“It’s down in the car, ma'am.”
“I’ll be right back.” Erin rubbed Dave’s arm before heading down the hall to the bedroom.
“It’s such an exciting day.” Joanna smiled from ear to ear.
“This is my first ever photo shoot.” Dave said.
“It's old hat for Erin. She didn’t do it a lot as a teenager, her father thought it was a waste of time, but there's some modeling in her past. She's a natural beauty.”
“She absolutely is.” He nodded. “The very first time I saw her, she took my breath away. She still does that.”
“And you two have a healthy sex life?” Joanna asked casually.”
“I'm sorry what?”
“There's a part of me that is very concerned that Erin is holding on to her virginity with an iron fist. There’s nothing wrong with a girl being a virgin David but she's with a man who loves her madly. My daughter can be prudish; it was passed down from her father. It is my hope that being with you has melted some of that away. I want you two to indulge in each other’s bodies as much as possible.”
“What are you two chatting about?” Erin asked walking back into the room.
“Nothing.” Joanna smiled. “That shirt is so perfect. Sigma Sigma Sigma was lucky to have you.”
“She was the face of the sorority the four years she was at American.” Dave said.
“Stop.” She looked at him. “Mum, are you sure there's not too much torso?”
“I happen to find that torso quite attractive.” Dave replied.
“No chiming in from the Peanut Gallery.”
“Ouch, I'm the Peanut Gallery now?”
“You look perfect Erin and there isn’t any time to change your mind about it. We have to leave now so we won't be late.”
“OK.” Erin sighed. “Let’s just go. What did you bring to wear, David?”
“I have the good black slacks and new leather shoes. I bought three new shirts…black, white, and red. I figured I couldn’t go wrong there with any dress you wanted to wear. I was telling your mom that this is my first photo shoot.”
“I bet you're going to be a natural.” Erin smiled, giving him one more kiss before they left the condo. She felt a bit underdressed; the baby doll tee wasn’t quite her thing. Her mother liked it and so did Dave so Erin would smile and deal with it. Her mood needed to be positive for what would surely be a long afternoon.
“Something really strange happened today.”
“Only one strange thing?” Erin raised her eyebrow when she asked. “Was it the part where we danced like Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby in High Society? Was it my mother sticking so many hairpins in my hair that I thought my brain was going to leak out? Was it Clyde Easter openly flirting with me when I was there for engagement pictures?”
“Easter’s French so I let the flirting slide.” Dave replied. “And actually it was stranger than all of that.”
“Don’t keep me in suspense; I can't wait to hear this.”
Erin sat up in the bed and wrapped the sheet around her naked frame. Dave never minded lying around naked if he was with her. His fiancé had finally gotten used to it. She loved his body so now it was her pleasure to watch him lounge in the nude. She grabbed her pack of Marlboro Milds from the nightstand, lighting one. They were spending the night at the Best Western on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Her father wasn’t pleased and had no problem expressing it to Erin.
“We’re engaged, Daddy.” She said.
“You're not married yet.”
“I understand that but I want to spend some time alone with my fiancé. We both live with our parents right now. We would never show disrespect to them or their homes. We’re doing the adult thing.”
Erich wanted to argue some more but Erin shut it down. She kissed her father’s cheek and said goodnight.
“Your mother asked me about our sex life this afternoon.”
“I'm sorry what?” Erin looked away from the rain soaked window and at Dave.
“Baby, those were my exact words.”
“What did she ask you?”
“She asked if we had a healthy sex life. She said you could be a bit prudish but we were young, beautiful, and in love. She prays that we’re indulging in each other’s bodies as much as possible.”
“Oh my God,” Erin covered her mouth. She was a little bit mortified by the entire exchange but not quite surprised. Except where her husband was concerned, Joanna Parkinson-Strauss had no problem speaking her mind. If that was what was on her mind then she was saying so. Erin figured she thought it might be easier to get information out of Dave rather than her. “What did you tell her?”
“Honestly, I was about to lie through my teeth and tell her you were still pure as the driven snow. Luckily you came back into the living room and saved me. She probably wouldn’t have believed me and that would've been worse. Has she ever asked you anything like that?”
“Not once.” Erin shook her head. “While I don’t know exactly what she was thinking I assumed she thought I was still a virgin.”
“Why? Most mothers wouldn’t think that.”
“Because I'm a prude. She said so herself.”
“You're not, baby.” Now Dave was shaking his head.
“David, I won't even…” Erin sighed and took a deep inhale of her cigarette. “I won't even go down on you. Hell, horny teenage girls do that.”
“I hope you don’t think that I give a damn.”
“It crosses my mind once in a while.”
Or almost everyday but she wasn’t counting. They'd been having sex for almost two years now. There was still a lot for Erin to learn. She knew, thought, that she satisfied Dave. But she had limited experience. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to learn and explore new things with him. Sometimes she just wasn’t sure how.
“Don’t let it freak you out, Erin.”
“I'm sure other girls have, gone down on you I mean.”
“Lots of girls have.” Dave replied in his usual honest way. “Isn't it interesting that the one who didn’t is wearing my ring?”
That made her smile. Erin Strauss was a prude. At least she had some prudish tendencies. Even her mother whom she loved dearly, and the feeling was mutual, thought so.
“Did your mother have the talk with you?” Dave asked.
“Yes.” Erin nodded. “She was frank and upfront as always. I was probably 14 years old at the time. I nodded and smiled graciously but it freaked me out. Sex was a foreign concept to me. Later I just thought of it as something the other girls did. I was too focused to waste my time with such frivolities.”
“Three cheers for frivolities.” He grinned.
“Come back to bed baby doll. We have the whole night ahead of us and I'm feeling a little frivolous.”
She took one more puff of her cigarette, smiled, and put it out. Climbing into the bed, Erin opened the sheet. Dave pulled her close and wrapped it around them both.
“I think it kinda sank in today.” He murmured kissing her throat.
“We’re getting married.”
“Not for a while. There’s still time to run like the wind.” Erin laughed.
“I'm not going anywhere. I asked you out four times before you said yes. I want you, Erin Strauss. I wanted you then and I want you even more right now.”
“I want you too.” she wrapped her arms around him. “Thank you so much for being a good sport about the photo shoot today. Mum was really excited and wanted it to be perfect.”
“We look good together.” Dave said.
“We are good together. I love you.”
“Mmm, I love you more. No offense but I can't wait to have you all to myself again.”
Dave liked her mother and Erin loved his parents but he was anxious to get back to their life in DC. It was separate from all the pressures of New York. She could go to school, he to the Academy, and they could just be a couple. There would be some strains; long spans of time when they weren't together. But he didn’t have to worry about her father always whispering bad things in her ear or anyone keeping tabs on them. They could be themselves and that was always when they were at their best.