Genevieve’s Scandal By Jessica Taylor
Spinning on a metal stool in the corner of Operating Room 9, I watch the anesthesiologists arrange my patient in the center of the room. They make a ritual of laying her out, inducing her unconsciousness, and sliding a breathing tube into her throat.
I often slow the anesthesia staff’s process by talking to them. Today, I am gesticulating next to our unconscious patient’s head as they perform jaw thrusts, begging them to please inject me with their white cocktail of drugs. In my mind, the recipe is something like two fingers hypnotic, one finger paralytic, and a dash of opiate. “Seriously guys, I could sleep for a week!” I tell them as I stomp my patent leather pink clog. They think I’m being friendly and entertaining as I wait to cut skin.
After my morning comedy routine with anesthesiologists, I wait. In inconspicuous corners of myriad operating rooms in hospitals across many states, I have spent weeks—probably even months—of my life waiting. We can’t start any surgery until the nurses have checked all of their boxes and finished their lists. This culminates in the mysterious moment when the nursing staff says that we can cut skin, which is long after the patient has lost consciousness and been intubated. Only when the nurses say so can we begin the operation.
The waiting began when I was an intern. I would scamper about the OR, my blonde curls escaping my surgical bonnet, desperately trying to help. Grumpy circulating nurses and territorial scrubs would chide me: Don’t touch this sterile thing and don’t touch that sterile machine and just don’t touch anything.
I would attempt to help with simple tasks like bladder catheter insertion, IV placement, or shaving and prepping the patient. Eventually, they would bundle up my clumsy nervousness, pull me with dry hands to the corner, and sit me in a spinning chair to wait. Just wait for your attending, doctor. The last word they drawled and emphasized the first syllable: DOC-tor. They pronounced it like an inside joke.
Early in my training, I made studious use of this down time. Waiting to begin, I read journal articles, poured over case studies, or practiced tying surgical knots on the drawstrings of my ill-fitting scrubs. Then tablet computers were allowed in the hospital and my life changed.
I consider the history of smart devices in medicine as I pull mine out now. First we began to round with our iPads, which the old guard of technologically inept attending surgeons found to be efficient and thus permissible. Then surgical anatomy apps developed. I prepared for the ensuing pimp sessions from attending surgeons by fussing over my tablet with virtual cystoscopies, bronchoscopies, endoscopies, and colonoscopies.
Today, our white coats are even made with a special pocket to fit a tablet. But I no longer have the energy to impress anyone in my last month of surgical residency.
I do have options: continue analyzing a manuscript my department is preparing, or check and then ignore endless emails. Assessing the present situation in the OR, it appears the anesthesia team has encountered their usual setbacks. They are pulling new types of breathing tubes out and calling for their video-laryngoscope. They haven’t even finished placing the extra IV lines they need. It takes time to prepare a patient for lung surgery: I am in this for the long haul.
I observe the room to see if anyone is watching me. I feign indifference, draping my arm over a desk, twirling a curl that has escaped my bonnet. I feel like one of my friends from undergrad, looking to see if the coast is clear before ducking down to puff a joint outside a bar.
It’s getting loud in the room as the anesthesiologists argue over using a bronchial blocker or going back to the double lumen tube. The nurses are starting their eternal instrument count. Johnny Cash is singing in the background. An anesthesia tech is swearing at a blank screen as he switches cords out between the laryngoscope and the image monitor.
The coast, I think, is clear. I am already flushed as I bite my lower lip and slide my finger over the tablet. I sink down into Genevieve’s Scandal.
“Genevieve,” Duke growls as he looks deep into her crystal blue eyes. He cages her against the castle wall. Her wavy hair escapes from its bun and caresses his face. Next to them, a fire rages.
The feel of her hair reminds him of their first kiss months ago. It was full of passion that inspired him to scour the countryside for her all these months. Duke almost explodes thinking of the memory of his first taste of her full lips. His velvet pants strain.
Genevieve’s small frame is captured under his brawn. Her round breasts are creamy mounds just peaking up at the edge of her low-cut gown. Her shoulders are ivory and bare. She smells like spicy flowers behind her ear and he drops the tip of his tongue onto that spot.
“I have wanted to kiss you every day since that first time,” Duke says as he wraps a tendril of her chocolate hair around his finger. He speaks slowly, desire dripping like honey from his voice.
