“I can’t make it disappear as quickly as you want,” the woman in the white coat said to her patient.   He sat shirtless on the examining table.  A slightly crumpled, blue paper sheet partially covered his muscular lower body.  The thigh of one of his legs was bared though it was his muscular chest the doctor was examining.   Her latex gloved fingers stretched his puckering skin above the nipple.  She continued saying, “It most likely will take more than ten treatments to remove it.  And, the rest of them…”

“Ten?  How much time?”  He demanded loudly above with the loud crackle from the white paper sheet he sat on.   He leaned back on his hands which caught on and pulled away the blue paper sheet allowing his dangling, athletic legs to become even more exposed.  The partially naked man did not feel vulnerable in front of this somewhat good-looking woman who had examined his body.  To him, her rubbery touch had felt sensuous across his legs, arms and lastly, chest.

She definitely wants me.  Wants a go at me, he thought.   Most women do.   This one will be a challenge, but worthwhile to chase.

“About 5 months.  Cost will be about….”

“Cost doesn’t matter to me,” he interrupted bragging.  “It’s just the time involved.  How will my chest look when it’s done?”

Unconsciously, before responding, she touched his chest again to delicately smooth out the ripples.

“There’s a great deal of deep scarring.  It’ll take a long while for it to smooth away after removal of the pigment.  Most likely, it won’t disappear completely.  But, with regular use of prescription creams, it will help reduce the prominence of the scars.”  She half-smiled at him in her attempt at better bedside manners with a patient.  She had been working at improving her relatability.   Becoming less of a cold, clinician was supposed to help grow her practice.

“What a mistake,” he said to her.  “I never should have gotten wasted at that party.   When that girl showed up with a tattoo inker, everyone said she was an artist.  But, it’s so crappy, I can’t take off my shirt in public.”  He thought,  I’ll bet she hears that a lot.   If I told her the real reason, she’d turn me in.

“Well, Mr. Adams,” she said as she straightened up from examining him.

“Call me Tom,” he insisted and grinned wide.  They can’t resist my grin.  She’ll want me after I flash my ‘come and get me’ smile.

Instinctively, she stepped back from him and thought,  He gives me the creeps.  But, most men do.  Something else I still have to work on.

“Uh, Tom,” she uttered uncomfortably.  “If you want to start the process, you can schedule an appointment with my assistant at the front desk.”   She reached over to the door knob and began to turn it.

“Say, Doc?”  He kept his bedroom-eyes gaze riveted on her face which she had turned toward him with attention.  She wants me for sure.  It’s written all over her face.  This one will be fun.

Page one excerpt from Road Noise Short Stories To Thrill and Chill  2016 © Belinda A. Allen

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