Touched by Angels 3: Beleness Mercy Hospital

Andrew was a fine young lad, Grace decided. In the peak of his twenties, confident, sociable, and without a worry in the world. His eyes practically sparkled when he spoke and his laugh was full and genuine. He would’ve been in perfect health, too, except for the construction accident that had taken half a leg and broken most of the bones in the other, but from his enthusiasm, he might as well have been a fortress.

One Grace was itching to tear down.

“I can’t wait to get back on the job and show Conner my prosthetic,” said Andrew. “Chris and Brad, the two guys that were here, they’re buddies from work. What they’re gonna do is tell Conner I’m absolutely fuckin’ pissed about my leg, that I blame it all on him for breaking the crane, and when I come back, I’m going to act like my leg’s still intact and wait for the perfect moment to pretend like he tore it off again!”

Grace covered her mouth, chuckling with Andrew and letting her wings flutter. “Oh, no, you’re awful!” She put her hands on her hips. “You know, confessing your planned sins to an angel isn’t supposed to clear your conscience so you can do it anyways.”

Andrew grinned. “I’ll take a video and send it to you. What’s—”

“Ah!” Grace raised a finger and pushed the tip of her wing to Andrew’s mouth. “I need to finish the examination first, and I’ll need you to shush for a moment.” She raised her stethoscope. “Can’t get a good reading while you’re yapping.”

“I’m all yours,” said Andrew.

You already were, thought Grace.

Humming to herself, Grace played the stethoscope across Andrew’s chest. Normal heartbeat, of course. She was never worried about that, but it was important to pay attention to detail. She was still a doctor, first and foremost.

For the next few minutes, she worked through the physical, taking readings, making small talk and slipping in medical questions where she needed. Then they reached her favorite part.

“Pull up your gown, please. I need to take a look downstairs,” she said, her voice a punctuated perfume.

A flicker of doubt touched Andrew’s brow. “Isn’t that usually something a guy would do?”

Grace pressed a hand softly onto his chest and a wing onto his shoulder. “It’s nothing to be worried about. I’ve done this test a thousand times, I know how to keep it quick and professional.”

That did it. “I’m not worried.” He tried to shrug off Grace’s wing. She kept it there.

“Your gown, then?” she asked.

“Alright.” Andrew forced a plainly pained smile and lifted his gown.

Grace had to keep herself from licking her lips. Yes, now she would tear him down. Her wing slipped behind him, pretending to support his back, though Grace really just wanted to keep him from leaning away. Much slower than necessary, she bought her hand down to his balls and took a greedy handful.

“Go ahead and cough,” she directed.

He did, but it was weak.

“Again.” Her fingers dug in further as her icy eyes plunged deep into his own.

The second cough was much stronger.

“And one more.”

His last was strained but clear.

Finally, Grace withdrew, standing straight up and away from Andrew while pulling her wing back. Her hand, however, took a detour. Instead of coming right off of him, it wandered upwards, her fingers just starting to encircle his shaft. Barely cupping him, she let her hand travel his length all the way to his cockhead. Then, to push the movement from a curiosity to something more, she gave a tiny stroke, no more than an inch, back down before removing her hand.

“Thank you for being patient with me, Andrew. I’d love to stay and talk with you more, but I’m swamped today. Remember, you can always call the nurses if you need anything.”

Without giving him a chance to reply, Grace turned on her heel and walked out.

Grace’s smile screamed from her mouth pure satisfaction. She caught herself mid-laugh before coughing and straightening her face. The look on his face! The utter, complete confusion! He had locked up and the recurring thought running through his mind had been plastered all over:

Did she just stroke me?

A chill ran down Grace’s spine and she fought back another chortle. Heavens above, if she could get that look from every man that went through this hospital, she would die from the delight within a week. But even better was the expression that came after. It was much more subtle, of course, as it came with no concrete thought. It was a realization, one that flickered across the face in a single breath. One only a trained eye noticed, and Graces’ had drank it deeply.

Fear.

That microsecond when rationality struck that tight, strained layer of arousal and surfaced for just long enough to imprint a more powerful and infinitely more salivating thought:

I can’t stop her.

Grace stopped in front of a door, the clicking of her high heels echoing for a moment before stopping with her. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes. She needed to stay focused, stay prim. It would not do to be deluging depravity all over the place. It was so thick anyone would have noticed. Grace laid a hand on her chest as she exhaled, then looked down at her cleavage. Smirking, she undid the top button of her shirt. A deluge might be too much, but perhaps a little leak wouldn’t hurt.

Her pager buzzed.

She deflated. Rolling her eyes, she pulled it out and looked. Thessa. Crap.

She strutted down the hall, back straight and eyes forward. The smile from a moment ago had vanished, but she didn’t need to let the nurses see a frown, either. Most of them were too busy with their own duties to give Grace a mind. A few greeted her and Grace was sure to return the hellos with grace.

The walk was much more like a climb. Even though Thessa’s office was downstairs on the first floor, the journey wore her down the farther she went. By the time she was at the double-doors leading to the office, she was aching. Tugging her doctor’s coat, she pushed the doors open and walked in.

Thessa Renalyd was what anyone would expect from a dragon at first glance: tall, imposing, beautiful, and powerful. She had smooth, well-kept ginger hair that tumbled down her back, a single swinging braid the only ripple in an otherwise seamless flow. Grace always felt she wore it too long, but then again, the woman was so busy meddling with other people’s affairs that it was understandable she didn’t take a close enough look at herself. Maroon scales covered her limbs, cleaned to a fine shine that reflected the sunlight just well enough to make it uncomfortable to stare at directly. Thessa’s arms were crossed as she looked over the wall of bookcases in front of her, tapping a claw against the scale of her forearm. The constant ticking bugged Grace, but she said nothing. She didn’t need to give Thessa more ammunition.

Thessa’s dark green eyes drifted from her bookshelf to Grace and the ticking stopped. Unfolding her arms, she walked over to her massive oak desk and motioned for Grace to take a seat.

“Thank you for coming. And so quickly too.”

Grace sat down. “It’s always busy out there, but you caught me between patients. Lucky, I guess.”

Thessa’s greeting was polite, but her eyes were analysing Grace, trying to find a way through her professional outward demeanor. Grace met them as if to say, ‘Good luck.’

“I intend for this impromptu meeting to go quickly so you can get back to it.” Thessa grabbed a folder off her desk, her dragon claws carefully opening it and flipping through the papers inside. “I’ve of course had many compliments on your work. A great majority of your patients come in and out of here in a timely manner with nothing but good things to say about you.” She paused on one sheet of paper and read off of it. “‘Constant professional attention. Even though I was just one of her patients, I never felt ignored.’” She turned the page. “‘I always felt wonderful in her hands. I almost want to get injured just to come back here!’” She lowered the folder. “There’s plenty more along the same vein. Your male patients are head-over-heels for you and your female patients enjoyed your care, though I never seem to get quite as many compliments from them.”

