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About the story:
Perhaps three is not a crowd…
Shae & Dylan were married as soon as it was legally possible. The stress of life came crashing down after 20 years. Desperately looking for a job, Dylan’s willing to accept anything to provide for his family. Most of all he desires to make his wife happy.
Zigmund finds himself pulled by the dark erotic beauty & given the chance, he opens himself to something unexpected but sensuously delectable.
Yet, will this be a carnal adventure they want to take forever?
Are you ready to start reading?Read more: Her Substitute Husband… His Boss Chapter Three – The Roof is on Fire
Chapter Three – The Roof is on Fire
Shae caught the bus home with the heavy bag of laundry in tow. It was a good thing the bag had wheels on the bottom, or she wouldn’t have been able to bring it back.
Her pay-as-you-go phone rang, but she pushed the 989 number to voicemail since she wasn’t about to waste valuable minutes on an unknown phone call. Yet, the phone number looked familiar for some reason, as if it had been called before. Perhaps a persistent telemarketer was trying to let her know the warranty on their vehicle was about to expire.
The bus dropped her off three blocks away from the apartment building.
With one car, there was yet to be a decision to be made on who would have the car. Embarrassing as it was, Shae didn’t have a driver’s license.
The frustration of explaining to people that she didn’t have her GED and felt incompetent enough to drive was too much.
The only good thing about her day was that she had gotten a notification about her GED and was finally given access to the final test early that morning.
Her day manager allowed her to use the main office computer office and her lunch to take the test. Amazingly easy, but it was Shae’s nature to think something was more terrible than what it was.
Shae passed with flying colors, and she would officially receive her GED.
Doubting herself constantly was stressful enough.
Pausing a block away from home, Shae scratched at her arms. Although she was brown, visible red splotches were randomly all over her skin. Her skin sensitivity had started after she had Stephanie, and the flare-ups mainly were things she was around or the food she ate. Since she never had a moment to figure out what was affecting her or get away from what was irritating her, she would drown herself in Benadryl cream or take an antihistamine when she could.
She wore long sleeves and leggings to cover all parts of her body when she wasn’t at work if she was going out. If there were splotches on her face, she had concealer, but makeup wasn’t her bag, and Stephanie would make fun of her when she would attempt to put on cosmetics.
“Mom, you’re awful at that, so just please stop.”
Shae had grown up working most of her life. Not one for socializing and making friends with other women was never a top priority in her life.
There were no regrets or guilt from not having the time or the ‘luxury,’ but sometimes she wished she had time to stay in bed an extra hour or wander about the house all day thinking about no one but herself.
A loud boom took her away from her thoughts, and she looked to the skies to see a billowing black smoke cloud.
What terrified her was that it was coming in the direction of her apartment buildings. Two fire trucks passed her and turned down her street.
Did the junk in the backyard catch on fire? She wondered.
Getting closer, Shae’s eyes were wide despite the smoke in the air.
Oh no, the apartment building was on fire!!
She clamored through the crowd as another fire truck pulled up.
All she could think about were her bags. The smoke damage! She’d have to start over again!
“Mom!” Stephanie cried, looking as if she had crawled through soot, running up to her and weeping.
Shae demanded, “What happened?!”
Stephanie sobbed harder, not answering.
Shae checked to see if her daughter was injured, but other than possibly her hair was a little singed and some smoke inhalation, there seemed to be nothing physically wrong with Stephanie. Her daughter clutched the pink Chanel as if it had saved her life, and amazingly the bag was in beautiful condition.
Yet, Stephanie started sobbing ridiculously, and Shae shook her, repeating her question.
“I fell asleep… I put the food in the oven and… and left the towel on the stove… and… Uncle Alastar was at the door cause I left my bag….”
Terror filled her whole body, and Shae took steps away from Stephanie.
Alastair came to her house?
He knew where she lived? Had he been around her daughter?
“Did he hurt you?” she demanded to know.
“N-No, I was at the club, and he was there with-“
“What the hell happened?!” Dylan demanded.
Stephanie went into a whole bunch of sobbing again while Shae sunk to the ground. Her brain was locking down as she remembered Alastar’s cruel fingers digging in her, as his awful breath assuaged her senses while his lips were trying to press against hers.
All she could think about was that she wanted to save herself for Dylan.
Dylan knelt and hugged her. “It’s going to be alright, Shae.”
He was referring to the fire, not Alastair’s return to their lives.
“What are we going to do? Where are we going to live?” Stephanie asked pathetically.
“Take her to the car,” Shae ordered tiredly to Dylan, knowing she didn’t have time to wallow in thought.
She handed her husband the laundry bag as she focused on what to do right now. Pulling her hair into a tighter ponytail, she found the fire supervisor in charge of the scene. For some reason, she remembered his last name was Esperanto. He was a little over six feet brawny with Hispanic features, but a European flair and deep emerald green eyes offset his dark characteristics. He seemed to always have a permanent grin on his lips. With all the equipment he wore, he looked so larger than life.
The fire was almost out, and the fire crew was wrapping up.
