The Surgeon, continued...

Joel must have looked over his apartment a hundred times before Ann arrived. It was a relatively large apartment, considering it had only one bedroom and one bath. The furnishing was sparse, since Joel had no idea how to decorate an apartment and figured the uncluttered look was best and left room for him to navigate his wheelchair through the apartment. He knew the highlight of the apartment was the spectacular view of the city, which was the reason he had leased the place to begin with.

Ann arrived at eight o’clock, promptly at the time they had agreed upon. As he waited for her to travel up in the elevator, he felt twinges of anxiety. What am I doing? This is a huge mistake.

He wondered if he was doing this because of Kyra. Their meeting tomorrow would be another reminder of how far away he was from where he had wanted to be at this point in his life. He felt sick at the thought of it. Being with Ann… it would make him feel like less of a loser who couldn’t even get a girl.

The first thing Joel thought when he opened the door for Ann was that she looked really sexy. Much too sexy to be here with him. She always looked attractive, but now she was in casual clothes: a tight blouse that revealed just a hint of her belly button and a skirt that grazed the top of her knees. She wore sandals on her feet and her toenails were painted bright red. She usually wore no make-up at the hospital, but now she had just a hint of blue glitter on her eyelids and black mascara. Her straight black hair, tossed by the wind, hung loose around her face.

She looked very sexy, but more than that, despite her efforts to the contrary, she looked young. Too young. She was his student, for christ’s sake. This was so unlike him; he couldn’t believe he was even contemplating something like this. Yet he felt intensely excited by the idea that she was here because she was interested in him, that very soon, he’d have her soft, warm body in his arms.

Ann crossed her legs and leaned forward a bit. “Can I come in?” she asked.

“Oh sure,” Joel said quickly. He backed up his chair to give her room to enter. “So… uh, this is where I live.”

Ann stepped into the apartment, bobbing her head in approval. “Nice pad. Great view.”

“Thanks.” Joel noticed he had sweat lining the palms of his hands and wiped them on his slacks. “Do you… want a drink? Wine?”

“Uh, sure,” Ann agreed.

Joel went into the kitchen and poured them each glasses of wine. The counters were lowered so that he could reach everything and all the cabinets were below the sink.

“This apartment would be perfect for someone like me,” Ann observed. “Since I’m so short.”

Joel judged Ann’s height to be around five feet. “You’ve still got over half a foot on me.”

“How tall are you standing?” she asked.

“I can’t stand.” He had thought that fact was obvious. He had been on his feet only a handful of times since his accident, always with the aid of straps going up his entire body. Even with the support, it was very hard for him to stand up straight and he always felt extremely precarious and somewhat silly.

Ann blushed slightly. “I mean, before…”

“I was five foot eleven,” he told her, although he guessed that his height would be slightly lower now, due to collapse of his weakened vertebrae. Even so, if he could have stood, he would have been quite a bit taller than she was.

Ann picked up her wine and Joel suggested they sit on the couch. He balanced his own glass of wine between his legs as he wheeled himself toward the couch. At least my legs are good for something, he thought. He placed his glass on the coffee table and unstrapped the belt across his waist in order to transfer to the couch. Once the belt was off, he started slumping in his chair right away. He grabbed onto the couch and hoisted himself onto the cushions in one swift motion. His legs became slightly twisted in the transfer and he straightened them with his hands, making sure both feet were pointing forward. “Sorry,” he said, blushing slightly.

“It’s okay,” Ann said, crossing her legs as she sat down next to him.

The couch was tilted back slightly so that he didn’t slide down as easily when he was sitting on it, but he still kept one of his hands against the seat of the couch to support himself. When he looked down, he could see how much his gut was jutting out, straining against the buttons on his shirt. It was disgusting. He hoped Ann didn’t notice, but he didn’t see how she could have missed it. After seeing his chest and watching him transfer, he was amazed that she still seemed interested in him. He wondered if she was beginning to have second thoughts about this.

