Losers Can’t Be Choosers
Chapter 14 — “A pleasure to meet you, Dick.”
When Clarissa woke up from her trance, she was feeling quite energetic, with a tremendous desire to talk about everything and nothing as if she would not get another chance to do so. The frenzy was bizarre, perhaps somewhat inappropriate, yet she enjoyed it. While under its effects, there was no pain, no ill tidings, no stormy waves to rock her boat. It was great.
Despite the pleasure she was experiencing, reality sunk in faster than expected, the blissful ripples of her altered state of mind fading away. The mother’s intuition that something was amiss yet again spoke louder than any dreamy anticipation but this time there was nothing she could do except let the doctors tend to her wound and hope for the best. Having been under the knife only once over three decades ago, she had not yet discovered the general grogginess of a powerful anesthesia but she was about to. As she breathed in the syrupy scent, her eyes rolled backwards and she imagined she was dropping into hypnosis once more. She dreamt of latex catsuits the whole time.
Meanwhile, Angela sat inside a bathroom stall, door closed, shame as visible in her eyes as it was in her pants. Jonah was already on his way back to her place to remedy the situation but, until then, she too was forced to remain still. It wasn’t an ideal form of relaxation, yet it had to do. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and then exhaled, projecting her worries away.
“This horrible day will soon be over,” she muttered, repeating these seven words seven times in a row as if they were a mantra. When the first sequence was over, she repeated the process, each new breath making her more at ease. Perfect Zen was unattainable in a place dominated by acrid smells so she settled for fifty percent, the midway point between everything that could go wrong and all the beautiful things still waiting in store. “How I recovered some of my balance in a hospital bathroom would make a perfect title for a Psychology article,” she laughed.
As for Nicholas, he wasn’t laughing, though he wasn’t sad either. He remained in a pensive state, thinking about her and all the things he could have and should have said to get her attention, despite the awkward situation. A sensitive soul through and through—which was part of the reason he had chosen his line of work—his adventures with the opposite gender were few because his charms rarely hit the mark. Hitting on a woman while she was tending to her injured mother qualified as both dumb and inappropriate and yet he couldn’t help himself. She was the mystery he desperately wanted to unravel yet another one was about to enter his life.
“She’s really something, isn’t it?” Gail inquired, appearing next to him as if she were a ghost.
“Excuse me?” He looked her way, eyes flinching involuntarily when he noticed her battered up face.
“I’m talking about Angela. I noticed the way you were looking at her now. Men do that all the time, no reason to be flustered,” she teased.
“You know Angela?” Nick smiled, eyes twinkling again.
“If I know her?” She chuckled, left hand rubbing his manly shoulder. He was cute. Not as cute as Jonah, Trent, or half a dozen other guys she had enchanted over the years but cute nonetheless. “I’d say yes considering we’re practically BFFs and all.”
“Yep, and I bet now you want to know more, right?”
“As a matter of fact...”
“I knew it!” She gave him the most genuine fake smile of her life. “I’m Gail.”
“Nick,” he shook her hand, surprised at how strong it was despite her petite stature.
“A pleasure to meet you, Dick,” she eyed him from top to bottom, emphasizing the D so he wouldn’t believe it was unintentional. Nicholas let go of her hand and blushed a little. Being on the receiving end of an unexpected flirt was both good and weird.
“It’s Nick,” he mumbled, wondering why he had done that instead of smiling back.
“You don’t look like a Nick.”
“I hope you’re not saying I look like a dick then.”
“Oh no,” she circled him, “but it’s fun to tease, don’t you agree?”
“Yes, it is,” he concurred though he couldn’t take his eyes off her wounds. They direly needed tending, but she didn’t seem worried about it at all.
She pointed at her face, mimicking the fake smile from before with equal success. “You’re wondering how this happened, right?”
“It is looking rather nasty...”
“It looks worse than it is. Would you believe it if I told you I ran into a door?”
