- Ring around the Bed -
Bang, thwack! Bang, bang, thwack!—
When Natalie Meyers ran into her best friend's bedroom, confused and concern about what that loud noise was, she froze in the doorway as she momentarily watched her friend's frustration on display. "Roxy... why are you banging your head against your desk? Repeatedly? As if one time isn't enough?"
Gradually, Roxy lifted her round face up from the flat surface, her watery sea eyes blazing in the room's poor lightening. "Natalie, I've always considered myself to be an intelligent, fairly confident, human being. Well today, not only did I prove myself wrong on so many levels, I'm more anxious and insecure than ever. I feel like crawling into a deep, dark hole and never coming out to face the light of day or a person again."
Natalie rolled her eyes before she walked over to the double bed, patted down the bedspread and took a seat. "Come on, Miss Drama-Queen. Whatever happened can't be that horrible—"
"Wanna bet?" Roxy quipped, tucking a strand of dirty blonde hair behind an ear. "I've never been so embarrassed and so—so stupid in my entire life. I think Dr. Blackwell hates me now."
Natalie couldn't help but laugh at her overly dramatic statement. "Roxy, I'm sure whatever you did wasn't too bad. So what did you do to your new boss? Spilled coffee over him? Really, surely he doesn't hate you—"
"I told him I was a virgin."
... "Wow, um. Did I hear you correctly?" Natalie questioned, unblinkingly.
"Yes," Roxy mumbled, her voice nothing more than a mere, rough whisper.
"Let me get this straight," Natalie said slowly. "You told him—Dr. Blackwell—that you are a virgin? Like, those were your exact words? I'm a virgin?"
Roxy could only bring herself to nod sullenly.
Natalie made a bewildered and somewhat disgusted face. "What were you two talking about in the first place that required him to know this tidbit of information about you? Sexual and reproductive health? AIDS? Birth-control? He's a pediatrician, not a sex-ed teacher, Roxy!"
"I know! I kind of just, blurted it out—"
"Wait a minute. You unconsciously told him this? Roxy, I'm confused, you got to start from the beginning."
Roxy pursued her lips, "We were introducing ourselves, and basically, I felt as if I was having an out of body experience or something. I mean, I was picturing Dr. Blackwell to be this gray-haired, wrinkled-face old man, but instead, he's this tall, handsome, young man, so I was kind of stunned and quiet at first. After he told me to call him by his given name, 'Dean', whenever it was appropriate to do so, he asked me another question, but to be frank, I was still admiring his good-looks. But then he looked right at me, right into my eyes—and oh God, he has these deep, melting, brown eyes that just made me feel so naked and so vulnerable—"
"Oh, right! Anyway, since I felt so uncomfortable underneath his gaze, I began to mentally panic and feel overwhelmed, and yadayadayada, I sang like a canary."
Natalie sighed. "Only you would do something like this. So what did he say? You did apologize to him, right?"
Roxy blushed in memory. "Not exactly... you see, I was too humiliated to stay there any longer, so I bolted out the door before he could respond."
"You ran away like a scared little girl? Roxy, you just made this situation ten times worse! Why didn't you just laugh at yourself, and tell him that you were only kidding, or just playing with him? Why didn't you try to cover up your tracks?"
Through gritted teeth, Roxy answered, "Because. I was too embarrassed, Natalie. Everything happened too fast that I couldn't even think or collect my thoughts together. It wasn't as if I planned to tell him about my virginity status..."
"Well, I guess the damage is all ready done. I'm just surprised that you wouldn't stick around longer... the guy is your boss, after all."
Natalie chuckled. "Roxy, I know you feel low right now, but that is no reason to quit this job—"
"He's going to fire me, Natalie. He's going to fire me before I even start working!" Roxy exclaimed.
"And how do you know this?"
Roxy was flabbergasted. "Weren't you listening to me at all? Of course he's going to let me go! He needs an administrative assistant who's professional, kind, and mature, and what did I do today? What I said to him was the total opposite of professionalism, and not only that, I wasn't mature enough to stay around and explain myself to him."
Natalie nodded understandingly. "Well, it depends on the sort of guy he is. Perhaps he might just believe you were nervous or something. Remember, it's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. Walk in there tomorrow morning, your first day, and act as if nothing was said. Surely he'll forget about it, and who knows? He probably all ready did."
Roxy narrowed her blue eyes onto her delusional friend. "If you were Dr. Blackwell, would you forget about what I said?"
Natalie snorted a laugh. "Are you kidding? I'd still be laughing my tail off—but I'm sure the real Dr. Blackwell doesn't even care."