He recalls being rescued by her during the hunt, after his stallion jumped a hedge and he was unseated. He had thought it would be embarrassing, a woman finding him covered in mud after his fall. Genevieve was the best rider he had every seen, and she calmly ponied his loose stallion back to him after she’d gathered him from the ground.
Genevieve stares into his emerald eyes. “I have longed to be with you since the fox hunt at Earl Buckley’s estate. I knew that you would find me.” She leans in to him and the masculine smell of pine and mint make her feel delighted.
As Duke presses into Genevieve, her breasts thrust upward and he can’t help but delicately drag a finger from its round edge and up to her collarbone. She responds with heavy breaths and her womb clenches with need. He leans down and follows that same path with his tongue.
Duke splits her thighs with his knee and captures her hips against the castle wall. The oriental carpet crushes beneath their feet. Duke can hear his stallion snorting in the distance, through the etched glass window, calling out to Genevieve’s white mare. Even through the thick layers of her velvet ball gown, he can feel the heat of her desire beating like a sun onto his thigh.
Genevieve’s breasts ache and she wants his hands on them, kneading and pulling. She wants to released from the constriction of her dress.
“Dr. Kudare…. DOC-tor.”
I have relaxed into a puddle, absorbed by my novel. My arm drapes over the desk beside me. I’m slow to return to the busy operating room. I rub my neck, my skin tingling as I look up.
A young nurse called Megan stands in front of me, a manicured hand on her hip. I hear the redundant click of her zebra print clogs. She wears a stylish bouffant cap. A large button over her name badge reads, “We care!” Wearing a mask, the only skin on her face I can see is her impeccably applied eye make-up.
“Doctor, are you sure that you want the patient to have heparin?”
“I ordered that heparin,” I explain as I notice the shaking of my thighs. I hope the small crack in my voice was only noticeable to me. My cheeks are warm, and my arms are starting to flush a light pink. There is tingling and warmth over my breasts.
“Are you ok, Dr. Kudare? You look weird today.”
“Oh, no. I’m fine!” I smile too brightly and bring my hand to my face, hoping it will cool my cheeks.
“So, are you sure that you wanted to order an anti-coagulant?” The nurse persists. “Dr. Jenner never orders heparin for these cases.”
“Yes, I want my patient to have the heparin that I consciously ordered for her to have.” I sigh, wondering if I am finally going to be released from the tension building between Genevieve and Duke. I don’t know how much longer I can take the heat.
“Okay, doctor, whatever you think is best.” She walks away, hopefully to inject the patient with the blood thinner I ordered.
I stretch my arms up to the ceiling as my pulse begins to slow. The chair twists to the side. The anesthesiologists have the patient under control; they’re listening with stethoscopes to confirm placement of their breathing tube. Another nurse is preparing to put in a bladder catheter. I still have a few minutes to steal.
After months of searching for her, Duke presses his lips into Genevieve’s. Her lips fit his again with perfection, and are sweet like he remembers. He explores her mouth with his tongue and admires the flush extending from her neck to her breast.
“So responsive,” he whispers to her, caressing her swan’s neck. “So beautiful.” He returns his mouth to hers and Genevieve’s moans fill the air.
She slides her hand down his strong buttocks, squeezing the flesh as her hand moves down. She smooths her hand over his thigh and can feel the defined muscles beneath the fabric.
Finding the black ribbon holding his jodhpurs together, she pulls the bow. “Yes,” he moans into her ear, giving her confidence. She slides her hand inside, and startles when she feels his velvety steel. Duke caresses her breast over her dress, urging her on. She strokes him, electricity shooting up her hand and straight to her heart.
“I can’t wait any longer,” Duke whispers into her ear. With that, he bends down to touch her ankle under the layers of dark wine taffeta and velvet. The fabric weighs on his forearm as he draws his hand upwards across her chiseled calf and then her milky thigh. He slips his hands beneath her undergarment and she is wet with need.
Gazing down at her, he reaches to the bodice of her dress and yanks it down, exposing her alabaster breasts tipped with pink skin that begs to be kissed. He lays his tongue on the stiff tip while caressing her other breast. Genevieve arches her back and moans as he sucks.
I snap up from my story, my belly tingling and my eyes wide with anticipation.
“What happened to Megan?” I say, confused.