Ann had her hands pressed into her lap and was smiling at him expectantly. Joel suddenly realized this was the first time he had a “date” up to his apartment before. I’m pathetic, he thought. He thought back to his first date ever, back when he was 17 years old. He had taken Sharon Field to the movies and had been waiting for just the right moment to put his arm around her. He had never worked up the nerve to do it, nor had he ever worked up the nerve to kiss her. Sharon was the one who had made the first move, later that night at her doorstep. Just the way Kyra had made the first move.

Grow some balls, Dergan. You’re already violating your morals… you may as well kiss the girl. She let you do it the first time.

Joel swallowed and leaned towards her, “Uh… is it all right if I kiss you now?” Ugh, that was smooth.

Ann nodded. He pressed his lips against hers, all the while keeping one palm against the couch to keep himself from slipping down. It was nearly impossible to keep his balance this way and he found himself sliding into a lying down position. Ann continued to kiss him, but he had to break away. “Hang on,” he said, as he lifted his legs one at a time onto the couch. Once he was comfortable, they continued to make out.

“Joel…” she murmured. He realized with some regret that he sort of liked it better when she called him Dr. Dergan. She pulled away from him and looked at him with her big blue eyes. “What was it like operating on a human body?”

She reached over and toyed with his light brown hair as he considered his answer. “It’s hard to describe,” he said. “In medicine, I feel like I’m just throwing drugs at people and hoping it works. In surgery, I felt like I had absolute control over what was going on. Something was wrong, I’d go in and I’d fix it. It felt good.”

“I heard you were a great surgeon,” she said.

“Who told you that?”

“Dr. Howard,” she replied.

“Yeah?” He wondered who Doug Howard had talked to who would have said something like that. “I was only a surgery resident. I was never boarded in surgery.”

He hoped Ann didn’t ask any more questions. It hurt to talk about how close he had been to living his dream. He was relieved when she started unbuttoning his shirt and kissing his chest. He couldn’t feel her lips on him, but he enjoyed watching her do it.

As she came back up to kiss him on the mouth again, he knew she was eventually going to go down his pants. After all, this wasn’t exactly a date—this was an affair. She was obviously here for sex. No matter what her motives were, that much was clear.

Her shirt had a zipper going down the front of it. “I wore this special for you,” she told him. “No buttons.” He knew she meant to be cute, but it upset him that she had to wear special clothes just so that he’d be able to undress her. He didn’t dwell on it though, as he pulled down her zipper to reveal perfect breasts and no bra.

Joel tried his best to relax when she saw her fingers struggling with the button on his pants. This is going to be okay. Just let it happen. She unzipped his fly and her hand disappeared into his boxers. He had catheterized his bladder just before she had come and he prayed that his urethral sphincter wouldn’t betray him tonight. If he had an accident in front of Ann, he’d never live it down.

“You’re getting hard,” she whispered. “Can you feel it?”

“Sort of,” he replied. He couldn’t feel her touch, but he knew he was hard. Thank you, Levitra.

She pulled down his pants and boxers and now he could see his erection. He was initially pleased, but as Ann pulled off her skirt, his excitement quickly deflated. Shit! He flashed Ann an apologetic look.

“It’s okay,” she said. “It’s a reflex erection, right?”

Has she been reading about SCI? He felt slightly comforted that this wasn’t a surprise to her, but he also wondered what else she knew. Did she know what he went through every day to take care of his toileting? He didn’t like that idea.

Joel reached out his hand to take Ann’s arm. “Listen,” he said. “Are… are you sure you want to do this?”


Ann had never felt so turned on as she was at this moment. Joel was by far the sexiest man she had ever met. He was so assertive in the hospital, but in his home he was nervous and awkward. Yet somehow that contrast made him all the more attractive. She loved it when he asked permission just to kiss her, even though he never asked permission in the hospital before he went ahead and did anything he wanted on a patient.

She could see the fear and uncertainty in his eyes. He was lying on his couch, his shirt unbuttoned to expose his soft belly. His pants down around his knees with his penis exposed although still unexcited. He propped himself up on his elbows. “Ann?”

