"Vulnerable"
by Toni






Rated R

Author's note: I would just like to let you know that this takes place in year 2001, but this is when the station is still up and running, Catherine is still in the office, and Bill is still alive. Enjoy!



For years, Dave has felt this immense affection for Catherine. At first, he wanted her for her body, but now as the year passed him by, he grew a special bond with her. She wasn’t like any women he’s ever met. She was very attractive and beautiful, she was intelligent, and she knew how to take care of herself. Dave has felt this way about her for quite sometime now. He couldn’t stand it any longer. It was practically tearing him apart. He couldn’t stop thinking about her ever since he had that dream about her. It started out with her crying (which he’s never seen her do before) in a dark room and Dave comes and just holds her and tells her everything is going to be all right. Then Catherine whispers to him ‘You’ve rescued me.’ Then they start kissing and start making passionate love. That dream has been recurring to him for about 3 weeks now. It wasn’t just the love making that Dave liked about it, it was how sensitive and beautiful Catherine looked. But of, to Dave, she looked beautiful all the time. Dave paced back and forth in his office, unsure if he should tell Catherine how he feels or not. ‘I know I shouldn’t,’ Dave thought, ‘But this is just killing me. I don’t know if I can stand it any longer. I’m in love with her!’ Dave wanted to scream ‘I love you, Catherine!,’ but of course, he didn’t. “I should just get back to work and try to forget about her,” he said. Dave started typing away at his laptop, but started to daydream about Catherine, and eventually fell asleep.

Meanwhile, Catherine was on air with Bill, giving her report.

“…and more with this breaking event after these sponsers.” “What’s your problem, Cathy,” Bill asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you’re reports are good, but you just sound different. You’ve been acting kind of different too. I called you Cathy and you didn’t even say anything about that.”
“I’ve just been really stressed and tired lately, that’s all. Why do you care?”
“I thought that if I was going to insult you today, maybe you wouldn’t slap me around.”
“Fine, Bill.” Catherine gets back on air and gives her report. After she got off air, Catherine sat at her desk and stared at her laptop for about 20 minutes. She didn’t realize that she wasn’t doing anything until Lisa said something to her.
“Catherine, Catherine, are you all right?”
“Hmm, oh hi, Lisa. I’m sorry, I just haven’t been sleeping well lately. I don’t know what the problem is.”
“Lisa, do you need to take a break or anything? Do you want to talk about it?”
“No, but thanks anyway. I think I can manage.”

Actually, that was a lie. Catherine did know what the problem was and she couldn’t manage by herself. Her best friend died just about 3 weeks ago and after that, she felt so miserable and vulnerable. She didn’t want anyone to know about though. Could you imagine if Catherine broke down right in the middle of everyone, including Dave, her boss? What would he think of her? She also realized how lonely she was all the time. Yes, she did go out on dates and had some bouncy relationships with guys, but she pretty much hated them all now. She needed a real man who would actually listen to her, not just want to get a quickie and be out of her life forever. As these thoughts wandered into Catherine’s head, she got up and went off for her lunch break.

“Dave, hey Dave, get your ass up,” Joe screamed at him. Dave whipped his head up.
“Sorry, sorry! I- oh it’s you. I thought you were Mr. James.”
“Dude, are you alright,” Joe asked.
“I’m fine, just haven’t been sleeping well.”
“How come?”
“Just been thinking about stuff that’s been happening. No big deal. What did you want?”
“I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be installing that wire in your ceiling now. But it’ll probably be hard for you to work because it’s gonna get loud.”
“Oh, do you really have to do it now? I have all this work to do.”
“Yeah, I was actually supposed to be doing it yesterday, but Mr. James was gone. Why don’t you take a lunch break or something anyway. You look like you could use it.”
“All right. Thanks, Joe.”
“Don’t mention it, Dude.”

Dave walked out of the office and let Beth know that he was going out for lunch. As he went to the elevator, he saw Catherine coming and held the door open for her.

“Oh, thanks, Dave,” Catherine said. Dave just gave her a nice ‘don’t mention it’ smile.
“Where are you off too for lunch,” Dave asked.
“Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking maybe Tavern on the Green. Care to join me?”
“I’d love to.”

Dave and Catherine took a cab to the resturant. Dave paid the cabbie and let Catherine in through the door. They got a nice little table that was parshley secluded from everyone else.

“I love this table. It’s the best one in the house,” Dave said.
“You got that right.” An awkward silence. Then the song ‘Light up my Life’ came on. Then Catherine started remembering when her and her best friend sang that at one of those dumb karaoke parties. Catherine was thinking ‘Oh my God, don’t cry in front of Dave, don’t cry in front of Dave’ over and over again. Then she managed to let out ‘Oh my God’ very quietly.
“Excuse me,” Dave asked.
“I’m sorry, I was thinking of a memory that I had of this song.”
“Oh. It was a good one, I hope.”
“Well…yes and no.”
“What do you mean?”
“Um, well, me and my best friend sang this at a karaoke party and, um… she died not too long ago.”

