Of Hope Lost and Found Ch. 05

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“Well, what did you think? Did you get to talk to him about everything you wanted to?” I was in my office the next morning, on the phone with Gina. She had told me all about their own eventful evening at the hospital, assuring me that Miranda and the baby were fine. She quickly shifted gears and wanted to know about the evening with the donors…and Thomas.

“To be honest Gina, I forgot to talk to him about all that,” I confessed.

“Dottie! You can’t drag your feet on this. We need to hire him ASAP.”

“Don’t get all fussy with me, young lady. I didn’t get to talk to him about it, but I’m quite…satisfied…with him. He made a good impression on me last night and I’ve no qualms about hiring him.”

“You’re…satisfied? Dottie…?”

“Oh for heaven’s sake, Gina, get your mind out of the gutter. Not everything is a double entendre.”

“Hey, a girl can hope…”

“Just get the paperwork taken care of as soon as you get the chance. I know you’re starting your maternity leave this week, but I need you to take care of this before you disappear.”

“Not a problem. But since I’ll be gone, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time helping Thomas get settled into the clinic. You need to be available to handle whatever…comes up.”


“What?” she said playfully. “Not everything is a double entendre, Dottie.”


I hadn’t thought about it much, but with Gina gone for a few months, I was going to need to be more directly involved in some of the things I had long ago delegated to her. It wasn’t a problem- I knew what to do and Gina had cleared my calendar up as much as possible. So over the next month, I saw Thomas on a daily basis. A lot of questions we hadn’t considered needed to be dealt with, and a few questions of policy and administration came up. We got into a habit of meeting for breakfast each day before the clinic opened, then debriefing for 15-20 minutes at the end of the day. During that time, we covered a lot of ground, especially in the first month of the clinic being open.

After that month, we didn’t need to meet as often, but we kept up our habit. I didn’t mind- with Gina gone, I didn’t have my usual conversation partner/sounding board. Thomas gave good perspective on not only the clinic but on some of the other services as well. By midway through the second month, though, some of his questions seemed a little forced…simple…unnecessary.

“Thomas,” I told him over our breakfast, “you don’t have to ask questions every time.”

He looked a little sheepish and asked, “Is that your way of saying it was a stupid question?”

“No…not at all…I just…”

“I’m sorry Dottie, I’m teasing you. You’re right, I’m having trouble thinking of work-related things to ask.”

“That’s not a problem, Tom. We don’t have to meet every day if we don’t need to.”

“That’s just it, Dottie,” he said, looking away. “I would prefer to keep meeting.”

“To what end?”

“To what end? Listen to yourself, Dottie. You make it sound all business-like. To the end of talking together and enjoying your company.”

I sat for a minute and let that sink in. I stopped myself before saying a few different things, wanting to choose my reaction carefully.

“I’ll say it more clearly,” he said. “I like talking with you. I’d like to keep doing that. Is that OK?”

“Yes,” I said, trying not to calculate all the possible layers of meaning contained in that request. “And for what it’s worth, I enjoy spending time with you as well. You’re a very engaging and courteous young man.”

Tom chuckled a little at that, then simply said, “Thank you, Dottie. And you are a fascinating, fun, and intelligent woman.”

“Well thank you, sir. And now I think we should end this shower of praise and unlock the doors for the morning.”

“See you at 6?” he asked.

“Only if you need something. You can come by my office,” I said.

He nodded and said, “OK.”

I headed back to my office, closed the door and slumped down in my chair, letting out a loud breath. What was that all about?


It turns out, that was a big distraction for me. I couldn’t keep my mind on things at work. I kept coming back to think about what Thomas had meant. Did he like the conversation? Did he like me? Did he just need someone to talk to? At one point, I was lost in thought and just giggled. I realized that I was acting like a school girl analyzing all the possible meanings of every little word that had passed between us.

And yet, even if it was more than a professional relationship, how could it mean anything more than a friendship? I started to get worried. Was I sending out some signals, perhaps subconsciously? I obviously was not ‘marriage material’ for someone his age- he would be thinking of settling down, having kids, right? So if he was thinking of a relationship with me, then he was just thinking of something bağcılar escort temporary, right?