She was sure she wanted to do this, but she saw his own doubt. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Joel lowered his light brown eyes. For the first time, Ann noticed a few strands of gray laced into his tousled brown hair. “I… I don’t know.” He took a deep breath. “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.”

Ann wanted to cry. She had been afraid this is what he was thinking. “Why?”

“I’m your attending.” He shook his head. “It’s just… wrong. It would be irresponsible of me to allow this to happen.” He paused. “Wouldn’t it?”

She bit her lip, trying to push away the self-doubts that had plagued her through her entire life. “Do… do you think I’m attractive?”

Joel frowned. “Of course I do.” He touched her chin with the back of his hand. “God, yes. You have no idea…”

Ann ran her hand lightly over his chest, marveling at the way the muscles faded below his nipples. He sighed as she began kneading the tight muscles of his shoulders. She didn’t think he really wanted her to leave… she believed him that he wanted her as much as she wanted him. “We don’t have to have sex,” she said. “We could keep things above the waist if you want.”

Joel looked extremely relieved by her suggestion. “Is… is that okay?”

“Definitely,” she said. She didn’t want to let on that she was just as relieved as he was. As attracted as she was to Joel, sex was no small thing to her and she didn’t mind putting it off a little longer.

Ann watched as Joel wasted no time grabbing at his pants and struggling to get them back up. She left her own skirt off but kept her panties on. She ran her tongue up his neck as he moaned and squirmed. She felt his hands going up her back, staying respectfully above her waistline.

Her lips on his neck and nipples seemed to drive him crazy. She had often toyed with the image of what Joel would look like when he was being pleasured, so it gave her a big thrill to see the way his eyes widened and a sweat broke out on his forehead. She felt his palms digging into her back. “Ann…” he breathed.

She heard his breaths coming faster and faster. She continued to lick his neck and upper chest, even as his skin became slick with sweat. Finally, he gasped and pulled her tightly to his chest. She could feel his heart pounding.

“Did you come?” she whispered.

He wiped moisture from his brow with the back of his hand. “Well, sort of… I mean, closest I can get these days, yes.” He smiled at her. “Thank you. That’s the best orgasm I’ve had in… well, maybe since I got injured.”

Yet another clue that Joel hadn’t been sexually active since his injury. Ann cuddled up next to him as he grazed her breast with the back of his hand. “Now what can I do for you, Miss Lowell?”

Ann glanced at the clock on his wall and saw that it was past ten. She had to be at the hospital at 6:30AM to pre-round on her patients. “Actually, I should go,” she said. “It’s really late.”

“You can have tomorrow off,” Joel said quickly.

The offer bothered Ann. She didn’t want any kind of special treatment. “Don’t you care about my learning?”

Joel frowned. “Okay, go home then.”

Ann got off the couch and began getting dressed. Joel sat up and once again, started struggling with his buttons. He could still do a lot with his hands, but fine detail escaped him. It was why he could never be a surgeon again. Ann pushed his hands away and did up his buttons for him.

When she finished with his last button, she couldn’t help but notice that he was staring off into space with a troubled expression on his face. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Ann, I’m your teacher,” he said, his voice breaking slightly. “I just completely violated…” He took a deep breath. “I can’t…”

She frowned. “What?”

“I’m worried I invited you here for the wrong reasons,” he said. “I mean, you don’t really like me. You just… you felt like you had to do this because I’m your attending.”

“That’s absolutely not true.” But Ann could see in his eyes that he honestly believed this and she didn’t think she could convince him otherwise.

“I think maybe we should… take some time,” Joel said. “Think about what we’re doing. I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret, Ann.” He looked to her for confirmation.

There wasn’t much Ann could say to that, although inside she was crushed. But she couldn’t unilaterally continue the affair if Joel didn’t want it. She knew that no matter how prepared she was during rounds or how many right answers she gave, he’d never be able to think of her as anything more than “the little medical student” and therefore never really respect her.

She wished she could be the sort of woman that Joel Dergan could fall in love with.

To be continued...