"Maybe you have a point, Natalie," Roxy agreed quietly, feeling only slightly better. "I just hope you're right."
Dean Blackwell sat at his desk with his hands folded underneath his square chin, midnight jacket hanging on the back of his office chair, eyes low and thoughtful, and brown hair dishevelled and messy.
He glanced at the clock seated on his unorganized desk just then, realizing it's been over four hours since his conversation with Miss Carlson, but he still could not get over what she bluntly told him before. "I'm a virgin," he remembered her words clearly, in which made him speechless; he couldn't utter one silly word. Was she normally this outspoken? Or was it an accident? She did have a very embarrassed and surprised look on her face, right before she ran out of his office, so it must have been a mistake. Nevertheless, whether it was an accident or not, she aroused his curiosity.
It disappointed him a little when he realized she would probably resign from this job position; in fact, he expected her to do so. The way she raced out of the building pretty much suggested she wouldn't want to come back again. He knew it would be pretty easy finding another assistant for the front desk, but he remembered her résumé from all that rest who applied—and that's saying something. There were other, older people with more experience, higher education levels, and more recommendations than Miss Carlson, but she was by far the most honest and modest one throughout those application papers. And he respected those characteristics when searching for a person who will work with him.
"I really hope she doesn't quit so soon...," he voiced out his thoughts in his empty office. Technically, he was supposed to be giving this little boy a shot right at the moment, but obviously his parents were running very late—which happened to be a huge pet-peeve of his.
But if only he had Miss Carlson's phone number... he could call her up and ask her not to res—
Wait. He did have her phone number. It was on her résumé.
He grabbed the handful of applications and junk, as his fingers immediately slipped onto each and every one, until he finally found hers.
At the very top of the sheet, it read:
36 Ritchie Ave., Apt. 942
Toronto, ON., M5G 3F9
(416) 368 – 6435
There. He got the number. So, he picked up the phone, dialled the digits, and waited for a response.
"Hi, you've reached Roxy—" he realized he got her answering machine, "and Natalie's place. Obviously we are not home or we're too busy to pick up, so leave a message after the beep!"
He debated for only a moment whether or not he should actually leave a message, but then at the end, realized he should: "Hey, it's Dean, Dr. Blackwell. Listen, I'd like to see you again, Ro—Miss Carlson. If you feel uncomfortable with what happened earlier today, please don't. Let's just move past this, okay? I would love for you to be my administrative assistant... if you would still like to be. Anyway, hopefully I'll see you tomorrow morning at eight o'clock for training? Good evening."
After Dean hung up, he couldn't help but groan loudly. God, that was painful, he thought, and hoped it wouldn't sound too desperate or stupid to her ears when she gets the message.
Actually, Roxy was sitting at home, watching television, when Dr. Blackwell left his message... she just chose not to answer him. But she found herself playing over his message again and again, absolutely adoring his deep, husky voice that she sadly couldn't get enough of. She wondered if he knew how insanely hot he was, and how strong he stirred up a girl's libido. He looked to be the confident, self-assured type, so she assumed he did know.
"Jeez, I'm surprised I didn't tell him I wanted to do him instead," she muttered bitterly, falling back down on the sofa, and sighed peacefully.
Perhaps I should stay at this job... I had doubts before, but if he cared enough to call me at home, then I guess he really does want me to work for him, she thought optimistically. Plus, he paid better than any of the other doctors she sent in résumés for... and she didn't have to work at a huge place like a hospital... it was his own private practice, and the place was not too far from her own apartment.
That settled it then. Embarrassed or not, she had to take this opportunity. She'll just have to tape her mouth shut from now on.
Dressed in a beautiful tweed pencil skirt, black pointy-toe heels, and a silk white tunic, Roxy stepped inside Dr. Blackwell's workplace early the next morning. She didn't see Dr. Blackwell just yet, but assumed he was in his office, behind the almost closed door, when she heard the sound of papers rattling coming from inside.
She noticed a mirror on the far end of a wall so she quickly ran up to it and fixed her thick hair, in which was tied back and out of her face. The only make-up she wore was a little ivory foundation, brown mascara and eyeliner to frame those blue eyes of hers, and a stroke of nude lipstick over her Cupid's bow lips. She looked a little older than her nineteen years of age, but she was just glad she pulled off that professional look.
Dr. Blackwell must have heard the hush click of her heels because he came out from his office, wearing black trousers over his long legs, a long-sleeve button-down shirt that modestly showed off his well-defined muscles, and a navy and gray striped tie around his neck. To put it simply, he was sex on a stick.