A hundred thoughts wandered through my head that day. I was utterly unproductive. I was able to take care of some mindless tasks, even cleaning up my file cabinets for the first time in months, but my mind was elsewhere. I didn’t even notice how late it was until there was a knock on my door. Looking up at the clock, I saw that it was a few minutes after six.

“Come in,” I said nervously. The door opened slowly and Denise peeked in.

I sighed in relief, then smiled warmly at her. “Hi Denise, have a seat.”

“It’s OK, I just need your signature on these invoices,” she said, handing me a few sheets of paper. Then looking at me with concern, she asked, “Are you OK? You seem a little spacey.”

Flipping through the papers and signing each of them, I said, “I’m fine. Just a little…preoccupied. Stuff on my mind, that’s all.”

“Well, I’m sure you miss Gina. I know I’m not your usual sounding board, but if you need someone to listen…”

“Thanks Denise, I’ll be fine,” I said, handing her the paperwork.

As she headed towards the door, she said casually, “Maybe you should talk to the Doc. He seems a little out of it today, too. Maybe something’s going around.”

As she closed the door behind her, I closed my eyes and put my head in my hands. Dammit, Gina!, I thought, What the hell did you start?


Thomas didn’t come by my office that evening, and I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or disappointed. I was a bit upset with myself that I had been so unproductive that day, so I decided to stay late and try to finish some things that had looming deadlines. But unless I could get my head cleared, I wasn’t going to be getting anything done.

I looked over at a closed drawer on the left side of my desk. I looked at the clock, then at my door. After a minute’s deliberation, I stood up, mumbling to myself, and walked to my office door. I locked it, turned out the light, and returned to my seat. Pulling open the drawer, I rifled through staplers, tissues, spare change and some energy bars before I found, shoved in the back, a tube of lipstick. It was a gag gift from Gina a year earlier, when I was going through a time of being all wound up and stressed out over some financial problems we were having. The lipstick tube was actually a small vibrator- discreet and portable.

I had never used it- or anything like it, for that matter. I had tossed it in the drawer with a chuckle and not given it much thought. I did try to loosen up a bit, though, since Gina seemed to be picking up on my stress level. But if I was going to get anything done tonight…

I stood up and slipped off my panties, tucking them into a side pocket of my bag. Sitting back down in my desk chair, I leaned back and propped my feet up on my desk. Spreading my legs a bit, I started slowly rubbing myself with a few fingers, just teasing my folds. I shivered as soon as I came into contact with my clit, realizing for the first time how aroused I was. Oh God, I thought. It had been so long since I had felt like that. I never really wanted sex as an end in itself. It was always about the personal connection. But today I felt…something different. Today I was…horny.

My thighs twitched a little as I felt myself rushing towards a quick release. It had been building up all day. I had been occasionally picturing myself intimate with Thomas, wondering out of curiosity if he was as tender and strong sexually as he was in conversation. I pictured myself leaning back against a pile of pillows, looking up at those eyes. I pictured him coming in for a kiss.

I was gasping, holding back a shout, my orgasm taking me by surprise. My legs snapped closed and my hand pushed down on my mound, gently moving to extend the pleasure that was spreading up to my chest. I couldn’t contain a slight moan and a hiss as I sucked in air. It was a good, short cum, but I didn’t feel as relieved as I wanted to. I wanted more.

In my other hand, I still clutched the vibrator. I opened it up and turned it over a few times, figuring out how to turn it on. I smiled at a joke in my head- no one needed to turn me on right now. Once I figured out the right way to get it started, I held it close to my face and looked at the curious thing. Would something like this really have an effect on me? Gina (and a few others over the years) had assured me that there was much to be said for these little toys.

With some trepidation, I moved it down, spreading my legs just a bit. I started gently running it along my lips, giggling a little at the way it tickled. That felt nice, but it probably wasn’t going to do anything. Then I parted my legs a little more and used my fingers to open my folds. I slowly, cautiously moved the vibrator into my slit, running it gently around my entrance. Again, it felt bahçelievler escort nice and even a bit soothing, but it wasn’t going to start any fireworks.