Grace let that comment settle on its own. Thessa was reaching for something.

“The praise doesn’t stop at your patients, either.” Thessa picked up another folder and shook it. “This one is full of compliments from your co-workers as well.”

“Is there anyone in particular I should thank for the compliments?” asked Grace.

“The forms are anonymous, you know that.” Thessa smiled. “But I can tell you they’re not all from just one person. Your department likes you.”

Grace didn’t need Thessa telling her to know that. Though it wasn’t universal.

“Then—sorry of I’m missing something—but I’m not really sure why you’d need to buzz me down here in the middle of the day,” said Grace.

“I’m sharing with you the positive feedback first to let you know I didn’t bring you here just to criticize you. You’re a wonderful doctor, Doctor Grace.” Thessa pulled out a third folder, this one much more thin than the others. “But I do need to bring this up.”

Grace kept her smile on, arms crossed in her lap. She needed to pay attention to figure out where this information had come from.

Thessa read from the folder. “‘Doctor Grace didn’t cover up enough. Her shirt, which could’ve easily been buttoned up more, was revealing too much, and I didn’t feel comfortable enough to say anything about it. I hope not all of your doctors are this prudish.’”

Grace’s smile twitched. It was rare a patient reacted so negatively to a few loose buttons, and this was the first time they’d disliked it so much they put in a comment about it.

Thessa moved on. “‘I’m sure it was entirely unintentional, but Doctor Grace’s hands kept moving toward private places while she leaned over my bed or sat at my bedside. Please let her know to be more careful in the future.’”

That patient was either entirely oblivious or gay. Grace would have to get better at reading them.

Thessa lowered the folder for a moment. “Now, I understand different patients have different ideas of what is acceptable, and at times that can be quite difficult to read, but in the realm of sensuality, always stay on the safe side. I’m sure you don’t want to be sued for a minor misjudgement.” Thessa looked Grace up and down. “What you’re wearing now is appropriate and I can’t say I’ve ever seen you dressed too provocatively, so I’m assuming these comments are simple mistakes or anomalies.”

Thessa left a moment of silence hang in the air, eyes expectant toward Grace. “I appreciate the confidence,” said Grace. She wasn’t going to try and explain herself; no good would come from that. It only told Thessa there was something to explain away.

Although, Thessa’s intonation on the ‘too’ had made her fidget. She dressed exactly how her patients liked: nothing more, nothing less.

Well, maybe a bit less sometimes.

Nodding, Thessa went back to the folder. “‘While Doctor Grace’s flirtatious and overly-casual attitude may put other patients at ease, it only frustrated me. That may not be inappropriate according to your rules or whatever, but I know if my girlfriend was in the room with us, she would’ve have a thing or two to say about it.”

Damn! Grace gritted her teeth. She knew exactly who wrote that, too. He’d been admitted with no emergency contact and no wife listed, so Grace had assumed he was unattached. And when he’d shown frustration during ‘treatment’, Grace had attributed it to pain, not herself.

“I will not patronize you by asking if you’ve read our policies on interactions with patients,” said Thessa. “You’ve been a doctor for nearly ten years, you know what they are. But I can’t just let comments like this go. They lead to harassment lawsuits that this hospital can’t afford.”

God, you love to run your mouth, don’t you? thought Grace. But are you really talking about what this hospital can afford or what your job can afford?

“Doctor Grace, please acknowledge this so we don’t have to linger on it. It’s distasteful to talk about and much better shelved in the past.”

“I understand, Miss Renalyd.”

Thessa looked back to the folder then paused, her eyes shifting to Grace. “Thessa is fine, Doctor.”

Grace straightened her back, regaining some of her smile. Thessa hated being called by her last name. Made her feel old, she’d said.

“Thankfully, this is the last one,” said Thessa.

Doing her best to keep her face unreadable, Grace nodded.

“‘I think Doctor Grace is embarrassing me on purpose. I’ve never been naked in front of a doctor so many times. I mean, I know it happens sometimes, but Doctor Grace tells me I have to strip for everything. Going to the bathroom, changing my IV drops, checking my heartbeat, my blood pressure, even examining my bruised ribcage! I’m no doctor, but there can’t be a reason for that, right? I’m sorry if I’m wrong about all this, I’m just worried. Especially when it seemed like she was purposefully rubbing her thighs against me while I was naked.”

The last sentence made Grace winced, but she hid it right away. That patient she remembered as well. Usually, the excessive nudity opened them up for a more gradual escalation, but he’d never gotten hard, even with Grace’s encouragement. Her mistake had been pursuing him too hard.

“Now, doctor, we don’t have any procedures to strip the patient during IV changes, do we? Or taking blood pressure readings? Or checking their pulse? Or is my knowledge out-of-date?”

“No, we do not.”

“Was this patient lying, then?”

That was a trick question. Thessa knew he wasn’t, and even if he was, that didn’t matter for this discussion. She was giving Grace the chance to trap herself.

“No, he wasn’t.”

“Then why did you keep having him strip?”

He was never the one removing his clothing—Grace had been quite attentive in that aspect. No reason to correct Thessa, though. The bigger problem was how to answer and that was likely the reason why Thessa had picked out this specific comment. There was no good answer, not that Grace could come up with on the spot.

Seeing Grace conflicted, Thessa continued.

“Your nurses tell me you spend much more time alone with your patients than any other doctor. Now, if it was any other doctor, and they weren’t getting these kinds of comments, I would attribute it to a passion for their job. But I don’t know what to think when it comes to you.” Thessa motioned to the folders full of compliments. “I want to believe these. I know you’re a good doctor, both in the medical aspect and the social one. I know you made it here because you do have a passion for your job. But where are these comments coming from, then? Help me to understand you, Doctor Grace. Let me help.”

Grace’s face had gone blank. What was this, some kind of therapy session? Who exactly was Thessa pretending to be? Her ignorance of the situation was only surpassed by her misunderstanding of it. Grace had made a few miscalculations, that was all. In many ways, this talk had helped, she supposed. It told her she needed to be more careful, more precise. It also told her she’d need to know who she could count on. Patients came and went, and after today, she’d know better how to analyze them, but Thessa had mentioned nurses making comments too. Starting today, she would be vetting them more thoroughly.

Grace realized Thessa had been staring at her wordlessly the entire time she’d been running through her thoughts. Quickly, set sat back up straight and wiped the dumbfounded look from her face. “Thessa, hearing these comments is very important to me. It’s how I learn to be better at my job. And they’re telling me, today, that I need to be more professional. I… do have some moments of weakness when I wish I could just talk to my patients like a friend and forget that they, in fact, aren’t. They’re clients. They need me at my best, all the time, and that’s what I intend to give them.”

Thessa gave Grace a hard look. Her gaze bore into Grace, trying to look further, beyond her words, beyond her visage. Under their duress, Grace was a statue. Thessa had to buy that explanation, and the only way that would happen was if Grace embraced it wholeheartedly. So Grace remained, as plainly as she could, an angel.

