“Alright.” I scanned the rest of the sheet. “So basically, at this point I’d ask you if you have any blood-clot issues, since you also filled that in when you were trying to create a smiley face with the boxes.”
I leaned back and let my training take control. “And why a breast augmentation? What’s your end goal here?”
She was silent.
I glanced up. “Austin?”
“I guess, for the only reason any woman wants plastic surgery. I want to be noticed?”
Funny how she wrongly assumed that only insecure women stepped into my office, when really it was only about 10 percent trophy wife–types and 90 percent women who’d had a mastectomy and wanted to feel feminine again, or women who birthed beautiful children and because of nursing, lost a part of themselves they wanted back. I bit my tongue and looked her up and down. Noticed?
“A guy would have to be dead not to notice you,” I said out loud.
Our eyes locked.
I cleared my throat. “Alright, so you want to be noticed. Do you have any idea how large you’d like to go? For example, a high-profile implant is going to look fuller and give you the lift that a push-up bra would give you. A moderate implant may look more natural, depending on your body type, but . . .” Shit, I had to keep it professional, but I couldn’t help picturing her perfect pert breasts and the way they’d always filled my hands, overflowed across my thumbs, and . . . There I was clearing my throat again. “Having seen your body,” my voice rasped, “I wouldn’t suggest a moderate because it could add weight to your small frame.”
She stared at me like I’d just lost my mind and then asked in a small voice, “So, you would perform surgery on me?”
“That is what you’re here for, right?”
“No, I mean, for real,” she explained. “You would . . . make me better?”
“Damn it, Austin.” I placed the clipboard on the table and wanted to follow after it with my head. “Listen when I say, there is absolutely nothing I would change about your body, not now, not ever.”
And there we were again, eyes locked, bodies a mere foot away from each other.
All I had to do was lean in.
All she had to do was follow.
I reached out to touch her just as a knock sounded and our head nurse poked her head in. “Dr. Holloway, are you ready for me?”
“Yup.” I shot to my feet and pointed to the gown on the table. “You can keep your skirt on, but take your top off and try to drape this the way that Nancy instructs. I’ll be back in five minutes.”
I couldn’t leave that room fast enough.
I walked down the hall into my office and slammed the door behind me, taking a few soothing breaths as I leaned against my desk.
The fact that she would even question the way I had always felt about her body, considering the way I worshipped it with my mouth and hands, completely floored me.
It never once occurred to me that she would be insecure after our relationship ended. Of course, it made sense, I was in the business of fixing flaws, so it was my job to find them.
Only, whenever I was with Austin, the only flaw I saw—was me.
Nancy was nice.
If you liked women who should be aging naturally, but instead looked like they had had their faces frozen one too many times and had their eyebrows nailed to the top of their head.
She was beautiful in a really harsh, she-could-either-be-eighty-or-forty way.
I wasn’t against plastic surgery—I was just more a fan of its looking natural—and nothing on Nancy looked natural.
When she left to let me change, I peeled off my shirt so fast, I nearly caught my head inside the neck hole—not because I was eager to get Thatch’s hands on me, but because I wanted this whole embarrassing situation to be over.
I was uncomfortable, and I knew Thatch. I’d had sex with him, he’d seen me naked, and my teeth were still chattering.
I made a mental note to include that in my post.
That no matter who it was.
You were still topless in a doctor’s office while bright fluorescent lights peered down on you, revealing every single flaw hidden in the dark.
A loud knock had me jumping out of my skin.
“I’m r-ready,” I said, trying to sound confident.
Thatch strolled in along with Nancy right behind him.
He washed his hands.
Wait, why was he washing his hands?
“I don’t want you to be cold,” he whispered so only I could hear. “And who knows where my hands have been.”
He was making a joke.
Trying to make me feel better.
But it only made me feel worse—because my body knew exactly where his hands had been not so long ago.
All over me.
“Alright,” Thatch said, snapping me out of my pathetic trip down sexual-fantasy lane where Thatch wore an eye patch and slapped my booty. “I’m going to jot down a ton of stuff that won’t make any sense to you, basically to see if one breast is bigger than the other, measure distance from the nipple to the breastbone, so just hold still and try not to slump, alright?”
I gave him a jerky nod while he pulled out a marker.
It was like sorority hazing where they would use markers to circle every imperfection and write horrible names like “slut,” “whore,” and “bitch” on the pledges.
Only it was five thousand times worse.
Because I wasn’t drunk.
And nobody joined me in my shame.
It was just the sexiest man alive, with a marker in his hand, hell-bent on pointing out what was wrong so he could fix it.
Oh, this had been a really stupid idea.
Thatch smiled warmly at me. “Relax, this is what I do, you even gave me a shiny award for it.”
I nodded my head. “You’re right. Okay.” I straightened my shoulders and stood tall. “I’m ready.”
He pulled back the fabric, revealing both of my breasts, and sucked in a breath as his eyes dilated, the marker frozen midair.
“Dr. Holloway?” Nancy coughed. “Everything alright?”
“God, yes,” he whispered under his breath. “Sure, Nancy, I just forgot I left the garage door open.”
ve him a funny look because he didn’t have a garage.
And he gave me one back that said, Shut your mouth before I doodle on your face with my marker.
So I did.
He cupped my breasts briefly, lifting the right, then the left. I really tried not to respond. I did. Swear. But when his knuckle grazed my right nipple, my body reacted. He noticed, because, duh, how could he not? My breasts were basically begging for his attention like the little sluts they were.
Meanwhile Dr. Thatch was just doing his job.
I was in hell.
He fired off measurements while his nurse wrote them down, and as he predicted, none of them made sense to me.
“Your left is larger than your right,” he said in a detached voice.
“Great,” I said in a “please kill me” voice.
“Just slightly, though, you wouldn’t notice it.”
No, but he would.
I had to wonder if that’s what he’d done after sex, mentally gone down a checklist of all the things he’d fix on my body if only I’d let him.
“Almost done.” He looked up at me for the first time since the examination started. “Nancy,” he said without looking back at her, “grab one of the sports bras from the cupboard, please.”
“Right away.” Her back was to us.
And then Thatch’s hands were on me.
On both breasts, massaging with his fingers as he leaned in and whispered in my ear. “You. Are. Perfect.”
He pulled back before I could say anything.
Tears welled in my eyes.
How did he even know what I was thinking?
And why? Why did he have to be so nice? It was hard to be angry at him for hurting me when he was nice.
Don’t forget beautiful.
Nancy handed him the bra, which he handed to me. “Go ahead and put this on.”
I slipped off the hospital robe and pulled on the sports bra.
“Alright.” He grabbed a clear implant that had rough edges and another that had smooth edges. “The rougher implant is a cohesive gel. It holds its shape better, but it feels harder.” He held it out to me.