Georgio’s heart broke as he watched the tears flow down Cassie’s beautiful face. He had over-stepped, projected his own feelings and desires on to this wonderful woman and scared her badly.
It was something they teach you in med school, how to guard against things like this; how to keep the professional cloak about you so that this type of thing doesn’t happen. How could he have done this? He knew better, he had practiced medicine long enough to never do this. The guilt was over-whelming and he started to turn away, to just leave her alone so that she didn’t have to suffer his presence any longer.
Cassie’s head was reeling and for a moment she felt faint. The pain of the situation was actually physical for her; her heart ached with fear and loneliness, loneliness at the thought of never seeing him again. She knew he didn’t have the same type of feelings for her that she had for him but to have him just abruptly announce that she wasn’t his problem in 3 more days stunned her. She teetered on the fence between hurt and anger and both were present in her statement. “Have I done something wrong? I tried so hard to be a good patient, to do what you asked! Now you just want to –to get rid of me? I’m someone else’s problem now?”
Her words stopped Georgio in his tracks. She thought she was a problem for him? That he couldn’t wait to get rid of her? Cold fingers clutched at his heart threatening to yank it out of his chest. How could she think he wanted to abandon her? My God, he admired her, cherished her…loved her? Did he really love her? Could he possibly?
“Cassie, no, that’s not what I meant! I just meant that you will have different doctors in charge of your case at the rehab hospital. I’ll still come and see you though.” He watched her face as his words sunk in. There was a brief spark of something in her eyes. Did he dare believe it could be happiness?
Cassie’s heart leapt with joy! Maybe he didn’t just see her as a patient, maybe it was more. She knew she wanted it; she wanted him to see her as a more than a patient, someone win crisis. She wanted him to see her as a woman, a woman in love.
In love? Could she be?
The thought surged through her making her feel giddy. They say that patients often feel transference of emotion for their physicians, but she didn’t think this was what her emotions were. She loved him.
She cleared her throat and started to speak, “Georgio, uh, D…Dr. Gorman, I…”
He smiled then and knew it would be okay. He hadn’t read her wrong, she did have feelings too and outside this hospital they would be free to explore them. Only three more days and he couldn’t wait. He took her small hand in both of his and immediately felt the electricity spark again between them. “Cassie, Georgio is fine,” he said softly, wanting to reach out and brush that errant strand of hair out of her face, the one that often lay upon her soft cheek. He finally couldn’t resist and he reached out and tucked the hair back behind her ear, a gesture that he had longed to do so often. He saw something spark in her eyes then and realized it could be desire.
Cassie’s mouth went suddenly dry when he took her hand in his. If she could have jumped off this bed into his arms she would have. Then the touch of his hand against her cheek, such an intimate gesture took her breath away. A shiver crept along her spine and her eyes flickered with desire. For several long moments they held one another’s gaze and both imagined the future and all that it would hold for them.
“Cassie, do you understand that for the next three days you are still my patient? I mean, it has to be that way. But when you leave here, I would like, well, I hope that we can explore a different type of relationship with each other?”.”
She nodded and a few more salty tears trickled from the corner of her eyes; happy tears this time. His hand crept up and his thumb softly stroked away the tears. He wanted to kiss her so bad, but he knew he couldn’t; he wouldn’t be able to keep it all in perspective if he did. Her next move was almost his undoing.
She held his hand up to her mouth and placed a tender kiss into the palm, letting her soft lips linger in a warm caress. Her grass green eyes never left his and it was the perfect message of promise, of seduction. He felt himself grow hard again at the touch of those lips and he inwardly groaned. He wanted her and it would be months before she would physically be up for that type of relationship. How on earth would he be able to handle it?
He practically jerked his hand away from her mouth, afraid of the contact. He stood up and moved to the window, keeping his back to her in the hopes that she hadn’t seen his arousal.
She had and it at least made her feel like less of a wanton to know she wasn’t the only one who was aroused. For the first time in a long time she knew what it was to ache, physically, for someone. She felt the warm rush of moisture streak her thighs and that sent a blush up her face and made her breath catch in her throat.
“Is, is it still raining?” she asked in an attempt to take both of their minds off of their desire.
Georgio closed his eyes for a moment, thankful for the change of subjects. “NoYes, it’s still coming down. This is Kansas in the fall after all. Probably rain for days now.”
“Yes, I know. This is my favorite season. I hope I’ll be able to see some of it anyway. I love watching the leaves change, walking in the park, all of that. Although I don’t suppose I’ll be able to walk in the park this year, will I?”
He turned to look at her, more in control of himself now. He shook his head no, a sad motion that he wished he could have skipped. “No Cassie, you probably won’t be walking through the park in time for falling leaves this year. But next year I promise we’ll take that walk, okay? All the walks you want.” Those words spoke of the hopefulness of the future, of dreams of what would be.
She nodded, content with that answer. It was a promise, a bond between them and she accepted it joyfully.
His pager went off then and he looked at it with a frown. “I need to make a call Cassie,” he told her, pulling out his phone and punching buttons. “This is Dr. Gorman.” He listened intently for a minute, his brow furrowing in with his concentration. “I’m already in the hospital. I’ll be down in just a couple of minutes.”
“I have to go, I’m sorry. An emergency, of course.” He looked at her, wanting with all his heart to kiss her goodbye. Instead he took her hand in his and placed a kiss in her palm, mimicking her earlier kiss. She closed her eyes at the contact and sighed.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, alright?” he asked. His feet felt rooted to the floor; he wasn’t sure he could make them move.