Nevertheless, I kept up the motion, using the vibrator the same way I would normally use my fingers. Once again, I let my imagination wander. I pictured Thomas beneath me on a bed. I wondered what he looked like without a shirt- was he lean and hard, or thicker? Was he smooth, like his cheeks always seemed to be, or was there hair along his chest? I pictured myself on top of him and imagined the feel of my hands running along his body- up his ribs, onto his shoulders, down his arms…

Instinctively, I began moving my hips in a slow, steady motion. I ran the vibrator along my lips then back in to touch my entrance. My breathing quickened and for a few minutes I kept up a steady rhythm like that- tickle the lips, tap the entrance, picture his chest, imagine his broad shoulders, think of his eyes.

When I felt myself building up to a bigger release, I quickly unbuttoned enough of my blouse to reach a hand inside. I imagined Thomas’ hand reaching up and taking a hold of my breast. With my own hand I slipped my fingers under my bra and shivered at the sensation of fingers rubbing my nipple. I pictured Thomas’ tongue doing the same thing.

Ready to go to the next level, I slowly moved the vibrator up towards my clit, which had been craving some touch for a few minutes now. I thought I could move around it until I found my release. But once the tip of the vibrator found my clit, it was all over.

Oh…my…GOD! All the pictures in my head went into vibrant colors, then were overtaken by flashing and music and trying to breathe and squeezing and my feet slipping off the desk and onto the ground and my legs clenching and both hands now holding the vibrator and my stomach clenching and my walls tightening and hearing my own voice making noises I didn’t want anyone to hear and slipping off the chair and finding myself on my knees, one hand gripping the edge of the desk to support myself.

I could hear my own breathing, and that sound brought me back into focus. I still felt my legs shaking a bit, and I wasn’t ready to stand up yet. After a minute of catching my breath and listening to the steady tick of the clock on my office wall, I shook my head and got back up. I dropped back into my desk chair and looked around, chuckling to myself. A faint buzzing underneath me showed me where I had dropped the vibrator, which I picked up and turned off.

“Well that was certainly a toe-curler,” I said into the silence. The rest of the evening turned out to be quite productive, more than making up for all the hours I had wasted during the day.


I was nervous the next morning, heading in to breakfast. Thomas was already there, and he stood to greet me. It seemed like such an old-fashioned habit, standing when a lady entered. I commented on that, and he said, “My parents trained me that way. Sometimes my teachers would joke that I was born in the wrong century.”

“I bet you got tired of hearing that,” I said.

“All I had to do was remind them what life was like for a man of my ethnicity in previous centuries and that quickly ended those comments,” he said seriously. Then he broke into a broad smile. That led into an engaging discussion over racial issues in his upbringing, some of which he had only begun to understand and process through the class I had taught.

“Which reminds me,” he said, leaning forward. “I still don’t know Doc Lock’s story…”

“A tale for another time,” I said, looking at the clock. The hour had flown by, and I had lost all sense of unease.

“Tomorrow?” he asked.

“Perhaps,” I said coyly and headed out of the clinic.

We went on like that for a few weeks- spending our breakfast times sharing stories, talking about issues, and overall enjoying one another’s company. In the meantime, Tom was finding his way into more and more of my fantasies. I tried to justify it by saying that it was only the excitement of the idea- it wasn’t something that would ever happen in reality, so it was safe to imagine.

But as Glen had told me all those years ago, imagining leads to wanting, which leads to more imagining which leads to more wanting. It was a dangerous cycle that I was unwilling to put an end to. It made for some wonderful orgasms, with or without the vibrator; and there was a sliver of unacknowledged hope that just maybe it could happen.

Why did I want it to happen? That was the question that bugged me. As Gina was quick to remind me lately, I needed to get laid. Yes, there was some truth to that, and Thomas was…well…a very attractive option in that regard. But just getting laid has never been enough rationale for me- I’d only had two sexual partners my whole life, and I had been married both times. Call me old fashioned, but that’s bahçeşehir escort the way it is for me. But beyond the sexual need, there is the desire to be desired- the wanting to be wanted. Just because I was getting older didn’t mean I had any less of a desire to be thought beautiful and sexy and worth pursuing. So I could explain my desires, my fantasies, and even my slightly inappropriate extended time with Tom as the result of those two things- sexual desire and emotional neediness.