For only a second, he looked surprised to see her standing there, but then a smile slowly crept up on his sensual lips. "Good morning, Miss Carlson."
Even though they stood about ten feet from each other, she desperately wanted to look away from his eyes when she felt the same hotness as she felt yesterday, but she refrained from doing so. Instead, she held her head up high and proud, and firmly said, "Good morning, Dr. Blackwell."
"I take it you got my message?" he asked, his voice calm and curious.
Roxy nodded shortly. "I did."
"So, shall we get started?—training, I mean."
She smiled a little. "We shall."
About two weeks passed by, and it didn't take too long for Roxy to catch onto the basics of front office duties, such as scheduling patients, answering the telephone, registering patients, collecting copayments. She even caught onto the more advance tasks like getting involved in medical transcription, billing insurance companies, composing business letters, and completing daysheets and deposits. Needless to say, Dean was impressed, but not at all confounded by her knowledge and skills—after all, he expected them since they were listed on her résumé. It just made him more aware and confident in his decision of hiring her as his administrative assistant.
It was a Friday morning, and when Dean arrived, he was pleased to find Miss Carlson in the front office, all ready on the phone and marking down an appropriate time for an appointment the person on the phone needed.
Since he came in fifteen minutes before his first patient would arrive, he waited beside Miss Carlson's desk, silently observing her as she spoke kindly into the phone.
He liked that all of her clothing was professional, clean, and well presented—she was not a ditz. But she was definitely cute yet soft-spoken when around the children, and he knew they liked her, as they should. The only thing that bothered him was that they haven't really talked a huge lot since he hired her, but they would make small-talk occasionally, or their eyes would connect once in a while. Honestly? He would enjoy talking to her and getting to know her better, but he had no idea how to go about it. Whenever he attempted some sort of personal conversation with Miss Carlson lately, she would only give short answers—almost keeping it too professional. He could tell that she was a sweet, caring young lady, but that was as far as he got to see.
Should I ask her out for coffee or something? Or would that be too weird for her? Dean thought, contemplating. He never had any problems with girls before, but frankly, breaking this odd tension between himself and Miss Carlson was difficult and confusing.
He sighed while leaning up against the desk, his eyes still focused onto her face as he remained patient. I hope she's still not embarrassed over that virgin thing... I happen to find it funny, but I hope that's not why she's so closed and tense when around me, he wondered to himself.
After what seemed like an eternity (or perhaps a few seconds), she gave the person a goodbye before she dropped the receiver, and looked up to face her boss. "Good morning, Dr. Blackwell. How are you?"
See? They mastered small-talk by now, but he wanted a little more. "All right, I suppose. Actually, I want to ask you something."
Her pretty eyes widened slightly. "O-oh, really? Anything wrong?"
He chuckled. "Relax, nothing is wrong. How can anything be wrong? You've been doing a terrific job for the past few weeks."
Her face then resembled the colour of a red turnip. "Thanks..."
"So, do you have any plans for lunch?" For all he knew, her boyfriend might be taking her out. Well, he didn't know if she had a boyfriend or not, but if some girl had her beautiful looks, they'd be taken.
"No. I don't."
The corners of his lips turned upwards. "Good, because how about we go out somewhere? My treat."
"Ugh, well, I gues—yes. Okay. That would be nice." It looked as if she had to bite her tongue.
Before he could say anything more, a little boy and his father came inside, so Dean and Roxy both greeted them—and as expected, the little boy immediately fell in love with Roxy. Dean was still learning, like mentioned before, that children seemed to love her instantly. He found it sort of... endearing, if you will.
After he finished running a few basic tests on the five year old boy, and continued on with his busy day, Dean noticed that his smile wouldn't leave his prominent face—and he knew why; he was looking forward to his lunch-date with Miss Carlson. And he hoped that this would break the ice so she would be more relaxed when around him in the near future.
It was an understatement to suggest how stunned and shocked Roxy was when Dr. Blackwell asked her out for lunch. It was probably the last thing she was expecting. She prayed it wouldn't be awkward... Dr. Blackwell wasn't the one who was awkward—she was. Roxy just felt so self-conscious when around him, afraid that she would say something stupid, or unwillingly blurt something else out.
She wouldn't mind being friends with him, and she knew that that was what he was attempting; some sort of bond, but at the same time, she could admit that she was very attracted to him, so how could they be each others companion when she had a little crush on him? And besides, he probably all ready had some gorgeous girl hanging on his arm.
"Are you ready, Miss Carlson?" he asked, his voice smooth and soft—she knew he was a gentleman underneath that sexy exterior.
"Yes," she answered quietly, getting up from her seat as he then escorted her out the building in silence.
