Look. Don't Touch.
I follow the chief surgeon’s swaying backside down the endless corridor to her office. The click of her heels on the concrete tile sends a message to my pelvis. I stuff my hands in my pockets to keep it from moving to her rhythm.
Salsa classes. My wife guilted me into them. She thought it would spice up our marriage. All it did was give me a reason to get turned on when she isn’t around. Like I need another one.
We’ve been walking forever, but I’m not exactly hating the commute. I’ve never seen so many beautiful women in one place. Nurses, doctors, orderlies, lab technicians. All of them women. All of them stunning. Almost … too stunning. Having a real hard time remembering why I’m here.
You can look. Just don’t touch.
Right. My wife.
“You haven’t asked how the procedure went,” Doc says cooly, without turning around.
“Oh, yeah.” I jog a few steps to catch up and am hit with a waft of something floral and familiar, but I can’t place it. I take a deep breath through my mouth and wink at a raven-haired nurse as she passes us. She doesn’t look up. None of them do. The clicking of Nursie’s heels grooves in jazzy syncopation with Doc’s and I clench my fists inside my pockets. “How’d it go?”
Her long silence gets me thinking. Not worrying so much.
She stops beside a standard looking door. No name on the glass. No title.
“Right this way, Mr. Greyson.” She opens the door and I’m socked in the senses with that same scent. Flowery. Peppery. Pungent. What is it?
Her office is disappointing. I don’t know what I was expecting. I mean, with all the gorgeous women around, maybe I thought it would feel like a spa. All throw pillows and fountains and lavender incense.
Lavender! That’s what it is. Lavender and … something else.
She slides behind her oversized desk, adorned with nothing but a small glass bottle filled with clear liquid and an open ledger. One pencil, sharpened to a fresh point, lies in the center crease.
“Have a seat,” she says.
She sits as I do, and I watch her fold her hands together and rest them on the pages of the ledger.
My stomach clenches. She’s still wearing her surgical gloves, a detail I missed while eying her perfectly round ass in the hallway, and there’s blood on them. Blood I can safely assume is my wife’s.
She senses my discomfort and removes the gloves, tossing them into some unseen receptable behind her desk and revealing her slender fingers, too pristine for someone who must wash her hands sixty times a day with antibacterial soap.
I don’t see a ring.
With my wife’s mood killing blood out of the picture, and Doc’s derriere no longer visible, I finally decide to give her face a gander.
Damn, she’s beautiful. Too beautiful. And young. She can’t be more than twenty-five. Can someone even be a surgeon at twenty-five? Her hair is brownish, pulled tight into a bun, and her eyes … unless I’m hallucinating, they’re … purple. Not blue. Not violet. Purple.
Like … grape Kool-Aid purple.
She smiles right to the corners of those purple eyes and my pulse kicks up.
Look. Don’t touch. Look. Don’t touch.
It’s the one rule my wife has for me. And I’ve followed it like a damn saint for fifteen years.
There was the time with my secretary at the office Christmas party where my tongue was in her mouth for a minute. But my hands were in my pockets the whole time so, not exactly touching.
And once, I rubbed my dick on my buddy’s wife while showing her how to make a chip shot from behind. But again, no hands. They were on the club shaft, from start to finish.
And there’s already a no touching rule at the two gentleman’s clubs I go to on my lunch hour. That rule only applies to the customer, but still.
Her smile fades. She picks up the sharpened pencil from the ledger.
“I want to thank you for choosing our facility for your wife’s care.”
“Oh,” I say, shifting in my chair. The sound of clicking heels outside the door threatens to move my hips again. “I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else.”
I couldn’t have gone anywhere else. Not for what I wanted.
This place is off the grid for a reason. And the only reason I know about it is because my buddy whose wife I rubbed myself off on gave me a tip. That was before he found out I rubbed myself off on his wife, but still. I haven’t seen or heard from him since she had her surgery. He’s probably still pissed at me. Guys are funny like that.