But I was discovering there was more. There was something else that kept me coming back to the breakfast table, something else that kept me picturing his face, his body as I touched myself. I was growing to love Tom. And if that was the case, it might be best for me to back off. Why let my heart get unnecessarily tangled up in something like that, something bound for disappointment?


One morning, as I was considering the complicated web of emotions and desires that were surrounding my relationship with Thomas, I showed up for breakfast to find that Thomas wasn’t there. I followed some noises down the hall and bumped into Denise, who was hurrying the other direction. Before I could ask what was going on, she explained, “There was someone waiting on the doorstep when we showed up…couldn’t wait…sort of urgent. I hope it’s OK that we opened early.”

She hurried down the hall away from me, not taking time to hear me assuring her it was fine. I made my way to the room where Thomas was trying to clean up a head wound that was certainly going to need some stitches. It only took a glance for me to know the story- another woman beaten raw by a man. Thomas looked up at me and I saw the fire, the anger over what he was needing to fix.

“Dottie…” he began.

“I’ll make the call,” I answered. We’ve learned that a woman is more likely to talk to the police if the officer is already there, rather than asking her to make the decision to call. In a few minutes, I had an officer on the way- the local precinct knows us well and are usually happy to send someone over, even if it ends up being just as a precaution.

As I headed back towards my office, I passed by the lobby of the clinic. Looking out the window, I saw an angry young man with a bloody shirt stomping towards our doors. Out of instinct, I pulled out my keys and locked the glass doors before he could get there. That just pissed him off even more.

“I’m sorry,” I shouted through the glass, “we open at 9.”

“The fuck you say!” he yelled. “Let me see my wife! Let me see my wife!”

For some stupid reason, I decided to be a wise ass and said, “Visiting hours are not until 10, please come back then.”

“Bitch!” he yelled, and slammed his fist on the door. I moved out of his line of sight, but kept an eye on the door, just in case. Our visitor found a chunk of brick in the parking lot and brought it back to the glass door.

“Denise!” I hollered, “Lock up!” We’d only needed to do that a few times in our history, but she knew it meant to get in the room with the patient, lock the door, and slide the table in front of it. After two hits with the brick, our glass door cracked. I looked around for something to have in my hand and laughed when the most available weapon was a heavy glass lamp at the reception desk. I unplugged it and got a good grip.

The asshole backed up a few steps and wound his arm back to throw. I was bracing for the sound of the crash when I heard some shouts. Two officers had arrived just in time to catch the asshole mid-hurl. The brick dropped to the ground, followed immediately by its thrower. I opened the door and tried not to gloat as he was led away in handcuffs. One of the officers came inside to get my statement.

I had forgotten to give Denise the all clear, so after not hearing anything for a minute, Thomas had left the room, despite Denise’s protests, and came running to the lobby. In his hand was a large wooden paddle. The officer started to react, but I shouted, “Wait! That’s my doctor!”

The two men froze, and the officer looked at Tom’s weapon. Tom lifted it slowly and said defensively, “It’s a cricket bat. Only thing I could grab from my office.” Looking at me he started to laugh. I realized I was still clutching the lamp. Thomas pointed to it and said, “I guess I needn’t have bothered, eh? Dock Lock had it covered.” With that, he walked over to me and gave me a hug. I sighed and leaned into his embrace. It felt nice, safe, caring, and warm. He held me until the officer cleared his throat. We backed up and he asked, “Can someone bring me up to speed?”

“I have a patient to attend to. Give me another 15 minutes or so, OK?”

“That’s fine,” the officer said. “I need a few words with Dottie first, anyway.”

I gave my statement, then sat with the young lady as she gave hers. Thomas cut the questioning as short as he could so that he could finish tending some wounds. As the officer was preparing to leave, much to my surprise, Gina walked in.

“You’re early!” I said.

“Andrew’s home today and I was itching to get back, so I came in a day early. Looks like I should’ve come in even earlier. I’m gone three months and you can’t even keep the doors to my clinic from breaking, Dottie?”

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