Dave didn’t really know what to say now. How do you respond to something like that anyway?

“Oh Lord, Catherine, I’m sorry. I didn’t know-“
“Oh, Dave that’s quite all right. You don’t need to be sorry for anything.”

Catherine changed the subject and her and Dave lead on a nice conversation.

“…yeah, like today, I fell asleep while I was typing up some papers.
Then Joe had to come and wake me up,” Dave said.
“Oh, why did you fall asleep?”
“I- I’ve just been thinking about stuff lately. I’ve been having this dream about someone lately and I wake up and think about it until it’s time for me to get ready for work.”
“Oh, what kind of a dream,” Catherine asked slyly.
“It’s not like a perverted dream or anything, it’s just someone who I kind of have a crush on. Actually, I’m… I’m in love with the person, but she just never seems to be interested,” Dave said sheepishly.
“Have you talked to the person about it?”
“No, I’d be too embarrassed.”
“That’s too bad. Any woman would be really lucky to have you.”

‘Oh my lord, I can’t believe I just said that to Dave!’ Catherine thought.

“Thanks,” Dave said as he blushed. ‘He is actually quite an attractive man’ Catherine thought. ‘What the hell was Lisa thinking letting Dave go like that?’
“Well, we should get back to the office,” Dave said.
“You’re right.”

Instead of getting a cab, Dave and Catherine walked back to the office. ‘Wow!’ Catherine thought. ‘He’s such a wonderful man. Should I ask him ou- no. He loves someone else, that would just confuse him.’

Catherine felt even sadder now, but of course, she didn’t show it to Dave. They got back to the office, and Catherine worked and finished all her things. So did Dave. The day was almost over.
“Man,” Dave thought, “I had the chance to tell her how I feel and I blew it! Oh well, maybe it’s best if I don’t tell her. Her friend just died, Joe’s falling for her all the time. He’d just get pissed at me and it would confuse things for Catherine. Man!” Dave got to work on his laptop.

After work, Catherine went to the bar downstairs and started drowning her sorrows in vodka and tequila.

“I’m just so lonely and I can not talk to anyone about this thing. I mean, could you even THINK about me committing to something,” Catherine kept rambling on and on to the bartender. The bartender was getting really annoyed and was getting ready to close up anyway. He knew that she wasn’t drunk, but it wasn’t safe for her to be going to her house alone when she’s so vulnerable. He knew she didn’t come with anybody, but luckily he knew where she worked because she’s been coming down there a lot lately and complaining to the poor guy. He called up at the station. Dave was hugging Catherine and telling her everything was going to be all right. Then she looked up at him. “You’ve rescued me,” she whispered. She went up to kiss him. Then a really irritating ringing came. Dave woke up to hear the phone ringing in his office.

“Hello?” The bartender explained everything to him and Dave went downstairs to go get Catherine.
“Hey, Cath,” Dave said.
“Hey, Dave. What are you doing here? They're about to close up.”
“The bartender called me and told me that you were down here. He said it probably wasn’t a good idea for you to be going home by yourself.”
“Hmph! Whatever!” Dave and Catherine took a cab to her apartment.
“Dave,” Catherine said, “Would you walk me up? I’m always kind of afraid to go up by myself.”
“Sure,” Dave said, trying to fight himself from jumping up and down in glee. As Dave walked her up stairs, Catherine kept apologizing about him coming to get her.

“It’s no big deal, really,” Dave kept saying over and over. When Catherine opened the door, she ran in and sat on the couch and cradled her head in her hands.
“God, I can’t do it anymore, Dave! I can’t keep pretending that everything is all right!” Then Catherine started crying. Dave rushed over and sat next to Catherine.
“I know, it’s your friend. But she wouldn’t want you mourn over her, Cath.”
“I know, but it’s just that I’m so lonely, and I need someone to talk about it with, too!”
“You can always talk to me, you know.” Catherine started to cry even harder.
“Why are you being so nice to me,” Catherine asked.
“Because…well, I have feelings for you, Catherine,” Dave said, “You’re the one that I’ve been having dreams about, and I just can’t keep it inside anymore. I love you!” Then Dave started to break down.

“Please, just hold me, Dave,” Catherine said. And as she looked up at him, she stared deep into his eyes and realized how much she was in love with him.

“You rescued me, you know.” Catherine whispered. Dave didn’t say anything. He just gazed deep into her eyes and whispered “I love you, Catherine.”
“I love you, too.”

Catherine went up and kissed him. Then Dave kissed her back, at first it was soft and gentle, but then it became hard and wildly passionate. They started undoing each other’s clothes, and it lead to Catherine with her blouse and skirt on the floor and all of Dave’s clothing thrown across the room. Then Catherine lead Dave into her room and at first they were both really shy, but then Dave undid her bra and just caressed her and then they both became very aroused and Catherine took off her own panties and Dave proceeded to make love to her like he never had the guts to try with Lisa or no other. It was slow at first, then faster and faster and at the end, Catherine ended up in Dave’s arms dreaming about Dave. And Dave finally got some shut eye.


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