“That must have been one vicious door then,” he tried to laugh.
“It was but you should have seen what I did to it in retaliation.”
“You need to...”
“... have things checked out, I know, but I’m not considered an urgent case so I’m playing the waiting game. Unless you want to help a girl out like a good bo... I mean, paramedic.”
“Why me, Gail?”
“Because of Angela, obviously. It’s easy to tell you’re interested in her and, like I said, we’re practically best friends so if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I have a feeling she rejected you just now. I can help you make sure she doesn’t do it again. Interested?”
“And if I am?”
“Then you and I can become best friends, too. Wouldn’t that be great?”
Nick didn’t know what to think of this strange woman happily playing with his emotions and stood in awe, contemplating his options. His natural instincts were telling him to help her out even without the prospect of gaining further insight on his newest crush, yet everything about the way Gail talked and moved felt... off. Being too friendly from the get-go is often a warning sign, and he had ignored those on multiple occasions in the past with devastating consequences for his heart and mind. Perhaps it would be wise to avoid any sudden familiarity that could lead down that path again.
“You seem like a nice person and all but I’m exhausted. I know many people in the hospital though. I’m sure I can convince one to look into that,“ he mumbled.
Gail resented his attempt to escape, insinuating herself against him even further. Her breasts brushed against his chest, hair tickling his chin. He reacted as expected, surprise intertwined with unwanted yet undeniable arousal. An old 80s movie had a character known as Nick, the Dick. From what she could tell, he would have been perfect for the role if he were born back then. “No buts, please. I promise I’ll make you worth your while, Nick,” she insisted.
“Are you trying to hook me up with Angela or are you hitting on me?” He asked.
“How about both?” She winked, pretending for a moment she was about to kiss his neck. “Surely you know that, sometimes, best friends like Angela and I share... everything.”
“Seriously?” He thought. “Oh wow, this is getting weirder and weirder.”
If it didn’t make him look stupid, he would have pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Gail did that for him, nails scratching the skin on the palm of his right hand. It would leave a bothersome bruise yet the pain solidified her intents. “Well? What’s it going to be, Nick?”
“Okay,” he nodded, despite going against his better judgment. “I’ll take care of that nastiness myself but just so you’ll know... you’ll probably need stitches.”
“It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of needles then. Where do you want me?”
“What?” he blabbered, thinking of all the things he shouldn’t just the way she wanted him to.
“Where are we going to do this? Better make it a private place because some secrets I have to tell you about Angie are… well...”
“We can do it in the ambulance. One moment, please.”
“Sure thing but don’t keep me waiting for long.”
Nick traversed the hall to meet his co-worker, happily drinking a cup of warm, creamy coffee. Her name was Mary and her curiosity levels went through the roof the moment he said something came up.
“You’re on fire today, huh? First, the therapist now that one? What’s gotten into you, Nick?” She queried, laughing.
“It’s not what you think.”
“Right... I suppose that hard-on you’re sporting right now is also in my head.”
“Oh, fuck! Keep your voice down, please.”
“I will if you keep your cock down. Relax, you’re not my type, anyway.”
“I need to use the ambulance for a few minutes to patch her up, okay?”
“Is that a new slang for S-E-X I’m not familiar with?”
“Mary, you know I love you, but you can be a real jerk, sometimes.”
“Only sometimes? It’s part of my natural charm, sweetie.”
“I promise I won’t take long.”
“Take as much time as you need to keep her satisfied,” she whispered, the tease getting out of hand. “Nobody likes a guy that comes too early.”
Nick left her laughing and escorted the secretary through the hospital’s main entrance. As they walked towards the lonesome vehicle, he asked.
“So how long have you and Angela known each other?”
“We go back a few years. Not only we are friends, but we also work in the same place.”
“Oh? So that means you’re a hypno...?”