“As long as you take the feedback to heart, there’s nothing more to say,” said Thessa. She closed the folder, laid it in a pile with the others, then interlocked her hands. “I know this wasn’t easy to sit and listen to calmly and maturely. For that, I thank you. I want to reassure you that this wasn’t to embarass or shame you, but rather to give you an opportunity to improve. And no matter how many criticisms you get, I will always first aim to help you move past them rather than of dwell on punishment. Now, is there anything more you need from me?”

“No.”

Grace immediately knew she should’ve paused before saying that, but the answer was already given. Besides, she needed to get out of here as soon as possible.

Nodding, Thessa leaned back in her chair. “Alright, then. I’ve got no more reason to keep you.” She motioned to the door.

“Thank you, Miss Renalyd,” said Grace as she stood. “Rest assured, I’ll take everything I’ve heard today to heart.”

“I’m eager to see how.”

It took all of Grace’s will to keep her facade up until the door to the office closed behind her. Walking back, Grace could hear her high heels hitting the ground hard with each step. It didn’t matter who saw her stomping through the halls. For a while, she didn’t even think about where she was going. It just needed to be away from Thessa.

Eventually she made it back to her department, paused and took a deep breath. If she didn’t blow off some steam, the nurses were going to notice. She had just the patient in mind. Alex was her most recent ‘project’, someone she’d been preparing. For days, in fact. She took off toward his room.

Hopefully none of the nurses needed her, because she intended to spend the next hour dragging him to the edge and holding him there until he grovelled for release.

 

**

 

The first step would have to be the nurses.

As head of the trauma department, Grace had a lot of control over who she worked with. In the past she’d simply rotated the nurses’ shifts and patients such that none of them would be able to observe the precise patterns Grace would follow with her “special” patients. Special patients were those that met the right criteria: few or no visitors, staying for several weeks, unlikely to cause a fuss, unattached to anyone who might get nosy on their behalf, and, mostly importantly, in need.

It was something in their eyes, Grace had found. A transient shadow. A fog that passed over their gaze. A silent yearning as they watched Grace talk. It spoke with thunderous words: “I need you to help me.”

And Grace always helped her patients.

Most of Grace’s help involved quick, subtle teasings with patients who would be out of the hospital within days. Things like leaving the room too cold and wearing a tight shirt or leaving it too hot and unbuttoning one too many buttons. She might sit on the bed with the patient and rest her hand on their stomach just above the waist. She also enjoyed being a ‘hands-on’ doctor—touching wounded areas of their body and asking how it felt, then letting her hands wander off, only to withdraw right before they made it too far. Just thinking about it made her mouth water.

But it would all be ruined if she didn’t know which side her nurses were on. Apparently, holding a good reputation wasn’t enough any more. The strategy of working around them had to end. Instead, she would have to confront them. Carefully, of course.

She would start today with Aurora. Aurora was one of the shorter nurses, always full of energy and more words than her mouth could get out sometimes. With only a year at Beleness Mercy, she was newer than almost all the others, too. Grace found her in the break room.

“Oh! Doctor Grace!” Aurora stumbled back from the break room sink, the cup in her hands almost tumbling out of her grip.

“Good morning, Aurora. Surprised to see me?”

“What? Oh, no, I just, well, you don’t usually use the break room. At least, in the mornings.” She smiled and spat out a nervous laugh.

“You’re right, I’m usually in my office. But today I seem to have run out of cups.” Grace walked over to the pantry, opened it, and started to fish out some foam cups.

“You came to the right place. Nice to see you here!”

Grace smiled to herself. Aurora hadn’t quite gotten past the whole ‘walking on eggshells’ around her boss yet. Perhaps that would work to Grace’s advantage today. She gave the room a quick glance. No one else was around.

“You’re quite energetic. I envy you, you know. Some days are really taxing,” said Grace.

“Oh, it’s just, you know, how I am. Lucky me, right?”

“Just earlier today I was checking up on a patient—broke both arms and had a neck brace. Couldn’t hardly move. Cases like this come through all the time, of course, but I still found myself wishing I could help him somehow.”

“Yes, I, uh, I do get that feeling myself sometimes!” Aurora grew stiff and her eyes darted around the room. Probably wasn’t expecting a friendly break room conversation to wander off like this.

“Can you even imagine? Being completely helpless, at the whim of whoever walked in the room. For me, it’s just thirty minutes or so I was with him but he had to live it. Trapped, bound, unmoving.”

“It’s just awful to think about,” said Aurora.

“All I wanted to do was… reach out. Touch him. Let him know I was there for him. Use whatever part of me I could to guide him to a place of comfort. Or even pleasure.”

Keeping her face contemplative, Grace watched Aurora out of the corner of her eye. Her breaths were slow and heavy. Sweat had begun to drip down her face, and as the silence went on, she swallowed.

“Y-yes,” Aurora said, half to herself. “Yes. Help him out. Of course, that’s what we’re here for, right? Sit by his bed, talk to him, let him think about when things weren’t so bad.”

Grace glided across the room to Aurora, breaking the nurse out of her thoughts by laying a hand on her shoulder. “But what’s hurting him most is his body.” She let her hand slider off Aurora’s shoulder and sneak down her arm. “I want so much to help that, too.”

Aurora’s eyes met Grace’s, lips sealed tight with tension, her arm trembling as Grace’s slid along it. Then, just as the skin of their hands touched, Aurora snapped out of it, stepping back and bumbling.

“O-oh, I’m so sorry, Grace, I mean, Doctor Grace, I was just coming, I mean, came in, I mean, walked to the break room for a quick little drink and I got it and now I have to back, sorry, really busy!”

She scrambled out the room, her mouth spewing out words the entire time. Grace smirked. Yes, that one would do.

 

**

 

Not wanting to arouse suspicion, Grace waited until the next day to approach the next nurse, Trish. She was more composed than Aurora and, of all the nurses, she was one of the most experienced. Known for her blunt wit, most anyone could relax around her. Trish was probably the most social of the nurses, the one organizing events or showing up with a round of coffee for everyone in the morning.

And, as far as Grace could tell, just as likely to reject Grace as to side with her. Grace would have to be more careful with her. Unlike with Aurora, however, Grace couldn’t count on ever catching Trish alone, so she opted for the next best thing: with a patient.

“There are plenty of things you can do with only one kidney! Running, rock climbing, hunting, dialysis…” Grace heard the nurse’s voice through the door. Yes, that was definitely Trish in there. Putting on her most charming face, Grace entered.

“And don’t get me started on all the nicknames you can use now. 1-Bean Counter, You Sunk My pH Levels, John Diss ‘em, the list goes on,” said Trish. She turned to the sound of the door. “Oh, hey, Doctor Grace, how’s it going? What brings you to my humble abode?”

