The Good Doctor
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From the previous chapter:
She leaned against the counter. “What about high school? Was that them coming on to you?”
I really didn’t want to talk about this. “Yeah…mostly, well, kinda mostly. I dunno why they don’t leave me alone.” Even to me my voice sounded like a whine.
She walked over to me and gently touched the tips of her fingers to my face. She said softly, “Because you’re sooo like your grandfather.” She sighed. “Women wouldn’t leave him alone either…and you look like he did…if anything, better. But, Eric, don’t give Pete a reason to wonder. Don’t start giving in to these women.” Have sex with women? What is she, nuts?
The Good Doctor 67
I was naked and lying flat on my stomach and I was as utterly exhausted as two fantastic fucks in a row could make me. Pete was straddling my thighs and his softening cock was lying on my butt. It felt like a warm five pound sausage. His huge strong hands were methodically digging into the muscles in my shoulders and I was moaning softly.
He bent forward kissed the back of my neck and whispered, “Feel good?”
I could barely speak but finally managed to mutter a dreamy, “Oh, fuck yeah!”
I could hear the smile in his voice when he said, “We aim to please.”
I tried to lift my head up and turn it to face him but I couldn’t quite make it and my gasping, “I so fucking love you!” was somewhat buried in the mattress as my face crashed back into it. My body felt like a plastic bag full of warm, semen soaked, oatmeal.
Pete bent forward again, kissed my hair and said, “I’ll be right back.” I was trying to form the words, “Don’t go!” but it never happened and then before I knew he was back and just when I didn’t think it could get better I felt a hot wet washcloth on my butt. I wanted to cry it felt so good!
Pete is always great sex and he’s always considerate but even for him this was over the top. So somewhere in the back of my brain was the floating word, “Why?” And right behind that floating word was the more concrete understanding that somehow all of this was connected to the dance we’d be going to tomorrow and to Lionel, our new mayor.
I don’t know why I did it. Well, the truth is that I do shit like this all the time and when Pete slid in behind me, draped his arm over my chest and said, “Night.” I muttered, “Night, Lionel.”
I didn’t anticipate the hard slap on my naked butt though. I jumped about a foot! Not easy when you’re lying flat.
“YOU LITTLE SHIT!!!” He had pushed himself upright and was glaring down at me rubbing my butt.
“Ow! Hey, what’d I do?”
“You know damn well what you did!”
“Yeah? Well why don’t you come clean about this Lionel guy?”
He looked down, took a deep breath and then kind of collapsed back against the headboard.
He said softly, “I used to have sex with him. Well, that maybe sounds like it was more of a regular thing than it was, and in any event I was only a kid. So was he. Like I told you, he was my best friend.”
“So how come he’s not your best friend any more?”
Pete pulled me over so that I was lying back against his chest. He kissed the side of my neck and said, “Sorry about slapping your butt. It just caught me by surprise.” He kissed me again and said, “And you were being a cunt.”
“He and I started having sex together about as soon as we figured out that we could. Just whacking off at first but then later, in high school, I blew him a few times. He was always as into it as I was, well, at first anyway, but then once we were both in college and he started dating he just changed.”
“I mean I always knew that once he started dating he wasn’t really gonna want to do it with me anymore. But I gave him like a zillion chances to tell me he wanted to quit but he never did. Then one day he met this new girl, the one he’s married to now and her friends were different then the ones that we had together. So one day I’m coming out of a class at school and practically run right into them, Lionel and Susan and like five or six other people.”
“Well, I tried to just wave and split. You know how you do when you don’t really know people and you don’t want to force yourself on them? Well, he wasn’t having that and he made of point of calling me over and introducing me as his friend…the one who liked cock. It was humiliating and my first thought was that he was doing this because of Susan but she looked totally shocked and even called me the next day to apologize for it.”
“After that, whenever we’d see each other on campus, he just kind of glared at me from a distance and I thought that maybe he was just trying to somehow prove to himself that he wasn’t gay, that all the sex we had didn’t mean anything. But then about a year ago when he was apparently first thinking about running for mayor he called me and acted like a used car salesman or something and was pushing for a contribution to his campaign and wanted to know if I’d like to help with his campaign. I was too stunned to answer and just hung up. And that’s where it stands.”
I turned in his arms and looked up at him. “If you don’t want to go tomorrow we don’t have to. Seriously, it won’t hurt my feelings.”
He shook his head. “No! I would never run from this, from him. Tomorrow is what it is. Besides, when he called it just caught me off guard because I hadn’t even thought of him for a long time. Tomorrow isn’t a surprise and he doesn’t matter. You and Jase matter and there’s nothing that he can do to bother me.”
“When he hit you up for a campaign contribution…does he need the money?”