“Well, I don’t know. I have a pretty full social calendar you know!” she quipped, trying to make him smile.
He willed himself to move, but his feet didn’t want to obey the command. He was mesmerized by her grace and beauty.
“Go on Georgio, someone is waiting for you to save them. Go…”
He nodded and started to back away; finally he turned and was out the door in a flash.
She watched him go with a new sense of peace. Yes, someone was waiting for him to use his amazing talent to save them. He had certainly saved her, from more than he could ever guess.
Cassie woke up the next morning with a smile on her face, which grew even bigger when Georgio walked into the room, looking tired but smiling at her too.
“Hi. Long night?” she asked, seeing the dark circles under his eyes.
“Yeah, it happens.” He stood there grinning at her, feeling like an idiot, but just seeing her made him smile.
It was only 6 am, but she felt enervated, just because he was here. “I just wanted to stop by briefly before I head home to catch a shower and change clothes,” he told her. It was only then that she realized he was wearing the same jeans and shirt from last night. So he hadn’t been home yet.
“You shouldn’t have wasted time on me; go home and take care of stuff. It’s not like I have anywhere to go you know!”
“Yeah, well, I just wanted to see you, for a – a minute.” God, he sounded like a love-sick puppy.
“So, this isn’t your official ‘making rounds’ early morning visit?”
“No, this is a ‘I just had to see you’ visit. Is that okay?”
Cassie swallowed hard and nodded. “Yes, it’s more than okay.”
He nodded in return and stood there looking at her, the woman he loved. Her hair was spiking up from the pillow and it made her look impish; she had never looked more beautiful to him. He sighed and finally said, “Well, I guess I’ll go. I’ll see you a little later for the ‘official’ visit, okay?”
“Okay. Bye…Georgio.” The last word was only a whisper, but he heard it loud and clear and it made his heart do flip-flops.
He tried to let his eyes, his face show her what he felt, and then turned and left, feeling suddenly lighter and less tired. It was going to be a great day!
The day that she was being moved the rehab hospital there was a knock on her door around 9 am and it popped open as Lissa came into the room, wearing a huge grin and carrying flowers and Cero’s chocolates!
“Lissa, what are you doing here?” Cassie said as tears sprung to her eyes.
“Grandma, Grandpa and I are flying out to California tomorrow to surprise Mom for her birthday so I thought I would come and see you today. How are you?”
“I’m good, great actually. They are moving me to the rehab hospital later.”
“Yeah, Mom told me. That is wonderful news Cassie. Are you excited?”
“More than you could ever know,” she answered, knowing that most of that excitement was because of the relationship that would be starting with Georgio.
“How is Dr. Gorgeous?” Lissa asked and was rewarded with a huge grin that spread across Cassie’s face.
“He’s great Lissa. And he won’t be my doctor anymore after I make the transfer!” A definite twinkle glimmered in her eyes as she spoke the words that now delighted her.
“Ah ha! So, that is a good thing, huh?”
“Definitely!” Cassie knew she needed to change the subject before she started blabbering like the village idiot. “I haven’t talked to your mom since she got to California. Is she enjoying her visit? How did it go meeting Adam’s boys, parents and the ex?”
“Really well. She likes Tamara a lot and the boys are great, she says. She has no idea that we all are coming out for her birthday. Adam and I have it all planned and have somehow managed to keep it a secret from her!”
“Which is amazing, I know. She has a way of sniffing secrets out, let me tell you! So what are the plans?”
“Well, we are flying out tomorrow afternoon and so are Derek and Pam. Adam has arranged hotel rooms for all of us, including his parents. Mom says they are all really nice people, which I’m really thankful for. I was afraid his parents might be kind of stuffy or something, but apparently not. The day after tomorrow his mother and Tamara are taking her to a spa for the day, to keep her busy so that Grandma and Adam can do the cooking for dinner that night. The good thing about that is that with Grandma and Adam cooking, we’ll all eat really well! And the next day we are having a barbeque on the beach at his house. Mom tells me the house is spectacular!”
“That sounds fun!” Cassie imagined the warm sand shifting between her toes and longed to be able to walk around in it; to be there with the family for Sarah’s birthday.
“Yeah. We’re uh, taking our softball stuff, thought we might work up a game!”
Cass groaned, she knew what that was about. “So let me guess, Adam probably doesn’t know that Sarah is a softball ringer does he?”
Lissa shrugged carelessly. “Who knows what Mom has told him? I just know it will be fun!”
Cassie laughed out loud and said, “Take it easy on him kiddo; who knows how fragile an ego Adam may have!”
Lissa giggled uncontrollably and when her eyes met Cassie’s, she saw the same thing in them. “You know, he doesn’t really seem to have much ego though, does he? I mean, he is just such a nice guy, not like a movie star at all!”
“I agree; he is amazing. So right for your mom, Lissa. I’m so happy for her!”
“And what about you Cassie? Have you found your Mr. Right?” Lissa watched Cassie’s face carefully as she asked that question.
“Maybe. I know that things are going to be different for us once I’m out of here. He won’t let anything happen between us while I am his patient, which if very frustrating, let me tell you. But I also understand that. So let’s just say that we have talked about what could be!”
Lissa leaned down and gave Cassie a warm kiss on the cheek and grinned at her. “Good. You deserve someone wonderful too Cassie. You’ve kissed a lot of toads; it’s time for your prince!”
“You think?” she laughed. “Toads, huh? Well some of them were…a few.”
Yes, a prince, she was ready for her prince, her happy ending. Was it finally here?
Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge
All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author.