“I was actually going to see if I couldn’t clear Mr. Willis here for an early release. He’s been doing fantastic since the surgery.”

“I’ll say.” Trish flexed her arm. “I’ve got all this and Willy here puts me to shame!”

Trish was a much more intimidating package than Aurora. Where Aurora was smooth and almost fragile, Trish was far more rigid and athletic. With defined abs, thighs, and arms, Trish could pick a grown man up and toss them across the room with one hand. Combine that with the natural strength angels had and she could be truly frightening, should she ever try to be. It didn’t help that she was a smidge taller than Grace at six-foot and change.

Grace sat down next to Mr. Willis and began her tests. Her attention was only half on them, however.

“How has Mr. Willis been doing, Trish?” asked Grace.

“He’s been a real character these last couple days. Started wolfing down his meals in minutes and having the gall to ask for more!”

Mr. Willis protested, but Trish wagged a finger at him. “Someone worked really hard on that chicken-fried steak, most of all the chicken! So you should spend more than two minutes appreciating it!”

Mr. Willis smiled, which got Trish grinning too. “No, he’s been great, doctor. I think it’s about time we kicked his sorry ass outta here.”

Grace raised an eyebrow at Trish so the nurse half-heartedly added, “Oops, sorry about the language.”

“No, no,” said Grace. “Don’t let me keep you from talking about what you want to do to his ass. I’m just taking tests.”

Trish snorted and looked away. Grace suspected it was to hide a blush, but said nothing.

“Would you say Trish here’s done a good job?” Grace asked Mr. Willis.

“Hey!” said Trish. “I’ve done a great job!”

“Yeah, she’s a really good nurse, I’m a lucky man,” said Mr. Willis.

“Is she now?” Grace hummed to herself, fiddling with her papers, then frowned. “Well, in all my hubris I seem to have made a mistake myself. I grabbed the wrong form.”

“Memory’s the first thing to go when you get old, doctor. Better starting looking for a retirement home,” said Trish.

And it sounds like Trish has volunteered to fetch the vials I also forgot for the blood sample. Thank you, Trish.”

“Sore loser.”

Grace shrugged at Mr. Willis. “Sorry, Mr. Willis. We’ll be right back.”

Trish gave him a cheery wave and the two of them left the room.

“You certainly seem confident today,” said Grace, walking beside Trish.

“What can I say? I’m on top of things. I could handle anything the world could throw at me right now.”

Grace saw the opening she was looking for.

“Oh? And what if you walked in on a patient with an erection?” she asked.

“Ignore it like a real professional. C’mon, Grace, I’ve seen it a hundred times, that’s hardly much of a challenge.”

“An erection he was making sure you noticed.”

“I—” Trish scrunched her mouth up. “Alright, honest answer or textbook one?”

“You’re always welcome to be honest with me, you know that.”

“Probably jerk him off.”

“Of cour—” Grace’s tongue stopped working. Of all the things she was expecting going into this, Trish taking the lead was not one of them.

“What’s that look for?” said Trish. “I mean, we’re alone, he’s needy, and I’ve got two perfectly good hands. It’s a win-win.”

Was she joking? She had to be joking. Or had Thessa already gotten to her? She might’ve been an agent trying to get Grace to admit to something. “Really,” said Grace.

“I just don’t see why everyone’s so uptight about doing anything sexual around here. Just because we’re all angels doesn’t mean we’re prudes. If the guy’s got a problem a handy’s gonna solve, then I’m not going stare at him and twiddle my thumbs.”

Grace crossed her arms. “Are you sure about that?”

“Yeah.”

“Why don’t you prove it, then?”

“Are you… offering me a chance to?” Trish’s cheeks flushed.

“How about this: I’ve got a checkup with a patient in 403 in about… fifty minutes. If you happen to be there, maybe we can check more than his heart rate.”

“Yeah. I mean, I’ll be there,” said Trish.

“We’ll see.” With that, Grace turned off. She couldn’t hide her smile any longer. What luck! Trish had been a huge unknown for Grace, but now it was looking like she’d be one of her most trustworthy nurses! But she couldn’t get ahead of herself. She checked her watch. In fifty minutes she’d see the truth.

The time passed quickly and soon enough, Grace found her way to the door to 403. Curious, she peered through the small vertical window. Inside, Trish was standing up straight, fiddling with her hair and fixing her clothes, doing her best to look clean and confident.

How cute, thought Grace. A lascivious smile grew on her face as she opened the door.

“Doctor Grace.” Trish snapped to attention, arms at her sides, then realized how uptight she looked and forced herself to relax.

“Calm down.” Grace spoke deliberate and soothing. The hurdle here would be teaching Trish she was allowed to enjoy herself. If she was this high-strung, her nerves would get the better of her and she’d get cold feet.

Trish was discovering it was one thing to talk about comforting patients in a room with no one else and another to be there committing the act.

“Yes, Doctor Grace.” Trish swallowed.

“You can just call me Grace. It’s fine.” She laid a comforting hand on Trish’s shoulder, then walked past her to the bed where Carter, her patient, was lying down. He was looking at Grace with confusion but unable to speak it. The accident that put him in the hospital had, among other things, damaged his vocal chords. Perfect for training a nurse like Trish. A gag might have made her uncomfortable.

Trish didn’t yet understand that these patients wanted it. That was also to be part of today’s lesson.

“Hello, Carter. Remember me? I’m your doctor, Doctor Grace.” Grace laid on the sweetness in her voice.

He nodded, still unsure.

“Wonderful. This is Trish, and we’ll be assisting you today. How are you feeling?”

Carter cocked his head, looking between the two, then delved Grace’s eyes as if to ask a question. That puzzlement only made her smile grow. This was one of her favorite moments with a patient. The internal questioning, grasping for answers, on the cusp of discovering exactly what Grace intended to do, and then the gape of awe when her fingers wrapped themselves around the patient’s cock.

It was a struggle to keep her hand steady. Today, that was Trish’s job.

“Trish, could you come over here? Over the other side of the bed.”

Trish approached, eyes hungry, and sat down opposite Grace. “Here?”

“Perfect.” Grace scooted further onto the bed, trapping Carter’s waist between the two angels. He tried to pushing himself further up the bed in an effort to free himself, but Grace snatched the arm he was using for leverage and held it firm. Shock splashed upon his face. He tried yanking his arm away, but Grace was far too strong for him.

Grace didn’t mention it to Trish, but she’d come in here yesterday after recruiting Aurora to tease Carter a bit. She wanted him ready. She’d also considered using Alex as Trish’s first patient, but Grace had been working on him too long. She didn’t want Trish’s inexperience to accidentally ruin him.

Staring straight into Carter’s panicked gaze, Grace laid a hand on his chest, letting it wander up to one of his nipples before drawing lazy circles around it. At the same time, she brought a wing to his cheek and cupped it.

“My nurse, Trish has a very important procedure she needs to do. I know you’ll enjoy it. But, if you insist on being troublesome, well, I’ll say I’m just looking for an excuse to tie you up.”