“Megan was just giving me a break. I’m running the room,” Linda answers while she opens more sterile gloves to throw on the table. She reminds me of those troll dolls from when I was a kid: non-pliable and with a smile that is supposed to be reassuring. Goddamn, I think to myself. Why can’t someone give me a break forty-five minutes after I start the day?
“Are you okay, Valerie? You look a little funny. You’re all red in your face and neck. And you’re sweating.” She takes liberties, because she knew me when I was an intern, when I couldn’t even inject right; and it’s hard for some people to believe I have grown up. She looks down her nose at me through the reading glasses sitting at the tip of her nose.
I fan my face with my iPad. “No, I’m fine.”
“That’s how I look when I’m having a hot flash,” Linda says. “Are you sure you want the patient to have heparin?”
“I ordered that heparin,” I explain more quickly, with more urgency this time.
She is stealing my remaining minutes. The pressure building in my pelvis either needs to be released now or suppressed quickly. I keep looking down to my tablet. But she isn’t having it. She just won’t let me finish.
“Dr. Jenner never orders that medicine for these cases.” She eyes me over her half glasses.
I smack my iPad down, and stand to grab the syringe of heparin off the counter.
`”Whatever you want. I’m just trying to help. Pre-op was supposed to give it anyway.”
Linda turns to place the Foley catheter. I slide the needle under the sleeping patient’s skin. It dimples and rises into a weal.
My heart is still speeding, and its clear to me that I’m worked up underneath my scrubs. The surgeon’s lounge is close, and I fantasize about finding an intern to seduce and lead to the abandoned closet I found last month near the ICU. It’s a dream that the workday will never accommodate.
Instead of returning to my book, I try to expedite this situation so we can just get the damn operation going. Linda and I both move to the head of the bed to start positioning the patient’s body. She beats me there, boxing me out with her rear.
“I’ll do it. It’s my job,” she says. I swim my arms through hers to establish the leverage to move in front of her.
“No. I’m up now anyway. I might as well do something, Linda.” I hook my foot in front of hers.
“No, DOC-tor, positioning is my job. Go sit in the corner! Just wait for your attending!” She swipes the draw sheet under the patient from my hands. “Your hair is falling out of your cap,” she scolds over her shoulder as I retreat with my hands balled at my sides.
“Fine.” I huff off to my spinney chair, poking the hair back up into my cap. I slam my ass down and the smack vibrates over my inner thighs, my center, and it feels so good it calms me down.
My hands relax. My mind mellows. I slide an index finger over the cool screen.
The fire snapping next to the lovers increases the heat of their connection. Genevieve cannot contain her reaction to his caresses over her breasts. She gazes down at his black hair, shudders as he drags his tongue over her nipples. She cannot hold back her loud moan when he opens his eyes and stares with lust up at her, flicking his tongue so softly over and over. Genevieve groans, arches her back, and squeezes her eyes shut at the pleasure.
Duke enjoys her half undressed, her breasts exposed above her dress. He considers making love to her this way, but he wants to see it all.
Simultaneously, Genevieve commands him, “Remove the rest of my dress.”
He is surprised at the ferocity of her words.
He reaches behind her, licking her neck and as he undoes her gown. She moans again as the wool of his overcoat brushes her nipples.
As he pulls down the siders of her dress, her ribs first are revealed to him. He strokes the dip between each one. Then her white, smooth stomach is exposed to him as the dress slides down to her waist. As he makes it to the final reveal, he is pulsing with anticipation and salivating with desire. The soft curve of her skin below the bone of her pelvis begs for his tongue.
Genevieve sees his wet tongue wants to feel the tiny bumps in her aching core.
He gazes down at her from his knees, the fire throwing shadows over the firmness of her strong thighs. He is harder than he even imagined possible. He can hardly hold back from sliding into her.
He drops to the floor and meets her blue eyes as he gazes up at her from the V of her legs. Neither exhales until Duke sets his tongue against the glistening folds at her center. Then, both release the sigh of longing finally realized.
Genevieve’s naked, warm legs rub against the velvet of Duke’s pants. She fists a hand into his hair, the other flexes over the tweed of his overcoat. She can feel the pile of the carpet crushing against her back as she rocks into his soft tongue with her hips.
He slides a finger into her wet tightness. He slides in a second and caresses in a forward pressing circle. He squeezes her thigh with a hand and places kisses up her belly. He stops again to swipe his tongue over her nipple and feel the tightness of her other breast.