He shook his head. “His dad is a very successful investment banker just like his grandfather. Lionel’s got a trust fund from his granddad. No shortage of money there.”
I twisted my head and licked his nipple. He jumped and then grinned. I said, “Sorry about teasing you. I didn’t know all this stuff.”
“It’s okay, let’s just go to sleep.”
My mother carried a long plastic bag into the house and hung it in the closet by the laundry room. She pointed at me.
“Don’t get it dirty! I just picked it up!” Honestly, where does this thinking come from?
“Ma, I’m twenty feet away! How am I gonna get it dirty and what is it?”
“It’s my dress! For the dance tonight.”
“You wanna see it?”
“Nah, that’s okay.”
“You don’t wanna see it?”
“You want me to see it?”
“If you wanna see it.”
“You wanna show it to me?”
“If you wanna see it.”
“Why don’t you show me?”
“Are you sure?”
“Ma, show me the dress!”
“Okay if you’re sure.” She reaches back into the closet and pulls out the dress. Carefully she lifts the plastic.
She stares lovingly at the dress. “It’s navy blue.”
“Hmmm, wow, so’s my suit. We’ll match. Except yours is all sparkly.”
“Beads….hand sewn. Expensive!”
“You don’t wanna know.” Well that’s true.
She carefully covered the dress and hung it back in the closet.
“Don’t forget, you’re picking me up. You boys are my escorts tonight.”
I laughed. “Funny, somebody once told me I should do that for a living.”
She frowned at me and then said, “When’s Pete getting home?”
“He’s shooting for five but you never know.”
She shook her head and hurried into the kitchen. “Too bad he’s not a dermatologist. Regular hours.”
She reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a chicken. “I’ll make the boys Rosemary Chicken. They always like that.” David was going to be staying with us tonight so that he could keep an eye on Jase while we were at the dance.
My mother was pulling a knife out of a drawer that you could have fought off an army with when I said, “Pete said something about leaving a little early cause he wanted to stop someplace first. What time do we have to be at the dance?”
She had stood the poor chicken up on its butt and was chopping down the side of its backbone. My toes were curling. “We should be there by seven. There’s drinks, then dinner and then, if anybody wants to, dancing.”
“Then why do they call it a dance if there’s hardly any dancing?”
“They gotta call it something, Eric. Mostly it’s for socializing.” How wonderful.
She bent back a chicken leg and started to slice through the joint. In a high chicken voice I said, “No! No! Please no! It hurts!”
Her shoulders dropped and she turned and stared at me. “You’re not gonna do that tonight, I hope.”
I shook my head and grinned. “I promise.”
“What’s Pete need to leave early for?”
“Ahhhh, I dunno.”
“Well, Eric, what did he say?”
I’m really expected to remember this? “Ahhh, just that he needed to look at something….maybe for a patient….or something.”
“For a patient?” This is exactly the sort of thing that women never leave alone.
“Maybe. Or maybe something about an investment….ah, real estate…maybe.”
She shook her head and pointed the knife at me. “You know, between you and your father it’s a miracle I’m not an alcoholic!”
“Whadid I do?”
“You don’t pay attention! How can you not remember what he said?”
“Ahh, I was busy helping Jase get dressed.” A lie. “Geez, I’m expected to hang on every little word? He didn’t make a big deal of it!” Women really do worry too much.
“What did you have to help Jase with? Normally he gets ready just fine. And did he say it was a real estate investment, like an apartment building?”
What is she, an undercover cop? “Ahhh, colors, he had one blue and one green sock. And I dunno about the real estate thing. It might not even be that.”
“Jase doesn’t have green socks.” This is the way it is with her. She’s like the District Attorney or something, all women are, and the more I lie to her the tighter the noose around my neck gets cause she never quits. Now if I lie some more and tell her I bought him green socks she’ll want to see them. It never ends. I’ve got one chance.
I point at the chicken. “Does that chicken look okay to you?”
Her head snaps to the chicken. “What about it?”
I shrug. “I dunno, it just looks a little….odd. Isn’t that a kinda green color? Is it supposed to be that color?”
All of her senses are honed. “What green? Where are you seeing green? That’s a perfect chicken! I picked that chicken out myself!”
I shrug a little and make a little “maybe you’re right” face. “I dunno, maybe it is my imagination….still.” I drop it and let it hang in the air. One more word and it’ll be too much. Like a wolf in a barnyard all of her attention is riveted on the chicken.
She pokes the chicken with her knife to try and get it to talk. She smells it. She looks at me. “Eric, this is a good chicken!”
“Whatever you say. Well, I gotta go into the office for a little while, Ma.” But she’s studying the chicken that just might be contemplating killing her grandchildren and barely notices me leave.