“Doctor,” Trish whispered to Grace, “Isn’t this a little… forceful?”

“This patient, like many others, needs your help, Trish. Most of them don’t realize it. It may seem forceful, but it’s for their own good. Also, it’s better to use a little too much force at first and realize you don’t need it later than to not use enough and regret it.”

Trish nodded, accepting the lesson.

“Now, Trish,” Grace spoke up, eyes still fixed on Carter’s, “Please begin.”

“At once, doctor.”

As Trish’s hands went to Carter’s hospital gown, he offered another wave of resistance, squirming between the two angels and trying to free his arm. When he reached for Grace with his free hand, though, she slowly shook her head, reminding him of her threat. After a moment of hesitation, he backed down.

“Oh, my,” said Trish.

Grace didn’t need to look to know why Trish had spoken. Carter was at full mast.

“You were right,” Trish whispered. “He really does want it.”

“Then let him have it.”

Trish took a nervous glance at Carter, but Grace flared out her wing, hiding them from each other. Trish needed to focus on the task now. Biting her lip, Trish reached out and finally took his cock in hand.

Carter strained his neck, trying to look at what was happening.

“Don’t worry about watching her, Carter. Just close your eyes and focus on the feeling.”

The moment Trish began to pump, Carter fell back into the bed, gaping. Instinctively, he tried to wiggle free, but Grace had him well-secured. Soon, his movements became pleasured instead of panicked.

This one was more well-behaved than most, thought Grace. She’d chosen well for Trish’s training.

Several moments passed, Trish giving simple strokes with her hand, eyes fastened on Carter’s member and a wealth of emotions on her face. Anxiety, deviousness, satisfaction, hunger, all mashed together into something unique. Carter had started breathing hard. A small part of him still held out for escape, as his eyes were wandering around the room, looking for something to use. Grace knew they wouldn’t find anything and soon, they wouldn’t care to.

“Use your other hand too, dear,” said Grace.

“Yes, doctor.”

Grace could see the moan imprinted on Carter’s face as Trish’s other hand joined in, swallowing up his balls in a greedy grip. Now both hands were deep into the task, groping and pumping with purpose. The longer Trish worked, the more curious and experimental she became. She twisted her wrist with each stroke, varying her speed as Carter responded to her motions. The hand on his balls shifted to his tip, cupping it and rubbing in circles as the other quickened on his shaft. Grace watched Carter carefully. She couldn’t let Trish get carried away, but she did want to give her enough leeway to start enjoying herself. When Trish clasped both hands into fists and started pumping Carter’s length viciously, his reaction told Grace it was time.

“Stop, Trish.”

Trish was so involved in her charge that the words didn’t register right away. Her hands slowed and she looked up to Grace. “What was it?”

“We’re not here to do something as… basic as masturbating the patient to orgasm as quickly as possible. He could take care of that on his own whenever he wanted to. We’re professionals. We do our job thoroughly and entirely, no matter how long it takes. Quality over quickness.”

After Grace said that, Carter shot her a pained look and once more tried to pull himself free, but a raised eyebrow from Grace was all it took to calm him down.

“So, more steadily?” asked Trish.

“Yes. And be sure he doesn’t cum.”

“Ok.” Trish nodded. “Okay, yes, I can definitely do that.” Her eyes were alight with a new craving as her hands descended on Carter’s cock once more. Gluttonous, even.

Carter winced.

Grace’s pager buzzed and, after glancing down at who it was, her attitude soured.

Trish’s hands jumped, but didn’t leave Carter’s cock. “Who-who’s that?”

Grace pat Trish’s shoulder with a wing. “Calm down. It’s fine. It seems I have to leave, though. You can continue if you want and I’m sure Carter would appreciate it, but you will no longer have my supervision.” She leered at Carter, leaning in and speaking with a heavy voice. “And if she does continue, I expect you to behave. Or I promise she won’t finish what she started.”

Biting her lower lip, Trish looked back to Carter. The poor man was sweating like a pig.

“I’ll keep going.”

Good girl, thought Grace. She had a bright future ahead of her. Grace motioned Trish over and whispered in her ear. “Remember, no orgasms. You may spend as long as you like with him, but he can’t release.”

“Of course.”

“And don’t be afraid to use your wings, too. They’re excellent tools.”

“My wings?” Trish drifted off. “I’ll… I’ll give it a try.”

Grace looked at Carter. “Thank you for being such an understanding patient. I’ll be back to check up on you later. Bye!”

Carter was too busy staring at Trish as she grinned, looming over him like a graceful savior. Or a merciless demon.

As she closed the door behind her, Grace’s couldn’t help but feel a pang of envy. It was Trish’s first time delving into a marvelous world and another step forward in her career, finding new ways to truly care for her patients.

The walk to Thessa’s office was just long enough for Grace to lose most of her annoyance with the interruption by the time she stepped inside.

This time, Thessa wasn’t the only one in her office.

To the right of the desk, hands clasped together below her waist, was an absolute monolith of an angel. No, from the look of her, an archangel. An estimate put her at 6’7”, far taller than even Trish. Her face was completely emotionless and the gaze from her blank, pure white eyes bore straight through Grace like she wasn’t even there. Her clothing was exotic to say the least: armored portions around the neck and face, as well as gauntlets on her arms with long, wispy decorative cloths laying over the forearm. The rest of her dress was a dark, deathly green growing pale toward extremities, the same color as the four wings that hugged her body. As soon as Grace’s inspection made it back to her tits, though, her eyes bulged. Good heavens above, the size of them! Grace couldn’t help but gape. Were they real? They had to be, right? What sort of angel gets implants? Forcing herself to blink, Grace snapped out of her stupor. This was Thessa’s office. Not the place to be staring at someone’s chest.

“Thank you for coming, doctor,” said Thessa from behind her desk. “I know it’s short notice, but I felt this was important enough. I’ve already had a chat with the other department heads about it, but I wanted to talk with you alone.” She gestured to the angel to the right. “This is Anima. She’s an archangel.”

Just as suspected, thought Grace as she looked Anima over.

“Pleased to meet you, Anima. I’m Doctor Grace.”

Anima gave a curt bow. “Greetings.” Her voice lacked a modicum of emotion.

“Anima will be joining our nurse staff for a short time,” said Thessa, “And I’m assigning her to your department. It seemed the most appropriate for her purposes.”

Grace’s smile flickered. So that’s what this was. Archangels were angels with actual jobs—duties, to be precise. Guarding the gates of heaven, healing the hopelessly corrupted with radiant light, that sort of thing. So for one of them to suddenly show up here was bizarre. It didn’t happen randomly. The fact that Thessa was assigning this one to Grace meant she intended for Anima to keep an eye on Grace. How Thessa recruited an archangel was a mystery, one Grace might investigate later. For now, she had to deal with the issue at hand.