He hovers over her and she reaches up to pull down his coat. She sits up, drops a hand to each side of the v-neck collar of his tunic. A loud tear sounds against the fire as she rips into his shirt to finally get a view of his beautiful chest.
Duke lays her back down, hovering at her entrance. Genevieve feels the torture of her desire, wanting him to bury himself at last deeply into her. But she still has a few seconds for restraint. As she feels him about to thrust into her, she gets an even hotter look in her eyes. She grins wickedly at him. She hooks a leg around his thigh and quickly redistributes their weight, ending on top.
Duke laughs, surprised. Then he quiets, watching her balance on her toes over his erectness. She is so hot and ready millimeters above his manhood. He cups her tight buttocks and she rests her weight on his hands as she leans forward to press her small hands onto his chest. Her hair is wildly falling out of its bun. Her lips are engorged and glistening, her cheeks pink. Genevieve lowers herself to him as Duke drags her down by the hips. They both stop, the millimeter before their joining, just before he….
My heart is thumping. My knees are pressed together in anticipation. Even the skin on my arms and hands are now bright red.
It was so close. The satisfaction of all that build up is gone, like sand through my fingers.
“You need to scrub,” Linda is bustling about in front of me. “Your attending is on the way. Better hurry.”
Everyone is staring at me as I stand up in my corner. The patient is completely draped in blue and all the instruments are laid out for us. The scrub nurse stands at her table, waiting so she can gown and glove me.
Shit, I think. If I don’t cut skin before the attending arrives, I will be shamed for the next hour. Every move I make will be even more dissected and criticized. Shit, I think as I scramble for the sinks in the hall.
I scrub my hands fast, the water cooling my arms. There’s a mirror over the sink, and I see my face. My eyes are shiny, my skin dewy, and my lips plump. I recognize this look: I am desperate to be fucked.
I smack the door to the OR open with my rear-end, sterile hands in the air. The freezing air dries the sweat beading over my chest. The dull thud of the door on my ass vibrates across my thighs and hips and I groan. They gown me, and I am standing over the patient, ready to cut as soon as the circulating nurse deems it appropriate, after all of her boxes have been checked.
“Ok, doc-tor. We’re timed in. You can start,” Linda growls across the room.
“Knife,” I say. I stick my hand out and the scrub nurse smacks the knife handle into my palm.
“Are you okay?” The anesthesia resident peers at me over the drapes, just her shielded eyes visible. “You’re all pale, like hypoglycemic. Did you have time for breakfast?”
“I’m fine. I ate.” I cut between the patient’s ribs, and pronounce, “Incision.”
“Weitlaner,” I call for a small retractor.
I make the mistake of looking up, over toward my corner and my iPad. Oh fuck, I think as I see Linda scrolling through my tablet. At that moment the attending stalks in through the door.
“Valerie! What are you doing?” The attending surgeon scolds. “Don’t look at the nurses when you talk to them or you’ll never finish the surgery. Come on. Let’s go. Move. We have three more cases.”
Looking back down, I bite my tongue. As my hands operate, my scrub top rustles over my lace bra, reminding me of what I am missing. The surgeon leaves, and Linda moves toward the surgical field.
Linda is wearing a scrub jacket with over-sized pockets. She always has a book shoved in there. I don’t know what she reads. I’ve never asked. She seems excited as she moves toward us, and her step is lighter.
She stands directly across from me, in the place my attending will stand when he decides to scrub. My finger is shoved down between the ribs of the patient, and I am sweeping stuck lung from the chest wall so I can insert my camera scope. Linda is jabbering at me, but I’m not really paying attention to her, as I twist my hand inside the chest.
Linda is sort of swinging, the front of her coat swaying back and forth. The thick book in her pocket is like a pendulum. “Are you listening to me? I said, ‘Isn’t it a good book?'”
“Huh?” I respond. I am used to interruptions. The room won’t go silent until the attending finally takes over the operation.
I look up at her. And then I see it. She’s holding it up, unabashed, and like a torch. In her hand is her book. The cover is creased and tattered. Its pages are ruffled and dog-eared, making the book look twice its thickness. It’s her copy of Genevieve’s Scandal.
Well, I’ll be damned, I think to myself. I can’t help smiling. I’m just unsure if it’s out of camaraderie or disturbance.