“It’s not my fault you don’t know the signs of men and UTI or”—she leans into me—“that you don’t know about anal sex.”
I push into her. “Make no mistake, I’m fully aware of the ass.” Her breath hitches. “In fact”—I twirl her hair around my finger—“I seem to remember turning a certain ass so red, I’m surprised she was able to sit the next day.” I press her into the wall. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing because I never even kissed Bethany in the office. But something bigger is pulling me. With her looking in my eyes, her chest rising and falling, I frame her head with my hands. My head just has to dip to taste her lips—they’re right there. I can feel her breath on my lips, and I’m that much closer to having her lips on mine. Her breath hitches, and then my phone rings. We both snap back, the spell broken.
“I have to …” she says softly, walking out of the room. Looking down at the phone in my hand, I see it’s Bethany, so I send it straight to voicemail and then block her number.
“Fuck,” I say, rubbing my hands into my hair. “That can’t happen again,” I vow to myself.
I walk out of the room and head straight to the bathroom with my head down. Closing the door behind me, I fall back on it, letting out the breath I’d been holding since he pushed me against the wall. Since he came so close to me I could smell his aftershave, so close I could almost taste him. One move, it would have taken one inch for my lips to touch his.
Walking to the sink, I turn on the cold water, never looking up. If I look up, I’ll probably see my cheeks pink from the heat that spread through me the minute he mentioned smacking my ass. I shake my head, trying to push the memories of that night away. Except I can’t. It lingers there, replaying every single time he moves next to me. Every time I see his hands, I remember the fingerprint marks he left on my thigh. I cup my hands to fill it with water and splash it on my face—one, two, three times.
This time, I look at myself in the mirror, and the pink hasn’t gone away. Turning back, I grab a brown paper towel to wipe my face. “Get it together,” I whisper to myself, tossing the paper into the trash can.
Opening the door, I come face to face with Emma. “Are you okay?” she asks, and I nod. “Good. Dr. Gabe. is looking for you.”
“Thanks,” I say, going to the board to see what room he’s in. My hand wraps around the door handle, and I take a huge breath. Opening the door, I see him on the stool with a little girl on the table, sitting on her mother’s lap.
“This is my nurse, Crystal,” he tells them while he looks in the little girl’s ears. Her pigtails, perfect ringlets, her blue eyes crystal blue. She gives me a gummy smile.
“Hello.” I smile at the baby and then at the mother who looks like she hasn’t slept in three nights. “Aren’t you the cutest?”
“Oh, she is, except when she decides she is going to sleep most of the day and party at night.” She leans down to kiss her head.
“One ear looks a little red,” Gabe says right when the little girl pulls at her ear. “Has she run a fever of any kind?”
The mother shakes her head. “Nothing. She is perfect except for the not sleeping through the night.”
I grab the file and open it to see that she is about seven months old.
“She could also be teething.” I look down. “Sometimes when these little angels start teething, they like to pull on their ears.”
“Really?” the mother asks, and Gabe looks over with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, it’s pretty common with teething. Besides, she must have drooled right through that bib around her neck.”
The little girl claps her hands, saying, “Dada, dada, dada.”
“I’m going to hold off giving her anything for the next couple of days, but I want to see you in two days to make sure the ear isn’t pinker.” He smiles at the little girl, and my heart drops and sinks. I picture him with babies of his own, and it’s too much.
So I do what I do best; I disconnect myself. I watch from afar as he says goodbye to the mother, and when he rubs the little girl’s cheek, I turn away. I smile and wave at them when they walk out, and once they are gone, I open the door faster than my heart is beating.
“You okay?” he asks with his hand on my lower back.