“I’ll do my breast, I mean, my best to welcome her. I’d love to have her,” said Grace. She turned to Anima. “What sort of prior training do you have?”

“I am a novice in entirety,” said Anima.

“She’s here more for the learning experience as I understand, correct?” said Thessa.

“Correct.”

They weren’t even trying to hide Anima’s true purpose here.

“Well, I can think of a few places we could use you,” said Grace. “When will you be starting?”

“Right now, actually,” said Thessa, getting up from the desk. Walking over to Anima, she held out her hand. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Anima, and I hope you learn what you came to learn here.”

Anima stared at Thessa’s outstretched hand, then back to Thessa. “What does this gesture imply?”

Grace bit down on her lip to keep her grin from growing wild.

“You shake it. With you own,” said Thessa.

“Understood.” She unceremoniously seized Thessa’s meaty claw and, as instructed, shook. Hard.

Unfortunately for Grace’s amusement, Thessa’s dragon strength kept her arm from flopping about like a wet noodle when Anima shook it. She grasped Anima’s hand with her other as well and said, “Not quite that way. It’s supposed to be quick and gentle, but firm. A greeting, nothing more.”

The intensity of the shake calmed. “A curious method of greeting, but I understand. Thank you for showing me.” Without a touch of inflection to her voice, it could be hard to tell if Anima was being serious or sarcastic.

“You’re welcome. Now, if you would follow Doctor Grace, she’ll show you where you’ll be working.”

With her hand free of the violent shake, Thessa flexed her grip and rubbed her palm with her other hand. She tried to be subtle about it, but Grace still noticed. Angels were always stronger than they looked and Anima likely even moreso.

Anima stood directly in front of Grace, towering over her and blocking out the light. Although Grace suspected she wasn’t trying to be imposing, that’s how she felt. “Please lead the way,” said Anima.

“Sure.”

Anima followed Grace as she left the office. So close, in fact, Grace could feel the gravity wells on Anima’s chest affecting her balance.

“No need to stay so close,” said Grace. “Most people wouldn’t be comfortable at this distance.”

She drifted back a few feet. “Is this appropriate?”

“Yes.”

“I apologize for the discomfort.”

“Don’t worry abou tits. About it.” Grace bit her traitorous tongue. She needed to get those watermelons off her mind.

It was hard to get a read on Anima. The image she gave out was one of a robotic drudge, but something told Grace there was more to it than that. The way Thessa had ambushed her with Anima meant Thessa saw something in Anima, some way to use her to her advantage. And archangels didn’t get their charges because they were incompetent. Grace would need some way to keep tabs on her while she was here. Thessa said she would be here ‘a short time’. Maybe Grace could have her new friends in the department watch Anima while Grace was unavailable.

In the midst of her contemplation, Grace noticed a lack of footsteps. She looked over her shoulder back to Anima and saw she was not walking but floating, her legs dangling barely an inch above the ground.

“You… might want to stop floating and walk, instead. The patients might find it unnerving,” said Grace.

Anima dropped to the ground and transitioned into a smooth stride without a word. Grace silently wondered if all archangels were like this.

“Because of your lack of training, I’m afraid I’ll need to keep you with a partner at all times, is that alright?” said Grace.

“It is acceptable.”

If Anima had an opinion about whether or not she preferred it, it was locked tight behind that monotone voice. At least she was acting agreeable.

“The nurses are I are a very tight grope—um, group, that is. You may feel out of place at first, but everyone here is quite welcoming. Just give it some time.”

Anima said nothing.

When they made it to the nurse’s station, Grace stopped. “All right, here we are. This is the trauma center, my department.” She opened her arms to present the place. “You’ll be in and out of a lot of these rooms, meeting a lot of different people. Even if you don’t participate in nurse’s duties, I will ask you remain professional, as you’ll be representing the hospital around patients.”

Anima cocked her head. “Act professional? I do not believe I understand what this entails.”

Either Anima was a very good actor, or hopelessly clueless. “For now, try to stay quiet and observe what your partner does. I have faith you’ll be able to pick it up from that. Remember how Thessa acted toward you when you met?”

“Yes.”

“She was acting professional.”

Anima blinked, still staring blankly at Grace. “While I do not yet comprehend your meaning, I will take you at your word. Who is to be my partner?”

Grace turned and leaned on the nurse’s station counter. “Aurora? I need you for a bit.”

The diminutive nurse scrambled over. Grace couldn’t help but take some pleasure out of her stunned reaction to Anima, especially when her eyes lingered on Anima’s chest.

But she hadn’t brought Aurora over to amuse herself. “Aurora, this is Anima,” said Grace.

Aurora shot out her hand. As Anima reached to take it, Grace almost dove in to stop her, but the handshake occurred without casualties. Anima was a quick learner.

“Anima’s new here, and she wanted to see what it was like to be a nurse. As a favor to Miss Reynald, I accepted her and offered her a place to learn. Would you mind if Anima shadowed you for today?”

“Of course not!” Aurora’s face brightened.

“Wonderful.” Grace gave Anima a grin before turning back to Aurora and motioning for her to lean in. Her next words were whispers. “Be sure not to teach her too much, okay? And after she leaves for the day, come to my office and let me know what all happened.”

Aurora’s expression reflected hard determination. “Can do, doctor.”

Grace broke away and turned to Anima. “I’ve got plenty to do, so you may not see me again today. Again, it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you have an educational experience while you’re here. Let me know if you need anything at all and I’ll chest it ou—check it out for you.”

“I shall endeavour to make the most of what is given. My thanks.”

Once safely in her office, Grace’s clean posture and bright smile evaporated. Thessa had pulled a good one on her with Anima. How had she gotten in touch with an archangel? What were Anima’s real motives? What bra size did she wear? Grace rubbed her temples. No, those questions didn’t matter, not if Anima was going to be gone soon. For now, she’d trade Anima off between herself and trusted nurses. Hopefully that would satisfy both Anima and Thessa. Continuing the new nurse training might be difficult like this, however.

Standing up, Grace straightened out her doctor’s coat. She was going to have to spend some time with Alex. Only hearing his agonized moans after another session of relentless edging could clear her head.

The walk to his room was a short one, as Grace liked to keep her special patients nearby. She entered to a delightful sight: Alex, strapped to the bed, gagged, with his face practically illuminating desperation at the sight of Grace. Her nethers began to stir and she had to hold back from pouncing on him right then. Locking the door behind her, she pranced forward, unbuttoning the top few buttons of her shirt and finally giving her tits some air.

Alex’s eyes followed her hand as she pet him on the head, smiling, deciding how she would enjoy him today.

“And how are we doing today, Alex? Better than yesterday?”

He yelled into the gag, incomprehensible, but clearly wanting to speak.

“Oh, you wanted to say something? Alright, but you know the rules.”

Grace took the gag off, but was ready to stuff it back in the moment he tried something.

“Grace, please, I—”

Doctor Grace.”