“... therapist, too?” she concluded his sentence with yet another perfectly timed fake smile. “No, I’m her secretary but I know a thing or two about hypnosis. It’s a fascinating topic.”
“No doubt but it’s never been my thing. Although seeing Angela’s skills in action...”
“She hypnotized her mother on our way here.”
“And how is Clarissa doing? I love her, she’s a genuine doll!”
“She was fine when I left her although I have to wonder if the same door you ran into is also responsible for her gunshot wound...” he said.
“That’s a story for another occasion. Keep your eyes on the prize, Nick, and the prize is sweet Angie. She’s an expert at what she does and can help you achieve things you never thought possible. It almost seems like mind control.”
“That’s not really a thing... right?”
“Would you like it if it were?”
“I don’t know. I guess I never thought about it that much.”
“For real? Lots of people that go to the office seem to have plenty of ingrained ideas about the subject. Many are reluctant to go under because they think the hypnotist will sap away their conscious thoughts and volition with a finger snap or two when it doesn’t work that way. Well, not all the time though.”
“What does that mean?”
“There are those with a predisposition to be hypnotized and become mindlessly obedient just like that, that’s all. Surely you know hypno-fetishism is a thing.”
“No. I wasn’t aware it existed until now.”
They reached the ambulance and stepped inside. Gail sat by the door and crossed her legs, waving them back and forth as if swinging a pendulum. She couldn’t believe how naïve he was turning out to be though his dumbness was something she could exploit.
“Never heard of hypno-fetishists? Have you been living under a rock, Nick?”
“Is that such a bad thing?”
“If you want to fall in Angela’s good graces—and mine!—then yes. Yes, it is.”
“I thought she only did therapy.”
“Oh, she does that and so much more! Her words can take you places, her imagination overwhelm yours. One moment, you’re listening to her talk about waves rolling by the sea and the next you’re drifting into a mesmeric slumber, begging to lick her feet clean and trust me, that’s not even half of the things she can accomplish.”
“Oh wow! That’s rather...”
“Word of advice, the word you’re looking for is ‘hot’, okay?”
“I was about to say surprising,” he shrugged, disinfectant in hand. “Please hold still while I clean this gash.”
Gail complied, allowing him to momentarily regain control of the situation. In just under ten minutes, he had given her a lot of information to work with. The verbal cues were the most obvious ones but the non-verbal ones mattered the most. He was nervous around her, even afraid, yet he was also intrigued, the perfect way to get something going inside his subconscious. A man doesn’t need to be submissive to have submissive thoughts take over his entire persona as she would gladly show if he continued listening to her.
“Not now, please. This will hurt.”
He was right; it did. The sadist in her loved to inflict pain, experiencing it not so much. He cleaned her wounds, dressed them properly, and then offered her a pair of blue pills.
“I thought this was exclusive to men,” she mocked.
“It will make the pain more bearable once I stitch you up.”
“Okay, but before you do that...”
“What is it?”
“What did you mean by hypnosis not being your thing?”
“It’s not. Like I said to Angela before, I was hypnotized before but I didn’t...”
“And yet, you liked what Angela did to her mother.”
“Yes. I guess I did.”
“When hypnosis goes erotic, it’s even better, believe me. The only way for you and Angela to get along begins by accepting this now. More than therapy, she lives for the kink. If you don’t find that thrilling in the slightest, walk away right now.”
“I can’t, I’m patching you up, remember?”
“You know exactly what I meant. If you’re open-minded enough, only good things will open before you. That includes her legs too... and mine.”
“I think I know where this is going...”
“Yes. You want to show me something about erotic hypnosis, don’t you?”
“Only if you want to. I would never dream of trying to force you into doing something you don’t want to do despite how hot that is.”
“You use that word a lot, Gail.”
“That’s because it’s hot too and I’m getting hot right now.” She got up and ran to the far end of the ambulance. “It would probably be wise for you to close the doors, now.”
When her boobs came undone, he got his answer.