“How It was,” Janine emphasized the pronoun rather pointedly. “You know. Your first time?”
“Oh. . . . Oh!” Marka blushed as she stared laughing.
“What makes you think it was our first time? Most people think we’ve been at it since we met,” Frank said rather tersely, annoyed because they ignored him.
Janine gave him a patient stare. “You think I can’t tell? I’m sixty-three years old. I can tell who’s doing who and how often. You’ve been way too tense the last few days. Now you look damn near comatose. Dr. Marka looks blissful. So, I’m guessing it was good?” She directed the question at Marka.
Marka ducked her head. “Oooh, yeah! Blissful covers it pretty darn well.”
“He’s not all for show then? He really does know how to use that equipment he’s always strutting around?”
Frank sputtered. He didn’t know whether to be pleased or embarrassed. He settled for something between, trying not to look too proud of himself. “I don’t strut,” he managed to say once he got hold of himself.
“Oh, please! You’re like a peacock crossed with a prize stallion,” Janine replied.
The women nodded around her.
“You dress to the nines and walk with that confident posture that puts it all on display. Your suits are tailored to show off that marvelous physique you work so hard on. And it’s a tasty sight!”
The women nodded again, more adamantly. All of them were married, but that didn’t stop them looking.
“Is he yummy?” Cindy, one of the younger nurses asked, unable to contain the question longer.
Marka laughed loudly, tossing her hair over her shoulder. She was wearing it down to please Frank. She blushed again before answering just loudly enough for the group around them to hear.
Cindy and a couple of the others laughed and tapped knuckles. “I told you! I told you he would be! You didn’t believe me.”
“I am here,” Frank said, highly exasperated. “I can hear you. Do all women talk like this?” He directed the question toward Marka.
She laughed, at him, this time. “Frank, this is nothing. When you’re not around, that’s when the real fun starts.”
“Fun for who?” he asked her with a groan.
Marka patted his hand, smiling. She didn’t reply, which made him more nervous.
“Not for you, that’s for sure,” Janine said with a grin. “But hella fun for us. So, if you were to rate his performance, one being ho-hum and ten being the best you’ve ever had. . . .”
Marka considered a moment, sipping her coffee in order to increase the suspense. Even Frank stared at her, waiting.
“Twelve,” she announced, with a satisfied grin.
“Really?” Frank said more loudly than he intended. Slightly incredulous, again, he didn’t know if he should be flattered or insulted.
Marka smiled, touching his cheek tenderly. He rubbed her hand with his cheek, kissing her palm.
“Thanks,” he said with a proud smirk.
Marka giggled, blushing. “You’re welcome.”
“Well, I’m satisfied. Girls?” Janine said.
“You answered my most burning questions,” Cindy replied.
The others nodded, smiling at them like hungry predators. They dispersed, talking in pairs and small groups, as they walked out.
“We’re in for it now,” Frank said. “Twelve. Really?”
Marka laughed, touching his cheek tenderly. “Isn’t that high enough?”
“No—I mean, yes. I wasn’t expecting that response.” He leaned in, lips by her ear. “Give me a chance, I can get it to a solid thirteen, maybe fourteen. . . .”
“I’ve no doubt you can. Meanwhile, we gotta go to work.”
“I know, dammit.”
They dumped their trays and headed up to their offices. People looked at them strangely, whispering in their wake. Jeff had his door open when they arrived. It was obvious that he waited for them because he rose as soon as he saw them at Marka’s office.
“Can I see you both for a minute?”
“Sure, Jeff,” Frank said. “Is there a problem?”
They walked in and Jeff closed his door. “You know I think what you two have going is great. And I don’t want to throw a damper on it. . . .”
“But you will,” Frank said, crossing his arms.
Marka could tell there was some animosity between the two men. It was something that was usually well below the surface, but now was on the rise.
© Dellani Oakes