“Doctor! Doctor Grace, please, I need to cum. I can’t think about anything else. I couldn’t sleep last night, and every time I think about you, I get hard for hours before it’ll go away. I can’t do this anymore. Please let me cum.”

If Grace was wet before, she was drenched now.

“We’ll see. Have you been a good patient?”

“Yes! Yes, I’ve done everything you wanted. I didn’t tip off the nurse, or try to call for help, or anything!”

“I’ll think about it.”

Alex opened his mouth to beg more, but got a mouthful of gag instead. Eye wide, he tried to spit it out, shaking his head and pushing it with his tongue, but Grace had it fastened tight. His arms and legs shook against their bonds.

Running her hands through her hair, Grace positioned herself between Alex’s bound legs. She flipped his hospital gown open to expose a sorely red and painfully-throbbing cock. Seeing it, she couldn’t help but lick her lips. Poor Alex thought he might get to cum. If he only knew half of what she had planned for him.

As she reached for his cock, she watched his face, drinking in the pain, the hope, and the fear all raging through it. When her hands secured their grip around him and began to move, however, the only thing left was bliss. Bliss as she caressed him from tip to base, working him with precise, practiced hands. Her smooth skin glided effortlessly down his length in full, deliberate pumps. When one of her hands reached down to knead his balls, she delighted in the way his body seized up. Grinning, she persisted, watching him arch his back, lost to the pleasure.

“I’m not familiar with this procedure.”

Grace jumped back, snapping her head to the voice. Anima was standing in the room, that blank stare drilling into Grace.

How? How had she gotten in? The door was still locked and she can’t have imagined Anima got the key. And where was Aurora? Dread hit her gut like an iron ball. Thessa. This is what she’d planned. Anima had some trick up her sleeve that had gotten her here, and now, she was going to report this back to Thessa.

“Please, continue. I did not wish to interrupt,” said Anima.

Grace’s expression blanked. “What?”

“I was instructed to ‘stay quiet and watch’. I see that my inability to follow these procedures has resulted in an undesired disruption. I will refrain from voicing my curiosity in the future.”

“What?”

Anima stood in silence for a moment. “I’m afraid I do not know how to further explain the situation.”

Was she serious? Did she truly want Grace to continue? Was she apologizing for catching Grace in the middle of jerking her patient off? Or… Grace narrowed her eyes, entertaining another thought.

“Do you know what this is?” asked Grace.

“As I explained, I am unfamiliar with the procedure.”

“And do you know what this is?” she said, pointing to Alex’s erection.

“It is the male reproductive organ. Currently erect, implying excitement, but attributable to many other routine bodily functions as well.”

“And you saw what I was doing?”

“Application of tactile stimulation. Yes. It is most likely the explanation for his penis’ current state.”

“And you don’t have any questions… about that.”

“On the execution of the procedure? No, I am not a doctor. It is not my area of expertise. I am merely curious as to the purpose.”

By the gods, she sounded sincere. Anima had no idea what was going on here. If Thessa planned to use her to sniff out Grace’s activities, she had grossly underestimated Anima’s ignorance of the world. To be fair, so had Grace, but today, the cards had fallen in her favor. Anima could be her ally. And, if she was careful, Thessa would never know.

Straightening herself out, Grace gestured to Alex. “As you can see, my patient’s in a clear state of discomfort.”

Anima analyzed Alex with a stare. “Yes, his body is showing signs of distress.”

“It’s common with severe physical trauma for that discomfort to linger or for the accident to put a heavy mental strain on the patient. Therefore, doctors can use stimulation such as this to divert attention away from the trauma. It’s an effective way of helping them move past the accident.”

“Indeed. He appears significantly more distressed now that you have ceased treatment.”

Anima’s blunt compliment lifted Grace’s spirits. For a second, she even considered asking Anima’s help right there, but reconsidered. That was too aggressive. She had time to introduce Anima to this properly. Plus, she didn’t want to risk her precious Alex on a trainee.

“I need to continue, but I think my patient is a little too nervous to undergo this procedure in front of a stranger. Sorry. I wish you could stay and learn some more.”

Anima took the news without any reaction. “Unfortunate. But my original purpose for coming here was to deliver a message from nurse Aurora. The question about the procedure was mere curiosity.”

Aurora had sent Anima to deliver her a message? After Grace explicitly asked her to keep Anima with her all day? She sighed. “What’s the message?”

“They ran out of cups in the break room.”

Grace pinched the bridge of her nose. What was going through Aurora’s head? Could there be some hidden context here? Or was she really sending a message that trivial through Anima? Grace gave it a moment of thought. Then sighed.

“Thank you, Anima. When you return to Aurora, would you kindly remind her you are to spend the remainder of the day at her side, not running errands?”

Anima nodded and left without bothering to open the door, instead walking through it. So that was how she got in so quietly.

Shaking her head, Grace moved back between Alex’s legs. There was still much to be done. Leaning forward, she smothered Alex’s cock between her tits and hugged them together tight to the point they oozed out between her arms.

“You know, things weren’t always so complicated,” she said as she began to push her breasts up and down. “Giving a needing patient a titfuck was as simple as locking the door, undoing your top, and going at it. But now with paranoid nurses, patient feedback forms, and nosy bosses, you have to make certain arrangements.”

Putting her concentration on her chest, Grace shifted her arms to push harder and into specific parts of Alex’s cock. First, she slowed at the head, fluctuating between a crushing and a light pressure, tweaking it as his body responded. Then she dipped lower, leaving his cockhead in the open air as her creamy skin smothered his balls and shaft in walls of ecstasy. Desperate from the assault, he tried thrusting into her chest, prompting her to pull back entirely.

“Dear, please, I need you to behave.” After seeing him calm back down, Grace’s breasts swallowed his member once more. “If you were my patient a year ago, I would’ve been able to come here first thing in the morning for an hour, then come back for another hour at the end of my shift! Those days were wonderful. But now I have to break up my time to keep the nurses from getting suspicious.” She watched Alex’s expression writhe with his body. “I can see you’re jealous. I know, I know. But just because I can’t spend as much time with you doesn’t mean I care about you any less.”

Grace shifted her hands to the sides of her tits, rubbing them in circles into Alex’s cock. Using her back, she added a subtle up and down motion to her paizuri as well. More guttural noises of raw desire leaked out of Alex’s mouth. Grace smiled. From the way he forced his eyes off of Grace and stared at the ceiling, she could tell he was doing his best to keep from thrusting into her again. For being such a good patient, she rewarded him with more.

Alex practically screamed.

“I feel that exact way sometimes,” said Grace. “I swear, some of the nurses from the other departments were even screened before they got hired. My nurses know how to fill out forms, transfer patients, and monitor drug pumps, but when I get transfers from other parts of the hospital, there’s a fifty-fifty chance they’ll mess something up if someone doesn’t hold their hand.”