“We determined there was a fire in the kitchen in the basement apartment, which shot through the poor ventilation system quickly, burning through every apartment almost simultaneously once it got out of control. The funny thing was that two fire extinguishers were found on the counter and under the sink that was fully functional and wasn’t used at all.”
She lowered her head, ashamed because she didn’t want to admit how stupid her daughter was. “Can I look around?” she asked.
“I’d give it about a couple of hours before I take a chance or just wait till morning,” he warned, handing her a sheet of paper with the fire report number. “It’s nothing your rental insurance won’t cover.”
Yes, that would be an ideal answer if she had rental insurance, but her life could have been better.
Shae went to where Dylan had parked, which was about a block away.
Stephanie was knocked out, lying in the back seat as if she didn’t have a care in the world, and Dylan just sat in the driver’s chair, looking very defeated.
He pulled Shae into his strong arms, and she almost let her soul go, wanting to cry but knowing she had to be strong.
“Everything is gone,” she said, knowing he would ask.
“Your purses?” he questioned, looking down at her.
She only nodded. “The fire supervisor told us we shouldn’t go there until the morning.”
“Should we bother?”
“We might salvage something,” she said with a shrug and pushed out of his arms.
“It’s too cold to sleep in the car,” Dylan determined.
“How much cash do we have on hand?” she questioned.
He reached into his wallet and pulled out a twenty, but they both looked at the tank and saw they also needed gas.
Shae had her bus money to get to work for the next two weeks, which made her think of a plan. Calling the night manager at work, she negotiated a room at the motel for them to stay. It was in an even worse part of Detroit, but they could use her bus money to get food and any other sundries they needed temporarily.
Dylan kissed her as soon as she got off the phone. “Thank you. I wouldn’t have known what the hell to do.”
“We can stay at the motel until we figure something else out.”
Driving toward a gas station, Dylan said, “At least I have your purse in the back. How much do you think you can sell it for?”
“I’m not even thinking about that right now, Dylan,” she said in frustration. “I can walk to the library after work to shut down the site.”
“Not just yet. Take all the products you don’t have down, Shae. That’s your dream. I can’t allow you to shut down your dream.”
Now she wanted to cry because hearing Dylan support her so strongly despite all they were going through was beautiful. They held hands until he reached the gas station to fill the tank.
When he returned to the car, he said, “That should hold me back and forth to my new job.”
She gasped, forgetting about their whole day. “DYLAN! You got the job?!”
“Oh my god, Shae, it was the guy from the Halloween party. He was checking me out then.”
Blushing, she said, “He must’ve thought I looked ridiculous dancing in my chair like that.”
“I have so much to tell you, especially about that,” he said.
“Then I have good news too, Dylan,” she said.
“Oh Lord, please don’t tell me you’re pregnant,” he teased, knowing Shae had her tubes tied long ago.
Despite the fact she wanted to cry, a laugh slipped out in this horrible guffaw. “No, I passed my GED.”
It was good that they had stopped at a light because Dylan took her in his arms again and showered her face with kisses. She knew her skin probably tasted like chemical cleaners and soot, but her husband didn’t care. His lips pressed against hers; as always, Dylan could make her forget how she wanted to have a nervous breakdown. Long powerful lips overtook hers, pushing joy through her veins.
“Get a room!” their daughter said in disgust after a yawn. At the same time, some cars behind them beeped.
“We better get going,” Dylan said, pushing the vehicle forward, turning into the motel’s parking lot.
There weren’t a lot of vehicles there, but it was the middle of the week.
Whining, Stephanie said, “Here?! We gotta stay at the dirty motel?”
“If you have somewhere better, we can stay,” Shae snapped. “Please let us know.”
“What about Aunt Aretha’s place? I’m sure she won’t mind. We’re family.”
A chill swept over her, and Shae looked at Dylan.
“We won’t be staying there,” Dylan said sternly in a voice that brooked no talkback.
“Did your daughter tell you she was out with her Uncle Alastar last night,” Shae revealed.
Dylan glared at Stephanie. “He’s not safe to hang around, Steph, and I forbid you to be alone with him.”
“Phe-shaw,” Stephanie said, blowing a raspberry, but she didn’t say anything else.
Shae jumped out of the vehicle needing to be away from them, and entered the motel’s office. The night manager was expecting her and handed her the key to the farthest room.
“I remove some of the items enough for you guys to at least lay down,” Dani Lane, the manager, said, putting sheets and blankets on the counter. “I moved it over to the laundry room. I didn’t want to go to the storage closet this late at night. We took the other double bed out, but I had Rufus put that pullout chair in there since you’ll also have your daughter with you.”
“I’ll organize everything in the morning,” Shae promised. “Thanks, Dani.”
Getting to the car, she told Dylan how to drive over to the room. They hardly rented this one because it was facing away from the street, and the owner didn’t like that no one could see anyone coming in and out. Unless they were full, the owner’s VIP friends sometimes took the room. Shae was glad she could use it for her family.
“It smells,” Stephanie complained.
Shae tossed her daughter the sheets needed for the pullout chair.
Her daughter asked, “Why can’t I get the bed?”
“Please shut up, Stephanie,” Shae warned.