Roxy knew she was thinking and worrying too much. Dr. Blackwell walked casually beside her, as calm and confident as could be, yet she was fidgeting with her bangs and feeling nervous. She just didn't want to make a fool of herself in front of him, considering she held him up to a high standard.
I need to stop acting like this... I'm the only one who is making it weird, Roxy thought, say something! She turned her head and had to look up high to his handsome face, in which made her feel so short and tiny compared to his tall and muscular built.
He noticed her eyes on him, so he looked down to return her gaze. "You okay?"
"Oh, y-yeah," Roxy said, breaking the eye-contact while blushing. "I just wanted to know if it is far." I'm glad I didn't wear too high of a heel today, she thought.
"Nope; in fact, it's that restaurant right over there." He pointed towards a cute little building that had the words 'Petit Four Bakery' printed in bold letters on a sign.
Roxy slowed down in her tracks, confused. "No offence, but it looks nice."
He chuckled, slowing down beside her. "What? Does a nice place scare you?" he teased.
"No." She quickly shook her head back and fourth, her eyes never leaving the restaurant. "I... just, was picturing a chain restaurant, I guess."
He smirked. "I have rich taste," he whispered jokingly, as if it was a secret. "And besides, it's not too expensive."
I keep forgetting he probably makes good money. Still... even though he said it was his treat and asked me, I don't like him paying for me, she thought stubbornly. However, she decided to let it go. If he had no problem with it, then why should she?
When they got seated at their table for two by an overly friendly waitress, and got their menus and complementary glasses of fresh water, Roxy turned her eyes up to Dr. Blackwell and said, "This is a really nice place. Do you come here often?" She was glad she spoke clearly.
He nodded. "Yeah, it's definitely one of my favourites. The food here is amazing, especially their desserts, which you'll have to try after the meal."
She glanced down at her menu that she held in her small hands, and asked, "So, what do you recommend for a newcomer?"
He looked relieved and interested that she was talking more and initiating conversation. "Well, that all depends. The Lentil Curry Soup is probably their best in my opinion, and you'd probably enjoy their Smoked Chicken Club Sandwich."
She looked thoughtful. "Hmm... I'll have the Chicken and Pasta Salad." She closed her menu, pleased with her decision.
He grinned mockingly. "A girl ordering a salad and not taking a man's advice... so original."
Without realizing it, she pouted, and that made him laugh. "What?" she asked, trying her hardest to sound annoyed.
He looked at her for a few more seconds, analyzing her, as his grin fell into a faint smile. "Nothing. Nothing at all."
Roxy avoided eye-contact, and wondered about his age. She wanted to ask how old he was, but at the same time, she was a little afraid to know the answer. She doubted he would be in his thirties, yet he was a doctor. Four years in undergraduate, another four in medical school, and residency... it didn't exactly say he was young.
Why do you want to know how old he is anyways? He's not into you; he's only your boss. His age has nothing to do with you, Roxy told herself while chewing on her rabbit's food when the plates arrived.
"You know, you can call me Roxy, Dr. Blackwell," Roxy told him, smiling a little.
He returned the smile. "Then I expect the same in return when we're outside the office, okay?"
"Sounds fair," she agreed, bringing a glass of lemon soda up to her lips. "Now, you were saying?"
"Oh, I just wanted to know how old you are. You look to only be about twenty or so..."
Roxy was practically speechless when she realized she and Dr. B—Dean, were thinking the same thing. Only, he probably wanted to know her age because of his 'bonding' strategy... whereas she wanted to know his to see if he was dating material in her fantasy-land.
"Close. I'll be twenty in about three months." Before he could respond, she hastily asked, "And how old are you... Dean?" Roxy felt weird saying his first name, but liked it too.
After a pregnant silence, he answered softly, "Twenty-seven."
Um... is that too old for me? Mom probably wouldn't care since he's a doctor, but Dad would completely disapprove of our age gap—stop it, Roxy! You're not marrying the guy! You're not even friends..., she thought sadly.
Aside from an 'Oh' leaving her lips, nothing more was said for a few more minutes.
Once they finished their meals, the waitress sauntered over and asked about afters.
Roxy shook her head. "None for me, thanks—"
Dean questioned, "Are you sure? You know I wanted you to try their desserts..."
She gave him a personable smile. "Dean, I swear I have no more room left in my stomach for dessert, unless you want me to vomit all over your beautiful Ralph Lauren pants."
He chuckled lazily, and then glanced up to the smiling waitress. "Just the cheque please, sweetheart."
Roxy couldn't stop herself from rolling her blue eyes when she noticed the blush spreading across the pretty waitress' fair face, as she let out a giggle before she left the premises.