Alex’s twitching had calmed. Grace sensed he was close and slowed her pace to a crawl. Moving her hands to the bottom of her breasts, she changed to a more vertical motion, giving more attention to his head. She delighted as her silky breasts glided over his rough, distressed cock. Now robbed of the stimulation he needed, Alex’s fervor boiled over again. The straps on his limbs snapped taunt. Glaring, he thrust his cock into her bosom. Smiling and meeting his gaze, she leaned into his thrusts, letting him think he could push himself over the edge, but at the last second she stood up.

Defeated, Alex slumped. Tears ran down his face. Concern struck Grace’s face and she hurried to his side.

“Oh, dear, no, don’t cry.” Grace brought a hand to his cheek and gently wiped a tear away. Extending her wings, she wrapped the two of them in a cocoon of white warmth. “I was thinking about your request, you know.”

Alex blinked out another tear before meeting Grace’s gaze, hope in his eyes.

“I need you to understand something very important.” Her soft, caring face twisted into a dark, debauched grin. “You are never, ever going to cum under my care.” The hand that had once cleaned his face was now slithering down his chest. “I will force the most divine pleasures into your body over and over and over again, but you will never find release. I will drive you to such heights you will ascend from your poor, anguished body, but the moment heaven seems within reach, you will come crashing back down.” Her hand found its prey and wrapped itself firmly around it. Alex was whimpering now. “And each day, you will fear my visits, treading fiercely in a sea of despair, only to find that when I arrive, I was what you needed all along.”

His violent thrashing rang rapturous in Grace’s ears as her hand started its masterful stroking. Closing her eyes, she drank in the agonized sounds of his pained breathing, his stifled moans, his wearied muscles, and his dying hopes. She let her hand move faster to draw them out more. A prolonged, lingering breath wafted from her mouth, thick with relief and desire. Yes, this was what being a doctor meant. This was how she was always meant to treat her patients. She looked down at Alex to let him see her depraved smile once more.

Grace heard the lock on the door behind her click. And in the moment between the sound registering and her reaction, the palace of her ecstasy crumbled to dust.

She spun around, withdrawing her wings and bringing her hands together in front of her, desperately hoping she didn’t already know who it was.

Thessa’s bitter face told her the grim truth.

“I would prefer to say I’m disappointed,” said Thessa, walking toward Grace, “But in truth, I knew this had been going on for some time, I just hadn’t seen it in person.”

Grace fought to keep poised and upright, but the well of rage stewing within was doing its best to make her scowl.

Using her tail, Thessa pushed Grace aside and got a good look at Alex. She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Which number is he?” she asked.

“I don’t number them, Miss Renayld. They’re my patients. They have names. This one is Alex.”

“Surprising. I would have expected someone who used others in such a debauched way to see them more as things.”

“Do not doubt how much I care for my patients. Alex means a lot to me.”

Thessa’s nostrils flared, but she didn’t reply. Instead, she pulled off Alex’s gag, then went to his bonds, undoing the straps on his hands with her claws and the straps on his legs with her tail. As she reached for the last ones, Grace fidgeted. Weeks she’d worked on Alex. Weeks.

“Wait,” said Grace.

Thessa slowed, turned back to Grace, then continued, pointedly watching Grace as the bindings finally came off. Alex didn’t move at first, looking between Thessa and Grace, blushing at his exposure.

Thessa glanced at his erection and smirked. “Don’t you have something to take care of?”

Grace’s face went awash with panic. “No, don’t!” She reached for Alex as he got up off the bed, but Thessa swatted her hand away. Alex paused and looked back at Thessa.

“Do it,” said Thessa.

No! Grace’s panic splashed plain on her face as, mouth gaping, she watched Alex walk into the bathroom and close the door behind him. Her work! Her precious work! If he finished in there, she knew she would never see that tortured face or hear those pained moans again. Yet Thessa was watching, waiting for her to try to stop him again, and while Grace was strong and agile there was no way she could overpower Thessa. Not like this, at least. So she gnashed her teeth, tore her eyes away, and waited.

Thessa said nothing.

They only needed to stand there a few seconds as Alex’s unrestrained moans told them when he was finished. Grace did everything in her power to keep from crying, from lashing out, from screaming at the contented Thessa standing before her. The fiend! The absolute scum! Thessa would never understand what she’d stolen from Grace, all she knew was that she’d caused her pain.

“Are you satisfied?” asked Grace. Her usual saccharine voice was now venomous.

“No,” said Thessa, frowning. “I wanted to help you, Doctor Grace. I wanted to rid you of this.”

“You could’ve helped me by leaving me alone.”

“I couldn’t have done that and you know it. I will not have my hospital corrupted by deviants like you.”

“I’ve devoted my life to my patients. I spend every day sacrificing all I can for them. And Alex? I gave him everything he wanted and more.”

“You used him.”

“Used—” Unable to hold the rage down, Grace lifted a hand and jabbed a finger at Thessa’s face. “I do not use my patients. I treat them however they need to be treated.”

Thessa’s tail gently pushed Grace’s finger out of the way as she walked up to Grace, closing the distance until their chests pressed against each other. She looked down at Grace.

“Let me make something clear. If the people above me didn’t love you so much, I’d have kicked you out years ago for what you do. But, since I can’t, and you insist on staying, that means I will protect my hospital with whatever means I have at my disposal. If I need to hunt down every single patient of yours and visit them at random times until I catch you doing this like today, then that’s what I’ll do. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Grace pushed her body back at Thessa. “And I will do whatever I have to to give my patients the care they need. If you feel you have to get in my way, then I’ll take that as a threat against their health, and I will do anything to protect their well-being. I wouldn’t leave this hospital, even if I wanted to, because it seems like the patients here need my help the most.”

Thessa stepped back. “That’s your choice.” She turned to leave, but paused. “One last thing: you will always have the power to end this. Should you ever decide you want this to stop, or realize what you’re doing, or even just need help, my office door is open. I never wanted to be your enemy, and never do—but if this is who you are, then that is what I’ll be.”

With that, Thessa was gone.

 

**

 

For the hundredth time, Grace dug her fingers into her face then slowly lowered her head, letting her hands comb through her distraught hair. The soft, stained light of her office held back the night outside and the open patient files on her desk yammered at her with wild cursive. Her nurse plan was in jeopardy. Her favorite patient had been taken from her. Her old routines and safety measures were useless. Thessa had declared an open war. Grace had tried to use work to get her mind off the situation, but without another Alex, there was nowhere for her pent-up stress to go. She needed to think, but in her state, there was no hope of that happening. Sighing, she opened the next new patient file and began to read.

As her eyes ran over the pages, they woke from their dreary slumber. Grace readjusted herself in her chair and leaned in closer. Broken legs. No nearby family. No relationships. Off-and-on job. Could she really have gotten so lucky? The more she read, the hungrier she grew. He was perfect. She looked at the name.

Damien.

Well, Damien, she thought to herself, you’re about to get the best care you’ve ever had in your life, whether you want it or not.

 

 

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