Looking back over the last two months, I could only wonder how I came to be standing over his body holding a can of gasoline and a book of matches.
This wasn’t me, wasn’t the path my life was supposed to go down, and yet here I was—entangled with a man who would never be mine, and staring into the face of what was surely a class-A felony.
Love makes you do crazy, irrational things. And yet, even knowing where we’d end up, I doubted I would have had the strength to stop myself from falling for him. There was just something about him that called to me. Something magnetic and primal.
Looking down at his still form, I yearned for him even now. I sure as hell picked a weird moment to decide I loved him.
The powerful stench of gasoline hit my nostrils, pulling me from my daydream. It was time to move.
The heart was a strange and amazing muscle. You couldn’t live or love without it, but most people didn’t think about it often. Didn’t think about the steady, faithful organ that beat one hundred thousand times a day. Most people probably didn’t know that a woman’s heartbeat was faster than a man’s by about eight beats per minute, or that its four chambers pumped blood to every cell in the body except for the corneas.
Yet it could be a pesky little nuisance at times. Making us feel things we didn’t want to, say and do things we’d never planned on. And lately, it was the source of all my problems. But at this exact moment, the heart wasn’t what I was concerned with. It was a body part further south, much further south.
I liked vaginas. I really did. But staring into the mouth of one old enough to belong to my grandmother wasn’t my idea of an exciting evening. No fucking thank you.
“Everything looks good, Mrs. Thurston.” Snapping off my latex gloves, I rose to my feet, threw them in the trash, then helped her into a sitting position on the exam table.
She adjusted her bifocals and offered me a coy smile. “Thank you for making that so pleasant. There should be a new rule that all gynecologists have to look like you.”
I chuckled. “Thank you. But I’m not a gynecologist. I’m a med student on my OB-GYN rotation.”
That ends tomorrow, thank God. I’ve been inside more vaginas these last four weeks than all four years of undergrad combined. And that’s saying something, believe me.
But this rotation would be the closest I’d get to any pussy for a good long while. I’d sworn a temporary ban three days ago, after my latest fling went psycho.
Her wild streak in bed had made her an excellent fuck-buddy, but apparently that extra dose of crazy ran deeper than I thought. She swore we were soul mates, yet I didn’t even know her last name or which sports teams she rooted for. I told her what we’d shared the past few weeks was fun, but that it was over.
Two days later, my place was broken into and nearly everything I owned was destroyed. Bleach was poured over my couch, bed, and clothes, and my laptop and TV smashed. She was currently in police custody, and I’d been crashing on a friend’s couch while I tried to figure out my next move. My landlord had decided I was too much trouble and served me an eviction notice. Working twelve-hour shifts didn’t exactly allow much time for house-hunting.
Dick, good dick, made women crazy. It turned women’s hearts into a frenzied mess, causing them to declare their undying love and latch on. I couldn’t continue to unleash that kind of chaos. I needed to buckle down and focus on my education and my future. I had to declare my specialty and apply for residencies for next year, and I was already pushing the deadline as it was. My mother and older sister were counting on me. They were what really mattered, not chasing women. It was a no-brainer. My nights inside the silky-warm perfection of a woman’s most tender place were done. Until I graduated and landed a job, anyway.
Mom and Allie had sacrificed too much. I’d worked too hard, winning scholarships and keeping my grades up. I couldn’t lose it all now . . . and I had the sinking feeling that that was exactly what might happen. My nose had spent too much time sniffing out pussy and not enough on the grindstone. Sure, thinking with my dick had been fun while it lasted, but it wasn’t worth losing everything. Now I had to buckle down, put my Ivy League education to good use, and hope it wasn’t already too late.
Yep . . . the new Cannon Roth was going to be levelheaded, in control, and most importantly: celibate. I’d just have to settle for swabbing the insides of seventy-year-olds like Mrs. Thurston with a giant Q-tip. Not nearly as satisfying, but it was about to become my way of life.
Sitting down on the stool across from my patient, I typed a few notes into the laptop. “If only all patients could be as easy as you, Mrs. Thurston.”
“Did you just call me easy?” She winked.
“I did have my hand up your skirt after barely a hello.” I grinned back at her.
The attending physician’s eyes widened but Mrs. Thurston merely laughed, a deep, throaty sound that made me grin.
“Thank you for that.” She reached one wrinkled, age-spotted hand toward me, and when I placed my hand in hers, she squeezed. “I haven’t had a doctor take the time to treat me like a regular person in a long time. You’ll make a great physician one day.”
I accepted her compliment with a smile. It wasn’t the first time I’d been told my bedside manner put people at ease. And if I couldn’t have fun with my patients, there was no way I’d survive the twelve-hour shifts and lack of sleep. It could be brutal sometimes.