Dean smirked when he caught this little gesture out from the corner of his eye. "You look displeased, Roxy," he purposely teased her.
As expected, her face burned like lava due to what he implied. "Why would I be?"
"I don't know. You tell me," he said slyly, obviously in a playful manner. He just couldn't help himself—he found it fun to irritate and harmlessly flirt with the girl. He wasn't stupid though, he knew nothing more would ever come out of it because of the age gap, and especially because they work along side each other.
A touch of a smile grew on her lips. "I think we should go back before one of your patients shows up early, Dr. Blackwell."
He hated that she abruptly went professional and changed the subject, but agreed with her nevertheless.
"Why are you so giddy for?" Natalie asked suspiciously when she heard Roxy singing to herself as she came home that evening.
Roxy carried a huge smile, her eyes bright and happy. "I had a good day."
"I can see that...," Natalie said, flicking the channel on the television screen. "But is there a reason? Like a certain doctor...?"
Roxy laughed, shaking her head. "Um, I guess. He's just so... cute, and smart... he asked me out to lunch today, and eventually, it was fairly easy to talk normally to him."
Natalie asked, "Lunch? That's all? No date?"
"Natalie, we've only known each other for two weeks, and before today, everything was completely professional between us—we barely said two words to each other. So, today was like the steppingstone we needed. Maybe we can even become friends—"
Natalie grinned knowingly. "You really have it bad for him, huh?"
Roxy opened her mouth, about to deny it, but... how can she deny the truth?
Natalie took her silence as an answer. "Thought so."
Roxy sighed, her smile disappearing slightly. "It's probably only temporary attraction... I don't know too much about him, and he's much older than what I am—"
"By how many years?"
Natalie shrugged. "So what? I'm only a few months older than you and I dated men a lot older than... twenty-seven?"
"Yes," Roxy paused and continued. "But it's different. I like him, but it's just attraction. I don't like him enough to try and pursue anything—and he's my boss! If we ever dated, and then it didn't work out, I'd have to find a new job, and I happen to enjoy this one."
Natalie gave a coy smile. "But what if it did work out? Then you'd have a doctor as your first serious boyfriend."
Roxy snorted unladylike. "Natalie, I-I... it just won't happen. For one; odds are, he probably has a girlfriend, and for two; even if he is single, he would never have interest in some nineteen year old chick! What can I offer him that other beautiful, sophisticated, slightly older women can't?"
As if the answer was obvious, Natalie answered, "Great sex. Duh. I mean, he's not old or anything, Roxy... actually, his age is hot. Guys his age are more experienced in bed anyways, so there's a plus for you. And he's all... man, if you know what I mean. Why not go for him, even if he is your boss?"
Roxy slipped off her shoes and blazer, and tiredly crashed on the same sofa where Natalie sat. "I don't want to risk anything. He's not interested—"
"How do you know he's not interested?" Natalie questioned.
"Well... because. He's just, not. I can tell. He's the type that makes you believe there's a slight possibility he might be interested, but then he'll check out some other girl right in front of you, or call her 'sweetheart'," she said the last little bit bitterly in memory. "I don't think he's the type to really deny a pretty girl anything..."
Natalie sighed. "Roxy, like you said before, you don't know much about him, so stop saying what his type is. He might not be anything like that. I remember that message he left on our answering machine a few weeks ago, and what he did was sweet. But first thing's first, find out if he is or is not interested in you."
Roxy raised a thin, soft brow. "And how exactly do I do that?"
"Innocently flirt and seduce him, of course. If he responds, then ask him out; if doesn't, then he's gay."
Involuntarily, a laugh escaped from Roxy's throat with what Natalie had said. "I don't know, Natalie. I don't want to act like the office slut... I want to remain professional and keep everything aloof."
Dryly, Natalie said, "Your loss then." But then when she noticed the slightest amount of hurt on Roxy's face, she softened. "Hon, it's just that for as long as I knew you, you never had much interest in dating and relationships... so, isn't that good that you are attracted to him? It's refreshing to see."
Roxy understood where her best friend was coming from. Throughout high school and afterwards, she only casually dated a couple of guys, but those dates never lasted long because she just had no interest in any of them. So when Dr. Blackwell grabs her attention, should she go for it?
In a professional point of view? No, she should not go for it. But talking from the heart...? It wasn't that easy.
A/N: Well hi there! So here's my new story, Ring around the Bed, and I hope you enjoy. If you like this chapter and want me to continue, please review? I don't update or continue with stories when no one likes it.
If You Like = Review! :)