Dylan kept his daughter busy for the rest of the evening while Shae organized the room so they could all get undressed and sleep. The laundry bag of clothes helped, and after everyone had taken a shower, Dylan ran out to find dried noodles, canned vegetables, meat, butter, and bread.
Dylan called Ronald while walking into the supermarket. It was further than he expected, and he knew he had to be mindful of the gas he used.
“Yeah, what up?” Ronald asked. “Are you coming over to the bar to celebrate with us? I heard the taskmaster hired you, but you know now the real work will hit you. Mr. Adawolf works like there’s no tomorrow.”
“No, I’m not going to join you tonight,” Dylan said seriously. He needed to talk to Ronald about other personal matters, but there was so much crap going on in his brain that he didn’t trust himself to speak on those other matters.
Ronald would be his boss, and Dylan also owed him significant money. Creating a rocky relationship with Ronald wouldn’t bode well because the job he’d gotten needed to be completely solidified. Mr. Adawolf drove a hard bargain, but Dylan felt that this new boss would keep his promise if he did the hard work expected of him.
“I’m going to be your immediate boss, Dylan, and I can command it,” Ronald warned.
Dylan wasn’t up for any jokes after what he just went through. “Our apartment caught on fire. We’re at the motel Shae’s been cleaning for now.”
Ronald sounded very concerned. “Aww, man, is everyone okay?”
“Yes, no one is hurt. Stephanie fell asleep while the oven was on, and things got out of hand. Everything is gone. We pretty much have to start all over again,” Dylan said, partially telling his friend because he felt Ronald might start hounding him for money as soon as he received his first paycheck.
“Do you need some more money, Dylan?'” Ronald questioned.
“Hell no. I can barely pay you back what I already owe you.”
“There’s always Shae and Nature’s credit card.”
“Stop fucking around, Ronald,” Dylan said. “I’m not in the mood for jokes.”
Ronald chuckled. “Alright, Dylan. Get your life in order, but in two days, have your ass at your desk so you can start making me look like the shit.”
Hanging up the phone, Dylan felt no longer comfortable telling Ronald his business. Although they’d known each other all their lives, Dylan was starting to slowly feel like Ronald had other alternatives to keeping their friendship alive. Was he waiting for Dylan to break down and leave Shae or hand Shae over to his best friend?
He remembered going to Ronald’s place to hang out a couple of years ago, and Ronald put a porno about a husband sharing his wife with his best friend.
“Give you any ideas,” Ronald had asked wickedly.
Dylan brushed it off as a joke, but lately, it was as if Ronald was digging down in that sharing Shae at every moment he got.
It wasn’t as if Dylan hadn’t thought about it. He had to say that was one of his top fantasies. He never told Shae, although he remembered when she had gotten a little tipsy, and Ronald put his hands high on her thighs. Dylan almost busted a nut until Shae sobered up real quick as Ronald moved his hands upwards, and then she smacked his hand away.
“Sir, your total is nine dollars and forty-three cents?” the cashier asked.
Dylan grabbed the menial groceries and left to return to the hotel, damn grateful for his wife and her ability to make something out of nothing.
Yet, he knew he had to buck up and handle Stephanie. Damn, she was talking to Alastar and Aretha. He didn’t like that, and he knew Shae didn’t sit comfortably at all. She still would wake up every once in a while screaming, “Don’t touch me!”
Putting his foot down with his daughter would be the best thing. Stephanie didn’t understand the demons Alastar hid, and he could be going through their daughter to get back at Shae and Dylan.
Checking his phone log before he got out of the car, Dylan noticed an unrecognizable 989 number had been called while in the interview.
Plus, when had he gone to upper Michigan?
The last time he had been there was when they married twenty years ago.
Most likely, it was spam, and he wouldn’t worry. If it were important, they’d have left a message, right?
While he was gone, Shae found an electric kettle in the main office that no one used anymore because the new owner put a Keurig in the coffee room for the employees.
Stephanie looked at the fare her father brought back in disgust. “I’m not hungry,” she stated, plopping over on the pullout to play on her phone.
Shae did her best to make dinner for her husband, including using salt and pepper condiments from the employee break room to flavor the dry meat.
“So you’re going to sign up for the entrepreneurship class,” Dylan encouraged his wife.
“After all this, Dylan? Shouldn’t I wait until we can get stable?”
“Shae, I will work my ass off to stabilize us. You keep moving forward with your business and your plans. I’m tired of not seeing you happy,” he demanded, looking over at his daughter. “Stephanie, it’s now or never. I start my new job in a day or so, and by that time, you better have a job.”
Stephanie only rolled her eyes, but she didn’t talk back.
“I can see if the owner has any openings to make it a little easier on you, Stephanie,” Shae offered.
“Ewww, no,” Stephanie snapped. “I can find a job, mother,”
Dylan only put his hand over his wife’s with a “don’t worry about it.”
Shae only shrugged at him to let him know she wouldn’t. There was so much to worry about now, but she felt this would be a new chapter in their lives with Dylan by her side.
Copyright 2002 – Her Substitute Husband… His Boss -Sylvia Hubbard – All Rights Reserved.
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