I’m freshly showered and now shaving with a razor and not my usual electric shaver. Jase is sitting on the bathroom vanity next to me, watching me shave.
“How come you’re shaving with a razor, Dad?”
I sigh. It’s a good question. “Well, because this is supposed to be a kind of fancy dinner or dance or whatever they’re calling it, I figured it’d probably be best.” I smiled at him. “Make me look a little snappier.” He grinned.
“Does it hurt when you do it?”
“No, not really hurt. When it’s cutting the whiskers there’s a little pulling but it doesn’t really hurt.” He slowly touched a finger to my face.
“It feels smooth.”
I put a little shaving cream on my finger and holding his chin in my hand I smooth it onto his face. His eyes are staring into mine. He trusts me. He bites the corner of his lip and blinks as I smooth the shaving cream in.
I pick up the razor. “Don’t jerk your head or I might cut it off.” He grins because he knows that I’d never do that. I whisk the cream away with the razor and his mouth opens slightly. He tries not to but he grins broadly.
His mouth is clamped shut with excitement but he nods a little and then seems to remember about the beheading and holds his head rigid.
I wipe off the remains of the shaving cream with a face cloth. “Now you know what it feels like.” He laughs.
Pete pokes his head in and says, “How are you guys doin?” He means, am I ready to go?
I wipe the shaving cream off of my face and say, “Yep, just need to get dressed. Gimme five minutes.”
“Did you tell your mom we’d be picking her up a little early?”
“Yeah, she wanted to know why but it’s okay, she doesn’t care. So why?” Jase scampers off to be with David.
Pete’s looking in the bathroom mirror and then he adjusts his tie. “This guy, well, patient…I’ve known him forever. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in an investment. It’s on the way so I thought we could stop and look.”
I pull on my suit pants and say for no reason at all, “What kinda investment?”
Pete looks at me and grins. “You don’t really want to know do you?” See, now why can’t women be like that.
I smile and shake my head. “My mom was beating me to death with it.”
“Well I told her you wanted to stop but I really didn’t remember every last detail and she was hammering me with it. You know how mom is with investments and money and shit.”
“You know, she might be the perfect person for me to talk to about this.”
I nod. “Probably, she loves to talk…about almost anything.”
My mother settled into the back seat of the car taking great care to make sure that nothing wrinkled. She actually looked great. Her dress was long and navy blue but the upper part of the dress had all these sparkly beads.
Once we got under way she leaned forward and tapped me on the shoulder. “Eric, Rose is gonna be there and you should dance with her.”
I turned in the seat. “Ma, why me? Isn’t Lurch gonna be with her?”
“Eric, don’t call him Lurch! That’s not his name! It’s Victor Cambreen or Cambrino or something like that. And the way that he walks, that little…tilt…that’s a medical condition.”
“Well, he dances. Pete and I saw em in some restaurant. I’m sure he was dancing.”
Pete was grinning and shaking his head. “He wasn’t dancing, Eric! He was just standing there and then they walked to their table.”
“Oh, well, he looked like he was dancing.”
She tapped me again. “Well, just dance with her and don’t call him Lurch!”
Then she put her hand on Pete’s shoulder. “Pete, what is it you want to look at?”
Pete looked at her in the rearview mirror. “Ahh, I dunno if you know Harley Rainer. His family has that factory south of town. Anyway, he’s been my patient for a long time and he built that big health club out near that expensive housing development. Well, it’s kinda ironic him building a health club because he’s never lifted anything heavier than a scotch and soda. I’m not telling you anything that he wouldn’t tell you himself, it’s just the way he is and a couple of months ago he had a heart attack.”
“His cardiologist did a bypass but he’s not taking it seriously. And now his wife is insisting that they’re moving full time to their Florida home. Early this week he asked me if I’d be interested in buying this place. The thing is that it’s huge, at least according to him. We can take a look. He gave me a key so we can go in.”
It was only about fifteen minutes from our house out to this place in the expensive part of town and it was really huge. There were two big wings coming off a smaller central building and it was all faced in a buff colored stone. On one wall it said,
“Pete it’s soooo big! How many square feet?”
“Helen, I think it’s like 135,000.” He gestured to one side of the building. “The right side is supposed to be the indoor tennis courts. Then on the left on the main floor are the locker rooms, steam, sauna, etc. Beneath all that, underground, are the racquet ball courts, twelve of em I think.”
“Then in the center is the main desk, then behind that the refreshment bar and beyond that, the pool area. You wanna go in?”
My mother looked at her watch. “Sure, we’ve got time.”
I said, “A pool?”
Pete got out of the car but looked back in at me. “Yeah, Eric. A huge pool. Like 60 by 120 and the outside pool is even bigger. Harley was planning on this being big time.” We headed for the front door.
