Chapter 42

Erica got herself ready for her date with Mark. She checked herself a few times to make sure everything was place. She glanced at her watch and saw it was nearly 7 o'clock. She headed downstairs and waited for him.

She cracked a smile at the thought of her first real date in two years. Maybe she was going to have a great time. She had to remind herself that this was only one date and they would go back to being friends.

She saw him approach and she greeted him. "Hi," she said.

"Hi. You look great," he said.

"Thank you. So do you," she replied.

He held out his arm for her to take. "Shall we go?"

She smirked and slid her arm through his. "We shall." They walked to his car. "Where are we going?" she asked.

"You told me to surprise to you?"

"True," she said. She got in and he drove them to a theater. Erica looked at the marquee and saw it was The Phantom of the Opera. She laughed softly. He was going all the way out. She turned to him. "Broadway huh?"

"I thought I'd do my best," he said.

She smirked. "I'm impressed already." He smiled before getting out of the car. He let her out and guided them into the theater lobby. They took their seats and waited.

Mark glanced over to Erica. "Have you seen this before?"

"Not on Broadway," she answered. The lights dim and the show began. Before Mark knew it, Erica was leaning closer to him and eventually rested her head on his shoulder.

He smirked. Maybe by the end of this date there would be another one. Intermission came and Erica went to the restroom. Her phone rang. "Hello," Erica said.

"Hi honey," Regina said.

"I was just checking on you."

Erica smiled. "I'm fine mom. Actually…I'm on a date."

She heard nothing but silence. Regina said, "That's great honey. Who is it?"

"Mark," she said.

"The doctor who I spoke with. How long have you two been together?"

Erica said, "It's just one date."

Regina rolled her eyes. "Where did he take you?"

"We're at a Broadway musical," she replied.

Regina shook her head at her daughter's naiveté. She had a feeling she would be seeing more of Mark. "Alright sweetheart, have a good night. Love you."

"Love you too," Erica said.

She headed to her seat and sat down. "Having a good time?" Mark asked.

"Yes but I'll give you my report at the end of the night," she joked.

He laughed softly. "I hope I've made the grade so far."

"That's for me to decide," she said lightly. The lights dimmed again and they watched the rest of the show.

Afterwards, they went to dinner. "Nice restaurant. I've never been here before," Erica said. Mark had taken her to a Greek restaurant.

"They have great food and the service is wonderful," he replied.

"Is this the place where you take all your dates?"

"Why Ms. Richards, what are you implying?" he asked lightheartedly.

"Nothing at all Mr. Chambers. I just want to know how many girls you've brought here."

"Just one and that's the girl who is sitting in front of me tonight," he said.

She smirked. "Nice to know." The waiter came and they ordered.

They ate in silence for a while. "How is work going?" asked Erica.

"Fine. Just the day to day really."

"You charging outrageous prices for care," she joked.

"I'm not that bad," he said. "What about your job?"

"I'm about to try a case in a week," she said.

He nodded. "Has that cop been snooping around lately?" he asked.

He saw her eyes darkened. "Yes but I really don't want to talk about that right now." He nodded in understanding.

"Sorry for bringing her up."

She waved her hand dismissively. "You're concerned. I appreciate it. Really, talking about her is not important."

"Before I drop the subject, will you keep me updated?" Mark asked. She politely smiled. She couldn't tell him anything.

"I'll do my best."

She could see the disappointment in his eyes. "It's not that I don't trust you. It's just I like to handle this without getting too many people involved."

"I understand but maybe I can help," Mark replied.

She placed a hand over his. "That's sweet. I'm sure this thing will die down soon."

He took that last statement as a way for him not to touch the subject again. "Alright," he said. She breathed a sigh relief. The rest of the dinner went smoothly.

He dropped her off in front of the building. "You did good Mr. Chambers," she said.

"Thank you Ms. Richards. Does that mean I get a second date?"

She wanted to say no but the look in his eyes was hopeful. She hoped she wasn't going to regret this. "Possibly."

He smiled. He leaned in and kissed her gently. Her heart raced as she responded. He pulled back. "Good night Erica."

"Good night Mark," she said. She watched him go neither of them knowing they were being photographed.