Thing is, you can’t just call up any old hospital and request a surgery to have the chip removed from your wife’s shoulder or the stick taken out of her ass. You’ll get laughed at. And no doctor in their right mind would even consider performing surgery on a woman who’s been drugged and brought in against her will by her husband. I mean, that just seems shady.
But I know this is for the best. It’s what my wife would want.
I love you. And I’ll do anything to save our marriage.
Well, technically my secretary’s words during our weekly “save our marriage” role play in the copy room, but still.
“The extractions you requested were a complete success, though we weren’t expecting to have to dig so deep in either case.”
I chuckle. She doesn’t.
She sets the pencil down delicately and reaches for the underside of the desk. The rhythmic clicking of four heels in the corridor grows louder and more infectious the closer it gets. My hips pulse once, and I grit my teeth to slow the progress of blood to my lower half.
The door opens and two knockouts breeze through. One red haired, one blond. Both gorgeous. Too gorgeous. I wipe a bead of sweat from my temple and force my eyes to stay above their shoulders.
Red sets a silver tray containing a clean pair of gloves on Doc’s desk. Goldilocks leaves behind a wooden box. She turns to me and smiles. They both do.
My blood stops cold.
Four purple eyes. Too purple.
“I’d like to see my wife.” My voice cracks. I ignore the swaying backsides leaving the room.
“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” Doc says sweetly, her eye-level smile returning.
I grip the arm of the chair to steady myself as she pulls the glass bottle on the desk toward her. She lifts the stopper, places her index finger over the opening and rolls the bottle upside down, dispensing a small amount of the liquid onto her fingertip. She sets the bottle back and raises her finger to her jawline.
My skin prickles as she turns her head to the side and slides her fingertips along a thin, but very obvious scar, from her earlobe to her chin.
I choke on the thickening stench of lavender and … something else. What is it? Dead frogs. No. Yes. From biology class. Dead frogs soaked in … formaldehyde.
Sweat drips from my forehead, down into my eyes, but I don’t wipe it away. I can’t. I can’t move my arms, or my legs. I’m paralyzed from the neck down.
“With regard to the other problem….” she says, touching the wooden box briefly and then picking up the sharpened pencil. “Your wife’s … frigidity.”
Okay, yes, I told them I wasn’t getting enough from my wife, and I wanted that fixed. It’s been a really long time. But I did my part! I salsa danced, I only do mouth stuff with my secretary, and I cut down to one strip club during my lunch hour. I’m making sacrifices, damnit, and she said she’d do anything to save our marriage!
OKAY, she never said that! My secretary did, but STILL!
“We were able to find the source of the problem.”
I open my mouth to say, “that’s great,” but no sound comes out.
She makes a series of scribbles on a blank line in the ledger, followed by what my glazed over eyes see as a very deliberate check mark.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to remove it surgically.”
Okay then, drugs, therapy, shock treatments, whatever it takes.
“You see, Mr. Greyson, our primary goal here is to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of our patients’ wellbeing and quality of life. When those obstacles are self-inflicted, for instance in the case of the chip on your wife’s shoulder, the removal is simple. We just cut it out.”
She picks up the surgical gloves and slides them noiselessly over her too perfect hands. My lungs seize and my bladder threatens to release. My brain sends a message to my pelvis. Hold the line.
“But when the wounds are suffered unwittingly, for instance…” she opens the box with her gloved hands, the contents concealed by the lid, “when a thorn is thrust into the patient’s side. Well, in those cases, we can’t simply cut out the thorn, Mr. Greyson.”
I gag over a mass of sour mucous in my throat. “You can’t?” I croak.
She smiles to the corners of her purple eyes. “No. In a case like that, it’s not enough to remove the thorn. Because the thorn will come back, again and again and again. Unless….”
She reaches in the box and pulls out a revolver. A blast of hot piss hits my thigh.
“We stop the thrust.”
The bullet shatters my larynx before my scream can escape. Not that anyone would hear it over the thundering of heels, pounding cement tile, growing louder and louder as my lungs fill with blood.
More purple eyes … more obvious scars …
too much beautiful …
dead frogs … lavender …
perfect hands …
You can look, just don’t touch, I tell them.
Okay … I don’t tell them that …
my wife does …
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