The front door was a pair of heavy glass doors. Pete unlocked them and then went right to a control panel on the right and punched in a number.
“We should be okay now.” He laughed. “That is if I remembered the right code.”
In front of us on the left side was a place to check in and to the right was a huge glass wall that must have been 150 feet long. Behind it were the tennis courts. Everything was brand new, untouched, the painted green of the courts tempting, making you want to do…something.
I said, “Holy cow!” And I meant it.
Pete pointed to a hallway leading off to the left. “That’s the way to the locker rooms and there’s supposed to be offices behind this front desk.” He pointed down the main hall. “Let’s look down here.”
The main hallway widened out into an area the looked like a type of restaurant and behind it a tall wide glass wall with a sparkling blue pool beyond it.
My mother said, “What a beautiful little restaurant!”
“Helen, it’s supposed to be a refreshment bar but I guess it could be a type of restaurant.” Then to me. “Check out the pool.”
It was beautiful, like one big sapphire and I sooo wanted to be in it.
My mom said, “My god, Pete, it’s gorgeous but how much money?”
I could see mom’s brain working. “How much land?”
“A hundred and thirty-five thousand square feet and all this equipment? That’s cheap. You got ten million?”
Pete laughed. “No, I make good money but not that good. But I could probably come up with two if I sold a lotta stuff.” My boyfriend’s got two million? “Then the place has gotta be run and I can’t do that, not with my schedule. I gotta think about it. I’d need to put two million down on a mortgage but I’d still need a million in working capital. It’s a lot to think about.”
Mom put her hand on Pete’s arm to stop him. “Did he give you any figures on what’d cost to run the place?”
“Salaries would be about seven hundred grand, then you’ve got the mortgage, utilities, advertising etc. etc.”
Mom was carrying one of those little purses that women carry when they’re really dressed up. She snapped it open and, surprisingly, pulled out a calculator.
She looked at me. “Eric, whadayou pay for the place you belong to?”
“Fifty a month.” She nodded and her fingers began dancing cautiously over the keys.
Pete glanced quickly at his watch and said, “We better go or we’re gonna be late.”
My mom turned back towards the pool and refreshment area and began to walk slowly back there her dress shimmering in the light. She waved her hand and said, “Gimme a minute.” She walked back into the eating area and stood there for a few minutes, looking, and then looked down at the calculator in her hand and seemed to study it.
Finally she walked back and stood in front of Pete. She was staring up at him and I noticed that her hair was perfect. Her earrings were platinum and they caught the light. “What if Eric and I each bought a third? That’s two million. You only gotta come up with one.” What?!!! “And Eric could run the place.” WHAT?!!!!
I know my mouth was moving but nothing was coming out for at least ten seconds.
I finally grabbed her arm. “ARE YOU NUTS?!!!!!!”
She never took her eyes off of Pete but muttered, “Shut up, Eric.”
“SHUT UP? SHUT UP? Ma….I don’t know how to run a place like this!! My experience is ZERO. No!! It’s not even zero!! It’s MINUS zero! It’s zero with minus signs in front of it! It’s sub-zero!! And who’s gonna run the business…the industrial supply business…the business that feeds us?! And where are you gonna get two million? What are you….”
Pete grabbed the back of my head and crushed my face into his chest to shut me up. He said to my mom, “I think he can do it too!”
I screamed “WHAT?!” but with my face pushed into his crisp white shirt it came out as a muffled, “FWAAAAH?!!!”
I finally pushed off of his chest. “What are you two thinking?!! For one…just for one thing, Cortland Industrial Supply can’t run itself! Those people would kill and eat each other!”
My mother jumped in. “Eric! Just calm down! I’ve already figured that out. Mark will take over running that company. He can’t stay a cop anyway. Not and provide my grandson with a decent life. He’ll take over Cortland Industrial Supply and David can work here part time.”
I slapped my palm to my forehead. “Well, of course! But Ma, why stop at that, why not make him a neuro-surgeon? That way when you all have me committed we’ll have someone in the family who can do my lobotomy. And who you got figured for teaching him the business?”
“Your father, of course! He taught you the business, he can do the same for Mark.”
“What if he says no?”
“Eric, for thirty-two years your father has done what I’ve told him, I think it will continue.” Well, of course. The thing is that I knew I was losing but I wasn’t sure what. And on the other hand this place is very nice.
Pete grabbed my arm and pulled me away and into the corner. He held my face in his hands and his eyes had an odd primal quality to them. His voice was low and rumbly. “Eric, you can do this…and if we get this place…I’m gonna fuck you in every room in this building.” Then he grinned. “Aaaaand you can go to work in gym clothes.” See, now why not lead with that argument?