Erotic fiction time! And since you all seemed to like the character of Anna Triplett, who I introduced in The Catalyst, I figured bringing her back regularly for her own series of adventures would be the only right thing to do. Besides… I kinda like writing about her.
So, here’s (sort of) part two of… well, we’ll see if this does end up becoming a series. No full sex in this one, but plenty of references. And you get to meet one Ricky Lawson, junior doctor and trainee in emergency medicine…
… And Then There’s Ricky Lawson
The sun’s hesitant as it filters through a haze of fog, illuminating the staff room at work. It’s morning, it’s quiet and I’m sitting at a table trying to work my way through a leaning tower of case files from the past week. The stack of orange foolscap folders doesn’t seem to be depleting – on the contrary. It’s like whenever I finish off one, six more will come to attend its funeral.
He says it before the door’s even had time to swing shut. At first I just see a whoosh of white uniform, speeding towards the source of life that is the staff room’s rickety coffee maker. I’m not even sure he’s seen me – for all I know he may have just announced that he was having coffee for no other reason than to assert it to himself.
“Anna? Two sugars, splash of milk?”
Not this time though, apparently. I have been seen. And I don’t know if it’s a sign of it having been a long night but I’m mildly impressed by the fact that Ricky remembers how I take my coffee. Considering we’re like passing ships in the night when it comes to shifts, it’s no mean feat.
“Spot on. Long night?”
“I’m doing my rotation on A&E. Wilson and his hyper-speed, non-stop chattering. Swear to God, the only way I’ll make it through the last of it is with paracetamol on tap. Can I sit here?”
I gesture to the empty seat in front of me, and Ricky hands me my cuppa. “Yeah, Wilson’s… intense, for lack of a better word. Like a PowerPoint presentation where you’ve just got giant blocks of text and your hand is cramping up just from taking notes.”
“Like his own PowerPoint presentations then? Because he’s fucking fond of those, let me tell you. Last week, he sat us all down and tried to explain… well, I’ve forgotten but he mentioned something about animal mating rituals.”
“Right. Because that totally makes sense in the context of an A&E rotation. And here we have the common urban fox, whose apocalyptically shrill mating cry is very reminiscent of the desperation junior doctors experience during their first stint on A&E over Christmas.”
Ricky laughs, a kind of shoulder-shaking, full-bodied laughter that’s really not done at 9 in the morning because it’s making me the kind of warm that I’m just a bit too tired for. The kind of warm that makes me think of the hours I spent vigorously fucking Mark The Artist. I shift in my seat, partly to dull the sudden ache in my cunt, and partly because my back’s really bloody hurting.
Mark The Artist was two weeks ago, and I have yet to stop thinking about it. I’ve written pages and pages about it in my diary, trying to make sense of… well, everything that happened in the past eight months. Everything that lead me to this feeling of something being set in motion. But what the hell was being set in motion? And what was I supposed to do to help it… well, stay in motion?
Sometimes my sex life felt like a piece of knitting with a dropped stitch that I couldn’t find. No matter how hard I chased it with my crochet hook, it just wouldn’t reveal itself to me. At the thought of that baffling analogy, I winced and suddenly felt very much like I could fall asleep on top of this pile of case work.
“Yeah. Well… yeah, and no, I guess? Just tired. And my back’s killing me.”
“When do you finish your shift? It’s 9.15 now.”
“At ten. I’m probably going straight home and to bed. And from the looks of it, with these case reports as my bed time reading of choice.”
“I’m off right now technically, but if you want I could help you with these. As long as they’re not Wilson’s case reports because they all look like they’ve been written by a cockerel with a broken claw.”
“They’re from Dr. Roberts, so that’s at least a bit more legible. And thank you.”
He nods, and grabs a pile of files for himself. As we potter on, he’s quiet apart from the occasional moments where he points something out to me, or quietly giggles to himself about whatever’s amusing him. Ricky Lawson started working as a junior doctor here at the same time as I did, a few months before… well, the thing happened. We sort of get along well, in that way where you can’t actually gauge a relationship on any other level because you spend only tiny amounts of time actually talking to each other. But in those tiny amounts of time, I always feel like we could be good mates. I mean, we seem to have quite a few things in common and we’re the same age. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that we could be good mates because… because I don’t know, actually.
What I know about Ricky is information gained for at least 75% through the other junior doctors and nurses. And it’s the most random information I get from them as well. For example, I know that he’s single and that he moved to London from the North. I also know that he doesn’t like the smell of Lynx deodorant (“any of them, really”) and is apparently, as one of the guys put it, “hung like a champion stallion”. This was quickly followed by – “Well, at least I think he is… keep in mind that I was absolutely off my tits on vodka slammers at that moment and thought the coat rack was my mum’s cat.”
Ricky Lawson, hung like a champion stallion. The thought of it makes me blush hot red. And, again, I find myself shifting in my seat because just even contemplating what it would be like to corner Ricky and fuck him like an unchained beast is too much to take for one morning. I make a mental note: get home, take cold shower. Twice.
Eventually, the Foolscap Folder Pile of Doom depletes to zero and as I stand to pick up the files two things happen in such rapid succession that it truly takes my breath away.
One: my back decides it ain’t wanna play anymore and actually gives out, so much so that I have to cling to the table to stop myself from falling.
Two: Ricky sweeps around and grabs onto me with such an agility that it renders me both completely speechless and utterly, utterly damp in the knickers. My mouth forms a still O as I look into his eyes – and I swear I’d never noticed that they’re so vividly blue – and it’s only when I notice the concern, coupled with him asking me if I’m okay that I remember that my back really fucking hurts.
“Okay, I’m going to hold on to you and we’re going to walk to my car. I’m going to help you get home, alright?”
I can but nod. It’s the only thing that doesn’t hurt.
Two hours later, and I’m laid up in bed, feeling drowsy but thankful for painkillers and soft pillows. Ricky’s sitting on the edge of the bed, and his face is starting to blur from the strength of the painkillers. I squint to make out his features – he’s close by but he just looks like a gently concerned smudge in the distance.
“I hesitate to ask but how are you feeling?”
“‘s Alright…” I say, my words sounding as smudgy as my vision looks. “I’ve felt worse. And better.”
“Middling will do for now. When are you back due at the hospital?”
“On call today and tomorrow. Back Thursday.”
“Yeah, that’s not happening. I’ll tell the supervisor what’s happened. You need a couple of days rest at least. Take care of yourself, Anna.”
I can’t pinpoint what it is – it’s probably a combination of the medication and the fact that I’ve not slept for a while – but the way he says it… just the way he tells me to take care of myself, with a concern that he really doesn’t need to show considering he doesn’t know me all too well makes me well up with grief and memories.
“‘s Okay. ‘s Nothing.”
I shake my head to underline how nothing it is – I know I’m lying to myself and to him but I’m too close to sleep to tell him about old ghosts. He gives me a paper hankie from the box next to my bed and I blurble a thank you.
“It’s nothing. Docs caring for docs, and that. I’m going to let you sleep now, okay?”
And then he presses a kiss to my forehead and stands up and I say something along the lines of please don’t leave me alone.
“I was going to your kitchen to make a cup of tea if that’s okay. Not leaving. Call me when you need me. Now sleep.”
And eventually, I do. For what feels like years. In my dreams, the last eight months never happened and I almost, almost dread the thought that I’ll have to let him go again. But you can’t live in dreams forever, can you now?